2018 Certified Wetland Training

Hydrologist | Botanist | Soil Investigator | Delineator

Find Out More Here

Welcome to the Swamp School!

 Experiential Ecological Education 

In every interaction with the Swamp School our clients feel that they are working with an important and valued friend and partner. Quality and friendship are part of every aspect of our customer relationships. Our clients know that we are keeping watch for new challenges that develop in the Natural Science Industry. They are confident that the information they’ve gained and share with their clients is accurate. We are there to educate and guide them now and in the future. Our clients feel secure in knowing they can depend upon us as a valued mentor.

 If you have any questions, just drop us a line at [email protected] or give us a call at 1-877-479-2673. 


Find Events

Event Views Navigation

Events for February 2018

Calendar Month Navigation

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday

Online Wetland Delineation Training 2018

Certified Wetland Hydrologist

Classroom and Field Wetland Delineation Training | Texas 2018


Classroom and Field Wetland Delineation Training | Texas 2018


Classroom and Field Wetland Delineation Training | Texas 2018


Classroom and Field Wetland Delineation Training | Texas 2018


Data Collection for Environmental Professionals 2018


Accelerated Online Wetland Delineation Workshop

Phase 1 Environmental Assessments 2018

Basic Botany for Wetland Assessment | 2018

+ Export Events

Do you have a group to train?  Contact us HERE about our customized private training. 

 Featured Workshop 


Accelerated Online Wetland Delineation Workshop | 2018

Next Session Starts February 19, 2018!

$1,199.00Purchase Student Ticket

More details →

Program Categories

Check out all of our program listings, wetland tools and cool Swamp School merchandise.

What's New!

Check out our newest programs.

  • Accelerated Online Wetland Delineation Workshop | 2018

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View
  • Wetland Monitoring Techniques | 2018

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View
  • Certified Wetland Botanist | 2018 Winter Edition

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View

Best Sellers

  • 100 Wetland Plants Field Guide (NE)

    Add to cart
    Quick View
  • Online Wetland Basic Delineation Training 2018

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View
  • Wetland Delineation Training | Pennsylvania | 2018

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View
  • Certified Hydric Soils Investigator | 2018

    Purchase Student Ticket
    Quick View

Latest Newsletters

Posted on

Sea Snakes Visit California

Swamp Stomp

Volume 18 Issue 8

The world is made up of two types of people: people who like snakes and people who do not like snakes. This first class of people see snakes as captivating, multi-colored animals that serve as a good friend, ready to curl around your fingers as soon as your familiar, loving hand draws near to their equally loving reptilian bodies. On the other side, the latter class of people are repelled at even a pixelated image of a snake living hundreds of miles away, seeing these cold-blooded reptiles as just the device through which Satan tricked Eve. And unfortunately, if you happen to belong to this latter class of people, there is some bad news: rare sea snakes have continued to wash up unexpectedly on the beaches of California. Moreover, the range of the uncommon yellow-bellied sea snake (Pelamus platurus) is beginning to expand.

So, what is a sea snake? And, further, what is a yellow-bellied sea snake? These reptiles are exactly what they sound like: they are snakes that live in the sea. In fact, their bodies are not suitable for living and slithering on land. Spending their lives in the tropical warmth of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, sea snakes feed on small fish and drink rainwater that collects on the surface of the ocean. Sea snakes also are very venomous. Possessing a neurotoxin that stops communication between muscles and nerve cells, the bite of a sea snake can cause respiratory, heart, or nerve failure. But don’t worry too much because Greg Pauly, herpetological curator at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, says, “Their fangs are tiny, and they can barely open their mouths wide enough to bite a person.” And until recently, sea snakes lived far, far away from humans.

Since 1972, five sea snakes have washed up in California, hundreds of miles north of their typical range. Why? Until the most recent sea snake washed up on southern California’s Newport Beach, all the snakes had arrived during El Nino years. Because sea snakes tend to follow where the currents lead them, it was strange to see sea snakes in California, but the presence of El Nino made it make sense that these snakes would be so far outside their range. However, on January 10, 2018, when the fifth sea snake arrived, El Nino could not be blamed.

University of Florida biologist and sea snake expert Harvey B. Lillywhite suspects the mysterious arrival of the snakes has to do with the Davidson Current. Rising toward the surface from October through February, the Davidson Current may pick up sea snakes floating near Baja and take them places like Newport Beach. But, historically, not many sea snakes dwell near Baja. Thus, both Pauly and Lillywhite state that warming waters may have something to do with the expanding of sea snakes’ range. However, Pauly admits, “This is all speculation.”

The yellow-bellied sea snake that arrived this past week in California did not survive the colder waters of California. But her death may not be in vain: herpetologists like Lillywhite and Pauly are using her tissue samples and other data to hopefully determine how these sea snakes came to be in California. But until then, California may be seeing a few more sea snakes in their future.



Goldman, Jason G. “Venomous Sea Snake Found Off California-How did it Get There?” National Geographic. National Geographic, 17 January 2018. Web. 19 January 2018.

Kaplan, Sarah. “Rare venomous sea snakes keep washing up on California beaches.” Washington Post. Washington Post, 14 January 2016. Web. 19 January 2018.

Ritchie, Erika I. “Discovery of rare, venomous sea snake in California could mean trouble for sea lions.” Mercury News. Mercury News, 11 January 2018. Web. 19 January 2018.

Posted on

Gray Dolphin Die-Offs Puzzle Scientists

Swamp Stomp

Volume 18 Issue 7

From their powerful swimming techniques to their mysteriously intelligent brains, dolphins have enchanted the public for generations. These marine mammals swam their ways into popular culture from Flipper to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy over the course of the last 100 years. Dolphins have once again captured the public eye, but, unfortunately, in a much more gruesome way.

Off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, gray dolphins have been washing up dead since November 2017. Scientists in Brazil have concluded that these deaths are a result of a virus known as the “cetacean morbillivirus.” However, the origin of the virus is still unknown. The virus is an immune system pathogen that causes skin lesions and pneumonia in dolphins, as well as in porpoises and whales. Because dolphins are such social animals, living in pods consisting of up to 200 dolphins, this virus is easily spread, having potentially catastrophic results on the gray dolphin population.

But gray dolphins are not the first victims of morbillivirus. Bottlenose dolphins and harbor seals were victims of different strains of morbillivirus in 1988 and 2006, respectively, in the northeastern United States. And in 2014, at least 1,441 bottlenose dolphins were found dead along the East Coast of the United States from New York to Florida, also due to morbillivirus.

So, what is there to do? Leonardo Flach, a biologist and the chief coordinator of the Boto Cinza Institute in Mangaratiba, Brazil told ABC News, “The only solution would be to create a marine refuge to allow the dolphins to survive.” Dolphin conservation has never been a priority in Brazil, but Flach hopes the die-offs will draw more attention to the need to protect the gray dolphin population, which he calls “an endangered species.” Brazilian scientists are working hard to determine the cause of this deadly virus, but without more attention given to this issue, gray dolphin populations could experience growing numbers of fatalities.


El Hammar, Aicha. “Over 80 Dolphins Die in Brazil, Confounding Environmentalists.” ABC News. ABC News. 4 January 2018, Web. 13 January 2018.

Fine Maron, Dina. “Massive Dolphin Die-off Eludes Final Explanation.” Scientific American. Scientific American. 6 August 2014, Web. 13 January 2018.

Zachos, Elaina. “Scores of Dolphin Deaths Have Scientists Baffled.” National Geographic. National Geographic. 12 January 2018, Web. 13 January 2018.

Posted on

China Bans Imported Recyclables, Disrupting Global Market

Swamp Stomp

Volume 18, Issue 6

On January 1st, the Chinese government instituted a ban on imported recycled plastic and paper materials, throwing the global recycling market into turmoil.Since the 1990’s, China has been the number one consumer of raw recycled materials, receiving a full half of the world’s waste plastic, metal and paper as cheap fodder for its rapid urban-industrial expansion. In 2016, China purchased 7.3 million tons of “solid waste” worth about $18 billion, leaving a gaping hole in global demand after the ban that experts fear will not easily be filled.

The ban prohibits the import of 24 different types of commonly recycled waste products, including low-grade polyethylene terephthalate found in plastic bottles and unsorted paper. It also requires that all non-banned imported recyclables contain no more than 0.5% contamination, a threshold stricter than any European or American standard on recyclables.

“Large amounts of dirty wastes or even hazardous wastes are mixed in the solid waste that can be used as raw materials,” Beijing wrote to the World Trade Organization explaining the logic behind the new ban. “This polluted China’s environment seriously.”

While Chinese officials were initially willing to ignore the environmental costs of importing contaminated scrap materials, such as soil and water pollution, the country’s explosive economic growth affords it the option of sourcing newer, cleaner plastics for its domestic needs over recycled ones.

“What’s happened is that the final link in the supply chain has turned around and said: ‘No, we’re not going to take this poor quality stuff anymore. Keep it for yourself,’” said Simon Ellin, chief executive of the British Recycling Association. “The rest of the world is thinking, ‘What can we do?’ It’s hard times.”

This decision is having profound impacts on the capacity of Western nations to handle their recycling, most of whom sent their waste to China and thus do not have the infrastructure to process recyclables themselves.

Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, are resorting to either incinerating or burying their plastics in landfills as a short-term solution to the crisis, though both options are environmentally damaging. Other countries, such as the United States, are attempting to find markets in countries like Myanmar, India, and Vietnam for their recycling, though switching supply chains so abruptly is a challenge.

“There may be alternative markets but they’re not ready today,” said Emmanuel Katrakis of the Brussels based European Recycling Industries Confederation. In the meantime, the United States, which annually sends over 1.42 million tons of scrap plastic and 13.2 million tons of scrap paper to China, will be forced to either spend taxpayer money on upgrading recycling processing facilities domestically or, like the UK, divert the excess to landfills according to Adam Minter, author of “Junkyard Planet: Travels in the Billion-Dollar Trash Trade.” “Without China, there will be less recycling in the United States, and it will cost more,” the author said.

The United States initially relied upon China to recycle its plastic waste due to market incentives; it was simply cheaper to send recyclables overseas than it was to expand recycling capacities at home. With the shifting of incentives caused by China’s tightening regulations over recent years culminating in the most recent ban, it is costing the U.S. $2,100 per shipping container to return recyclables by ship from Chinese ports back to California.

“The public doesn’t realize this, but recycling is made possible by technology and markets – they think its just a matter of technology,” an expert on China’s waste management reported to Quartz. “And we don’t have strong enough markets in the U.S.”

While this market change will almost certainly harm the U.S.’s environment in the short term as recycling friendly states like Oregon and Washington divert their recycling to landfills, in the long term it could be beneficial as American states become incentivized to build their own recycling facilities.


  1. De Freytas-Tamura, Kimiko. “Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West’s Recycling.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 January 2018. Web. 16 January 2018.
  2. Guilford, Gwynn. “China doesn’t want your trash anymore – and that could spell big trouble for American cities.” Quartz. Quartz Media LLC, 8 May 2013. Web. 27 January 2018.
  3. Guilford, Gwynn. “US states banned from exporting their trash to China are drowning in plastic.” Quartz. Quartz Media LLC, 21 August 2013. Web. 27 January 2018.
  4. Ives, Mike. “China Limits Waste. ‘Cardboard Grannies’ and Texas Recyclers Scramble.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 25 November 2017. Web. 16 January 2018.
  5. Kaskey, Jack and Ann Koh. “China’s Blow to Recycling Boosts U.S.’s $185 Billion Plastic Bet.” Bloomberg. Climate Changed, 6 December 2017. Web. 16 January 2018.
  6. Staub, Colin. “Exporter response to China: ‘We are changing our whole strategy.'” Plastics Recycling Update. A Resource Recycling, Inc. Publication, 4 January 2018. Web. 16 January 2018.