Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

In this issue:


Amanda Deans BWSR Regional Training Engineer

BWSR has a new Regional Training Engineer:
Welcome, Amanda Deans!


BWSR is pleased to announce Amanda Deans as one of the new Regional Training Engineers for the Technical Training and Certification Program! Over the past 12 years Amanda has worked throughout Minnesota for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, most recently as the State Hydraulic Engineer in St. Paul, MN.


Amanda and her husband, Shawn, have a 2 year old daughter, Aubrey. When Amanda isn’t working, she likes to spend time with her family, likes to travel, likes baking & being crafty, and likes being outside!


Amanda brings a wealth of knowledge of NRCS conservation practices, engineering design, and Job Approval Authority. If you have questions or suggestions for Amanda, she can be reached by email at or by phone at: (651) 297-7360.

Two-Minute Training

tips for online meetings

Tips for Online Meetings


Skype, WebEx, Zoom and GoToMeeting are becoming familiar words to us as there has been an increase in conducting meetings online due to COVID-19. For some, this is something new. Below are some useful tips when hosting and participating in meetings online.


For conveners of the meetings:


  • Before the meeting starts, be sure to send out all documents that will be part of the meeting. This is especially important if some participants will be joining by phone or audio only.
  • Be sure to assign someone other than the person(s) presenting/convening to monitor the Chat Box or Question and Answer Box. It can be difficult to do both tasks at the same time.
  • Do an online test run with others who will be convening the meeting and/or sharing their screen to be sure everyone knows how to log in, use the features available such as chat, and upload documents to the screen.


If sharing your screen:


  • Be sure to have the documents you will be sharing open and minimized on your computer before the meeting starts.
  • If you have the option to use “Annotate” during a meeting, use it to keep the attention of participants. Selecting this option will allow you to highlight, point to, or draw on the screen when you are presenting.
  • Be sure to close email and Instant Messaging.


For all participating in the meeting:


  • Mute yourself when you are not speaking. Background noise such as pets, traffic if window is open, or others talking will be picked up and make it difficult for others to hear.
  • If you start your audio connection with a headset, use the headset for the entire meeting. Some online platforms will disconnect your audio if you started with a headset and then unplug your headset from your computer to use the computer speakers.

Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

We want to keep our communities safe as we navigate the challenges posed by COVID-19. Many of us are working from home, and all of us are practicing social distancing. Here at the Technical Training and Certification Program (TTCP) we have been responding by cancelling, postponing, and rescheduling offered in-person trainings. We are working to adapt course curriculum to an online platform wherever possible to continue to provide high priority trainings. To keep you updated we have added a new Training Updates page to the website with current information on the status of training sessions.


Remote Learning Opportunities


The Online Learning page on the BWSR website is a great source for learning opportunities. We have recently added many courses to this page, and we are continuing to do so. Check back often to see what new learning opportunities are available.


On April 6, we started our new weekly webinar series, Tech Talks. The intention of these webinars is to provide as informal and interactive training as possible in an online format. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and participate in the discussion. Look here to find a schedule of upcoming topics and information on joining a session. These webinars are held every Monday at 1:00, and recorded replays and reference materials are posted in the Online Learning.


Program Evaluation


TTCP is working on an evaluation to determine what aspects of the Program have been the most effective, and to identify where improvements can be made. Have you completed an Individual Development Plan (IDP), attended TTCP training, or pursued Job Approval Authority (JAA)? If so, we want to hear from you! You can provide your feedback and input by completing this Survey.

Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Training


July 14

Minnesota Wetland Regulation & Delineation - Classroom, Alexandria

July 15

Minnesota Wetland Regulation & Delineation - Field, Alexandria



Sep 14-18

Basic Minnesota Wetland Regulation & Delineation, Brainerd

Sep 18

MWPCP Professional and In-training Certification Exam, Brainerd

Sep 23

Minnesota Wetland Regulation & Delineation - Classroom, Bemidji

Sep 24

Minnesota Wetland Regulation & Delineation - Field, Bemidji



Oct 27-29

2020 BWSR Academy. BWSR, Breezy Point


Technical Training & Certification Program Events


Tech Talks:  Monday Webinars at 1:00 p.m.

April 20

EFT – Waterway Design for Beginners

April 27


May 4

Forestry Resource Concerns

May 11

Livestock Shelter Structure

May 18

CRP Stand Evaluation

We haven’t made adjustments to these trainings, but we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation. At this time all in-person training sessions are subject to cancellation, postponement, or adjustment to online learning. Please check the Training Calendar and Training Updates pages on the BWSR website for updated information.
June 3 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Marshall
June 4 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Faribault
June 8-9 Cultural Resources Training Part 2, TTCP and NRCS, Hokah
June 9 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Detroit Lakes
June 10 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Aitkin
June 11-12 Cultural Resources Training Part 2, TTCP and NRCS, Baxter
July 27-28 Grazing Facilitating Practices, TTCP, Northeast Minnesota
July 30-31 Grazing Facilitating Practices, TTCP, Southeast Minnesota
Aug 3-7 Engineering Boot Camp, TTCP, Morris


Related Partner Training Opportunities



Construction Stormwater Certification, UMN, Statewide

Apr 23
Pesticides and Pollinators: Understanding the Risk, Xerces Society, Webinar
Apr 30
Pesticides and Pollinators: Threats and Solutions, Xerces Society, Webinar
May 11-12

Inspection and Maintenance of Permanent Stormwater Treatment Practices, UMN, Landscape Arboretum, Chaska



Aug 3-7

The Fundamentals of River Science: Applied Geomorphology & Ecology, DNR, Fergus Falls





Dec 6-8

MASWCD Annual Convention and Trade Show, MASWCD, Bloomington/Minneapolis South

Learn on Your Own

Not all training takes place in a classroom. We’ve put together a searchable library of recorded modules, webinars, videos and other resources to help our staff and partners find professional development information on a variety of topics. You can visit BWSR's Online Learning page to find web-based technical training resources sorted by category.





Program Contacts

Barbara Radke   Jon Sellnow
Training Coordinator   Technical Training and Certification Program Coordinator
(507) 844-0442   (218) 340-3521