Wetland plants, also known as hydrophytes or hydrophytic vegetation, have adaptations that enable them to grow and reproduce with their roots in water or saturated soil for at least part of the year. In contrast, plants that cannot survive in saturated conditions are commonly referred to as upland plants.
1. To provide late summer field identification methods for the most common wetland plant communities of New Jersey's Coastal Plain.
2. To explain plant community distribution on the basis of surface geology, soils, hydrology gradients, and the impacts of human disturbances, including fire, farming and forest harvesting.
3. To learn and identify plant communities and their dominant species and associations.
4. To provide practical field skills and techniques that will enable students to identify South Jersey's most frequently encountered wetland trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants, using the plant community as a context to aid wetland delineation.
Course instructors Theodore "Ted" Gordon and Joseph Arsenault take Vegetation Identification course students through the Pygmy Pine Forest.
Students get hands-on practice identifying wetland vegetation in Southern New Jersey in this course.
Day 1: Southern Coastal Plain Interior and Delaware Bay
8:00am - 8:15am: Reception and Coffee / Refreshments
8:15am - 9:00am: Instructors' Introduction; Course Itinerary
9:00am - 1:00pm: Vegetation Types of NJ's Southern Interior
1:00pm - 1:30pm: Lunch; Informal Chat on Peek Preserve Vegetation
1:30pm - 5:00pm: Marshes of Delaware Bay
Wetland vegetation communities explored: Oak/Pine, Oak Dominated, Red Maple and Pitch Pine Lowlands, Cranberry Bogs, Impoundments, and Cedar Swamp
Day 2: Northern Pine Barrens and Atlantic Coastal Edge
8:00am - 8:15am: Morning Reception
8:15am - 9:15am: Discussion/Summary of previous day's work, review of specimens observed & previously collected
9:15am - 12:00pm: Ocean County Northern Pine Barrens
12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch; Short Quiz
1:00pm - 5:00pm: Cape May I Formation Coastal hardwood forest, Atlantic coastal marshes; Plains vegetation (if time permits)
Wetland vegetation communities explored: Cedar Savanna, Pine Barrens Lake Edge, Pitch Pine Lowland, Maple Cripple, and Cedar Swamp
This wetland vegetation identification course is designed for anyone who wants to gain experience identifying wetland plants, including:
- Ecologists and Biologists
- Environmental Scientists and Consultants
- Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers
- Land Surveyors
- Natural Resources Specialists
- Park Naturalists
- Wetlands Specialists and Wetland Scientists
- Wildlife Field Technicians
Students from a recent Vegetation Identification South course pose for a group photo.
Comments from Past Students about this Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation course:
"Excellent. [Appreciated] learning minute difference[s] between very similar species."
- Brian Yades, Environmental Scientist
"[This course] is an excellent tie-in to [wetland] delineation training. Good way to learn plants in NJ."
"Very well organized plant ID course; comprehensive in terms of plant communities and habitats."
"I learned different wetland and upland species. It will make wetland identification easier."
"There were several quick useful tips the instructors gave us that would allow one to easily narrow a plant down to a few possibilities."
"Great. The number of wetlands communities we were able to see in the time available was quite a feat."
"The field work, just walking through different plant communities with such knowledgeable people was great."
Theodore "Ted" Gordon is an authority on Pine Barren plants. As the Director of Pine Barren Inventories, a consulting firm, he conducts rare species inventories, floral research and designs management plans. He is a past president of the prestigious Philadelphia Botanical Club and has been an instructor in the Rutgers Vegetation Identification course since 1990. In honor of his contributions to major plant studies of endangered species in the Pinelands, Ted was inducted into the 2012 Pine Barrens Hall of Fame.
Comments from Past Students about Ted Gordon:
- "Great at describing identifying characteristics and linking them to other things we have already seen."
- "Very knowledgeable, gave lots of information."
- "Very knowledgeable, particularly effective in the field."
Joseph Arsenault is considered a local authority on the flora of southern New Jersey and has taught many courses on plant ecology, plant genetics and natural and altered vegetation of NJ, DE, and PA. A knowledgeable botanist, chairman of the Flora of New Jersey Project and Ecological Society of America (ESA) Senior Ecologist, Joe operates Arsenault Environmental Consulting and uses his plant knowledge to delineate wetlands throughout the State. Joe is involved daily with field work, data collection, and regulatory interpretation of New Jersey's plant communities and wildlife habitats, including wetlands. Joe's background includes an ecological education, a botanical curiosity about New Jersey's flora, and an interest in human influences on our plant communities.
Comments from Past Students about Joseph Arsenault:
- "Very witty, friendly and knowledgeable and able to explain difference in species with great detail."
- "So excited and full of knowledge. Truly enthusiastic and passionate."
- "Great teacher. Very positive attitude."
Jump-Start Your Career with a Rutgers Wetland Certificate!
Promote your education and experience in wetland plant identification and delineation -- earn the nationally recognized Rutgers Wetland Delineation Certificate!
This certificate program consists of 6 days of training: our 2-day Vegetation Identification course (North or South ONLY) and our 4-day Methodology of Delineating Wetlands course.
Participants must also complete the take-home exam with a score of 70% or better in order to earn the certificate.
NOTE: If you are planning to earn the Wetland Delineation Certificate, we require that you complete Vegetation Identification prior to attending the Methodology of Delineating Wetlands class.