Ducks Unlimited Canada
National Boreal Program
17504 111th Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T5S 0A2

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March 2020 COVID-19 UPDATE - During this extraordinary time, we are cancelling all classroom and field-based training for safety reasons. In support of social distancing efforts, we are offering FREE access to Wetlands 101: An Introduction to Boreal Wetlands online course ($250 value) for a limited time*. Canada's boreal wetlands provide incredible value to the planet and we remain committed to our work in advancing wetland stewardship in the boreal forest. Please join us; register today! *This offer ends on June 30, 2020.


About the course

Wetlands 101: An Introduction to Boreal Wetlands – ONLINE (Free until June 30, 2020.*)

A convenient, self-study option for busy professionals across Canada.  Learn about wetland types, characteristics, functions and values, learn to classify boreal wetlands and explore practical examples to apply this information in your work.

Course Content

This training is an introductory online course on boreal wetlands. The online content will cover:

  • introduction to wetland definitions and the importance of boreal wetlands
  • basic wetland identification skills with a focus on the five major wetland classes according to the Canadian Wetland Classification System (CWCS)
  • information on wetland ecology, hydrology, and ecosystem goods and services
  • tools to identify wetlands in the field
  • challenges that wetlands may pose to your work (e.g., safety, construction) as well as wetland avoidance and minimization strategies

This training will include practical examples of how to apply the information presented, including an example of how to consider wetlands during the planning, design, and construction stages of industry activities to minimize potential impacts to wetlands. Understanding how to plan and operate in and around wetlands can increase worker safety, decrease long-term infrastructure maintenance, and help companies meet voluntary and regulatory requirements.  The content covered in this course will help you gain a better understanding of boreal wetlands and help you understand how this knowledge can be applied to the work you do.

Who is this training for?

This training is designed for everyone who works in or around boreal wetlands from planners and decision-makers on the ground operators.

  • Industry planners and decision-makers
  • Industry operators
  • Regulators
  • Consultants looking for an introduction to boreal wetlands

Learning Objectives, by the end of the course students will be able to:

  • Define what a wetland is and describe why boreal wetlands are important
  • Describe the five major Canadian wetland classes found in the boreal and the characteristics, functions, and values of these classes
  • Identify and classify wetlands, at an introductory level, using soil indicators and key plant species
  • Describe wetland classification systems that are commonly used in Canada and where these systems are most applicable
  • Infer wetland hydrology based on knowledge of wetland classes
  • Explain potential challenges associated with working in wetland areas and apply this knowledge to their work to be able to avoid or minimize potential impacts
  • Continue building on the content covered in this course by knowing where to find resources for wetland classification, wetland plant identification, best practices for avoiding and minimizing impacts to wetlands

Course format:

Wetlands 101 is organized into seven chapters, end-of-chapter quizzes and a final quiz. This training will take approximately three hours to complete.

This training is eligible for continuing education credits under the following professional associations and designations:

  • Canadian Institute of Forestry: 4 CEU’s
  • College of Alberta Professional Foresters: 9 CU’s
  • College of Alberta Professional Forest Technologists: 4 CU’s

To determine whether this training qualifies for continuing education credits for your professional association or other organization/association, contact the association’s program administrator.

Feel free to contact us if you have further questions


Why train with us?

We know wetlands. Reliable wetland information will help you increase your understanding of boreal wetlands and aid you to support decision-making when working in and around wetlands. If you are committed to sustainable wetland management in Canada’s boreal forest, our wetlands 101 training will give you the working knowledge necessary to implement the steps you require to make this happen.

Understanding boreal wetlands is the first step to conserving these complex, interconnected systems while supporting smart industrial and economic development.

As part of wetlands training, you will:

Learn to identify, classify, and understand the functions of boreal wetlands

Discuss potential challenges, impacts, and approaches to working in and around wetlands

Learn methods to avoid or minimize impacts to wetlands

Earn continuing education credits towards professional forestry designations


“Operationally, wetlands present a number of challenges. Being able to accurately identify the types of wetlands we are dealing with and how they behave can avoid a number of unwelcome situations, such as road-base saturation, culvert sinkage, and road rutting and ponding. Equipped with a better understanding of wetlands, we will, with greater confidence, be able to build infrastructure that is safe for workers and appropriate for the conditions, with minimal environmental impacts.”
Bob Mason, Chief Forester, Millar Western


*Registrations for free access to Wetlands 101 (online) will be received until June 30, 2020. After registering, we will send you unique login details for your account. The course will remain available on your account until July 30, 2020.