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Hydric Soils


Course Code: EH0301WA22

Students evaluating soil samples using Munsell Soil Color Chart

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Date & Time

May 17 & 18, 2022
8:30am - 4:00pm EDT (Log-in time: 8:00am EDT)


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 7 days of training: 2-day Hydric Soils class, 2-day Vegetation Identification course (North or South ONLY), and 3-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.

Wetland landscapes are characterized and classified by confirmation of the presence of three critical components: evidence of wetland hydrology, a predominance of hydrophytic vegetation, and presence of hydric soils. Typically, hydric soils are found in contemporary wetland ecosystems. Repeated periods of long duration saturation and anaerobic conditions have promoted development of morphological characteristics that distinguish them from soils found in better drained and more terrestrial landscape positions. Therefore, the presence of hydric soils is one of the primary parameters that must be documented in the identification of wetland areas and is a critical component needed to define and delineate wetland boundaries. Therefore, the ability to identify hydric soils and assign one or more of the National Technical Committee for Hydric Soils "Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States" is an essential step in the wetland delineation process.

Through instructor-led online lectures and a virtual field exercise, you will learn the fundamentals of how hydric soils form and how to describe layers encountered in a hydric soil vertical cross section (profile). You will be trained on how to distinguish the nuances of soil color, redoximorphic features, and field estimates of soil texture. You will also be instructed on how to complete the minimum data entries needed to complete a generic wetland delineation data form and, based on the soil description, how to assign appropriate hydric soil indicators.

Course Objectives

  1. To provide students with an understanding of how hydric soils are formed and how to field identify soil morphologies most often associated with wetland soils, including many of the terms and descriptors unique to soil science.
  2. To ensure students are informed and instructed on how to complete the "Soils Section" of a typical wetland delineation data form. And, based on the soil description they present in the data form...
  3. To ensure students are trained on how to select one or more of the "Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States" that apply to the description they have prepared... or, alternatively, they can dismiss the described soil as being non-hydric.
  4. To ensure that this training allows the student to present both hydric and non-hydric soil descriptions that, in combination with vegetation data and presence/absence of wetland hydrology indicators, will allow them to field flag a defensible apparent wetland boundary.

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to gain experience for field identification and documentation of hydric soils, including:

  • Ecologists and Biologists
  • Engineers
  • Environmental Scientists and Consultants
  • Landscape Architects and Landscape Designers
  • Land Surveyors
  • Natural Resources Specialists
  • Park Naturalists
  • Wetlands Specialists and Wetland Scientists
  • Wildlife Field Technicians
Meet Your Instructor
Wetlands instructor Mal Gillbert

Mallory N. Gilbert, CPSS; PWS, Emeritus; CPESC, Retired; LtCol USAF, Retired (Mal) has been a private consultant since 1986 and has more than forty-years of professional experience in plant sciences, natural resources management, and wetland and soil sciences. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry and Forestry Facilities Design (1972) and a Master of Science degree in Agronomy/Soil Physics (1975), both from the University of Connecticut. He co-developed and has been a principal Instructor for the Rutgers University "Freshwater Wetlands Construction" course since its inception in 1990. Although this innovative course predates the calendar year 2001 National Research Council (NRC) report Compensating for Wetland Losses Under the Clean Water Act by eleven years, the recommendations released in the 2001 NRC report actually mirror the key components of the original Rutgers 1990 course content. Newly designed for 2013, Rutgers' Wetlands Construction courses have continued to emphasize use of local wetland reference sites; soils investigations; assessment of weather data; hydrology studies of the depth, duration, and timing of water as predictors of wetland morphology and function; and preparation/use of model hydrographs to plan and construct successful wetland projects.

Mal has authored numerous environmental reports, publications, and regulations for a variety of state, federal, and private organizations. In addition, he has worked as a contributing scientist contractor for the former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station (WES) in Vicksburg, Mississippi and the U.S. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service. Mal has edited and published The Land Judging Guide for Vermont (third and fourth editions), has authored portions of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Laboratory Engineer Research and Development Center, Wetlands Research Program: Wetlands Engineering Handbook (ERDC/EL TR-WRP-RE-2), is a contributing author and editor of Wetland Mitigation: Planning Hydrology, Vegetation and Soils for Constructed Wetlands by Gary J. Pierce, and has also served on the peer review panel for the "Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetlands Delineation Manual: Northcentral and Northeast Regions." Mal completed his tenure as an appointed Board Member of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), International in 2017, having served three-years as the SWS Awards Committee Chair. He has also served as an Executive Board Member of the Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP), as SWSPCP President Elect (2007-2008), President (2008-2009), Immediate Past President (2009-2010), and as Ethics Committee Chair for the SWSPCP (2011-2016). He continues to serve the SWSPCP as a Member of the Professional Certification Renewal Committee. In 2019, Mal was honored with the SWSPCP's R. Harold Jones Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his achievements as a professional wetland scientist.

Recertification Credits

In addition to 1.2 Rutgers CEUs, this wetland training course is approved for the following credits:

NJ Certified Public Works Managers (CPWM): 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). CEs for Hydric Soils are still pending.

Recommended Reference Materials

There are two references that are strongly recommended for students in this course:

1. The Munsell Color Charts developed specifically for soils related work: Gretag/Macbeth. 2000. Munsell® color. New Windsor, NY.
(An equivalent alternative that includes the same colors presented in the Munsell Color Charts is "The Globe Soil Color Book," which is considerably less expensive. However, those persons who intend to engage in delineations that may be subject to litigation are encouraged to use the original Munsell Color Charts for that work. This caution is offered primarily because the Gretag/Macbeth. 2000. Munsell® color charts are referenced specifically in protocols established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in their Regional Supplements to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual, which provide technical guidance and procedures for identifying and delineating wetlands that may be subject to regulatory jurisdiction under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act. Further, Munsell Color Charts are also specified in the original Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual Technical Report Y-87-1 January 1987.)

2. "Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States - A Guide for Identifying and Delineating Hydric Soils, Version 8.2, 2018" or the most recent version currently available. This guide will be provided as a PDF as part of course enrollment.


Wetland Series Rate


Save when you register now for this course, Methodology for Delineating Wetlands, and Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation!

Early Registration Fee


Register on or before April 29, 2022 and save!

Registration Fee


After April 29, 2022

Cancellation Fee



Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


No meals will be provided at this course.


This online course will be delivered through Zoom via the Rutgers Canvas learning management system.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • Laptop or desktop computers are required for this class
  • Speakers and microphone are not necessary as a call-in option is available

Photo ID Requirement:

Each registrant will be asked provide a photo of him/herself holding their government-issued photo ID. This is required by credit boards so that you may receive credits for participating in this online course.

  • You will receive a reminder email prior to the start of the class with further instructions. Wait to receive these instructions before you attempt to upload your ID.
  • The photo must be clear enough that we can read your name and verify that the person pictured on the ID is in fact the person holding it.
  • After an OCPE staff member reviews the picture and verifies your identity, you will have access to participate in the course when it begins.


  • If this is your first time registering with us, please provide your own unique email address when registering; do not provide an email address that you share with co-workers.

  • If you have previously taken classes with us and have used an email address that you share with your co-workers or supervisor, your account must be updated with a unique email address. To do this, please send an email to registration@njaes.rutgers.edu stating that your email address needs to be changed and include:

    • Your full name
    • The shared email address that needs to be changed
    • Your unique email address
    • A phone number where you can be reached if we have any questions

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Registration will close on May 16, 2022.

To Pay By Credit Card:

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For Registration Assistance:

Please call 848-932-9271, option 2.

Program Questions? Contact Us!

Program Coordinator: Suzanne Hills, 848-932-7234
Administrative Assistant: Arleth Mendoza, 848-932-7764