Plant Survey Techniques

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NRTG’s MicroCourses offer a dynamic training pathway that’s as flexible as it is enriching to build expertise. Our Plant Survey Techniques MicroCourse, spanning four hours, delivers in-depth training in an easily digestible format. It’s designed to maximize your skills for immediate application.   

Are you tasked with surveying or assessing plants and ecosystems?  

Equipped with some plant identification skills, students and field technicians may find themselves required to venture into the field for such purposes. Depending on the research or site investigation being carried out, they may need to measure the following characteristics of plant populations: 

  • Density: the number of individual plants per unit area; 
  • Frequency: the proportion of sampling units containing the plant species of interest; 
  • Cover: the amount of ground surface covered by the plant(s), measured from above; or 
  • Biomass: the amount of plant material produced over a given period of time. 
  • Species richness. 

To conduct these plant-specific measurements effectively, choices must be made in how the information is collected, such as: 

  • Determining the appropriate size of sampling unit for the study or site investigation; 
  • Selecting the most valuable or practical types of sampling units (e.g., quadrats, transects, macroplots, etc.); 
  • Organizing sampling plots (along transects, inside larger units, randomly). 

In our Plant Survey Techniques MicroCourse, students will develop the ability to make these decisions based on their knowledge of the plant population of interest, the objectives of the study or site investigation, the seasonality of the plant populations, and other factors that help determine the best methods to survey or assess plants.  

Course will be 4 hours long.   

Instructor Profile 

Jennifer Dyson 

Jennifer Dyson

Jennifer has been an Ecologist for 15 years and has a strong passion for botany. She has worked for non-profits, government, consulting, and academia through her career. Her formal botanical training in species identification and specimen collection came from Cape Breton University, Western University, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, Canada. She is especially interested in restoration of terrestrial habitats and invasive species management. Jenn’s career started in Nova Scotia, transitioned to Ontario after doing a M.Sc., and has now led her to Manitoba. She has continued to educate herself and grow her skill set through courses and certifications, such as becoming an ISA Certified Arborist and completing training in wetland evaluation. 

Thomas Munson

Thomas Munson

Thomas Munson holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from University of Waterloo, and a Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma and Masters of Science degree from the University of Victoria. He is a Professional Agrologist and Certified Wildlife and Danger Tree Assessor. He worked with First Nations in the Yukon Territory, British Columbia, and Colombia, South America for much of his career.  Thomas has carried out work in the botanical field via ethnobotany studies, forestry and vegetation inventory and environmental impact assessment. Thomas worked for many years as Environmental Technician for City of Victoria Parks, in ecological restoration and management of Garry oak ecosystems and their rare plant species. He has worked on long term ecological vegetation monitoring for Metro Vancouver in the unique ecosystem of Burns Bog in Delta, BC, for 18 years.  He teaches an introductory course through the University of Victoria on ecological and cultural restoration, and maintains an active interest in community ecological restoration projects in the Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems of southern Vancouver Island. 

Next Available Course

There are no upcoming courses for Plant Survey Techniques at this time, please check back again in the future or view our course schedule for more options.
For inquiries on this course, please contact NRTG at: 1-877-388-2172 or

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