Course Catalog

Coastal Hazards, Climate Change, Adaptation and Coastal Resiliency
Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal Communities

This three-day instructor-led course gives a thorough grounding in the topic of adaptation – and time in class to apply what you’ve learned to your own adaptation projects. The course covers these essentials: understanding climate science and impacts; determining community vulnerabilities; communicating effectively; identifying adaptation strategies; and finding mechanisms to implement those strategies. Opportunities for local collaboration and next steps for adaptation planning and implementation are emphasized through discussion, participant activities, and incorporation of local speakers and examples.

The course is designed for program administrators, land use planners, public works staff members, floodplain managers, hazard mitigation planners, emergency managers, community groups, members of civic organizations, and coastal resource managers.

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Climate Change in Virginia: Observation and Communication

This one-day workshop showcased several presentations, from a scientific description of climate-change observations, trends, and interpretations; to ways to discuss this (often) difficult and touchy subject.   

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  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: ½ day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH)

This one-day workshop showcased the Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment Tool for Coastal Habitats (CCVATCH), which is a decision support tool being developed to assist land managers, decision-makers, and researchers who are tasked with creating conservation, management, and restoration plans and policies for coastal habitats. Climate change vulnerability assessment tools like CCVATCH are designed to support habitat management and restoration decisions by providing an evaluation of the degree to which a habitat may be vulnerable to climate change, and to determine how existing stressors are likely to be exacerbated (or mitigated) by climate change.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Green Infrastructure for Coastal Resiliency

Full-day introductory workshop, participants will learn fundamental green infrastructure concepts and practices that can play a critical role in making coastal communities more resilient to natural hazards. Local speakers will share expertise on local and regional ecosystems, existing green infrastructure projects of various scales, and ways in which green infrastructure has been integrated into planning processes. -  Through presentations and group discussion, participants will learn about a range of natural assets and green infrastructure approaches that can improve coastal community resilience. Most importantly, participants will make valuable connections with a diverse group of both new and experienced green infrastructure practitioners.

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How Prepared Are You For Rising Waters? Planning for Sea-level Rise, Regional and Local -Considerations for Coastal Areas

This 1-day workshop was done in partnership with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve and featured local speakers from both Reserves.  A workshop was held at each location, while speakers, audio and video links were simultaneously broadcast to the other reserve.  After each presentation, questions were taken from both locations.  Sea-level rise predictions, planning, and local and regional considerations were covered.  

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: annually, or as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Real-time Storm Tide Observation and Forecast System (Rstofs) and Storm Tide Emergency Management Workshop: Monitoring and Modeling 

These workshops introduced a new coastal inundation warning system operated by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) at Gloucester Point. Rstofs (Real-time storm tide observation and forecast system), an experimental system recently developed through a cooperative project with the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) Weather Forecast Office at Wakefield, VA, with additional support from the Virginia Sea Grant Program (VASG).  Rstofs provides flood warning guidance in a graphical display of water level observations and forecasts at nine tide stations in the lower Chesapeake Bay. A "hybrid" system, Rstofs combines the most recent water level observations with storm surge forecasts generated by the NWS Meteorological Development Laboratory (MDL), Silver Spring, MD.  Rstofs is designed for use by weather forecasters, emergency managers and others who serve their community or other government organization in an official capacity.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: ½ to 1 day, classroom,  
  • Supporting information: n/a
Stormwater Management
Basic Stormwater Training-DEQ

This is a two day basic stormwater course taught by DEQ Department staff.  Specific areas of emphasis include: Virginia Stormwater Management Programs (VSMPs), Virginia Stormwater Management Law and Regulations, the Stormwater Handbook, the Stormwater Clearinghouse & BMP's, and the responsibilities, respective to a VSMP Administrator, Plan Reviewer and Inspector.   

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Enhance your MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) Program: Outreach and Monitoring Strategies for Local Governments

This one-day workshop is designed for individuals that work with Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s) who hope to enhance the outreach and monitoring components of their MS4 programs. Presenters will highlight the effort and success stories for effective communications and water monitoring from across the state. Invited speakers will offer advice on social marketing and other successful education and outreach methods, as well as provide ideas for winning partnerships to help meet needs for water quality and quantity monitoring data.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom 
  • Supporting information: n/a
Erosion and Sediment Control Training (Inspector) -DEQ

This one day course covers state minimum standards and specifications for conservation practices, basic soil mechanics and inspector skills.  Participants should bring their own copy of ESC Course Materials (including an ESC Handbook).

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Integration of ESC and SWM Programs for ESC Professionals-DEQ

This course provides an update on the current status of the program since the move from DCR to DEQ; information on recertification; and a basic review of the stormwater regulations and its integration with the ESC program.  The course also details inspections of compliance with Pollution Prevention (P2) plans and common violations/mistakes observed in the field by DEQ staff.  The target group includes individuals holding an ESC certificate (program administrator, inspector, plan reviewer or combined administrator) who will not be pursuing a VSMP certificate (however will need to recertify in ESC over the next two years).

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Permeable Interlocking Concrete Pavers

This 1-day workshop and demonstration project included speakers from VIMS and speakers from a local permeable interlocking concrete paving company and covered topics such as wetland guidelines for alternative pavement treatments and improving stormwater management with permeable interlocking concrete pavers.  During the course of the workshop, various permeable concrete suppliers were available for questions at vendor tables in the lobby, and at the conclusion of the presentations, participants walked to the CBNERRVA Catlett-Burruss Research and Education Laboratory to observe the final construction steps of an on-site demonstration project. 

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day, classroom, field (site visit) 
  • Supporting information: n/a
Stormwater Management Inspector Training-DEQ

This course covers the overall role the SWM Inspector plays during the course of a project as well as after a project is completed.  It also covers best practices for the inspector, conducting inspections during construction, overview of the BMP clearing house, inspection of post-construction BMPs and safety considerations for inspectors. 

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Stormwater Management Plan Review-DEQ

A course for individuals who will be conducting SWM plan review for localities with a VSMP; in particular those localities who never had a stormwater ordinance.  In addition, this course is aimed at VESCP plan reviewers who will now need to review plans for land disturbance activities between 10,000 square feet and one acre for quantity criteria.  This course would provide students with sufficient back ground to review SWM plans submitted under Part IIC.  The course details methods discussed in Part IIC and in the current Stormwater Management Handbook (Blue book).  In addition, it deals with creative design; the intent of the law; regulations and design criteria; constructability issues; and the need for field verification.

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Shoreline and Watershed Management
Blue and Green Infrastructure in Virginia: Tools and Implementation

Presentation of local options for protecting important land and water resources. Hosted by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia, the workshop features findings of eight regional projects led by Virginia’s Coastal Planning District Commissions. Tools that enable prioritization of significant areas and facilitate decision making will also be presented followed by a panel to discuss relevant aspects of land conservation. Time for questions and group discussion are incorporated throughout the day. Blue and Green Infrastructure as the focus of this event is an interconnected network of lands and waters that represent significant, natural assets important for ensuring necessary ecosystem services such as air and water quality protection, carbon sequestration, shoreline protection and conservation of critical species habitat.  Careful planning to conserve these areas along with management practices to protect them are critical to ensure their long range viability. 

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Managing Impacts of Nearshore, Offshore and Shoreline Uses

Many policy-makers—as well as coastal managers, property owners, planners, and citizens—are concerned about managing the impacts of nearshore, off-shore and shore uses. This day-long learning forum provides a critical synthesis of the potential consequences/impacts of the construction, presence, and use of typical riparian infrastructure, including small docks and piers and working waterfronts; water access, zoning and marine spatial planning; locality boundary issues; use conflict management; public services needs associated with docks and piers, residential floating uses; shading, contamination, vegetation management; navigation issues, pier and dock placement; aesthetic, quality of life issues, light pollution, view sheds; taxation of improvements, sewage handling, associated public service costs; ability of the public to access the waterfront. 

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Managing Impacts of Residential Docks and Piers

Working waterfronts, water access, zoning and marine spatial planning, use-conflict management, services associated with docks and piers, and residential floating uses are just a few of the issues confronting policy-makers as coastal build-out continues and indeed, accelerates. Many policy-makers, as well as coastal managers, property owners, planners, citizens are concerned about this proliferation of docks and the potential impacts numerous private docks may have on the environment, navigation, and the ability of the public to access the waterfront. The number of dock permit requests has increased significantly over the last few decades, and in many locations, dock authorizations are now the single most frequently sought permit from localities. In response to a need for credible, relevant, and high-quality scientific analysis of full coastal build out (of residential docks and piers), NOAA's National Ocean Service has sponsored a comprehensive “Managing Impacts of Residential Docks and Piers Workshop.” This workshop provides a critical synthesis of potential consequences of the construction, presence, and use of small docks and piers on the coastal environment.Shading, contamination, and vegetation management associated with docks are discussed, as well as navigation, pier and dock placement, aesthetics, and quality-of-life issues. Also addressed are light pollution, view sheds, taxation of improvements, sewage handling, fee-in lieu, use-conflict management, public services associated with piers and docks, zoning and marine spatial planning, and residential floating uses that require piers. 

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Water Quality Protection and Land Use/Resource Management and Planning
Forests for the Bay

Speakers from the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay – Forests for the Bay Program, and the VA Department of Forestry addressed the ecological and resource benefits of sustainable forest management, forest health issues, economics and land use trends, meeting watershed implementation plan goals with tree related practices, riparian forest buffers, conservation funding assessment & ecosystem markets, and several conservation tools.  Healthy forests, and healthy riparian buffers support water quality and watershed sustainability.   

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Grasses and Sedges and Rushes

One-day workshop focusing on taxonomy, biology, identification, and additional life-history information for grasses, sedges, and rushes.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Introduction to Riparian Buffers

One-day workshop focusing on function and utility of riparian buffers, including soils, plant species, etc.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Introduction to the Biology and Identification of Virginia Insects

This one-day workshop provides overviews of some of the Commonwealth's most charismatic species of beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, and aquatic macroinvertebrates. Each presentation emphasizes their natural history, diversity, and roles as environmental indicators. Printed materials and additional resources are provided to assist with insect identification and conservation. Instructors for this workshop are respected scientists, instructors, and authors.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Introduction to Wetland Plant Identification in the Mid-Atlantic Region

This workshop presents an in-depth look at Winter Plant Identification in the Coastal Region. Each participant is provided with copies of dichotomous keys for the Coastal Plain and Piedmont regions of the mid-Atlantic. The workshop includes a classroom segment/lecture in the morning and a hands-on laboratory exercise in the afternoon.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101
  • Offered: annually, or as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom; lab
  • Supporting information: n/a
Natural Heritage Data Explorer

The Virginia Natural Heritage Data Explorer is an ArcIMS internet website that allows internet users to conduct basic GIS functions remotely over the internet with minimal instruction. This informational tool is helpful for identifying conservation sites in a particular area, evaluating potential easement or land-acquisition projects, and identifying potential projects for land conservation grant programs such as the Virginia Land Conservation Fund. By providing immediate access to Natural Heritage information through the internet, we are empowering partners to utilize and apply land conservation information more rapidly and effectively by having it at their desk top. 

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Non-tidal Wetlands: Resource Protection Area Feature or Not?

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Virginia Coastal Plain Assessment / Protocol for Perennial Stream Identification

Two-day workshop/course that focuses on recently developed methods for field identification of “water bodies with perennial flow in identified counties within Virginia’s Coastal Plain.” Instruction is by Dr. Doug DeBerry and Mr. Travis Crayosky (two of the protocol developers) and Mr. Matt LaJoie (invertebrate taxonomist). The first day of the workshop is devoted to classroom lecture and hands-on identification of invertebrates in the laboratory (at VIMS in Gloucester Point), and the second day is a full field day which includes nearby site visits in Williamsburg and James City County, VA. This methodology has been approved by the CBLA (Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance) Board as a guidance document that lists the protocol as an acceptable method for determining perennial flow within the City of Williamsburg, the City of Newport News, Gloucester County, James City County, New Kent County, and York County. 

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102,
  • Offered: annually, biannually or as needed
  • Format: 2-3 days; classroom, field and lab sessions
  • Supporting information: n/a
Wetland Delineation—Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region

This 3-day workshop/course addresses wetland delineation, and is based on the “Regional Supplement to the Corps of Engineers Wetland Delineation Manual: Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain Region” (Version 2.0).  This short course is intended for professional wetland delineators; federal, state, and local agency personnel; college and university students and research staff; wetland managers; and any others with an interest or professional investment in wetland-boundary identification. The course provides an in-depth review of this currently accepted wetland delineation protocol for the Coastal Plain region. The curriculum covers all aspects of wetland delineation in the Coastal Plain region, and includes classroom and field activities. The instructor is Dr. Douglas A. DeBerry, a Research Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the College of William & Mary. DeBerry is a certified Professional Wetland Scientist (PWS) and Professional Wetland Delineator (PWD), has been a private-sector wetland delineator for more than 22 years, and has worked extensively in the coastal plain of the Mid-Atlantic and South-Atlantic Regions. He was on the test-development panel for the wetland delineator certification program in Virginia, and has also worked as a technical advisor for such organizations as the Mid-Atlantic Wetland Workgroup and the National Wetland Condition Assessment program. 

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: annually, biannually or as needed
  • Format: 3-4 days; classroom, field (site visits)
  • Supporting information: n/a
What’s Happening to Our Native Plants and Animals?

This one-day workshop focuses on disease, parasitism, invasive species, and multiple causes of native species decline.  

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Specialty Courses and Symposia
Bees, Beetles and the Bay: Pesticide/Chemical Impacts on Aquatic and Human Health, and Pollinator Protection for a Healthy Chesapeake

One-day workshop/symposium showcasing multiple presentations about chemicals, pesticides, and toxins that affect not only human health and the health of the Chesapeake Bay, but also the health of pollinators (bees and beetles), major contributors to Bay health.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Habitat Restoration: Making a Difference in Coastal Virginia

One-day workshop/symposium showcasing multiple habitat-restoration activities going on along Virginia’s coast. Covers sturgeon habitat, dam removal, SAV restoration, oyster restoration, shoreline management, river/sediment restoration, and remediation, etc.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Living Shorelines Summit

CBNERRVA, along with Chesapeake Bay Trust, Chesapeake Research Consortium, Keith Campbell Foundation, MDCBNERR, MD Coastal Zone Management Program, NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office, NOAA Restoration Center, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program, Virginia Dept. of Conservation and Recreation, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), and VIMS' Center for Coastal Resources Management conducted the Living Shorelines Summit. CBNERR Virginia served as the host for the Summit. Attendees included individuals from state and federal government, local government, county and city wetlands boards, non-profit organizations, environmental consultants, state and local regulatory boards, academicians, marine contractors, local nurserymen, and private landowners. There were 14 sessions over the course of 2 days, which included keynote speakers, panel discussions, and scientific presentations. Summit proceedings were peer-reviewed and published in mid-2008.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 102,
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 2 days; classroom
  • Supporting information: Proceedings of the Living Shorelines Summit. Erdle, S.Y., J.L.D. Davis, and K.G. Sellner, eds. 2008. Management, Policy, Science and Engineering of Nonstructural Erosion Control in the Chesapeake Bay: Proceedings of the 2006 Living Shoreline Summit. CRC Publ. No. 08-164, Gloucester Point, VA 136pp.
Public Issues and Conflict Management

This two-day instructor-led course was designed to increase participants’ ability to plan and facilitate a meeting (or a series of meetings) that minimize conflict and enhance problem solving. Collaboration is often cited as a good way to address coastal resource management issues, but the collaborative process is complicated, and requires a systematic approach. This course provides the skills and tools to design and implement collaborative approaches. The skills will be useful even when attending, but not running, a collaborative meeting.

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Using Observing Systems to Address Coastal Management Issues

One-day workshop that highlights multiple observing systems, how they work, and multiple uses for each.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
Water Words That Work

One-day workshop taught by Mr. Eric Eckle - Make a splash with your communications! Relearn the language that everyday citizens use and you will become more confident and successful as you set out to enlighten the uninformed and persuade the undecided to take a stand or take action on behalf of our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Participants learned how and why most environmental messages miss the mark, how to transform professional-level conservation writing into messages that are suitable for everyday citizens, how to incorporate storytelling techniques into messages, and how to measure the reading level of your materials and determine if they are a good fit for your audience.

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USFWS Endangered Species Act – Section 7 Consultation Training

This one-day training covers all aspects of the USFWS ESA Section 7 Consultation from definitions and inter-agency cooperation to descriptions of the informal, formal, and emergency-consultation processes.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s):
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information: n/a
York River Research Symposium

One-day symposium that highlights past or ongoing research within the York River Watershed. This Research Symposium hosts a multidisciplinary group of scientists, state and federal partners, resource managers, academicians, and land managers to present their latest research, discuss current hot topics, and share new ideas.

Course Index

  • Suggested prerequisite course(s): None
  • Complementary course(s): SWMP 101, 102
  • Offered: as needed
  • Format: 1 day; classroom
  • Supporting information:n/a