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Education and Outreach

American Wetlands Month

Celebrate American Wetlands Month with SWS Youth art contest finalists announced  

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? Let us know by posting your event in our Facebook group – SWS celebrates American Wetlands Month, or emailing Julie Alcon at julalcon@gmail.com.

Youth art contest finalists announced 
To celebrate World Wetlands Day this year, SWS sponsored a youth art contest that ran from February 2 - April 2. We collected art from children all around the world, in celebration of this international wetlands day. Students in grades 1 - 5 were asked to draw their favorite wetland, while students in grades 6 - 12 were asked to submit a drawing, photograph or combination of both that reflected the theme Wetlands for Protecting and Serving People

We are proud to announce 25 finalists, whose work will be judged in June at the 2017 Annual Meeting by meeting attendees. Visit the SWS Facebook page to view the finalists’ artwork.

The winners from each grade category will receive the following prizes:
1st place: $50
2nd place: $25
3rd place: $10

2017 SWS Europe Chapter Meeting 

Sustainable Management of Wetlands
May 4 - 6, 2017
University of Algarve
Faro, Portugal

The SWS Europe Chapter will hold its 2017 annual chapter meeting on May 4 - 6, 2017 at the University of Algarve in Faro, Portugal. The meeting, Sustainable Management of Wetlands, will explore the novel approaches for water management, biodiversity conservation, restoration, pollution control and climate change. Sessions will include themes on wetlands in a water-wise eco (bio)-based industry, the ecological quality of lakes and reservoirs, river conservation in regards to facing agriculture intensification and climate and conservation and conflicting interests in coastal lagoons. All are welcome and invited.

Learn more about the meeting Europe Chapter Upcoming Events page.

2017 SWS New England Chapter Meeting and Field Trip
Wetland/Aquatic Restoration Success and Failures
May 5 - 6, 2017 
University of New England (UNE)
Biddeford, ME

Join the New England Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists for our Annual Chapter Meeting and Field Trip. On Friday, May 5, there will be a field trip to look at the good, bad, and ugly of wetland mitigation. The attendees will gather at UNE 8:30-9:00 and the program will start at 9:00 am with some classroom time where we'll learn about the sites we'll see and one that we won't (can't). We will then visit a mitigation site in Sanford that failed. During the classroom time, we will have learned about the site that replaced that failed project. We'll return to UNE for lunch and then head to Westbrook and Scarborough to see other sites and discuss how they are better - or not? - than the morning site. As we go, there will be discussion of lessons learned and what people think are the strengths and weaknesses of the various projects. The group will return to UNE around 4:00 pm. 

On Saturday, May 6, join us for a full-day meeting featuring talks focused on wetland restoration sites, the Connecticut In-Lieu Fee program, Vernal Pool conservation and land use, wetland restoration in a changing climate and more. The meeting will feature posters and a chance to learn about activities and opportunities within the SWS NE Chapter. We will end the day with an optional field trip on the University of New England campus to see a constructed wetland.

Learn more about the meeting on the New England Chapter Upcoming Events page.

SWS May webinar
Using sediment enhancement to build tidal marsh resiliency on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland, USA
Thursday, May 18, 2017
1:00 p.m. EDT

Matt Whitbeck
Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex

Located in Maryland, USA, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is part of the largest area of tidal marsh within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and is of regional ecological significance for its wetlands and for the wildlife populations it supports. However, over 5,000 acres of tidal marsh have converted to open water on the refuge since 1938. The mechanisms contributing to Blackwater’s tidal marsh loss are generally attributed to a combination of sea level rise, subsidence, and herbivory by nutria.

In many areas on the refuge the elevation of the marsh surface is low relative to local tides, leading to excessive inundation. More than 80% of elevation points recently surveyed on Blackwater NWR were found to be well below the elevations needed for optimum plant growth for the refuge’s tide range (Kirwan and Guntenspergen 2012). When marsh vegetation is at an elevation below that which is optimal for plant growth, the rising sea level will further inhibit root zone growth and lead to additional marsh loss. On Blackwater NWR, vertical marsh development is particularly dependent on organic accretion driven by below-ground biomass production (Cahoon et al. 2010).

In December 2016, 26,000 cubic yards of sediment was pumped in a thin-layer application over approximately 40 acres of tidal marsh on the refuge. The purpose of this project is to raise the elevation of the existing marsh platform. The sediment enhancement will offer a twofold ecological benefit to marsh resilience: 1) The longevity of the marsh receiving thin layer sediment application will be extended by virtue of the raised surface elevation in relation to the tidal regime; and 2) Root zone production, and consequently rates of vertical accretion, should increase. Root zone production is the main driver of vertical accretion rates in the Blackwater River system (Cahoon and Guntnerspergen 2010). Building the marsh platform to an elevation that maximizes plant productivity will take full advantage of the capacity of the marsh to continue to build elevation (Kirwan and Guntenspergen 2012).

Matt Whitbeck is the supervisory wildlife biologist at Chesapeake Marshlands National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Maryland. Matt has over 19 years’ experience working in tidal marshes and natural resource management issues on National Wildlife Refuges. He has an M.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University.

Visit our Upcoming Webinars page to learn more and to register.

MAD Scientist Associates' Wetland Weekend 2017
With support from the Westerville Parks and Recreation Department, MAD Scientist Associates has been hosting the Westerville Wetlands Workshop each May for nearly two decades. We've recently attracted a lot of interest in our Frog Friday program, too. So, during American Wetlands Month, we promote our Wetland Weekend, which includes a Frog Friday educational event, followed by our two-hour Wetland Workshop on Saturday. We've had over 100 participants at each of these events and they continue to grow in popularity. We always look forward to these public outreach activities!

Frog Friday
Friday, May 19, 2017
7:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Highlands Park Wetlands
Westerville, OH

Join us in pursuit of amphibians as they emerge from their winter hideouts and make their way to wetland pools! Professional Wetland Scientist Mark Dilley will lead walks, starting at 8:00 p.m. If you want to test your frog catching skills, nets will be provided. We suggest you bring a flashlight, wear old shoes and dress for the weather. 

17th Annual Wetland Workshop
Saturday, May 20, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Highlands Park Walking Path
Westerville, OH

This free, fun, family-oriented workshop will be led by local, Professional Wetland Scientist, Mark Dilley. Exploration stations will be set up along the Highlands Park walking path, where attendants can learn about different aspects of wetland life, make fun crafts and even get in the water to look for aquatic wildlife!

Check out the MAD Scientist Associates website to learn more.

ASWM webinar
Attracting Local People into Wetland Sites
A Wetland Link International - Americas Network Webinar hosted by the Association of State Wetland Managers
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
3:00 p.m. EDT

Wetland sites often work hard to engage local people, sending out communications and publicity materials designed to be relevant to a wide range of local stakeholders. However, many still struggle to bring local people into our wetlands. This webinar will share examples of how some of WLI Americas Network members have successfully made their wetland sites relevant in their local area. Presentations will share engagement practices and lessons learned on various aspects of environmental engagement at wetland sites, including case studies from WLI partners in North, Central and South America. Presentations will look at how to maintain a diverse set of activities to ensure repeat visitation, how to build engagement in wetland festivals and celebrations, the use of social media to draw people to engagement activities on a wetland site, and engaging local citizens in flyway projects at wetland sites. Presentations will be made in both English and Spanish, with consecutive translation from English into Spanish and Spanish into English provided in real time.

Please visit the ASWM website for more information. 

Women in Wetlands Writer's Exchange
The SWS Writer's Exchange is a web-based writing tool for wetland ecologists. Women in Wetland members can have their unpublished manuscript reviewed before publication, in exchange for reviewing another member's unpublished manuscript.

We invite all members to participate, including students and scientists of any gender, as well as scientists who are not native speakers of English. You will receive a 'kudo' for reviewing a manuscript, and this 'kudo' can be redeemed to post your manuscript on the website for review. You do not need to have reviewed a paper to post your first abstract.

How It Works:

  1. You (author) request a review of an unpublished manuscript by posting your abstract on the website. Everyone gets one free review.
  2. A member of the Women in Wetland section offers to review the manuscript via the website.
  3. You receive an email from the Writer's Exchange. You send your manuscript to the reviewer via email. The reviewer has four weeks to complete the review.
  4. The reviewer sends the review back to you via email.

Submit your manuscript. For more information, please contact Dr. Beth Middleton at middletonb@usgs.gov or visit the Women in Wetlands page.

To celebrate World Wetlands Day this year, SWS sponsored a youth art contest that ran from February 2 - April 2. We collected art from children all around the world, in celebration of this international wetlands day.
We are proud to announce 25 finalists, whose work will be judged in June at the 2017 Annual Meeting by meeting attendees. Visit the SWS Facebook page to view the finalists’ artwork.

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 wetland treasures logo 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

SWS Photo Contest

2017 Photo Contest

Four winners will be chosen; the top photos from the following three categories and one overall, grand prize winner. 

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

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


All entries must be related to one of the three categories. While some photos may fit into multiple categories, please submit under the category that fits best.

  • 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. 

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

  • 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.


The winners will be determined by SWS membership via an electronic ballot! Simply scroll through each category's gallery and vote for your favorite. SWS members will be allowed to vote once in each category. The voting period will be open from January 8 - 31, 2018. Vote to help shape the look of SWS!

Four winners will be chosen; the top photos from the following three categories and one overall, grand prize winner. If the grand prize winner comes from the International Wetlands category, for instance, the 2nd place winner in that category would become the International Wetlands category winner. In the case of a tie, the Wetland Promotions Committee would determine the winner. Winners will be notified via email. A formal announcement will then be sent to all SWS members.

Download the Rules and Guidelines. Questions? Contact Kara Miller at kmiller@sws.org