Wetland & Riparian Ecology & Management - Waitlist Available for Next Offering!

Dates: January 9, 2017

Meets: M from 12 M to 12:00 AM

Tuition: $500.00

Sorry, the signup deadline has passed.

This 15 week course will provide a thorough introduction to wetland and riparian ecology of the Rocky Mountain and Northern Great Plains as well as the regulations and public mandates that guide their management, and the human and global disturbances that continue to shape these systems. The course is designed to provide a clear interpretation of technical information to educators; tribal, state and local regulatory staff; and consultants; and anyone who is interested in these ecosystems. We will cover the fundamentals through guided readings and discussions of text book chapters, technical reports and manuals, and peer-reviewed literature.

This course is co-sponsored by the Land Resources and Environmental Sciences Department and the Water Center 

Topics covered include:

Wetlands and Riparian Areas of the Rocky Mountain Region

From the mountains to the plains, our region has forested wetlands, willow carrs, fens, marshes, alpine snow glades, wet and salt meadows, and prairie potholes as well as riparian areas along small and large rivers. These account for about 4% of our regions surface area, but provide essential ecosystem goods and services that benefit our population. However, we have lost between 30-60% of our wetlands over the last 150 years and they continue to feel pressure from agriculture and urban development. Changes in our irrigation practices have potential to both increase or decrease wetland area depending on management choices. The composition of our riparian areas also responds to our water management choices. Our region has 6 of the top 10 fastest growing states resulting in the expansion of our human footprint. Larger populations and changes to land use put great pressures on wetland and riparian resources and will require your education, regulatory, or consulting services.

Wetland and Riparian Ecology

As a student in the course, you will become acquainted with wetland and riparian ecosystem fundamentals by studying the interrelationship of ground water and surface water hydrology, hydric soils, and aquatic flora and fauna. You will cover the geographic distribution of freshwater wetlands and riparian areas, particularly in the Northern Rockies and Northern Great Plains, with a strong emphasis on how these systems and their associated organisms adapt to the region’s unique environmental challenges, as well as the nature of larger-scale ecosystem processes (succession, nutrient cycling, and biotic interactions).

Topics covered include:

• Wetland and Riparian Hydrology

• Hydric Soils

• Biogeochemistry

• Aquatic Plants

• Habitat Support

• Ecosystem Functions

Wetland and Riparian Management

The course will examine how wetland and riparian ecosystems influence ecological services that are important to our region. You will become acquainted with how these wetland and riparian systems interact with federal, state, local and tribal regulations. We cover the management process from mapping wetlands, assessing their condition, what impacts are permitted, and what is acceptable mitigation for those impacts. There will be a strong emphasis on how ecological fundamentals are applied to wetland creation, restoration, or enhancement especially in terms of their design, implementation, and monitoring.

Topics covered include:

• Classification

• Desktop Remote Sensing Data

• Federal and State Regulations

• Ecological Impact Assessment

• Mitigation and Restoration

• Wetland and Riparian Ecosystems in a Changing World

• Ecosystem Services


Continuing Education Options - This course has been approved for OPI Renewal Units and Montana State University CEU's. Please contact Janine at 406-994-5240 or email at jhansen@montana.edu to register.

4.2 CEU Units

42 OPI Renewal Units


Refund Policy: Full refunds for drops before the course begins minus a $25.00 processing fee. No refunds after the course begins.


Syllabus (PDF)


Rebecca Diehl, PhD: Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

William Kleindl, PhD, PWS: Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Fee:   $500.00


William Kleindl

WILLIAM KLEINDL, PH.D. has 28 years of experience working as an aquatic ecology research scientist and consultant throughout the United States assisting private and public clients with policy development; permit assistance; resource delineation and mapping; and mitigation design, implementation and monitoring.

Rebecca Diehl

REBECCA DIEHL, PH.D. has more than10 years of experience researching, teaching, and consulting on the physical processes that shape river systems and the characteristics of riparian upland/wetland complex.

William Kleindl Rebecca Diehl

We will provide PDF's of the chapters of the book listed below at the beginning of each module in D2L, along with several journal articles pertinent to the week's topic.
We will be using several chapters from:
Ecology of Freshwater and Estuarine Wetlands
Publisher: University of California Press; 2 edition (December 6, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-0520278585
ISBN-10: 0520278585
Price: approx $74 new
(Less expensive used copies and electronic versions are available online)

This course is intended for educators; tribal, state and local regulatory staff; consultants; and anyone who is interested in these ecosystems. The course is fully online and open to participants across the U.S. The course is designed to be flexible with your weekly schedule. Certain assignments are required during the week and have a due date, but the student is not required to be online at a specific time.


Email Information to Friend Print