Wetland Delineation

July 29 & 30 (Friday & Saturday)

Instructors: Alice L. Thompson is a wetland ecologist and an independent wetland consultant since 1989. She is certified by the Society of Wetland Scientists as a Senior Professional Wetland Scientist (SPWS), and by the WDNR as an “assured” wetland delineator since 2006. She obtained a Master’s degree in biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1995.  Her professional interests include wetland delineation, restoration, mitigation, and the control of invasive plant species. She enjoys sharing wetland delineation knowledge in a field course format.

Aaron J. Menke earned a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Environmental Geography with a Biology minor and a Certificate in Geographic Information System (GIS) from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in 2013. Menke has worked as a wetland consultant with Thompson and Associates since 2013. His specialties include wetland delineation, restoration, utility environmental oversight and permitting, and construction environmental monitoring.

The Course:  This course is a practical field-oriented guide to wetland delineation. Wetland delineation is the practice of locating the boundary between what is a wetland, and thus regulated by state and federal law, and what is upland. We will discuss what determines a wetland and how to identify and document wetland vegetation, soils and hydrology during a delineation. We will dig soil pits, identify vegetation, look for signs of hydrology, and physically stake the wetland boundary in the field. In the lab we will discuss the basics of completed data sheets and accurate reporting as well as regulatory oversight. This course is intended for beginners and will focus on relatively undisturbed wetlands present on the UWM Field Station. You can get your feet wet and decide if you want to learn more and make a career of wetland delineation or understand wetland identification for other purposes. Wetland delineation is an important tool for the protection of wetlands, and is very challenging but rewarding work.

Course fee: $115. Not offered for college credit, 1.4 CEU

Useful materials to bring: Students should come prepared to get wet and/or muddy for the field component, and dress appropriately for outdoors. Wading will not be required but rubber boots may be useful for soggy wet ground. Wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat for sun, also bring a water bottle.   Bring a field notebook, and any plant identification guides that you have.  The following items will be useful, so bring them along if you have them: sharpshooter shovel (long, narrow bladed shovel), soil corer, Munsell soil color book, folding ruler, clipboard and camera.


Friday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Register here.