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Upcoming SWS Webinars

Monthly webinars are offered as a benefit of membership. Once each quarter, in March, July, September and December, the monthly SWS webinar is open for non-members to attend (and at no cost), as well. Please login to register. If you are a member, and you log in, you can register for member-only webinars by clicking here, or going to the "Events" pull-down menu and choosing "upcoming" webinars. If the site says you are not allowed to view this resource, your membership may not be current, or you are not a current member. Note, you can be a registered user of this site and not an SWS Member.

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Thank you to our Webinar Series Sponsors: 

Sponosr 1 logo   Whitenton Group 2017

February 2020: How certification of Professional Wetland Scientists can improve wetland practice around the World

February 20, 2020 | 1:00 PM ET

How certification of Professional Wetland Scientists can improve wetland practice around the world

Professional Wetland Scientist Logo 

Colombo Urban Wetlands

Abstract: The Society of Wetland Scientists was formed to promote understanding, conservation, protection, restoration, science-based management and sustainability of wetlands. The Society developed a program in 1994 for certification of wetland science training and experience to meet the needs of professional ecologists, hydrologists, soil scientists, educators, government agency professionals, consultants, and others who practice wetland science. The program is aimed at serving the public and governments’ need to identify qualified individuals to assess and manage wetland resources. It provides a comparable professional certification system to other professions such as engineering, architecture and landscape architecture and is internationally recognized. Certification signifies that the academic and work experience of a Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) meets the standards expected by her or his peers of a practicing wetland professional and provides acknowledgment of adherence to standards of professional ethics with regard to the conduct and practice of wetland science. Certification enhances the recognition of wetland science within other disciplines, especially in multi-disciplinary work environments. Wetland Professional in Training (WPIT) is considered a preliminary step for people who meet the basic educational requirements but do not yet have the experience requirements. This presentation discusses the benefits of PWS accreditation, gives straightforward guidance of how to apply and considers why the PWS program supports the raising of professional standards internationally, how it recognizes the importance of a career in wetland science, how it raises the profile and importance of wetlands and how the program enables more effective wetland conservation and protection around the world.


Ben Lepage

Ben LePage PWS PhD MSc BSc bio

For the last 30 years, Ben’s academic and professional work has focused on better understanding the relationships that exist between climate and the environment through a range of spatial and temporal scales that is helping provide greater insight into global change and the future.  Ben spent the first 10 years of his career in academia conducting research on 45-million-year-old fossil wetland forests in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere.  His research took him to many sites (modern and fossil), globally.  He left academia to become an environmental consultant, where he gained experience with the regulatory side of State and Federal wetland regulations.  This led him to become involved with the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS).  He chaired the SWS Education and Outreach Committee for several years and became SWS President in 2012.  He later then became President of the SWS-Professional Certification Program (SWS-PCP) in 2017.  He continues to serve the SWS and SWS-PCP where needed.  His academic and professional work has allowed him to see wetlands from many perspectives and he is now of the opinion that wetlands are a key and essential natural resource and the preservation and management of these resources must be a priority at the academic, industry, and community levels globally.  Ben believes that the internationalization of the Professional Certification Program is precisely what is needed to address these needs and he, Matt, and Robbyn will address the key aspects of this effort in our webinar today.


Robbyn Myers

Robbyn Myers PWS MSc BSc bio:

Robbyn is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) with over 20 years’ experience conducting wetland delineations, assessment, technical studies and environmental evaluations. Her experience includes employment with local jurisdictions for regulatory review, land use assessment, code revision and critical area compliance. This experience provides a strong framework in understanding statutory requirements for local, state and federal compliance. She has completed and participated in several large-scale, regionally distinct projects in King, Pierce, Mason, Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam County. Accomplishments include a broad spectrum of project review, documentation and implementation to include Capital Improvement Projects, Critical Area Ordinance Code revisions, land management and resource management. Her career includes scientific studies as a habitat biologist, regulatory review under state and local permitting agencies, grant writing, coordination and compliance for nonprofit organizations and private consulting services. Robbyn is currently seated on the Society of Wetland Scientist Professional Certification Program Board as Secretary-General.

Matthew Simpson

Matthew Simpson PWS PhD MSc BSc bio:

Matthew has over 20 years’ experience in delivering nature conservation, research, assessment and management related projects and is an accredited Professional Wetland Scientist. Matthew is currently the President of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) Europe Chapter, President of the SWS Professional Certification Program and is a longstanding member of the Constructed Wetland Association Committee. He also sits on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands' Scientific and Technical Review Panel and their Wetland City Accreditation Independent Advisory Committee. Matthew has managed projects in Europe, Asia, South East Asia, Africa, South America and North America. Matthew is a Director of 35 Percent Ltd that delivers ecosystem assessment and management related projects around the world for clients ranging from private companies to governments to international agencies. Matthew is also a Director of the Cobra Collective that promotes and supports community-owned solutions that recognize indigenous knowledge and best practice for the benefit of marginalized communities.

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Webinars on YouTube

The SWS Webinar Committee is excited to announce that our free quarterly webinar recordings are now available on the SWS YouTube channel! Additionally, SWS supporters around the world can watch the 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.

Here's what our members are saying...

"Thank you, presenters, and thank you SWS for hosting this. It is a great SWS membership benefit." - Kurt Kowalski, Ann Arbor, MI

"Excellent coverage of fascinating topics for wetland scientists!" - Ellen Hartig, New York, NY

ASWM Webinars

Interested in viewing more webinars? Visit the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) webinar's page to access free webinars. These webinars focus on various topics, mostly relating to a specific project or workgroup. To learn more please click here.