An Introduction to Alberta Wetlands: Field Training (Edmonton Area)

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Join us on Friday, June 3rd, 2022 in Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreational Area, Alberta


 Wetlands training   June 3rd


 Course Overview

Identifying and classifying wetlands is an essential skill for working in Alberta's diverse landscapes.  This training will provide you with the skills you need to identify and classify Alberta's wetlands through a combination of online and field-based learning. Participants will learn about the Alberta Wetland Classification System and newly released Field Guide through a pre-recorded webinar and apply these skills in a practical, outdoor setting. The Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area of the Beaver Hills Biosphere has an abundance of prairie and forested wetland classes, forms and types where we can apply wetland classification skills, including plant identification and soil and hydrology characterization. 

Participants are highly encouraged to bring a free-downloadable copy of the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide or purchase a hard copy here.


This training will cover:  

  • Wetland identification and classification using the Alberta Wetland Classification System (AWCS)
  • Key vegetation indicator species that can be used to identify and classify wetlands 
  • Wetland ecology, hydrology, and ecosystem services 
  • Tools and resources to identify wetlands in the field 

During the field component of the training participants will have the opportunity to take soil cores, use pH metres, and apply other tools to classify boreal wetlands.  Field lectures and discussions will cover wetland indicators, wetland types, tools and resources.  This is an entry-level course geared towards industry, government, consultants, and other groups working across Alberta. 

This training is eligible for continuing education credits under certain professional designations (e.g. CAPF). Contact us for more information. 


Why should you attend?

This is an opportunity to learn how to identify and classify wetlands according to the new AWCS and utilize the user-friendly AWCS Field Guide. Participants will :

  • Gain new knowledge or refresh existing skills on wetland identification, classification and functions according to the AWCS
  • Explore a variety of wetland classes, forms and types typical to central Alberta within the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area of the Beaver Hills Biosphere
  • Gain an understanding of typical wetland plant, soil and hydrology indicators with hands-on, practical experience


Course Format

Online Component

Participants are highly encouraged the watch the online pre-recorded webinar prior to the field day. This resource will be shared two week prior to the event.

Field Day

Participants will meet at Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Recreation Area for 9:00 am on Friday, June 3rd, 2020. Participants should expect a full day and be prepared to walk approximately 6km through different wetland classes, forms, and types. More details on timing and location will be shared following registration.

Participants are highly encouraged to bring a free-downloadable copy of the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide or purchase a hard copy here.


Instructor Profiles:

Kristyn Mayner, MSc., P.Biol 

Kristyn Mayner is a Wetland Stewardship Specialist with Ducks Unlimited Canada's National Boreal Program. She holds a BSc in Environmental and Conservation Science (Land Reclamation) from the University of Alberta as well as a MSc in Earth and Environmental Science (Ecohydrology) from McMaster University. Kristyn has over 10 years of experience working in wetland ecology, from consulting to research and conservation rolesHer experience covers soils, hydrology and vegetation indicators of wetland environments, with a particular interest in boreal wetlands and climate change impactsKristyn co-led the development of the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide for landowners and wetland practitioners to improve their recognition and classification of wetland ecosystems across the entire province of Alberta. 

Leanne Mingo, BSc.

Leanne is a Conservation Programs Specialist with Ducks Unlimited Canada's National Boreal Program. Leanne has over seven years of experience working with DUC's best management practices group which works with government, industry, academia and other stakeholders to increase awareness and understanding of boreal wetlands, translates wetland science into practical guidance, and promotes knowledge exchange amongst a diverse group of people who work in and around Canada's boreal wetlands.  Leanne has worked with a number of groups including foresters, biologists and school teachers to deliver customized boreal wetlands training.  Leanne also led the development of DUC's online Wetlands 101 Training.


Notes and Disclaimer:

  • Participants will receive a link to the online component two weeks prior to the event
  • Participants will receive a detailed agenda prior to the field day
  • Participants will be asked to sign a photography/ videography release to attend the event
  • Participants should bring weather-appropriate clothing and lots of food and water. There will be a lunch break with picnic and washroom facilities, however both the morning and afternoon excursions will involve extensive walking, mostly on trails but with detours into wetland sites off-trail over uneven ground. We will cover approximately 6 km in walking over the course of the day.
  • Participants are encouraged to download or purchase their own copy of the Alberta Wetland Classification System Field Guide to use during the training event.
  • Registration in this course is non-refundable; however, it may be transferable on a case by case basis
  • This course may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.  Registered participants will be given a minimum of one week notice




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