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NC SAM Certification Training: Lecture and Field

  • 12 Nov 2019
  • 8:00 AM
  • 15 Nov 2019
  • NCDOT Highway Building, 1 South Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC - MUST SHOW GOV'T ISSUED ID
  • 5


  • After Nov. 4, 2019
  • no plans to be a member of NCAEP
  • After Nov. 4, 2019

Registration is closed

This 4-day lecture and field course will focus on the North Carolina Stream Assessment Method (Version 2.1) (NC SAM) that was implemented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District (USACE) in a public notice dated April 21, 2015. The USACE intends to utilize NC SAM for internal reviews of permit applications, including decisions regarding the amount and type of compensatory mitigation, avoidance and minimization of impacts, or other decisions pertaining to aquatic resource quality and functions on a case-by-case basis. Environmental consultants, federal and state agency personnel, and local government staff members who deal with regulatory programs related to streams are encouraged to attend. Emphasis will be on identification of North Carolina stream categories, determination of evaluation areas, discussion of evaluation concepts and functional assessment metrics, familiarization with common stream aquatic life, experience using the computer rating calculator, and field exercises in both undisturbed and disturbed streams. The course will conclude with a written test and aquatic life practical, and successful students will be presented with a Certificate of Training. Though the method is specific to North Carolina, this course may also be useful for professionals who work in neighboring states. Continuing education credits have been requested and approved for Foresters (SAF), Engineers (NCBELS), Landscape Architects (NCBOLA), Erosion & Sediment Control (CPESC), and Storm Water Quality (CPSWQ). In addition, others can be sought upon request. Applicants who are interested in continuing education credits must notify us by e-mail so appropriate arrangements can be made.

The classroom will be in the auditorium on the first floor of the Highway Building in downtown Raleigh across Wilmington Street from the Capitol.

Address/Access: 1 South Wilmington Street

Enter the building from the Wilmington Street side, southeast of and across the street from the Capitol’s Three Presidents monument. The building is unlocked at 7 am. There are three doors in the center of this side of the building. Upon entrance, you will be facing a receptionist who has a list of student names. The auditorium classroom is immediately behind the receptionist. NOTE: we will each need a government issued ID (such as a driver’s license) to use the bathroom, which is located in a secure part of the Highway Building.

Parking: Students will be on your own for parking. There are some free spaces along Person and Blount Streets and north and south of the Governor’s mansion. On-street metered parking ( costs $1/hour, and the pay stations accept cash and credit cards. The NC Museum/Government Center parking lot ( is located a block north of the Highway Building and costs $2/hour. Downtown parking decks are $1/30 minutes with a $12/day maximum.

Class will begin at 8 AM, November 12.


John Dorney: Senior Environmental Scientist, Moffatt & Nichol and retired from N.C. Division of Water Quality, Wetlands and Stormwater Branch. Mr. Dorney worked with the Division of Water Quality for over 28 years, was actively involved in the development of NC SAM, as well as the N.C. Wetland Assessment Method, and has taught courses in these methods for more than 10 years as well as numerous courses in stream identification in the Southeast. He is an expert in wetland and stream functional assessment, isolated wetlands, as well as wetland and stream permitting and is a lead editor (and chapter author along with Sandy Smith and LeiLani Paugh) for a new book published by Elsevier Scientific entitled “Wetland and Stream Rapid Assessments: Development, Validation, and Application” Edited by John Dorney, Rick Savage, Ralph Tiner, and Paul Adamus”

Sandy Smith: Senior Project Manager, Axiom Environmental, Inc. Mr. Smith has worked as a private environmental consultant in North Carolina for 31 years, was actively involved in the development of NC SAM, as well as the N.C. Wetland Assessment Method, and has taught courses in these methods for more than 10 years. He is an expert in stream and wetland delineation, functional assessment, and permitting.

LeiLani Paugh: Mitigation and Modeling Group Leader, N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT), Technical Service, Environmental Analysis Unit. Ms. Paugh has worked for NCDOT for 20 years, was actively involved in the development of NC SAM, as well as the N.C. Wetland Assessment Method, and has taught courses in these methods for more than 10 years. Her background is in wetland delineation and modeling, functional assessment, mitigation, and permitting.

Larry Eaton: Mr. Eaton helped develop the NC Stream Identification Method and worked on the NC SAM method while it was under development. He has previously taught the Stream Identification class several dozens of times in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Virginia. Mr. Eaton is an expert on the macrobenthos of small streams and has recently completed an EPA-funded study of small streams throughout the Southeastern US (

Logistics: The lecture portion of the course will be conducted in a classroom setting each morning, while field exercises will be conducted at various locations on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. All field trips will depart from the classroom site, and vans will be provided for transportation for the second and third days. Field trips are conducted in all weather conditions except unsafe weather. If field trips cannot be conducted due to weather, the class or a portion thereof will be rescheduled. Knee boots or hiking boots will be adequate for the field trips.

The registration fee includes the NC SAM User Manual, class paper supplies, and field trip transportation, as well as field snacks, drinking water and lunches on two field days. Liability waivers must be signed upon your arrival to class.

919-522-6364 (Dorney cell)

Registration: Class enrollment is set at a minimum of 23 registrants and a maximum of 30 registrants. Payment can be made to the NC Association of Environmental Professionals (NCAEP). All checks will be held until we are certain that the minimum number of students is achieved for the class. Registration fees must be received by NCAEP no later than November 1, 2019. Registrants cancelling their registration two (2) weeks or more prior to the event will receive a refund of the registration fee, less a 3% administrative fee. Registrants cancelling between two (2) and one (1) week(s) prior to the event will receive a refund less a 5% administrative fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than seven (7) days prior to the event. Registrants may transfer their registration to another attendee with the same membership status (e.g. regular member, government employee member, non-member) at any time. Only one transfer per registration is permitted. Registrations after November 4 will be charged an additional $100.

PO Box #17512
Raleigh, NC 27619

NCAEP is registered 501(c)3 non-profit that promotes excellence in the environmental profession through events and scholarships.

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