Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

In this issue:


BWSR staff continue to react and adapt to the changes spurred by COVID-19. Adjustments include working within the Partnership to hold online trainings developed after classroom sessions were cancelled or postponed and reducing registrations for field sessions to minimize group sizes and allow for social distancing. Each of the Partners has their own policy outlining requirements for gatherings and interactions at work. As a member of the Technical Training and Certification Program Conservation Partnership, BWSR shares all training opportunities but, due to varying policies regarding group sizes and social distancing, some of these sessions may not be accessible to everyone. As a state agency, BWSR will follow Governor Walz’s Stay Safe Executive Order regarding group sizes for field and classroom trainings. We will communicate changes regarding session specific registration limits as they occur, and use waiting lists to track individuals who are interested in attending trainings where registration limits have been reached.

Two-Minute Training

Two Minute Training for June - Geese flying in formation

Leadership: Lessons Learned from Geese


The terms collaborative leadership and peer-to-peer leadership are often used to describe successful leadership approaches. The reasons for shifting to this type of leadership are many. Included in these reasons are: 1) broader context and insight is needed, 2) work load and responsibility are shared with others to lessen the work load of one leadership, and 3) we are in an information age with data and information constantly evolving and changing and no one has the capacity to know everything!


What lessons can we learn from geese? Here are a couple:


FACT:  When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

LESSON:  It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership, as with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skill, capabilities and unique arrangement of gifts, talents or resources.


FACT:  The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

LESSON:  We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the productivity is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.


So, keeping flying together on projects - and honking!!

Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Recently, leadership from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Minnesota Association of Conservation District Employees (MACDE), the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation District (MASWCD), and the Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR), as Conservation Partners in the Technical Training and Certification Program, issued a joint statement on Job Approval Authority. This joint statement reaffirms the Partnerships expectations for technical staff to pursue, obtain, and or maintain Job Approval Authority (JAA). The JAA statement goes on to describe the roles and expectations for managers, staff, and state leader to accomplish this


The Conservation Partnership of NRCS, SWCDs, and BWSR use the NRCS Job Approval Authority (JAA) credentialing system for planning, design and installation of standard conservation practices. This system ensures that local staff who provide technical services in Minnesota are qualified to plan, design, and implement conservation practices. JAA is gained through demonstrated competence and allows technical staff to work independently on projects that might otherwise require degrees, certifications, or other credentialing.


Job Approval Authority Process

The JAA process is dynamic, yet cyclical. A good first step in this process is to identify and prioritize the local conservation needs: resource concerns (problems) and practices (treatments). This regularly occurs during Local Work Group, One Watershed One Plan, and other local planning meetings and discussions. The Individual Development Plan tool (IDP) was developed to help standardize the results from these meetings and assemble training needs on an Area and Statewide basis. The Partnership relies upon these training needs to address gaps in local knowledge and abilities and allow for an increase in the quality and quantity of local conservation delivery.


More information on JAA, IDPs and training opportunities can be found in the TTCP section on the BWSR website.

Upcoming Training Events

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program


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


BWSR Training

Oct 27-29

2020 BWSR Academy. BWSR, Breezy Point


Technical Training & Certification Program Events

Tech Talks:  Monday Webinars at 1:00 p.m.  More information here!

June 22 Evaluating Seed Mixes
June 29 Introduction to HydroCAD
July 6 Nutrient Management Module 9: Waste Storage Design Related Inventory
July 13 Grazing Facilitating Practices - Part 1
July 20 Grazing Facilitating Practices - Part 2
July 27 Nutrient Management Module 7: Manure
August 3 WHEG for Pollinator Habitat
August 10 Evaluating Herbicide Plans in a Soil Health System
August 17 at 9:00 Equipment Modifications for Cover Crops
August 17 at 1:00 Coming soon!
August 24 Fertilization in a Soil Health System
August 31 Nutrient Management Module 5: Nitrogen


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 16 & 18 Basic Hydrology, TTCP, Webinar
July 28 Grazing Facilitating Practices, TTCP, Aitkin
July 30 Grazing Facilitating Practices, TTCP, Morristown
Aug 3-7 Engineering Boot Camp, TTCP, Morris


Related Partner Training Opportunities

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 4-5

Salt Symposium, Fortin Consulting, Inc., Online

Aug 6

Microplastics: A Brewing Stormwater Issue, MECA, St. Paul

Aug 17

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





Sept 9

Shoreline & Watershed Practices Tour 2020, MECA

Sept 10

Better Buffers: From Dirt to Butterflies, MECA St. Joseph





Oct 20-21

Minnesota Water Resources Conference, U of MN, St. Paul





Dec 6-8

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

Dec 8

Construction Dewatering Workshop, MECA, Minneapolis


Learn on Your Own

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