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Wetland Identification for National Food Security Act Purposes: Phase II - App


This course is designed to prepare staff with the skills needed to successfully identify and delineate wetlands on agricultural properties using On-Site Wetland Delineation Methods as specified in the National Food Security Act Manual (NFSAM), and to effectively defend the delineation decision. This training presents the balance reached by NRCS between the requirements in the statute/regulations and accepted scientific principles behind on-site wetland delineation methods using the three-factor approach. Topics include interpretation of wetland vegetation, soils, hydrology, and selection of sampling methods, sampling intensity, data analysis, and decision making. Participants will receive considerable practice delineating wetlands in the field. Completion of this course fulfills a critical training aspect related to the qualification requirement specified in the NFSAM for individuals performing Wetland Delineation for NRCS.

This course is divided into two parts: (1.) a self-paced, on-line tutorial and (2.) an on-site classroom/field training.

On-line: The on-line training addresses basic wetland principles, terms, and related NRCS activities. Participants may need on-the-job training or assistance from experienced employees to complete this part of the course.

Classroom and Field: Participants will complete the course by attending a classroom/field session presented by an interdisciplinary team. Students will be exposed to wetland delineation challenges common to lands associated with agricultural operations.



Students will be able to:


  • Identify the wetland laws, regulations, and programs effecting NRCS and their clients;
  • Compare the differences among federal wetland determination methods, based on the purpose of the request;
  • Interpret the scientific foundations for wetland delineation, including vegetation, soils and hydrology;
  • Apply the NFSAM On-Site Delineation Methods in field situations;
  • Determine the appropriate sampling and data analysis methods; and
  • Demonstrate the appropriate required decision thresholds for hydric soils, hydrophytic vegetation, and wetland hydrology.


None for the on-line training module. Completion of the on-line training module prior to the classroom/field portion of the course. 


  • Part 1 – The online module will require approximately 20 - 30 hours to complete.
  • Part 2 – The classroom/field portion of the course is 32 hours.

Target Audience

NRCS employees who will have the responsibility to conduct wetland determination.

NEDC Contact

Jacqueline Horne 

Technical Coordinator

Lee Davis


Go to AgLearn to request enrollment in Wetland Identification for Food Security Act Purposes: Phase 2 Applications (NRCS-NEDC-000254).