Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification ProgramSociety of Wetland Scientists
Professional Certification Program

Certification Information

Overview of Program
Mission & Vision
Strategic Plan (PDF)
Board of Directors
Standing Rules
Renewal Process

Wetland Scientist

Application Forms
Body of Knowledge
Code of Ethics
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Global Champions
Online Ethics Course
Professional Short Courses

Annual Maintenance Fee
Update My Profile
Store My Renewal Documents
PWS Seal Order Form
PWS Patch Order Form
Search for a Certified
Professional Wetland Scientist
Last Name


Event Calendar
COVID-19 Resources
Informational Flyers
Board of Directors Application
Standing Committee Application
Student Board Rep Application
Online Store
SWSPCP Logo Use Guidelines
Global Representation
SWSPCP Jobs List
SWS Jobs List
PWS Photo Gallery
PWS Videos

Twitter LinkedIn Facebook


Professional Short Courses

COURSE TITLE: Peatlands, Parks, and Playas: a Tour of Colorado's Diverse Wetlands


COURSE DESCRIPTION Please see item V. for the program abstract. The presenter's bio follows:

Joanna Lemly is a Wetland Ecologist at the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) at Colorado State University, where she oversees CNHP's work on wetland assessment and mapping. Under Joanna's leadership, CNHP is working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) to assess the condition and habitat quality of Colorado's wetlands, one river basin at a time. The assessments employ field protocols developed by CNHP and CPW to assess both general condition and the quality of habitat available to priority wetland-dependent wildlife species. Since 2008, Joanna and colleagues at CNHP have worked closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Wetlands Inventory to create a statewide digital map of wetlands. Their most recent effort is to add functional attributes to wetland mapping in order to summarize and analyze the functions provided by wetlands on a watershed basis. CNHP has also developed an online mapper to view wetlands data and CNHP is currently working on a more interactive mapping tool to aid with watershed planning. Additionally, Joanna has been heavily involved in the development of both online and printed educational resources for wetlands, including the Field Guide to Colorado's Wetland Plants and the Colorado Wetland Information Center ( Joanna has worked in various aspects of plant ecology for over 15 years, with a particular emphasis on wetland ecology. She holds an M.S. in Ecology from Colorado State University, a Certificate in Wetland Science and Management from the University of Washington, and a B.A in Environmental Science from the Colorado College.

Credit Points: 0.06

SYLLABUS/TOPICAL OUTLINE Abstract: Colorado is known for its high mountain peaks and river valleys, but its geography is far more diverse than its reputation suggests. The eighth largest state in the country, Colorado covers over 100,000 square miles (270,000 km2) stretched across three main ecoregions: high plains to the east, peaks and valleys of the Rocky Mountains through central Colorado, and canyons of the Colorado Plateau to the west. Colorado's elevation range spans more than 10,000 feet, from just over 3,300 ft (2,070 m) along the eastern border with Kansas to 14,440 ft (4400 m) at the top of Mount Elbert, and its geology includes diverse metamorphic, volcanic, and sedimentary formations. The canvas of Colorado's geography creates a rich and diverse array of wetlands, though the semi-arid climate limits the extent of wetlands to less than 2% of the state's land area. The Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP) at Colorado State University has been cataloguing, classifying, and assessing the condition of Colorado wetlands for over 20 years. This presentation will introduce listeners to the major wetland types of Colorado and how they fit into the complex landforms of the state. Three major wetland types will be highlighted to tell the story of Colorado wetlands and their origins, the functions they provide, and how they are influenced by past and present land and water use. The first will be groundwater-fed peatlands, or fens, which occur almost exclusively above 8,000 ft and provide habitat for a host of state and globally rare plant species. The second will be expansive wet meadows within the state's mountain valleys, locally referred to as parks. Today's wet meadows are closely connected to the intricate water supply and irrigation network that makes life in the high desert possible. The final wetland type will be ephemeral playas and other wetland types of the eastern plains, which are critical for the seasonal migration of millions of birds. Information in the presentation will draw on a variety of studies conducted by CNHP and partner organizations over the years. Get ready for the upcoming SWS Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado, by learning about wetlands in this diverse and fascinating state!

Louis Mantini
9225 CR 49, Live Oak, FL 32060
P: 386.647.3144


© Copyright 2023
Society of Wetland Scientists Professional Certification Program
Last Updated 10/1/20