I was very excited to take this course as I love botany and winter has always posed some challenges for me. It was nice too because it also introduced me to many new species that are not in my area. The challenges for me were online obstacles, weather and time. I encountered several online obstacles during this course. I have not taken many online courses, but it seems that the way of submission was very complicated and gave room for a lot of errors, confusion, and miscommunication which caused some stress and wasted time. However, I am aware that the submission protocol has changed and is MUCH simpler. There were also some issues of repeated species and materials not in the right areas. I think that there are some little things that just need to be checked and updated. On the quizzes/ tests I would get a question without the needed material (i.e vegetation tests). I also encountered issues being able to access the site occasionally, not being able to log in for some unknown reason or the site was under maintenance. Through all of this Walt was amazing in helping me get through it and being patient with me.
The other challenge I had was snow. I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and everything was under at least four feet of snow so the only actual pictures I could take were of trees. I did really enjoy getting out and actually looking at the buds and bark, and I felt as though I learned so much more this way. Unfortunately, my drawings seemed to be graded higher than my photos so I decided to focus on that, for the better grade. I actually regret this, as I feel I would have learned more if I would have gone out searching for the trees and taken the pictures even if they didn’t get as high of scores. It was also a time game for me, searching to find the tree in four feet of snow sometimes took a lot of time, if I wasn’t keen to a location already, however, I really did learn so much more this way. I did really enjoy drawing the plants, and I did learn so much through this course and I have a nice set of drawings for many species.
My third challenge with this course was time. This course was taken through my current position as a water quality specialist. With my current workload and grant requirements, I did find it hard to fit it all in. I was drawing pictures at all hours of the day and did a lot of this work at home. This course is quite a bit of work when you are drawing 16 drawings a week or out hunting for trees, on top of the 40 hour work week. However, I am sure most people who take this course are doing that exact thing; I am now prepared for the workload if I do take a course again.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and I just wish I had more time to immerse myself a bit more, I also found myself wanting more from it, perhaps if I would have had others in the course to converse with that may have helped. I was craving a little more support, feedback, and discussion.
Overall, I am very grateful to the swamp school because courses like this are not abundant, and I am very grateful to have had this opportunity.
In the future, if I have any questions about the point intercept method I would like to have someone to talk to, as I am not sure if I ordered the right piece of equipment for it.
Thank you for everything!
Certified Winter Botanist (WE)
I thought the class was great. I think I absorbed more information than I would have in a week-long in-person course.
Things that were really great:
• Walt’s feedback on my data forms was super helpful and clarified so many things that I didn’t know I was missing.
• PowerPoints were clear and interesting
• Instructor flexibility
I found that everything in the PowerPoints made so much more sense when I got out into the field and looked at things, but I needed to go back and review the PowerPoints since the information was not fresh in my mind.
Thanks so much for offering this class!
Online Basic Wetland Delineation Training
Enjoyed it. Thanks for the extra permitting portion of the class.
WDT CR Nashville, TN
The instructor was great and made the class interesting and fun. He asked us what else we’d like to learn and focus on when we had a rain day and made it very educational.
WDT CR Nashville, TN
I am completely new to wetland delineation, so I learned a lot in this class. It was a wealth of information, and I am very grateful to the Swamp School for teaching me so much. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to turn my career in a new direction. I hope that I am able to find a job and apply what I learned from this course. Thank you for caring about wetlands and teaching people how to protect them! I look forward to taking more courses in the future.
Lori was very kind and constructive with all of her comments and I was grateful to have her as my instructor. My biggest suggestion would be to clarify how much time the training will take on the website before the class starts.
Accelerated online WDT Workshop