The Montana Water Center and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality have initiated a series of annual training courses, to build professional capacity regarding wetland science and regulation in our state. Participants will be eligible for CEUs from Montana State University, and course hours can be applied against the requirements for the Professional Wetland Scientist certification credential. These courses may be of interest to natural resource professionals, planners, attorneys, conservation district supervisors, watershed groups, elected officials, graduate students and others.

2013 Course

Monitoring and Assessment of Wetland and Riparian Ecosystems

This course will provide a multi-disciplinary perspective on monitoring and assessment of wetland and riparian ecosystems.

When:   September 17-19, 2013
Where:   Montana State University-Bozeman
Cost:   $250
CEUs: 2.75 CEUs are available from the MSU Extended University.


Course registration is closed!

Who Should Attend?

Natural resource professionals, floodplain managers, graduate students, watershed group members, and Conservation District managers interested in restoration and natural resource management.

Course Description

This three day course on monitoring and assessment of wetland and riparian ecosystems will be based on an adaptive management foundation. Resource managers and educators will join the class, providing a multi-disciplinary perspective on the following topics: (a) what is monitoring and why do it, (b) introduction to sample design, (c) development of conceptual models, (d) selection of monitoring parameters, (e) assessment of sampling methods, (f) review of statistics in sample design, (g) documentation, data analysis and presentation, (h) evaluating monitoring data and reconsidering restoration needs, and (i) overview of MDT and MTNHP monitoring protocols. This course includes pre-course modules that must be completed prior to September 17th. The in-person portion of the class will be accomplished through lectures, class discussions and exercises, and afternoon field trips to a local wetland site the second and third days. Participants should be prepared for any type of weather while in the field and will be responsible for providing their own lunch throughout the course.

Duncan Patten, Montana State University
Rich McEldowney, RESPEC Consulting & Services
Tom Hinz, Eco Legacy Consulting
Stephanie McGinnis, Montana State University
Catherine McIntyre, Geum Consulting
Maddy Pope, Trust for Public Lands
Andy Ray, National Park Service
Adam Sepulveda, U.S. Geological Survey
Michael Pipp, MT Department of Environmental Quality
Larry Urban, Montana Department of Transportation

Course Content

  • Adaptive management and conceptual models in monitoring programs
  • Evaluating monitoring and restoration needs
  • Selection of parameters, sampling methods, and sample design
  • Common Monitoring Methods used in Montana (e.g., MDT’s Montana Wetland Assessment Method and MT Natural Heritage Program’s Level I-II-II Ecological Integrity Assessment)
  • Field demonstrations of monitoring methods for biotic and abiotic factors

Course Format

This course is being conducted in two parts.

Part 1: Online Self-Study Module
The online self-study modules will be available to registered participants from starting September 3 through the day before the class. This required modules will provide an overview of adaptive management and how it is an integral part of wetland and riparian monitoring and assessment. The URL for common monitoring programs in Montana (e.g., overview of MDT’s Montana Wetland Assessment Method and MT Natural Heritage Program’s Level I-II-III Ecological Integrity Assessment) will also be provided as part of the Self Study Modules. The purpose of these modules is to insure that all participants have a comparable level of understanding of this material. These modules and an follow up exam should be completed before September 16. Registered participants will receive an email with instructions for completing this module.

Part 2: Classroom module
The classroom module will be held in Bozeman, MT September 17th -19th at the Montana State University Campus Student Union (Room 235). This module will expand upon the information from the online self study module and will cover in-depth topics on wetland and riparian monitoring and assessment.

Course Objectives

Participants will gain a better understanding of wetland and riparian monitoring and assessment through lecture, discussion, class exercises, and hands-on activities in the field.


A parking permit is required to park on campus! Parking passes are $3.00 per day and can be obtained at the information kiosk located on the corner of S. 7th and Grant Street. There is also a paid parking lot at $7.00/day at this same location. Bozeman also has a free bus service, the Streamline, with stops near many of the hotels and a stop at the SUB. Schedules and route information can be found at http://www.streamlinebus.com/.


Participants will be responsible for all meals.


Montana Department of Environment Quality’s Wetland Program and the Montana Water Center.



2012 Resources

The course materials for the 2012 Wetland Training can be found here.


2011 Training Resources

The course materials for the 2011 Wetland Regulations Training can be found here.


For More Information Contact:

Duncan Patten, Montana Water Center