Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

In this issue:


Patrick Schultz, Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources Regional Training Engineer

BWSR is pleased to announce Patrick Schultz as one of the new Regional Training Engineers for the Technical Training and Certification Program! For the past 8 years, Pat has been working in the conservation field in Wisconsin as an Area Engineer with the Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection stationed in Eau Claire, WI. Prior to that Pat worked in Green Bay, WI in the private sector with an engineering consulting firm completing various agricultural engineering projects.


Pat and his family, which includes his wife and three kids ages 3, 5, and 7, love the outdoors and spend time hiking and camping. Pat also enjoys snowmobiling, golfing, fishing, deer hunting, and cutting firewood.


Pat brings a wealth of knowledge of NRCS conservation practices, engineering design, and Job Approval Authority to BWSR. If you have questions or suggestions for Pat, he can be reached by email at: or by phone at: (218) 340-1632.

Two-Minute Training

PowerPoint Pointers


As a general rule of thumb, too many bullet points shown at once allow the viewers’ eyes to read ahead rather than listening to the speaker. Animations introduce bullet points individually or in groups (e.g. two at a time can allow for smoother explanations in some cases). Just don’t go overboard with text flying across the screen!


In the animations list (beyond Fades, Wipes, and Fly Ins) are Emphasis categories of animations such Darken, Lighten, and Object Color which are great tools to help the reader’s eyes move down your list and de-emphasize what’s been discussed. For special instances where you need text or objects to move around on your slide, use the Motion Path tools. These allow you to choose start and stop points on your movement. Use the duration times to slow them down or speed them up.



PowerPoint Animations Toolbar Location

Water runs downhill!


You can also find all of these categories through the “Add Animation” button which will stack additional animations on the same item (e.g. a picture can enter the slide and later leave the slide). This is great for mid-slide pictures to support the text without piling up.


When the next slide’s content is dramatically different that the previous slide, use the Transitions (on the main menu) to help the reader’s eyes gradually adjust to what’s appearing next.


Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Coming Soon: The Core Competencies


The Technical Training and Certification Program (TTCP) is developing 18 Core Competency Training modules for all field staff. The modules will cover three subject areas: Soils, Water Quality, and Conservation Planning. One aspect that makes these modules unique is that they were all developed with content highly specific to Minnesota. During the development of the overarching TTCP strategy, the Minnesota Technical Training Committee identified these competencies as forming the foundation for all technical activities, and that all employees will benefit from an understanding of these fundamental functions of conservation delivery.


The module topics are:



  • Introduction to Soils
  • Soil Health
  • Web Soil Survey


Water Quality

  • Water Quality Framework – Why do We Care About Water Quality?
  • Understanding Surface and Groundwater Flow
  • Minnesota Water Contaminants
  • Point and Non-Point Sources of Pollution
  • Best Management Practices
  • Minnesota Nutrient Reduction Strategy
  • Understanding Water Quality and Climate Change


Conservation Planning

  • History of Minnesota’s Conservation Efforts
  • Conservation Planning
  • Watershed Concept
  • Minnesota Resource Concerns and Land Uses
  • Conservation Practice Standards
  • Minnesota Conservation Practices
  • Electronic Field Office Technical Guide
  • Understanding Partnerships


The modules are at various stages in the development process, with the Soils modules nearly ready to launch. The first four Conservation Planning modules are not far behind. The goal is to have them all completed and available to field staff by the end of 2020. The modules will be permanently located on a new website that is currently under development.


If you have any interest in being a reviewer for the modules while they are being developed, please let us know. There is always a need for people with keen eyes and a strong interest to provide input!


Upcoming Training Events

BWSR Training


Oct 27-29

2020 BWSR Academy. BWSR, Breezy Point



Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program




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



Technical Training & Certification Program Events


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

May 18

Vegetative and CRP Stand Evaluation

June 1 Pasture Condition Scoresheet
June 8 Nutrient Management Part 3: Spatial Layers for Sensitive Features
June 15 Introduction to HEC-HMS
June 22 Evaluating Seed Mixes
June 29 Introduction to HydroCAD


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 2 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Marshall
June 4 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Faribault
June 9 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Detroit Lakes
June 10 Pasture Condition Scoresheet, TTCP, Aitkin
June 16 & 18 Basic Hydrology, TTCP, Webinar
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


May 6-June 10 Soil Health Nexus Webinar Series, Webinars
June 23-24 DNR Native Plant Communities: Southern Prairie Plants, DNR, Big Stone County
July 8-9 DNR Native Plant Communities: Northwest Prairie Plants, DNR, Polk County
July 23 DNR Native Plant Communities: Forest NPC Classification Methods, DNR, Cass County


Aug 3-7

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

Aug 17

DNR Native Plant Communities: Forest Grasses Strata Group Focus, DNR, Clearwater County





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. Check out the links below to learn at a time and place of your choosing.



  • Basic Grassed Waterway Trainings:  A 3 part video series covering the practice standard contens and design concepts has been added to BWSR's Online Learning Library.
  • Cattle Grazing on Cover Crops in Northern Minnesota:  Producer Thor Didrikson discusses the benefits and challenges of grazing their large herd of cattle on cover crops on their farm in Roseau County, Minnesota. Videography by Dan Balluff. Link to video
  • Profiles in Partnering - Great Plains:  Public-Private Partnerships in Kansas and South Dakota strive to sustain rural landscapes for people and nature. Featuring ranchers Bill Sproul (KS) and Jim Faulstich (SD) along with their conservation partners in their own words. Link to video
  • Prairie Pod: MN DNR staff are conducting a podcast where they talk informally about various prairie-related topics. Link to podcast
  • The Pasture Project: A movement of farmers and farmland supporters helping land managers reintegrate livestock rotation in the heart of Upper Midwest farming. Webinar recordings link (scroll down past events to get to the webinars)


We’ve also 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 Ken Powell
Training Coordinator   Technical Training and Certification Program Coordinator Wetland Conservation Act Operations Coordinator
(507) 844-0442   (218) 340-3521 (651) 215-1703