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Vegetation Identification for Wetland Delineation: South


Course Code: EH0502WA21

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

Wetland Vegetation Identification Training Course

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Date & Time

June 16-18, 2021
8:30am - 3:30pm EDT (Log-in time: 8:15am EDT)

View other upcoming Vegetation Identification courses.


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.

Along with hydric soils and hydrology, the presence of wetland plants is one of the primary factors involved in the identification of wetland areas and the delineation of wetland boundaries. Therefore, the ability to identify wetland plants and distinguish between upland and wetland plant species is an essential step in the wetland delineation process.

Through instructor-led online lectures and virtual tours of various wetland sites, you will learn plant identification principles and study diagnostic characteristics of species frequently encountered by wetland delineators in the Southern New Jersey region. By the end of the course, you will be able to quickly and confidently identify the wetland plant species that are important in determining if an area meets the hydrophytic vegetation criterion for wetland delineation.

Click on the tabs below for more details about this wetland vegetation identification course.

Course Objectives:

1. To provide a review of wetland plant communities of South Jersey, emphasizing their dominant species.

2. To familiarize students with important diagnostic features used to separate plants into groups for field identification.

3. To use field guides to identify plants characteristic of freshwater wetlands in South Jersey.

4. To introduce students to some rare and uncommon plants found in wetlands of the New Jersey Pine Barrens.

This wetland vegetation identification course is designed for anyone who wants to gain experience identifying wetland plants, 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

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."

raplph tiner, wetlands instructorRalph Tiner, M.S., M.P.A.. SWS Fellow has over 40 years of practical experience in wetland delineation and is a nationally recognized authority in the field. He recently retired from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service where he directed wetland mapping in the Northeast United States as part of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's National Wetlands Inventory (NWI). He is a nationally recognized expert on wetland delineation and has been actively involved in improving wetland delineation techniques for decades. In addition, he was compiler and principal author of the Federal Interagency Wetland Delineation Manual, which was published in 1989 and is the standard for identifying and delineating wetlands in New Jersey.

Ralph has written extensively on the subject of wetlands and is the author of 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 an update of the Wetland Indicators book entitled Wetland Indicators: A Guide to Wetland Formation, Identification, Delineation, Classification, and Mapping. His most recent books are: Tidal Wetlands Primer: An Introduction to Their Ecology, Natural History, Status, and Conservation and Remote Sensing of Wetlands: Applications and Advances (for which he is senior editor and authored several chapters).

In addition to writing about wetlands, he has been teaching wetland identification and delineation courses through the Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education Office since the mid-1980s.

Comments from Past Students about Ralph Tiner:

  • "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
  • "Very knowledgeable about plants and wetlands in general, entertaining teaching style."
  • "Patient, great at guiding field exercises."
  • "Great expertise and hands on experience."
  • "Mr. Tiner is very knowledgeable and friendly in his teaching methods."

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.

Recertification Credits

In addition to 1.6 Rutgers CEUs, this wetland training course is approved for the following credits:

Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA CES) Credits: 16 hours

NJ Certified Public Works Managers (CPWM): 5 Technical, 5 Management

NJ Landscape Architects: 12 hours

NJ Professional Engineers: 12 Continuing Professional Competency (CPC) credits

NY Landscape Architects: 4 hr CL; 10 hrs EA

NY Professional Engineers: 12 hours

NY Land Surveyors: Pending

Society of American Foresters: Pending

Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program (SWSPCP): 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 course wil be awarded 14.0 CEs.

The Wildlife Society: Pending

Required Textbooks

There are two required textbooks for this course:

1. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide [ISBN 0316604429] by Lawrence Newcomb - $25 (You may purchase this book on your own or through our office with your registration.)

2. Field Guide to Tidal Wetland Plants of the Northeastern U.S. and Neighboring Canada by Ralph W. Tiner - $30 (This book is only available through our office.)

Wetland Series Rate $575.00 Save when you register now for this course and Methodology for Delineating Wetlands!
Early Registration Fee $595.00 Register on or before May 7, 2021 and save!
Regular Registration Fee $625.00 After May 7, 2021
Cancellation Fee $100.00  

Substitutions are permitted. View cancellation policy.


No meals will be provided at this course.


Online Session:

This online course will be delivered via the Rutgers Canvas learning management system. Registrants will receive an email with a link to access the course and a document with tips on how to use Canvas prior to the course start date. Please log into Canvas at 8:15am EDT on June 16, 2021 for a brief overview of the online format. The class will start promptly at 8:30am EDT.

Equipment you will need to access this training:

  • A computer (desktop or laptop)
  • A webcam and microphone are necessary as this course is very interactive

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, you must update your account with a unique email address. Click the Register Online button below and sign into your account. On the left side toolbar, click My Account. On the drop-down menu, click Edit Profile/Password. Scroll down to the Email Address field (not the secondary email address field!) and enter your own, individual (not shared!) email address here. Click the Submit button at the bottom to save. If you need assistance updating your account, please email or call (848-932-9271, option 2) our Registration Department.

Note: Pre-registration is required.


Registration will close on June 7, 2021.

To Pay By Credit Card:

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First time registering online? Click here for step-by-step instructions.

To Pay By Check, Money Order, or Purchase Order:

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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: Sarah McCarthy, 848-932-7703

Attention U.S. Veterans

This course is approved by the New Jersey State Approving Agency for Veterans Training for educational benefits through the GI Bill®. For more information about the GI Bill, click here.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at http://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.