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Introduction to Wetland Identification

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Course Code: EH0102CA17

This course is eligible for continuing education credits toward the Society of Wetland Scientists’
Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) Certificate Program.

Introduction to Wetland Identification

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Date & Time

October 26, 2016
9:00am - 5:00pm (Check-in time 8:30am)

*This course is sold out! Please consider registering for our next offering, scheduled for June 14, 2017.


"Ralph is the dude! Entertaining and excellent teacher. Ralph has a deep knowledge of wetlands and much more (is a joy to listen to)."
-Thomas D'Angelo, Environmental Consultant, on Instructor Ralph Tiner

Virtually all activities conducted in and around wetlands are regulated – from excavating underground storage tanks to soil compaction for paving a driveway or patio to pruning of overgrown vegetation – and violators are subject to hefty penalties and fines from the NJDEP.

Knowing if a wetland is on your property or a site on which you work is incredibly important! But how do you determine if a wetland is present?

Why not educate yourself? Take our class to get the basic tools you need to identify a wetland's presence. Once you make a determination, you will know if you need to go further and hire an environmental professional to evaluate the site and assist you with the permit process.

In this one-day combination classroom and field course, a nationally recognized wetlands expert will review the skills you need to identify freshwater wetlands and their boundaries and introduce you to wetland plant identification and soil recognition. You will learn:

  • Why wetlands are important
  • How they differ
  • What indicators are used for wetland identification
  • About the current regulations in New Jersey

You'll also find out how to access and use government maps in order to identify wetlands on your property, on lands you may be interested in purchasing or on properties on which you conduct environmental, landscaping or other site development or remediation work. You'll even get you a simple introduction to the practice of wetland delineation (the technical skill of determining a wetlands precise boundaries) --- all in one day!

For those interested in advancing their wetland knowledge, this course will provide the essential background material needed for further study in the step-by-step regulatory and delineation techniques covered in the Methodology for Delineating Wetlands course.

Featured Topics

  • Wetland Definitions and Concepts
  • Wetland Functions and Values
  • Introduction to Wetland Regulations
  • Wetland Hydrology Indicators
  • Wetland Vegetation – Hydrophytic Plant Indicators
  • Wetland Soils – Soil Colors, Hydric Soil Indicators
  • Wetland Types – Wetland Classification, Wetland Maps
  • Review of Wetland Plant Characteristics
  • Field Exercises: wetland plant identification, hydric soil recognition, wetland hydrology indicators, wetland delineation (simple steps)

See the Recertification Credits offered for this program.
Meet the Instructor.
Read course reviews from past attendees.
Download Brochure (PDF)

Photos from a Wetland Identification Class

Recertification Credits

In addition to .7 Rutgers CEUs, this wetland training course is approved for the following credits:

Certified Public Works Manager (CPWM) - 3 Technical, 3 Management

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) Credits - 6.5 hours

Landscape Architects (NY) - 4.0 hr CL; 2.5 hr EA

Land Surveyors (NJ) - Pending

Land Surveyors (NY) - 6 Hours

Professional Engineer (NJ) - 6 Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) credits

Professional Engineers (NY) - 6 Hours

Society of American Foresters - Pending

ATTENTION HEALTH OFFICERS AND REGISTERED ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS: Rutgers University, NJAES, Office of Continuing Professional Education has been approved by the New Jersey Department of Health as a provider of NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs). Participants who complete this education program will be awarded 5.5 NJ Public Health Continuing Education Contact Hours (CEs).

Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP) - Introduction to Wetland Identification has been pre-approved for 0.4 equivalent semester hours by the SWSPCP as meeting standards for content and instruction toward SWSPCP Professional Certification or SWSPCP Professional Certification Renewal. Approval per course is calculated based upon 15 hours of contact time per credit. Click here for more information about the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP).

Meet the Instructor
raplph tiner, wetlands instructor

Ralph Tiner, M.S., M.P.A. has 40 years of practical experience in wetland delineation and has written extensively on the subject.  He has written several field guides including: Field Guide to Non-tidal Wetland Identification, Maine Wetlands and Their Boundaries, A Field Guide to Coastal Wetland Plants of the Northeastern United States, and In Search of Swampland, as well as Wetland Indicators: A Guide to Wetland Identification, Delineation, Classification, and Mapping.

Required Textbook

In Search of Swampland: A Wetland Sourcebook and Field Guide (Second Edition) [ISBN 0813536812], Ralph W. Tiner - $30.00

You may purchase this textbook on your own or through our office with your registration.

Early Registration Fee $285.00 Register on or before October 12, 2016 and save!
Registration Fee $325.00 After October 12, 2016

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided to you at no additional cost.

NOTE: If you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, please alert us at least one (1) week in advance of the course start date so that we can make reasonable accommodations. We cannot guarantee accommodations for special requests made after that time.


We strongly recommend that you use the directions we provide.

Somerset County Environmental Education Center - Lord Stirling Park
190 Lord Stirling Road, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Directions and Map

Note: Pre-registration is required. We're sorry, but we cannot guarantee a seat, materials or meals for walk-in registrants. Location is subject to change; registrants will be notified in the event of a change.


*This course is sold out! Please consider registering for our next offering, scheduled for June 14, 2017.

Would you like to be notified when the next offering is scheduled? 
Here are 3 convenient ways to be added to our mailing list:
1. Click here to join our mailing list (please reference "Introduction to Wetland Identification" or Course Code EH0102) 
2. Call us at 848-932-9271, select option 3
3. E-mail us at ocpe@njaes.rutgers.edu

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Senior Program Coordinator: Dalynn Knigge, 848-932-7315
Administrative Assistant: Bianca Scardina, 848-932-7316

Attention U.S. Veterans

All of the courses offered by the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education are approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for tuition reimbursement through the GI Bill. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.

Course Reviews

"Great hands-on introductory course. Great overview - field work was a big plus to see what was taught in class. [Will] use it on site during site evaluation."
- William C. Violn, Jr., Civil Engineer, 2011 attendee

"Ralph is the dude! Entertaining and excellent teacher. Ralph has a deep knowledge of wetlands and much more (is a joy to listen to)."
- Thomas D'Angelo, Environmental Consultant, 2012 attendee

"Excellent hydric soil understanding [and] help with vegetation mapping. [Appreciated] simple, repeated focus on hydrophytic plants, hydric soil, hydrology indicators."
- Christina Kaunzinger, Senior Ecologist, 2012 attendee

See all Rutgers Wetland Training Programs