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Education and Outreach

American Wetlands Month

Celebrate American Wetlands Month with SWS 

April showers bring May flowers…and American Wetlands Month, making the month of May one of our favorite times of the year at SWS! Do you have a fun, wetland-related event planned? Contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org to add your event to our list!

13th SWS Europe Chapter Meeting 

Management of Wetland Ecosystem Services: Issues, Challenges and Solutions
April 30 – May 4, 2018
St. Clement University of Ohrid
Ohrid, Macedonia

The SWS Europe chapter will hold its 13th annual meeting in Ohrid, Macedonia, on April 30 - May 5, 2018. Ohrid is an authentic town with a scenic location on the north shore of Lake Ohrid, the oldest lake in Europe. Other natural highlights in the vicinity include Galichica Mountain and Lake Prespa. The threatened Studenchishte wetland, on the shore of Lake Ohrid, has been protected for the foreseeable future with help from SWS, and is a location of one of the field trips. All are welcome to come join us in what promises to be a very interesting and beautiful location. Visit the Europe Chapter Upcoming Events page for more information.

Youth Art Contest

To celebrate World Wetlands Day in February, SWS ran its Youth Art Contest, collecting art from children all around the world. Now, we need your help determining the winners! Electronic voting will open to the public on May 1, 2018, to kick off American Wetlands Month, and remain open through May 31, 2018. The winners will be announced at the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, USA.

How to vote
Vote for your three (3) favorite art pieces in each grade category, using our electronic ballots. There are two separate ballots for each grade category; remember to vote in each!

2018 SWS New England Annual Chapter Meeting and Field Trip

Coastal Restoration in the Face of Climate Change
May 4 – 5, 2018
Providence Area, Rhode Island, USA

On Friday, May 4, there will be a field trip to examine salt marsh restoration through thin layer deposition projects at two National Wildlife Refuges. The attendees will gather at Sachuest Point NWR between 9:30-10:00am, and the program will start at 10:00am, with a presentation followed by a restoration site visit. We will then drive over to the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge for lunch (provided), followed by restoration viewing and discussion.

On Saturday, May 5, join us for a full day of conference talks and networking opportunities at Save the Bay Conference Center. The day will include presentations on the previous day’s field trip, living shoreline design, IPCC update on salt marsh response to climate change, salt marsh restoration at Plum Island Ecosystems LTER and more. Additionally, we will have an update from our 2017 student grant winner on the impacts of road salt on the function and structure of forested wetlands. We will also give an update on current SWS activities, at the international and chapter level, and announce the 2018 student grant recipients. Learn more on the New England Chapter Upcoming Events page.

Wetland Tours in Hillsborough County, FL

May 11 - 25, 2018, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Hillsborugh County, Florida

Celebrate American Wetlands Month with the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County (EPC) and the Conservation and Environmental Lands Management Department. Learn more about the true value of wetlands to our community by joining us for our guided tours of featured Hillsborough County wetlands during the month of May. On each tour, we will explore a unique Hillsborough County wetland to discuss and learn the importance of wetlands in our community. Natural wetlands serve as habitat for many wildlife species, provide numerous recreational opportunities, filter our drinking water and protect us from flooding. All tours are free. Learn more.

  • Upper Tampa Bay Trail-Lutz Lake Fern Rd 5/11 (Friday)
  • Alderman Ford Conservation Park 5/19 (Saturday)
  • Upper Tampa Bay Conservation Park 5/25 (Friday)

Association for State Wetland Managers May webinar

Wetlands by Design: A watershed approach for Wisconsin
May 15, 2018
3:00 p.m.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy created a decision support tool that ranks wetland preservation and restoration opportunities for all of Wisconsin’s watersheds based on potential to abate floods, purify water, protect shorelines, maintain streamflow, store carbon, and provide habitat. Wetlands by Design provides a Level 1 GIS analysis, was field validated in the Milwaukee River Basin, and aims to support many users with diverse goals (regulatory/mitigation programs, outdoor enthusiasts, municipalities working to abate floods, etc.). We will discuss context and approach, show online mapping tool results, and look forward to a great conversation and feedback.

Tom Bernthal is the Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He has worked with many colleagues to develop wetland monitoring and assessment methods at a wide variety of scales and settings, from intensive site monitoring in the field to GIS-based, watershed scale wetland assessment, as well as the mapping of wetlands and potentially restorable wetlands. He has an MS in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Nick Miller as science director for The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, Nick brings science to conservation policy, strategies, and tools through ecological planning, monitoring, and collaboration. He’s currently focusing on ecosystem service assessments to drive wetland and watershed conservation, the development of biodiversity-based indicators of ecological condition for forest management, and exploring roles for natural infrastructure in water resource programs. Nick has a MS in wetland ecology from the University of Rhode Island and a BS in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Please visit the ASWM website for more information. 


Wetland Weekend

May 18 - 19, 2018
Highlands Park
Westerville, Ohio

Frog Friday
May 18, Dusk
Exploration at dusk to see and hear the many species of frogs and toads that call the Highlands Park wetlands home.


Westerville Wetlands Workshop
May 19, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Learn more.

2018 SWS Annual Meeting

Wetland Science: Integrating Research, Practice and Policy - An Exchange of Expertise
May 29 - June 1, 2018
Hilton Denver City Center
Denver, Colorado, USA

Join us May 29 - June 1, 2018, in Denver, CO, USA, for the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting – Wetland Science: Integrating Research, Practice and Policy - An Exchange of Expertise.

The meeting will focus on the intercommunication of the most recent developments in wetland science, practice and policy between the different sectors of SWS. It will encourage collaboration and partnerships among wetland researchers, practitioners, managers and policymakers, with the overall goal of improving wetland science. Register before rates increases on May 1, 2018. Visit the SWS Annual Meeting website to learn more.

Applied Wetland Science

  1. Wetland Journals & Publications
    1. Society of Wetlands Scientist’s journal WETLANDS: http://www.sws.org/Publications/wetlands-journal.html
    2. Society of Wetlands Scientist’s Wetland Science and Practice: http://www.sws.org/category/wetland-science-practice.html
    3. National Wetlands Newsletter: http://wetlandsnewsletter.org/index.cfm
    4. Society for Ecological Restoration list: http://www.ser.org/resources
    5. Journal of Wetland Archaeology http://www.maneyonline.com/loi/jwa
  2. Professional Certifications and Training
    1. Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program: http://www.wetlandcert.org/
    2. Association of State Floodplain Managers, Certified Floodplain Manager: http://www.floods.org/index.asp?menuid=426
    3. Fundamentals in Soil Science (online course) - Soil Science Society of America, Inc.: https://www.soils.org/education/fundamentals-soils
    4. EnviroCert International - Stormwater Certification Program: http://www.cpesc.org/
    5. The Swamp School - Wetland Career Training (including mini-courses): www.swampschool.org
    6. Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) - Certified Ecological Restoration Practitioner Program: http://www.ser.org/page/Certification
  3. Wetland Regulations
    1. Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI): http://wetlands.com/
    2. Federal links
      1. USACE: http://www.usace.army.mil/
      2. USEPA: http://www.epa.gov/
      3. NEPA: https://www.fedcenter.gov/programs/nepa/
  4. Wetland-related Associations
    1. Consortium of Aquatic Science Societies (CASS) - currently made up of SWS, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF), and the North American Benthological Society (NABS)
    2. American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO): http://www.aslo.org/
    3. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF): http://www.erf.org/
    4. North American Benthological Society (NABS): http://meldi.snre.umich.edu/node/1105
    5. Society for Ecological Restoration: http://www.ser.org/
    6. North American Lake Management Society (NALMS): http://www.nalms.org/
    7. Gulf Estuarine Research Society (GERS): http://www.gers.us/ 
    8. Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM): http://www.aswm.org/
  5. Wetland Applications & Tools
    1. Hydrogeomorphic Approach for Assessing Wetlands Functions: http://el.erdc.usace.army.mil/wetlands/guidebooks.cfm
    2. Wetland Hydrology, Water Quality, and Associated Functions (US Geological Survey): http://water.usgs.gov/nwsum/WSP2425/hydrology.html
    3. Hydrogeomorphic (HGM) Assessment Guidebook for Tidal Wetlands of the Oregon Coast: http://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WETLAND/Pages/tidal_HGM_guidebook.aspx
    4. Watershed Resources Registry: http://watershedresourcesregistry.com/
    5. US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory: http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/
    6. US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory - Wetlands Mapper: http://www.fws.gov/wetlands/Data/Mapper.html
    7. USACE Regional Supplements to Corps Delineation Manual: http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/RegulatoryProgramandPermits/reg_supp.aspx
  6. Wetland Grants and Funding Resources
    1. US Fish and Wildlife - National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program: http://www.fws.gov/coastal/coastalgrants/

soilbook wetlands cover for web wetlandsfieldwork

Educational Resources

  1. SWS Wetlands of Distinction
    1. Showcase of top-tier wetlands accessible via a web-based interactive map. Visit www.wetlandsofdistinction.org to learn more.
  2. College/Universities
    1. Funding sources (grants, applications, prior year's winners)
    2. Graduate Programs
  3. Individual wetland class/lab pages
    1. Plant Ecology Research Lab: https://johnsonplantecologyresearch.wordpress.com/teaching/wetlands/
    2. Texas A&M University - Galveston Campus: http://www.tamug.edu/armitage/
    3. University of Alaska - Alaska Satellite Facility: https://www.asf.alaska.edu/wetlands/
  4. Resources
    1. Sustainability Degrees - Environmental Science Degrees
    2. Sustainability Degrees - Get Involved: The Ultimate "How To" Guide for Students

kids IMG 8544 kids classroom

Public Resources

  1. K-12
    1. Funding sources (grants, applications, prior year winners)
    2. National Educational Materials
  2. Community Resources
          a. U.S. EPA Communities
  1. Wetlands for Our Future
    1. American Wetlands Month (May)
    2. EarthEcho Water Challenge 
    3. World Wetlands Day
fens classroom wetlandscientist

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day 2018

WWD2018 banner

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated every year on February 2 to raise global awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. This day marks the date the Convention on Wetlands was formed in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea, back in 1971. This year's theme is Wetlands for a sustainable urban future: urban wetlands making cities livable. Urban wetlands make cities liveable in many important ways. They reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces and are a source of livelihoods. These wetland benefits grow ever more crucial as the number of people living in cities has now passed the 4 billion mark and continues to rise. By 2050, 66% of humanity will live in cities, as people move into urban areas searching for better jobs. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the value and importance of urban wetlands. In fast-growing cities, wetlands are often viewed as wasteland; places to dump rubbish, fill in or convert to other uses. Scientists estimate that at least 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900, while in parallel, cities have exploded in growth. World Wetlands Day 2018 aims to raise awareness about how urban wetlands contribute to the future of sustainable cities.

Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided free educational and promotional material to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. To celebrate this special day, Ramsar also provides a calendar of events from around the world. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to share their events on this calendar. Check out Ramsar's www.worldwetlandsday.org for all educational resources and a complete listing of WWD events.

SWS WWD Activities

Celebrate World Wetlands Day with these SWS-sponsored activities: 

  • SWS Photo Contest Winners
    Congratulations to all winners and thank you to everyone who submitted photos in this year's contest! 

    Grand prize: A one-year membership to SWS, including one complimentary section membership and one conference registration to the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting.

    DeDinaMark GrandPrizewinner

    Floating Islands in Dubuque, Iowa by Mark DeDina at Lower Bee Branch in Dubuque, Iowa

    1st place in each category: A one-year membership to SWS, including one complimentary section membership.

    • International Wetlands
      Photographs that support this year’s objective to make SWS an effective international scientific society with a global reach. This category excludes photos of U.S. wetlands.

    LeckMaryAllessio 1stplaceInternational

    Mt. Wellington Preserve, a World Heritage site by Mary Allessio Leck in Hobart, Tasmania

    • Wetland Wildlife
      Photographs of plants or wildlife that support the Wildlife Section’s focus on wetland habitat and wildlife. 

    FilickyKyle 1stplaceWildlife

    Sundew Snack by Kyle Filicky in Kent Bog State Nature Preserve, Kent, Ohio

    • Wetland Restoration
      Photographs that advance research and application in restoration fields that regulate wetlands. In this context, wetland restoration is defined in the broadest sense, including wetland reclamation, rehabilitation, and mitigation; issues related to wetland restoration national/international perspectives.

    LynnLorene 1stpaceWetlandRestoration

    Cottongrass in the Arctic Oilfields by Lorene Lynn at Prudhoe Bay Oilfield in North Slope, Alaska

    The winners were determined by SWS membership via an electronic vote. Thank you to everyone who voted! Download the Rules and Guidelines. Questions? Contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org

  • Enter the SWS Youth Art Contest
    What better day to kick off our Youth Art Contest than on World Wetlands Day! We'll be accepting submissions for our Youth Art Contest from February 2 – April 2, 2018. All artwork must be submitted through our online form by April 2, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. GMT. This year's theme is Wetland Wildlife.

    Age Categories

    • Grades 1 – 4
    • Grades 5 - 8

    For each age category, first, second and third place winners will be awarded the following prizes:

    • 1st place - $50.00 USD
    • 2nd place - $25.00 USD
    • 3rd place - $10.00 USD

    Rules and Submission Process

    • All submissions must be drawn on 8.5 x 11" paper.
    • Only one submission per person.
    • All artwork must be submitted through our online form with a digital copy of the artwork.
    • The digital file should be saved as “Last name, First name” of artist.
    • Mail original artwork to us for us to display at the Annual Meeting: Society of Wetland Scientists, 22 N Carroll St, Ste 300, Madison, WI, USA, 53703.
    • Artwork will not be mailed back to artists.
    • All artwork becomes the property of SWS for promotional and educational purposes.

    Enter artwork for Grades 1 - 4

    Enter artwork for Grades 5 - 8

    SWS Youth Art Contest emailbanner 1

    Help us spread the word by sharing our promotional flyer! Download the Rules and Guidelines to learn more. Questions? Contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org for more information.

  • Watch SWS webinars
    With World Wetlands Day's focus on raising global awareness about the value of wetlands, what better way to celebrate than by catching up on SWS webinars! Our webinar series aims to educate its viewers on various wetland science topics. All webinar recordings are complimentary for SWS members. Free webinar recordings are available to the public on the SWS YouTube channel! SWS supporters and wetland enthusiasts from around the world can watch these webinars with subtitles in their native language. To view the webinars with subtitles, click the “CC” button in the bottom, right-hand corner of the video. You can change the language of the subtitles by clicking on the settings button in the bottom, right-hand corner and going to subtitles/CC > auto-translate > and choosing the language of your choice.

  • Learn more about the SWS New Media Initiative
    In line with the focus of World Wetlands Day, the SWS mission is to promote understanding, conservation, protection, restoration, science-based management and sustainability of wetlands. The SWS New Media Team launched the SWS YouTube channel to share our mission with a wider audience. To help us with this initiative, we ask for members and non-members alike to share their work and experiences by submitting a video to be featured on our YouTube channel! Featured videos will showcase various wetland topics that help to further our mission. Visit the New Media Initiative page to learn more and to submit a video! 

  • Submit wetland to SWS Wetlands of Distinction
    The SWS Wetlands of Distinction initiative showcases high-quality wetlands, those with exemplary ecosystem services, across the United States (and in the future, around the world). We are seeking applications for wetlands that have already been deemed as special, rare, and/or unique by state agencies or organizations. Wetlands of Distinction goals include:

    (1) Increasing public awareness and appreciation of wetlands and their many human and environmental benefits
    (2) Identifying and cataloging high-quality wetlands, wetlands of high human-environmental importance and unique wetlands
    (3) Engaging the public including academics, educators, outdoor enthusiasts and others in wetland science and geography, using the interactive Wetlands of Distinction website: www.wetlandsofdistinction.org
    (4) Creating a national, high-quality, wetland database that includes site-specific information about wetland ecosystem services, ecology, biology, soils, conservation status and accessibility
    (5) Increasing protection of our most important and distinctive wetlands and, in turn, protection of common wetlands

    If you have comments or suggestions about the application form or process, please feel free to provide feedback by emailing us at swswetlandsofdistinction@gmail.com.

  • Participate in the SWS-NCC WWD Facebook Photo Contest
    Celebrate World Wetlands Day by participating in the NCC photo contest on Facebook! Here's how to enter:
    (1) "Like" the NCC Facebook page
    (2) Post a picture on our Facebook page of you wearing your best wetlands field gear and/or wetlands-related t-shirt. Make sure to use hashtag #worldwetlandsday when uploading your photo
    (3) Vote for your favorite photos by "liking" them.

    The photo that receives the most "likes" by February 12, 2018, will receive a gift card! Creativity is strongly encouraged! Please post as many pictures as you would like, and encourage your colleagues to post and "like" photos too. Since the winner will be determined by the number of "likes" a photo receives, posting early will give you a better chance of winning. Questions? Contact Jessica Ackerman.

Do you have an SWS event that you're holding for World Wetlands Day? Let us know by emailing us at membership@sws.org and we'll add your event to our listing!

WWD2018 infographic

Love this infographic? Check out more free educational material on www.worldwetlandsday.org