Laboratory exercises constitute the major emphasis of the course; lectures are primarily designed to support the lab exercises, not vice versa.
Strong focus on place-based learning. Emphasis on learning the principles and methods of landscape ecology through their application to a single place - the case study landscape (a logical ecological unit on or in the vicinity of the Lolo National Forest). The case study landscape acts as a common thread among course components and provides a unifying focus to the course. Aside from the obvious pragmatic efficiencies of working with a single landscape (e.g., developing familiarity with a single data set), we believe that applying the various principles and methods of landscape ecology to the study and management of a single case study landscape leads to a greater understanding of how landscape ecology can be used in practice.
Strong orientation towards national forest planning and management. It is specifically designed to meet the needs of Forest Service professionals. Hence the project- and place-based approach emphasizes learning landscape ecology principles that are most relevant to the management of national forests in general, and those that are particularly relevant to the management of the case study landscape on the Lolo National Forest.
The course is divided between conventional lectures and hands-on lab exercises. In general, the morning session each day is devoted to lecture and discussion, and provides the necessary theoretical and conceptual background needed to complete the afternoon lab exercises.
The afternoon session each day is devoted to hands-on exercises. The purpose of these exercises is providing students with hands-on experience analyzing real data using state-of-the-art landscape analysis software, all centered around the case study landscape. Students work in small groups (2 to 4) completing each exercise with selected groups presenting oral reports of their findings.
Briefly, the ten-day lab sequence is as follows:
All the WFW-Continuing Education workshops are listed as "internal". USDA set up the SF182 process in AgLearn for "external" listed only. Purchasing agents and travel processing clerks want SF182s for any training that costs money and/or involves travel so you still need to do it.
AgLearn posted a new SF128 in June 2008. Below is a downloadable document walking your through the information you need. The information is also below on this page. Read this over before starting your SF182 in AgLearn. You will need to gather your travel costs first.
Getting to your SF182 in AgLearn
Step 1. Log into AgLearn
Step 2. Be sure your supervisor is listed in your profile ("Click" on your name at the top of the page to access your Personal profile.)
Step 3. go to “Easy Links” on the right hand block, black table inside the box; Right hand column of the black table; 2nd row underneath “Reports”. Cursor over and click/select.
New page comes up: Requests, Authorizations, Agreement & Certification of Training. Click/Select bottom right “New Request” button. [Read directions at top of table]
NOTE: don't confuse the use of the word "request" here with "request" used in other parts of AgLearn.
Filling out an SF182 all by itself will NOT automatically register you for training or request unscheduled training. This part of AgLearn is not connected to the registration side of AgLearn.
Filling in the SF182 in AgLearn
Section A: Trainee Information
Step 4. You should see the SF182 populated with some of your personal information. You do NOT have to provide your social security number (shouldn't be on the form anymore) or home address. The form probably lists the address where your time sheet is routed to NFC...not your real home or office address. If you see this - you can delete it.
Step 5. Fill in the other info per usual habit.
A. Agency Code, agency sub element and submitting office number. (Optional Field) If don’t know it, skip and move on. If you happen to know your "number" go ahead and fill it in. It might automatically fill in.
B. Request Status / Record Action (Optional Field) - choice of ‘Add’ or ‘Delete’; Choose ‘Add’ if doesn't auto fill.
A.1 Applicant’s Name Pre-populated
A. 2 & 3? Missing from the form. Must be the unnumbered fields for your name.
A.4 Home Address Optional Field Pre-populated; delete if you want private & not needed
A.5 Home Phone Optional Field Pre-populated; delete if you want private & not needed
A.6 Position Level (Mandatory Field) - Select one of the following:
6a. Non supervisory - Anyone who does not have supervisory/team leader responsibilities.
6b. Supervisory - First line supervisors who do not supervise other supervisors; typically those who are responsible for an employee's performance appraisal or approval of their leave.
6c. Manager - Those in management positions who typically supervise one or more supervisors.
6d. Executive - Members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) or equivalent.
A.7 Organizational Mailing Address Field - office mailing address. This should pre-populate in AgLearn. Sometimes it puts the administrative address where your paperwork is handled which is not always where you actually work. Enter the office address where you pick up mail. Your text book will be mailed to this address.
A.8 Office Phone (Optional Field) - Enter the trainee’s telephone number. Include area code, office number and extension.
A.9 Work Email Address (Optional Field)
A.10 Position Title (Optional Field) - Enter the trainee’s current position.
A.11 Applicant Handicapped or Disabled (Optional Field) - If the trainee is in need of special arrangements (Braille, big print, taping, interpreters, facility accessibility, allergies, etc); describe the requirements in the space provided or on a separate sheet. This is new and really important for the vendor to know ASAP to ensure a quality product.
A.12 Type of Appointment (Optional Field) - Pre-populated
A.13 Education Level (Optional Field) - Pre-populated
A.14 Pay Plan (Mandatory Field) - If not pre-populated, enter the trainee’s pay plan. (e.g., GS, WG, ES…Pay Band)
A.15 Series (Mandatory Field) - If not pre-populated, enter the trainee’s position classification four digit series. (e.g., 0201)
A.16 Grade (Mandatory Field) - If not pre-populated, enter the trainee’s grade level. (1-15)
A.17 Step (Optional Field) - Enter the appropriate step. (1-10)
Section B: Training Course Information
B.1a Training Vendor Name
Dr. Kevin McGarigal (Mandatory Field)
Tab over to second cell and type in 'Landeco Consulting' (vendor name) in field labeled “If other, please specify”. You only have 30 spaces.
Note: This is probably a faster route no matter what training you are taking; rather than scroll down the long list.
For the WFW/CE program, the vendor contact information is also available at our website: www.fs.fed.us/biology/education
Street Address: Landeco Consulting, 379 Leverett Road
(YES - Landeco Consulting is affiliated with University of Massachusetts [aka UMass]. The course is being hosted at Northern Arizona University; yes, rather confusing; but now that you know it makes sense.)
City: Shutesbury (Mandatory Field) - enter city of training vendor.
State/Province: MA (Mandatory Field) - enter state of training vendor.
Postal Code: 01072 (Mandatory Field) - enter postal code of training vendor.
Country: USA (Mandatory Field) - enter country of vendor; usually USA
B.1b Location of Training Site (Optional Field) - Provide town/state of the training site if different from B1a. If same, mark box labeled “If same, mark box”. Flaggstaff, AZ
B.1c Vendor Email Address (Optional Field) - mcgarigalk"at"eco.umass.edu
B.1d Vendor Telephone Number (Optional Field) - 413-577-0655
B.2a Course Title (Mandatory Field) - Enter the title of the course or the program that the trainee is scheduled to complete.
Landscape Ecology in Theory and Practice: Application in Land Management
B.2b Course Number Code (Optional Field) - We use the AgLearn Schedule ID: 29161 (for FY13)
B.3 Training Start Date (Mandatory Field) - Enter the start date of the training to be completed by the trainee.
Note: The label for the field incorrectly defines the format. Please use the calendar icon to select the date or enter the date manually in the following format: mm/dd/yyyy
B.4 Training Complete Date (Mandatory Field) - Enter the end date of the training to be completed by the trainee.
Note: The label for the field incorrectly defines the format. Please use the calendar icon to select the date or enter the date manually in the following format: mm/dd/yyyy
B.5 Training Duty Hours (Mandatory Field) - Enter the number of duty hours for training.
For Landscape Ecology: 79
B.6 Training Non-Duty Hours (Mandatory Field) - Enter the number of non-duty hours for training.
For Landscape Ecology: 0 (zero)
B.7 Training Purpose Type (Mandatory Field)
From the drop-down list, select the purpose for taking this course or program using the appropriate training purpose type code. We recommend 03: Improve/Maintain Present Performance - Training to provide the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to improve or maintain proficiency in present job. Though for B.9 it seems you should pick 01: Program Mission.
B.8 Training Type Code Hidden Field ; Determined by selection of Field #9 (Training Sub-Type Code)
B.9 Training Sub-Type Code (Mandatory Field)
From the drop-down list, select the Training Sub-Type code that applies to the requested training. We recommend: 01_03: Scientific
B.10 Training Delivery Type Code (Mandatory Field) - Enter the Training Delivery Type code: 01 - Traditional Classroom
B.11 Training Designation Type Code (Mandatory Field) - Enter the Training Designation Type Code: 05 - Not Applicable
B.12 Training Credit (Mandatory Field) - Enter 0; no credits earned.
B.13 Training Credit Type Code M (Mandatory Field) - Enter 04; Not Applicable
B.14 Training Accreditation Indicator (Mandatory Field) - Enter No (N)
B.15 Continued Service Agreement Required Indicator (Mandatory Field) - Enter No (N)
B.16 Continued Service Agreement Required Expiration Date (Optional Field) - leave blank
B.17 Training Source Type Code: (Mandatory Field) - 01: Government Internal - Training provided by a Federal department, agency, or independent establishment for its own employees.
B.18 Training Objectives (Optional Field) - Improve performance of interdisciplinary resource management by understanding the science of landscape ecology.
Objectives: (you don't need to be this detailed - it is asked for in the SF182 but doubt folks actually read it...)
- Define the landscape. Examining landscape ecological relationships by defining the spatial scale (grain and extent), thematic content and resolution of the landscape in the context of specific objectives.
- Determine landscape patterns causes. How patterns develop on landscapes, including the three major agents of pattern formation: the physical template of environmental constraints, biotic processes and disturbances.
- Characterize landscape patterns. Detecting and quantifying landscape pattern for studying pattern-process relationships. Quantify landscape pattern composition and spatial configuration in categorical landscape mosaics.
- Quantify landscape dynamics. Detecting, analyzing, or simulating landscape change; Explain how landscape patterns and processes change through time; Modeling populations or communities in landscape mosaics (including spatially implemented metapopulation models).
- Explain the ecological implications of landscape pattern. This is the central set of questions in landscape ecology. Specifically, processes at four levels of organization: genes, populations and metapopulations, communities, and ecosystem processes.
- Manage landscapes. Explain how humans manage complex landscapes to achieve management objectives, including two themes central to ecology today: Conservation biology and ecosystem management.
B.19 Agency Use Only (Optional Field) - For use by an agency as needed. Skip it.
Section C: Cost and Billing Information
C.1 Direct Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable (Mandatory Field) - Enter the following data:
1a. Tuition: 1250 (don't enter commas or $)
Insert the actual/final cost of training tuition and fees for training completed by the employee that was paid for by the Federal Government.
Enter the associated budget and accounting code in the Appropriation Fund field. Something like “0100 NFVW00”. Be sure to have the override (4 digits for Regional participants the 1st 2 digits are your Region number … “03xx”. Second 2 digits are your Forest number (back to the Data General code days). If you are in Research it should start with a similar code for areas and stations. WO starts with lucky number 13.
1b. Books or Materials - 60.00
1c. Total Cost - 1310
C.2 Indirect Cost and appropriation/fund chargeable (Mandatory Field) - Enter the following data:
2a. Travel - Insert the actual/final travel cost excluding per diem for training completed by the employee that was paid for by the Federal Government. You need to calculate this based on if you are traveling by walking, metro, driving, flying, shuttle, taxi or any combination.
Enter the associated budget and accounting code in the Appropriation Fund field. Something like “0100 NFVW00”. INCLUDE your Override code too!
2b. Per Diem - Insert the actual/final per diem cost (e.g., meals, lodging, miscellaneous expenses) for training completed by the employee that was paid for by the Federal Government. You can get Per Diem from the GSA website.
Per diem for Flaggstaff: $95 lodging and $66 M&IE
First and last days of travel are usually less.
Enter the associated budget and accounting code in the Appropriation Fund field.
2c. Total - The total cost is system generated after the Travel and Per Diem costs are entered.
C.3 Total Training Non-Government Contribution Cost: (Mandatory Field) - Enter the cost contributed by the trainee or other non-Government organizations for the training completed by the trainee. This is a listed as a mandatory field - but you don't have to fill it in. Move along.
C.4 Document/Purchase Order/Requisition Number: (Optional Field) - Not applicable for the Landscape Ecology workshop or any other WFW-Continuing Education workshops. Pay by credit card online at LandEco/UMass website.
C.5 8-Digit Station Symbol (Optional Field) - Enter the 8-digit station symbol of the nominating Agency Finance Office.This is the same number discussed at the top of this document for field “A”. Skip it if you don’t know it off the top of your head.
C.6 Billing Instructions (Optional Field) - Normally asking for ASC address. For Landscape Ecology, this is not applicable because the SF182 is not used as a billing document unless you aren't paying with purchase card online. It is used to confirm permission to attend training and for processing your travel.
NOTE: It is your responsibility to make a training request in AgLearn, ensuring the proper forms (an SF-182 and any other needed documents) are completed. Final approvals in accordance with our agency’s training policies must be received before going forward with the registration for any training request. Work with your Training Specialist to ensure that all training and budget approvals are properly obtained.
Questions? Problems? Contact Shelly Witt, USFS, WFW-Continuing Education Program Leader. Happy to help.
The Government Travel Card may never be used to pay for training, training fees, or conference fees. The use of your personal credit card is also inappropriate, and may lead to personal financial responsibility for any training costs.
Submit Your SF182
Signature blocks will show up after you submit the form in AgLearn.
Step 6. Go to the bottom of your screen and hit submit. This will send a message to your Supervisor's email box (hence why we need your supervisor info in your profile before you start - and your supervisor needs to have his/her email info entered in AgLearn).
You might get a second screen asking you to hit the submit button. This is an opportunity to check your supervisor listed in your profile. Check the info then hit "submit". After that ... You should see the status show up immediately in your AgLearn profile - the page where you first clicked "New Request". Stand up - take a bow!
NOTE: some supervisors don't notice the AgLearn email because it can come from "Plateau" (AgLearn's real software name). On rare occasions the FS Spam filter can filter out the email. Always good to ask your supervisor to go into AgLearn and approve the SF182.
AgLearn will NOT automatically pay the vendor (LandEco/UMass). Once you get supervisor approval you should print your SF182 and get it signed then send it to Dr. Kevin McGarigal if you are not paying online with purchase card (assuming you are paying via ASC).
That should be "it"! 6 fun steps (ok probably a few more steps than 6 if you count all the cells in the form). Thanks for taking the time to fill it out! Hope it doesn't take all day.
After the workshop: When you return from Landscape Ecology you need to go back into your AgLearn profile and "verify" you attended. Your supervisor will need to do this too. Otherwise you will get naggy emails later on. HRM has information docs setting out all this - visit HRM Intranet web site and AgLearn.