2024 List of Courses

Specific information will be sent by email before each course starts. Email [email protected] if you have any questions.

Back to the Wisconsin Native Plant Certification homepage

All course registrations can be seen here. (Each course description has their own link below)

Pollinators after Dark Register Here
Instructor: Jeffery Steele
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, July 27, 6:30pm-11:00pm
Location: Cherokee Marsh-North Unit
Elective (4 hours)
Description: Celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths on this class through Cherokee Marsh, Dane County’s largest wetland. Learn about about our native flowers that bloom at night and the insects that pollinate them as well as tips for creating your own native “moth garden.” Afterwards, we will walk through prairies, woodlands, and sedge meadows to ultraviolet light stations and discover the hidden biodiversity of night-flying pollinators!

Native Plant Ecology and Identification Register Here
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended 3-part class
Dates/Times: virtual Monday Aug 5 7-8 pm, virtual Monday Aug 12 7-8 pm, and in person Saturday Aug 17th 12-4 pm
Location: UW Stevens Point
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: Native plants have a variety of fascinating and important interactions with other species. The two virtual sessions will consider interactions that benefit plant through nutrient acquisition, communication, seed dispersal, pollination, and defenses against herbivores, pathogens, and plant competitors. They’ll also introduce aspects of plant anatomy that are helpful for plant identification. The in-person session will provide hands-on study of patterns in plant structures and how these patterns support native plant identification. Recommended resources: Botany Primer, Understanding Botany for Nature’s Notebook, USA-NPN and Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel.

The Ultimate Hummingbird Garden Register Here
Instructor:
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, August 24, 9am-12pm
Location: Ledgeview Nature Center
Elective (3 hours)
Learn which wildflowers in Wisconsin co-evolved with the Ruby-throated and other hummingbirds by accommodating their feeding behavior. Learn about who some of the hummingbirds’ most unusual predators are and migratory challenges that these small birds face. We will discuss how to develop your yard so that visiting hummingbirds will nest here while raising their young.

Wisconsin’s Forests Conservation and Management Register Here
Instructor: Fred Clark
Dates/Times: (NOTE DATE CHANGE)
Virtual Tuesday Sept 24, 5:30-6:45 PM,
Virtual Thursday Sept 26, 5:30-6:45 PM,
In person Saturday, September 28 9:00 AM-1:30 PM Field Day with 1/2 hour lunch at Mount Ashwabay Outdoor Recreation Area, 32525 Ski Hill Rd., Bayfield, WI 
Elective (6 hours)
Description: Wisconsin is almost ½ covered by forests.  This course will review the status of Wisconsin forests statewide and the conservation issues they face in the era of climate change. We’ll discuss the role of forests in Wisconsin history, who owns our forests, and the issues that threaten healthy forests today.  We’ll learn about forest types and primary forest species, with a focus on our northern forests.  And we’ll review the growing number of tools in the toolkit for forest management, including reforestation, wildlife management, managing invasive species, the role of timber harvesting, recreation, and the emerging role for carbon offset markets in forestry. You’ll come away with a better understanding of how forests work and what we need to do to protect them – whether it’s our National Forests or your own 10-acre woodlot. The course includes two virtual discussion sessions, followed by a Saturday field day in forests at Mount Ashwabay, near Bayfield, Wisconsin. The Saturday field day will be conducted in partnership with staff from the Bayfield County Forestry Department.  Be sure to bring your own packed lunch.

A Look at Native Plant Form and Function Register Here
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended, 3-part class
Dates/Times: Virtual Monday Sept 9 7-8 pm, virtual Monday Sept 16, 7-8 pm, and in person Saturday Sept 21 12-4 pm
Location: UWSP
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: A plant’s structure is intimately intertwined with its functions, including photosynthesis, water movement, absorption and cycling of nutrients, growth, and reproduction. The two virtual sessions will present an overview of the basic structure of roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds and the roles of these organs in essential plant functions. Our in-person session will consist entirely of hands-on study of plant structures, emphasizing that the diverse forms of each organ are just variations of a basic structure that has important jobs to do. Recommended resource: Botany Primer, Understanding Botany for Nature’s Notebook, USA-NPN.

Exploring the Fungal World Register Here
Instructor: Dr. Jim Perry
Format: In person
Date/Time:  Saturday, Sept 28, 10am-3pm (1 hour lunch – bring your own)
Location: UWO – Fox Cities Campus
Elective (4 hours)
The diversity and beauty of fungi are astounding, with some forms obvious to the casual observer and others not. Likely the single largest living organism alive today is a fungus. Come explore and marvel at a few of the 1.5 million species that occupy the mycological fancy. This minds-on, hands-on short course is designed to acquaint you with this diversity and provide an appreciation of the critical ecological role fungi play in the native plant community. You’ll gain insight into the hidden world of mycorrhizae, the threads that serve as critical nutritional conduits and communication pathways between plants. When we’re finished, your walks in the woods and fields will have a whole new perspective.

The Prairie in Seed Register Here
Instructor: Jeffery Steele
Format: In person
Date/Time: Sunday, Oct 6, 10am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Pope Farm Conservancy in Middleton, WI
Elective (5 hours)
Description:  The fall is great time to experience the prairie in its final beauty. This course will serve as an introduction to identifying seed-bearing prairie plants. Students will tour a restored prairie and learn techniques to collect and store seeds from various species. Those that attend will also learn from a restoration expert how to break native seed dormancy and grow their own native plants. Students will then have the opportunity to take home their own “mini-greenhouses” of native seeds they collected to include in their home landscaping.

Terrestrial Invasive Species Management Register Here
Instructor: Emma Neuman
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, Oct 19, 9am-4pm (1 hour lunch on your own)
Location: Heckrodt Wetland Reserve
Elective (6 hours)
Description: This course begins with an introduction to terrestrial invasive species, including what they are, how they affect the environment, how they are spread, and an exploration of the Wisconsin NR 40 regulation. We will learn about common invasive species of Wisconsin followed by a hike around Heckrodt to see a handful of invasive species and practice identifying them. We will use a combination of inside and outside learning to understand most of the control methods that are possible and which is best for different situations. Returning to the classroom, we’ll go over devising an effective management plan.

Creating a Native Plant Oasis Design Plan Register Here
Instructor: Danielle Bell
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, Nov 2, 9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Mequon Nature Preserve
Elective (6 hours)
Description:  To combat the effects of climate change and pollinator decline, we need to incorporate native plants into our home and business landscapes. There is a wide palate of native plants that are capable of handling tough urban environments and provide essential ecological roles. This class will teach students how to understand microclimates of a site and how to properly select the correct native plants for those areas. We will learn which plants provide habitat requirements for specialist insects as well as those that fill large niches to benefit many species from insects to mammals. A portion of the class will be held outside for students to see structure of plants in their natural environment.

Wisconsin Forests Register Here
Instructor: Frank Kirschling
Date/Time: Saturday, Dec 7 9am-2:30pm (1/2 hour lunch) location Ledgeview Nature Center
Elective (5 hours)
Description: This course will cover the identification of most native tree species found throughout Wisconsin. We will discuss different forest types in Wisconsin with their representative tree, shrub and herbaceous species. Basic forestry concepts will be covered and will include restoration ideas for different forest types in Wisconsin. Weather permitting, this course will include field activities.

About our Instructors

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Past Courses

Butterflies of Wisconsin: Ecology, Identification, and Conservation Register Here
Instructor: Dr. Skye Bruce
Format: Blended 2-part course
Dates/Times:
Virtual Saturday, June 22 6-8 pm
In person Sunday, June 23 12-2 pm
Location: UW Madison Arboretum
Elective (4 hours)
Description: This course offers a comprehensive exploration into the science of Wisconsin’s native butterflies, focusing on their identification, ecology, and conservation. Through detailed study, participants will delve into the intricate life cycles of butterfly species and the critical role of host plants in their development and survival. The curriculum is designed to equip learners with the skills to identify key butterfly species and understand the selection and cultivation of appropriate host plants, reinforcing the symbiotic relationship between flora and fauna in local ecosystems. Additionally, the course addresses the pressing threats to native butterfly populations and their habitats, from habitat loss to climate change, and discusses scientific strategies for conservation and population support. By combining fieldwork with classroom learning, participants will gain practical and theoretical knowledge, preparing them to contribute effectively to conservation efforts and promote biodiversity within their communities. Recommended book: Butterflies of the North Woods by Larry Weber.

Identifying Bugs in the Wild Canceled – please inquire if you are interested.
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended 3-part course
Dates/Times:
Virtual Monday, June 24 7-8 pm,
Virtual Wednesday June 26 7-8 pm,
In person Saturday, June 29 12-4 pm
Location: UW Stevens Point
Elective (6 hours)
Description: The overall goal of this course is to help you feel better equipped to identify insects associated with plants and to understand plant-insect interactions. You’ll need to spend some time outside of class to complete a modest collection of insect specimens and/or photographs. The virtual sessions will cover basic entomology content, including insect body structure, life stages, life cycles, and ecology. They will also give an overview of diversity of insects associated with land plants and introduce the insect (or photograph) collection project. Weather permitting, the in-person class will begin with an insect walk on the UWSP campus, allowing you to practice various insect collecting techniques. In the lab, we’ll use a variety of live and preserved insects to practice insect rearing and identification.

An Introduction to Wisconsin Sedges Register Here
Instructor: Patricia Trochlell
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, June 8, 10:30am-3:00pm (1/2 hour for lunch – please bring your own)
Location: Schmeeckle Reserve
Elective (4 hours)
Learn about the wonderful world of sedges. This course will introduce you to the sedges, one of the largest plant families with species commonly found in wetlands, prairies, savannas and woodlands. We will explore the diverse habitats where they can be found and discuss their ecological role. Basic sedge taxonomy will be introduced, with emphasis on quick diagnostic features of some Carex species and help learning the use of keys for identification. Examine dried and fresh sedge specimens in class, then observe them in their natural habitat in the field. Be sure to dress for outdoor conditions. Recommended books: “Field Guide to Wisconsin Sedges” by Andrew Hipp and “Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota” by Welby Smith. A hand lens is recommended but a limited number will be available to use during the course.

The Ultimate Butterfly Garden Register Here
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, June 1, 9am-1:30pm (please bring a packed lunch)
Location: Ledgeview Nature Center
Elective (4 hours)
We take a look at the most common butterflies found in the upper Midwest, their native host plants, and nectar plants that they use. How native wildflowers and plants can be used in a garden setting, not just for adult butterflies nectaring in your backyards for brief fleeting moments, but also incorporating host plants for mating adults to carry out their life cycle. A compendium of our most common butterflies visiting our gardens here in the upper Midwest.

Nature Teaching Strategies for All Ages – Register here
Instructor: Shannon Davis-Foust
Dates/Times
Wednesday, May 22 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Wednesday, May 29 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Coughlin Center, JPCC Meeting Room B, 625 E. Co. Trk Y, Oshkosh
Elective (6 hrs)
Course fee: $72 (Wild Ones members & students get 15% off) Optional Project WILD Certification: Add $50
Nature activities are one of the best ways to promote mental, physical, and emotional health. This course is your ticket to unlocking the secrets of nature through deep discussions and fun activities that meet NGSS standards. Whether you’re a teacher or just a nature enthusiast, this course has something for everyone. Plus, if you’re feeling extra wild, you can get Project WILD certified and receive a book with over 100 activities! Hurry, registration closes on May 3rd for Project WILD Certification.

Nature Teaching Strategies for All Ages – Cancelled
Instructor: Shannon Davis-Foust
Date/Time: 12 pm Friday, April 26 to 12 pm Sunday, April 28
Location: Lowenwood, Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin
Elective (6 hrs)
Fee: $200 for non-members, $170 for Wild Ones members (includes the course, lodging, and meals!)
Optional Project WILD Certification: Add $50 (must enroll by March 31st for this option)
Learn more about Wisconsin’s native ecosystems and become a stronger conservation advocate. This course uses environmental education strategies from a variety of sources to cultivate a deeper understanding of the natural world. Hands on activities will strengthen observation and inquiry skills and leadership in ethical discussions. Activities can be scaled up or down to suit different ages. This course is for both formal and nonformal educators, and we will cover a variety of grade levels, even college level. As an option, you can choose to become Project WILD certified and will receive a Project WILD book. After you register, a form will be sent to you for additional information. Here is a slideshow providing more information about the retreat location and itinerary. Email [email protected] for more information.

Establishing & Managing Native Plant Communities Register Here
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, April 13 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: UW Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: The first half of this course will discuss the nine basic essentials to starting a native planting; including an understanding of native plants, how to determine habitat, site preparation, planting, and maintenance. The second half of the course outlines the basic concepts for identifying weed problems, prioritizing weed species and resolving weed issues in a new or existing prairie. Learn how to differentiate between a weedy plant species and an invasive plant species and how to determine the need to take immediate action for one weed problem over another. This course will also go over different methods for controlling weeds through mechanical, chemical and burn management options.

Identifying Native Trees and Shrubs in Winter Register Here
Instructor: Danielle Bell
Format: In person
Date/Time:  Saturday, February 10, 9am-1:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Mequon Nature Preserve
Elective (4 hours)
Description: At first glance, all trees can look the same in winter. However, if you look at them in detail you can identify a tree to species by examining the buds, bark, and site conditions. Each species has a unique bud that holds the future leaves and flowers that will emerge in the spring and they know the ideal time to emerge. First we will look at the anatomy of twigs and how buds can be used to identify woody species. Then we will go outside to look at plants in their environment to look at bark and overall structure of the plants.

Finding Your Connection with Nature – Registration Closed
Instructor: Shannon Davis-Foust
Date/Time: 12 pm Friday, Jan 5 to 12 pm Sunday, Jan 7
Location: Lowenwood, Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin
Elective (4 hrs)
Fee: $200 for non-member, $170 for Wild Ones members (includes lodging and meals)
Join us on a Northwoods adventure to strengthen your bond with Wisconsin’s native environment. This program focuses on exploring nature up close, refining your observation skills, and deepening your understanding of ecosystem functions. We’ll engage in the art of nature journaling, helping you effectively document your thoughts and observations for better interpretation. Alongside this, we’ll engage in brief readings and create our own nature story narratives.
Email [email protected] with questions.
Here is a slideshow providing more information about the retreat location. The registration deadline is Dec 18th

Wisconsin Forests – Registration Closed
Instructor: Frank Kirschling
Date/Time: Saturday, December 2, 2023 9am-2:30pm (1/2 hour lunch) location Ledgeview Nature Center
Elective (5 hours)
Description: This course will cover the identification of most native tree species found throughout Wisconsin. We will discuss different forest types in Wisconsin with their representative tree, shrub and herbaceous species. Basic forestry concepts will be covered and will include restoration ideas for different forest types in Wisconsin. Weather permitting, this course will include field activities.

The Ultimate Hummingbird Garden – Registration Closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, November 11, 9am-12pm
Location: UW Oshkosh
Elective (3 hours)
Learn which wildflowers in Wisconsin co-evolved with the Ruby-throated and other hummingbirds by accommodating their feeding behavior. Learn about who some of the hummingbirds’ most unusual predators are and migratory challenges that these small birds face. We will discuss how to develop your yard so that visiting hummingbirds will nest here while raising their young.

Establishing & Managing Native Plant Communities – Registration Closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Dates/Times: October 28th 9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: The first half of this course will discuss the nine basic essentials to starting a native planting; including an understanding of native plants, how to determine habitat, site preparation, planting, and maintenance. The second half of the course outlines the basic concepts for identifying weed problems, prioritizing weed species and resolving weed issues in a new or existing prairie. Learn how to differentiate between a weedy plant species and an invasive plant species and how to determine the need to take immediate action for one weed problem over another. This course will also go over different methods for controlling weeds through mechanical, chemical and burn management options.

Terrestrial Invasive Species Management – Registration Closed
Instructor: Emma Neuman
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, Oct 21, 9am-4pm (1 hour lunch on your own)
Location: Heckrodt Wetland Reserve
Elective (6 hours)
Description: This course begins with an introduction to terrestrial invasive species, including what they are, how they affect the environment, how they are spread, and an exploration of the Wisconsin NR 40 regulation. We will learn about common invasive species of Wisconsin followed by a hike around Heckrodt to see a handful of invasive species and practice identifying them. We will use a combination of inside and outside learning to understand most of the control methods that are possible and which is best for different situations. Returning to the classroom, we’ll go over devising an effective management plan.

Wisconsin Native and Invasive Edible Plants – Registration Closed
Instructor: David Langner
Format: In person, 3-part course
Dates/Times: Saturday, September 23rd 10am-12pm 2023
Location: Ledgeview Nature Center.
Elective (6 hours)
Description:  This 3-part course will teach you about edible plants that are native and invasive to Wisconsin. We will cover identification of these plants, including toxic plants that can be confused with these plants, where to find these plants, and many way that you can use these edible and otherwise useful plants.  

Exploring the Fungal World – Registration Closed
Instructor: Jim Perry
Format: In person
Date/Time:  Saturday, Sept 30th, 10am-3pm (1 hour lunch – bring your own)
Location: UWO – Fox Cities Campus
Elective (4 hours)
The diversity and beauty of fungi are astounding, with some forms obvious to the casual observer and others not. Likely the single largest living organism alive today is a fungus. Come explore and marvel at a few of the 1.5 million species that occupy the mycological fancy. This mind’s-on, hand’s-on short course is designed to acquaint you with this diversity and provide an appreciation of the critical ecological role fungi play in the native plant community. You’ll gain insight into the hidden world of mycorrhizae, the threads that serve as critical nutritional conduits and communication pathways between plants. When we’re finished, your walks in the wood and fields will have a whole new perspective.

A Look at Native Plant Form and Function – Registration Closed
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended, 3-part class
Dates/Times: Virtual Monday Sept 11 7-8 pm, virtual Monday 18 7-8 pm, and in person Saturday September 23 12-4pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UWSP
Core Course (6 hours)
Description:  This course will provide you with an understanding of the fundamentals of botany: basic structure of a plant; how woody and herbaceous plants differ from each other; how and why plants are the foundations of food webs; plant adaptations to different environments; and the diverse ways in which plants achieve reproduction, including often by employing animal assistants.

The Prairie in Seed – Registration Closed
Instructor: Jeffery Steele
Format: In person
Date/Time: Sunday, October 1, 10am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Pope Farm Conservancy in Middleton, WI
Elective (5 hours)
Description:  The fall is great time to experience the prairie in its final beauty. This course will serve as an introduction to identifying seed-bearing prairie plants. Students will tour a restored prairie and learn techniques to collect and store seeds from various species. Those that attend will also learn from a restoration expert how to break native seed dormancy and grow their own native plants. Students will then have the opportunity to take home their own “mini-greenhouses” of native seeds they collected to include in their home landscaping.

Native Plant Ecology and Identification Registration Closed
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended 2-part class
Dates/Times:  virtual Monday Aug 14th 6:30-8:30 pm and in person Saturday Aug 19th 12-4 pm
Location: UW Stevens Point
Core Course (6 hours)
Description:  This course provides a brief overview of ecosystem ecology, botany and plant physiology as it relates to native plants.  Plant ecology will cover the definition of native, interdependence within native ecosystems, and formation of specialized ecosystems.  Plant identification will emphasize observations of patterns for identification of Wisconsin native plants including annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees.  Recommended book: Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel.

Identifying Bugs in the Wild Registration Closed
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended 2-part course
Dates/Times: virtual Monday, June 26th 6:30-8:30 pm and in person Saturday, July 8th 12-4 pm
Location: UW Stevens Point, Schmeeckle Reserve
Elective (6 hours)
Description: The virtual sessions will cover basic entomology content, including insect body structure, life stages, life cycles, and ecology; an overview of the diversity of insects associated with land plants and introduce the insect (or photograph) collection project. Ideally, participants will spend some time between the virtual session and the in-person session to begin working on a collection.  This in person session will include demonstrations of and practice using techniques in collecting, rearing, and identifying insects. It is hoped that participants will feel better equipped to identify insects associated with plants and to understand plant-insect interactions. Weather permitting, the class will end with an insect walk in Schmeeckle Reserve on the UWSP campus.

Pollinators after Dark Registration Closed
Instructor: Jeffery Steele
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, July 29th from 6:30pm-10:30pm
Location: Cherokee Marsh-North Unit
Elective (4 hours)
Description: Celebrate the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths on this class through Cherokee Marsh, Dane County’s largest wetland. Learn about about our native flowers that bloom at night and the insects that pollinate them as well as tips for creating your own native “moth garden.” Afterwards, we will walk through prairies, woodlands, and sedge meadows to ultraviolet light stations and discover the hidden biodiversity of night-flying pollinators!

Nature Teaching Strategies for All Ages Registration closed
Instructor: Shannon Davis-Foust
Date/Time: 12 pm Thursday, July 13th to 12 pm Sunday, July 16th
Location: Lowenwood, Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin
Elective (6 hrs)
Special fee: $300 nonmembers/$255 members (includes lodging and meals)
Set in Wisconsin’s beautiful Northwoods, here is the perfect opportunity to enhance your connection with nature. This course combines various environmental education strategies to cultivate a deeper understanding of the natural world. Hands on activities will strengthen observation and inquiry skills while fostering ethical conversations about conservation. There will be plenty of time for exploring and expressing your creativity through drawing and nature journaling. Activities can be scaled up or down to suit different ages. This course is part of the Wisconsin Native Plant Certification Program. You will receive a Project WILD book and be certified in Project WILD upon completion. Email [email protected] for more information. This course is for everyone, even if you are not a formal educator. Here is a slideshow providing more information about the retreat location and itinerary. Email [email protected] for more information.

Click here for the poster flyer for this class.

The Ultimate Butterfly Garden Registration closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, May 20th, 9am-1:30pm (please bring a packed lunch)
Location: Ledgeview Nature Center
Elective (4 hours)
We take a look at the most common butterflies found in the upper Midwest, their native host plants, and nectar plants that they use. How native wildflowers and plants can be used in a garden setting, not just for adult butterflies nectaring in your backyards for brief fleeting moments, but also incorporating host plants for mating adults to carry out their life cycle. A compendium of our most common butterflies visiting our gardens here in the upper Midwest.

Creating a Native Plant Oasis Design Plan Registration closed
Instructor: Danielle Bell
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, March 25th 9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Mequon Nature Preserve
Elective (6 hours)
Description:  To combat the effects of climate change and pollinator decline, we need to incorporate native plants into our home and business landscapes. There is a wide palate of native plants that are capable of handling tough urban environments and provide essential ecological roles. This class will teach students how to understand microclimates of a site and how to properly select the correct native plants for those areas. We will learn which plants provide habitat requirements for specialist insects as well as those that fill large niches to benefit many species from insects to mammals. A portion of the class will be held outside for students to see structure of plants in their natural environment.

Establishing & Managing Native Plant Communities Registration closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Date/Time: Saturday, April 8th 9:00am-3:30pm
Location: UW Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: The first half of this course will discuss the nine basic essentials to starting a native planting; including an understanding of native plants, how to determine habitat, site preparation, planting, and maintenance. The second half of the course outlines the basic concepts for identifying weed problems, prioritizing weed species and resolving weed issues in a new or existing prairie. Learn how to differentiate between a weedy plant species and an invasive plant species and how to determine the need to take immediate action for one weed problem over another. This course will also go over different methods for controlling weeds through mechanical, chemical and burn management options.

Identifying Bugs in the WildRegistration closed
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: blended
Dates/Times: virtual Monday June 20 7-8 pm; virtual Monday June 27 7-8 pm; in person Saturday July 9 12-4 pm
Location: Wausau, Monk Botanical Gardens & UWSP-Wausau
Elective (6 hours)
Description: The first virtual session will cover basic entomology content, including insect body structure, life stages, life cycles, and ecology. The second virtual session will provide an overview of the diversity of insects associated with land plants and introduce the insect (or photograph) collection project. Ideally, participants will spend some time between the second virtual session and the in-person session to begin working on a collection. The course will conclude with a four-hour in-person session In Wausau at the Monk Botanical Gardens and possibly UWSP-Wausau. This session will include demonstrations of and practice using techniques in collecting, rearing, and identifying insects. It is hoped that participants will feel better equipped to identify insects associated with plants and to understand plant-insect interactions.

Terrestrial Invasive Species ManagementRegistration closed
Instructor: Emma Neuman
Format: In person
Dates/Times: July 23 10am-2:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Heckrodt Wetland Reserve
Elective (4 hours)
Description: Introduction to terrestrial invasive species, including what they are, how they affect the environment, how they are spread, and understanding WI NR 40 rule. We would then learn common invasive species of Wisconsin followed by a hike around Heckrodt to see a handful of invasive species as well as see if students can point some out. Then a combination of inside and outside learning to understand most of the control methods that are possible and which is best for different situations. Returning to the classroom to go over what making a plan would look like. Finally, going outside to do some service learning and work on whatever seasonal species is available.

Moths: The Unknown PollinatorsRegistration closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Dates/Times: July 30  9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh – Oshkosh Campus Sage 2215
Elective (6 hours)
Description: Moths are usually overlooked, misunderstood, and undervalued. This course will provide insight into the world of moths and their importance in both the animal kingdom and plant kingdom. Explore not only night moths, but also day moths through an examination of their life cycles, predators, habitats, plant uses and contribution as pollinators. Then, head out into the UWO native plantings in search of day moths and discuss important native plant species for planning a moth garden.

Protecting Our WatersRegistration closed
Instructor: Emily Henrigillis
Format: In person
Dates/Times: August 13 10am-2:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh – Oshkosh Campus Sage 2215
Elective (4 hours)
Description: This course will cover how runoff affects water quality, how adding buffers and raingardens can help, and go through the steps to design and build your own native garden for water.  We’ll visit a site and identify good plants for these plantings.

A Look at Native Plant Form and FunctionRegistration closed
Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: In person
Dates/Times: September 17th 9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh – Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description:  This course will provide you with an understanding of the fundamentals of botany: basic structure of a plant; how woody and herbaceous plants differ from each other; how and why plants are the foundations of food webs; plant adaptations to different environments; and the diverse ways in which plants achieve reproduction, including often by employing animal assistants.

Establishing & Managing Native Plant CommunitiesRegistration closed
Instructor: Randy Powers
Format: In person
Dates/Times: November 12 9am-3:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description: The first half of this course will discuss the nine basic essentials to starting a native planting; including an understanding of native plants, how to determine habitat, site preparation, planting, and maintenance. The second half of the course outlines the basic concepts for identifying weed problems, prioritizing weed species and resolving weed issues in a new or existing prairie. Learn how to differentiate between a weedy plant species and an invasive plant species and how to determine the need to take immediate action for one weed problem over another. This course will also go over different methods for controlling weeds through mechanical, chemical and burn management options.

Wisconsin ForestsRegistration closed
Instructor: Frank Kirschling
Dates/Times:
December 3, 2022 10am-1:30pm (1/2 hour lunch) at UW-Oshkosh (classroom)
December 10, 10am-noon at High Cliff State Park (field)
(elective – 5 hours)
Description: This course will cover the identification of most tree species found throughout the Wisconsin. We will then discuss the different forest types in Wisconsin with their representative tree, shrub and herbaceous species. We will conclude the classroom session by discussing basic forestry concepts and ecology. The following week, we will tour a mature oak/maple forest. This course will provide a background for restoration ideas for different forest types in Wisconsin.

Native Plant Ecology and IdentificationRegistration closed

Instructor: Dr. Paul Whitaker
Format: Blended, 2-part course
Dates/Times: virtual Monday Jan 9 6-8 pm, in person January 14 9am-1:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: UW Oshkosh Campus
Core Course (6 hours)
Description:  This course provides a brief overview of ecosystem ecology, botany and plant physiology as it relates to native plants.  Plant ecology will cover the definition of native, interdependence within native ecosystems, and formation of specialized ecosystems.  Plant identification will emphasize observations of patterns for identification of Wisconsin native plants including annuals, perennials, vines, shrubs, deciduous and evergreen trees.  Recommended book: Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification by Thomas J. Elpel.

Identifying Native Trees and Shrubs in Winter Registration closed
Instructor: Danielle Bell
Format: In person
Date/Time:  Saturday, February 11th 9am-1:30pm (half hour lunch on your own)
Location: Mequon Nature Preserve
Elective (4 hours)
Description: At first glance, all trees can look the same in winter. However, if you look at them in detail you can identify a tree to species by examining the buds, bark, and site conditions. Each species has a unique bud that holds the future leaves and flowers that will emerge in the spring and they know the ideal time to emerge. First we will look at the anatomy of twigs and how buds can be used to identify woody species. Then we will go outside to look at plants in their environment to look at bark and overall structure of the plants.