Why Ecotone's Eric, Sean, and Caroline like Playing with Soils
Ecotone's Eric Chodnicki, Sean McDonough and Caroline Stanley recently attended a one-day classroom and field seminar conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of Professional Soil Scientists (PAPSS). This course, which was held on April 9th, helps our Environmental Scientists gain a better understanding of the Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Eastern Mountains and Piedmont Region v2.0 and how it will have an effect on the wetland delineation process. This regional supplement replaces the longstanding 1987 Corps of Engineers Manual/Field Guide for Wetland Delineation while also detailing the updated criteria for determining the hydric soil criteria per the Field Indicators of Hydric Soils in the United States/A Guide for Identifying and Delineating Hydric Soils, Version 7.0, 2010 and how to apply the “indicators” for differing soils types (i.e., all soils, sandy soils, and loamy and clayey soils).
The classroom component was specific to using the newly adaptive data sheets and how to complete them correctly and accurately, identifying problem hydric soils, employing the hydric soil “indicators”, and how to utilize on-line information effectively prior to conducting necessary field work. The field component divided those attending into small groups to conduct field sampling employing all of the above to determine the absence or presence of nontidal wetlands along a predetermined transect.
This was a good opportunity for our staff to update their knowledge and become more adept at all aspects of the wetland delineation utilizing this newer information, while also working with other consultants and the regulatory staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Corps of Engineers (COE), and PAPSS. Upon completion of the course, each of us obtained a “Certificate of Completion” and were granted an Associate Membership with PAPSS for the year 2014.