Training News from BWSR

Train Tracks NEW

In this issue:


2020 BWSR Academy Sessions


Participation in the 2020 Online BWSR Academy exceeded expectations. BWSR is happy to announce that several sessions with wait lists will be offered a second time. Trainers are being contacted about their willingness and availability to offer their session a second time.


Repeat sessions that are confirmed at this time are Once upon a time…in Hydrogeology on December 10 at 9-10:30 AM  and Pollinator Habitat: The Importance of Seed Mixes on December 16 at 9-10:30 AM. Details about registration will be sent by November 19.


Two-Minute Training

90-20-5 Training Structure Rule

Retaining Information


Preparing to offer a training or workshop takes time. You want your audience to use the information you offer during training back home on the job. This means trainers should be mindful of structuring sessions so attendees will retain the information.


The 90-20-5(10) rule is based on adult learning science. Ninety indicates that there should be a physical break every 90 minutes. Twenty stands for providing a mental break and an opportunity for participants to reflect on the content every 20 minutes. Five is about engaging online learners every five minutes. If you are in-person, interaction should be every 10 minutes.


The next time you put time into designing a training or workshop, remember to apply the 90-20-5(10) rule.

Training Success Story

Screen shot example of WebEx tool used by trainer to engage attendees of BWSR Academy session

2020 BWSR Academy


BWSR offered the 2020 BWSR Academy in an online format to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19. Academy was streamlined down to 24 sessions over the mornings of October 27-29. We’d like to thank those who participated in the virtual Academy, the trainers who were willing to adapt their sessions to an online delivery format, and the BWSR staff who shifted from planning an in-person event to an online format, providing assistance to trainers in preparing their session and during the delivery of the session. Because of all of you, the 2020 BWSR Academy was a success.


BWSR Academy is about engaging the participant in their learning with opportunities for interaction and hands-on opportunities. Many trainers took advantage of WebEx tools to encourage engagement and interaction.


A link to complete a 2020 BWSR Academy survey  was recently sent to all participants. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey by November 19.

Technical Training & Certification Program Updates

Technical Training & Certification Program Logo

Core Competency Training


The Core Competencies are the foundational knowledge of soil and water conservation. During the development of the Technical Training and Certification (TTCP) Strategy, MASWCD, MACDE, BWSR, and NRCS endorsed these foundational competencies for all staff.


To meet this training need, TTCP developed a series of self-paced, online modules for each topic, and a new website dedicated to housing these courses. The content of the modules is specific to Minnesota and provides the information you need to know. The Core Competencies include:



  • Module 1: Introduction to Soils
  • Module 2: Web Soil Survey Basics
  • Module 3: Soil Health Basics

Water Quality

  • Module 1: Why Do We Care About Water Quality?
  • Module 2: Understanding Surface and Groundwater Flow
  • Module 3: Water Contaminants
  • Module 4: Point and Non-Point Sources of Pollution
  • Module 5: Best Management Practices for Water Quality (Parts 1 and 2)
  • Module 6: Nutrient Reduction in Minnesota
  • Module 7: Understanding Water Quality and Climate Change

Conservation Planning

  • Module 1: How did we get here? History of Minnesota’s Conservation Efforts
  • Module 2: Conservation Planning Process
  • Module 3: The Watershed Concept
  • Module 4: Minnesota Resource Concerns and Land Uses
  • Module 5: Conservation Practice Standards
  • Module 6: Minnesota Conservation Practices
  • Module 7: Field Office Technical Guide (FOTG): A Primary Technical Reference
  • Module 8: Understanding Partnerships


All employees, regardless of position, should have a basic understanding of soil and water conservation activities. It is recommended that all employees, especially new employees, complete these modules.


Currently, Soils 1-3 and Water Quality 1-4 are available, with the remaining modules set to be released by the end of the year. For more information, including instructions on accessing these trainings, please visit the Core Competency webpage.


Upcoming Training Events

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program

Minnesota Wetland Professional Certification Program


The MWPCP will be offering some online training videos and/or webinars on wetlands and wetland regulation in December of this year. When finalized, the date and content of training will be posted on the MWPCP webpage and the BWSR training calendar.


Technical Training & Certification Program Events


Tech Talk Webinars:  Every Monday at 1:00 pm (and Some Mondays at 9:00 am)

Nov 16 Nutrient Management Module 6a: Water Quality and Nutrients
Nov 23 Nutrient Management Module 6b: Minnesota’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy
Nov 30 Wetland ID & Ecology Basics Module 1: Three Parameters, Functions and Values, Wetland Classification Systems


Related Partner Training Opportunities




Nov 17

Practical Measures of the Soil Microbiome, Soil Science Society of America, Webinar





Dec 1-4

2020 Virtual MN Association of Watershed Districts Annual Conference, MAWD, Online

Dec 1-2

SWCD Budget Training Course, MACDE, online

Dec 8

Standard Measurements for Soil Health, Soil Science Society of America, Webinar

Dec 8

MASWCD Annual Convention, MASWCD, Virtual/Online

Dec 15-16

Soil Management Summit, UMN Extension, Webinar





Jan 19

Soil Health Economics, Soil Science Society of America, Webinar



Extended Offering
Nov 5, 2020 to June 16, 2021

Culvert Design for Stream Connectivity and Aquatic Organism Passage, UMN Extension and MNDOT, Self-Paced and Webinar

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.


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