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Wetlands Research Technology Center Title


Regulatory IV: Wetland Delineation
WRTC staff provides instruction for the wetland delineation course organized through the USACE PROSPECT system. Regulatory IV presents an interagency course in wetland delineation based on the current Federal Wetland delineation manual. The course provides student participants with a basic understanding of the interaction of vegetation, soils, and hydrology in wetlands in sufficient detail to apply delineation methods on routine cases. Upon completion, successful graduates possess the background necessary for identifying wetlands and determining their boundaries for purposes of administering programs such as the Section 404 Regulatory Program. Successful completion is determined by attendance and participation in all lecture, field, and laboratory sessions. Topics include (a) wetland characteristics including soils, hydrology, and vegetation; (b) wetland delineation methods; and (c) field exercises in recognition of wetland boundaries.

WRTC staff
WRTC staff lead a wetland delineation course in Salt Lake City, UT

Regulatory V: Wetland assessment
WRTC staff provides instruction for the wetland assessment course organized through the USACE PROSPECT system. Regulatory V presents an interagency course designed for employees of federal agencies involved in assessing wetland functions in the field. The course ensures students are proficient in applying regional wetland assessment procedures and evaluating their results. The course focuses on the application of assessments under different scenarios such as project impact determination, alternative analysis, and mitigation design/monitoring associated with implementation of regulatory programs such as the Clean Water Act and the Food Securities Act. Successful completion of the course is determined by attendance and participation in all lecture, field, and laboratory sessions. Topics include overview of the Hydrogeomorphic Approach; developing assessments; verifying, validating, and testing assessment methods. After completing the course, students should will understand wetland assessments, how assessments are developed and applied, and the importance of wetland assessment to natural resource management.

Fundamentals of wetland ecology
WRTC staff provides instruction for the fundamentals of wetland ecology course organized through the USACE PROSPECT system. Students are provided with state-of-the-art basic knowledge of wetland flora and fauna, hydrology, soils, and ecology. The course emphasizes wetlands functions and values in an ecosystem perspective. Both saltwater and freshwater wetlands will be addressed in the course. The relationship of wetlands to adjacent terrestrial and deep water habitats, along with wetlands succession and dynamics, are discussed. This course provides the base working level fundamentals in the wetlands ecology area and may also serve to update students in current developments in wetlands science. While the focus of this course is not on wetlands delineation or regulatory (Section 404) issues, regulatory personnel would benefit from the broader overview of wetlands ecology. This course provides instruction in the following topics: (a) wetland hydrology; (b) wetland vegetation; (c) major faunal populations associated with wetlands; (d) wetland plant and animal communities, ecosystem relationships, and dynamic processes; (e) hydric soils; (f) wetland classification systems, including the relationship of such wetland classifications to ecosystems classifications and parameters; (g) principles of wetlands ecology and dynamics; (h) current research in wetlands; (i) evaluation of wetland functions; (j) overview of wetland development, restoration, and constructed wetlands; and (k) open discussion and problem solving.

Wetland delineation refresher cources
Providing wetland-delineation training for federal agency regulatory personnel remains essential due to: (1) the development and implementation of new regional supplements to the wetland-delineation manual, (2) increasing numbers of retirements among experienced wetland delineators, and (3) continuing rapid turnover of agency personnel. Wetland delineation refresher sessions led by WRTC staff are designed for personnel who have taken the introductory Regulatory IV wetland-delineation class in the past but need to keep abreast of new developments, materials, and guidance. Training sessions rotate among USACE Districts, reducing the costs of travel and minimizing the disruption of ongoing workloads. Each session focuses on the proper application of new regional supplements and addresses only those indicators and guidance appropriate to the location where the session is held. Refresher courses are not intended to take the place of more intensive, field-oriented courses in wetland delineation (e.g., Regulatory IV), hydric soils, or other topics.

Basic hydric soils for wetland delineation
WRTC staff leads an intensive three day training session for field-orientated individuals directly involved with wetland identification and delineation, but lack a strong soils background or require a review of hydric soils. The instructor focuses on the participantís technical field issues and problems. The course covers basic hydric soil description and delineation, implementation of the regional supplement, and demonstrates the use of hydric soils indicators for delineation. Also, altered and problem soil situations are addressed. Each day consists of classroom instruction and field demonstrations, therefore, participants should expect to encounter wet field conditions and plan for appropriate field clothing (rain gear, boots, etc.). All participants will receive a number of learning materials and delineation tools as well as a certificate of completion.

hydric soil Salem OR
Participants evaluate hydric soil indicators near Salem, OR

Advanced wetland delineation
WRTC staff lead an advanced wetland delineation course designed for experienced regulatory personnel who have taken the introductory Regulatory IV wetland delineation class and display technical expertise within their region. T Each session focuses on the proper application of regional supplements, emphasizing approaches to difficult wetland delineations. The advanced course is not intended to take the place of basic courses in wetland delineation. Difficult wetland delineations account for between 25 and 50% of wetland delineations occurring across the nation and include areas exposed to fill material, complex wetland/upland mosaics, recently created wetlands, managed plant communities, and mitigation wetlands. Additionally, naturally problematic wetlands occur in all regions, associated with FACU dominated plant communities, soil parent materials, seasonal hydrology, and other issues posing challenges to regulatory staff. The advanced delineation course introduces participants to technological approaches to wetland delineation including water table monitoring/modeling, soil redox probes, and other techniques.

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Updated June 2007
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