I recently concluded my participation in the 2024 Vernal Pool Branchiopods Workshop organized by the Western section of the Wildlife Society. It was truly an outstanding course! As a biologist, my knowledge of vernal pool branchiopods and invertebrates, in general, was quite limited. However, this workshop provided me with a strong foundation for my future pursuits. I want to express my sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to the class; their hard work is genuinely valued. Undoubtedly, this workshop stood out as one of the best I've ever attended!

The workshop uniquely combined an Identification (ID) course with 20 hours of wet season surveys, meeting the prerequisites for initiating the Large Listed Branchiopods 10(a)(1)(A) permit process for wet season surveys. Participants could also opt for just the ID course. The ID course took place in Davis, CA, while the wet season field survey segments were conducted in three different locations in the Sacramento Valley, specifically chosen to showcase a diverse branchiopod fauna.

This workshop was designed for biologists who were serious about obtaining a recovery permit for large, listed branchiopods. Its novelty lay in offering both the required test and field training for wet season surveys. However, passing the course demanded persistence. Full course participants had to become proficient in using a dichotomous key, spend extended periods examining specimens under a microscope, and endure potentially windy and rainy conditions during fieldwork.

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