Training Courses


The California Rapid Assessment Method for wetlands and riparian areas (CRAM) has been developed as a tool for standardized and cost-effective assessment of wetland condition. This training session will provide the skills necessary to consistently conduct accurate assessments of wetlands using CRAM, and will provide guidance on the use of CRAM for ambient and project assessment and monitoring. The session involves both classroom and field instruction, with an emphasis on the field component. To successfully complete the course, participants will be required to pass a written and a field-based proficiency examination.


The Practitioner CRAM Training is structured as a 5-day "General CRAM Training". This 5-day course provides a broad understanding of the methodology, assumptions, and background to conduct field assessments for multiple types of wetlands. Sessions will equip practitioners with overall knowledge of how CRAM is used to assess multiple types of wetlands, and also details specific to each type. However, the field portion of each session will focus on two specific wetland types, so that practitioners gain experience in accurately and consistently conducting assessments using these two CRAM modules.

Previously trained practitioners that have attended at least 5 days of training (2 modules) are considered fully trained (meaning the equivalent of the current 5-day training). Previously trained practitioners that have attended a 3-day training are considered trained only in the module that they attended (most likely Riverine or Vernal Pools). Starting in April 2013, new practitioners will need to attend and successfully complete a 5-day format session to be considered fully trained in CRAM.

The only exception to the training structure is for Vernal Pool wetlands. This wetland type will continue to be taught as a single wetland module, separate from the 5-day general CRAM training. This is due primarily to the unique nature of the metrics in the module and the plant species found in these wetlands, which limit the time frame and locations in which the training can be offered.

Read the CRAM Training Course Prospectus

NEW! Online Training Videos

View online training videos for several CRAM wetland modules. Please note these videos are not intended as a stand-alone CRAM training. They have been developed to help refresh practitioners after having taken a break from doing CRAM assessments; to assist new trainees before or after a training; or to inform practitioners that have completed a 5-day training about how other wetland modules work.

The CRAM depressional video won the 2014 W3 Silver Award for educational training!

 2014 W3 Silver Award for educational training

2024 Training Session Details

The 2024 training sessions will return to the pre-Covid format, with fully in-person sessions including both indoor classroom time and outdoor field time. Covid precautions will still be implemented as dictated by local authorities.

Each class will have indoor in-person classroom portions on the first and second days of the class and will include short practices exercises for participants to practice the method each evening of class. The class agenda will be emailed two weeks before each class begins.

The cost of each training depends on the class type, and will be paid via credit card:

  • 5-Day Practitioner-Level class- $1,800 per person
  • 3-Day Vernal Pool class- $1,100 per person
  • 2-Day Manager-Level class- $700 per person
  • 1-Day Refresher class- $200 per person

Registration will open on January, 2024. Each class is subject to minimum and maximum enrollment. Classes that do not meet the minimum enrollment will be cancelled, with an option to shift to a different class, shift to a 2025 class, or have fees (minus $85 registration fee) refunded. Waitlists will be created for classes that reach their maximum. See additional details and registration links under each class listed in the training calendar below.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out directly to Sarah Pearce ([email protected]) with any further questions.

Title Dates Location
5-Day General Practitioner Session ($1,800 per participant) August 19 - August 23, 2024 Richmond
5-Day General Practitioner Session (with priority for agency staff members) ($1,800 per participant) October 21 - October 25, 2024 San Diego

*Additional POTENTIAL Trainings (contact Sarah Pearce at ([email protected]) if interested)

  • Sacramento (2-day manager level training) - October 3 - October 4