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Online Course: Reading the Land, Simple and Effective Biological Monitoring Practices

September 21, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - October 12, 2021 @ 8:30 pm

Monitoring for Change Pays Off

There is only one guarantee in agriculture or other land-based businesses: “When we improve land health we realize improvements in production, profitability, and social well-being.” So, how do we confirm and/or measure improved land health? We must learn how to read the land as we walk across it, and learn how to conduct various biological monitoring practices, from simple to more complex.

Target Audience

ALL LEVELS: Farmers, farm managers, and other landowners interested in learning how to improve land health through the power of observation, data gathering and interpretation.

Course Objectives

The primary learning objective for this course is to enable you to begin successfully understanding observations and information you can easily gather from a piece of land. This will allow you to establish a baseline of the land’s health and determine if your management decisions are moving toward what you desire for the land in terms of health and productivity.

In this course you will learn how to:

  • Make visual observations
  • Develop a monitoring transect
  • Collect data
  • Summarize and analyze the data you collect
  • Use these data to change your management to move the land toward what you want


A majority of the work is carried out on your own schedule, which can include readings, photographs, videos, graphics and PowerPoints. A key component are assignments in Teachable, our virtual classroom. To pace and coordinate the independent study there are weekly webinars during the course to allow you to learn from presenters and other students and to ask questions in real time. If you miss or wish to review any webinars, they are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

Webinar Schedule
Live instruction for the 2021-2022 season will begin on Tues. Sept 21, 2021 from 7-8:30pm Eastern time, and continue for 4 weeks, with the final webinar on Tues. Oct 12. While we encourage live attendance so you have the opportunity to engage with the presenters and ask questions, all webinars we will be posted in our online classroom for students to watch anytime. Once you have enrolled in this course, you will retain access to all materials indefinitely, and can return to participate in the live webinars as many times as you wish.


September 21, 2021 @ 7:00 pm
October 12, 2021 @ 8:30 pm