EC Logo-banner

image showing physical address, phone and fax number for Environmental Concern




Come Learn With Us

Since its inception in 1972, Environmental Concern Inc. has put a premium on building the capacity of those in the wetland field (consultants, government, higher education, non-profits) through quality professional development opportunities.  Unlike other wetland training centers, Environmental Concern is a working firm engaged in the work of wetlands.  We are able to provide students a unique learning experience presented from the practitioner’s perspective.  The Wetland Learning Center in St. Michaels, Maryland (Eastern Shore) includes the nation’s first wholesale wetland plant nursery – currently growing over 120 different species, and an active restoration department engaged in cutting edge enhancement, restoration and creation initiatives.

All courses are held at  Environmental Concern’s Wetland Learning Center located on the headwaters of San Domingo Creek in St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. (Directions)

Most course days are scheduled from 8:30am-5:00pm.

Grasses Sedges Rushes field ID

Title Bar for Wetland Delineation

Basic Wetland Delineation: Register

Students and professionals just entering the field of wetland science, as well as those needing a review, should attend this 4.5 day (36-hour) course on the 1987 Corps of Engineers wetland delineation method. The course covers the Clean Water Act Section 404 regulations, updated regulation changes, and individual wetland parameters of vegetation, soils, and hydrology. 

April 25 - 29, 2016
Early Bird Registration $950 before 3/28/2016
After deadline $975

September 19 - 23, 2016
Early Bird Registration $950 before 8/22/2016
After deadline $975


Vegetation Courses Button

Winter Woody Plant ID: Register

 This two-day course will give wetland professionals a competitive edge when  delineating wetlands. Vegetation analysis is the primary criteria used to delineate wetland boundaries. Numerous woody plant species will be identified through lectures, field trips, and field/lab keying. Background in botany preferred, but not necessary.

February 16 - 17, 2016
Early Bird Registration $400 before 1/16/2016
After deadline  $425

Grasses, Sedges and Rushes:  Register

A solid understanding of grasses, sedges, and rushes is necessary for anyone working with wetlands.  This four-day course will focus on identification of these members of the plant kingdom. Participants will leave with an understanding of the families, family subdivisions, and genera of the often confusing species of grasses, sedges, and rushes (wetland and upland). Prior experience with plant identification is required.  This is not a beginner level course.

August 15 - 18, 2016
Early Bird Registration $700 before 7/15/2016
After deadline $725


Instructor Bio Button

Instructor Biography:

William S. Sipple

William S. Sipple is a wetland ecologist and the principal in W. S. Sipple Wetland & Environmental Training & Consulting, a small company he established after retiring from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2003. At EPA, he was an ecologist in the Agency’s Wetland Division in Washington, D.C. from 1979- 2003. From 1971-1979, he worked for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in Annapolis in a tidal wetland program. He has lead numerous field trips in the Mid-Atlantic Region since 1971 and has taught various wetland delineation and plant identification courses in the private sector at Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, the Humboldt Field Research Institute in Steuben, ME, the Institute for Wetland & Environmental Education & Research in Laverett, MA, Environmental Concern, Inc. in St. Michaels, MD, the Northern Virginia Community College in Woodbridge, VA, and at the Graduate School, U. S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. His graduate training was in regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania and plant ecology at the University of Maryland. He has published a number of scientific articles in various peer-reviewed journals and is also a dedicated journal keeper (over 50 years) and writer, which has resulted in extensive field journals and two books: Through the Eyes of a Young Naturalist (1991) and Days Afield: Exploring Wetlands in the Chesapeake Bay Region (1999).

Course Information

Wetland Delineation

Wetland Vegetation

Instructor Bios

Registration and Cancellation Information

Directions to EC's Campus

Course Registration


Schedule for 2016
Professional Courses



16 - 17

Winter Woody Plant ID

25 - 29

Basic Wetland Delineation

15 - 18

Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes ID

19 - 23

Basic Wetland Delineation


Basic Plant ID Class


Plant ID




Sweet Flag (Acorus americana)