Terrestrial Training

These annual field courses are designed to train all AIM data collectors in the Terrestrial Core Methods used to gather data in the field. Trainings include protocol instruction, supervised practice, and calibration. They also provide an opportunity to practice with an electronic data capture device. 

We recommend that the entire field crew attends a field methods course at the start of each field season. For integration into TerrADat, the minimum requirement is that the crew lead has attended an AIM training in the last three years. 

Trainings Registration: 

Training will consist of a VIRTUAL Instructor led portion and an IN-PERSON Field Methods portion. Dates listed on DOI Talent are for the In-Person Field Methods section. Each Core Methods Training will have ~ 8 hours of Virtual Instructor lead training prior to the In-Person Field Based Training. 

Pre-Course Work (Pre-requirement through DOI Talent registration in order to register): 

Participants of the Terrestrial AIM Core Methods Training are required to complete ~3 hours of pre-coursework before they will be allowed to register for training. This course work will maximize the quality of students’ learning during training. This pre-coursework is a prerequisite in DOI Talent to enroll in the AIM Terrestrial Core Methods. 


Virtual Trainings will be ~ 8 hours (4 hours/day) and will be held in a virtual classroom via Zoom. Attendance is required at both the virtual and in-person training portions to receive credit for attendance. DOI Talent Registration dates apply to the In-Person training only. Registrants for the In-Person training will be enrolled in the virtual portion as well. Please reach out to your AIM State Lead to confirm enrollment. 

Virtual Date In-Person Date Location 
Feb 24 – 25 March 1 – 4 Train the Trainer,
Las Cruces, NM (Fully
Enrolled at this time –
contact Aleta Nafus
to be added to the wait list) 
March 3 – 4 March 8 – 11 Las, Vegas, NV 
March 31 – April 1 April 5 – 8 Susanville, CA 
April 7 – 8 April 12 – 15 Cedar City, UT 
April 14 – 15 April 19 – 22 Prineville, OR 
April 14 – 15 April 18 – 22 Pocatello, ID 
April 21 – 22 April 25 – 29 Reno, NV 
April 28 – 29 May 3 – 6 Grand Junction, CO 
April 28 – 29 May 3 – 6 Belle Fourche, SD 
May 5 – 6 May 10 – 13 Cody, WY 
May 12 – 13 May 17 – 20 Billings, MT 
May 19 – 20 May 24 – 27 Monte Vista, CO 
June 16 – 17 June 21 – 24 Dillon, MT 
July 21 – 22 July 25 – 28 Las Cruces, NM 


  1. Intro (3:28 min) 
  2. Ecological Site Identification (12:30 min) 
  3. Photo Points (6:40 min) 
  4. Establishing a Transect (6:01 min) 
  5. Line-Point Intercept Method (18:50 min) 
  6. Vegetation Height (8:06 min) 
  7. Canopy Gap Intercept Method (15:35 min) 
  8. Plant Species Inventory (4:02 min) 
  9. Soil Stability (16:18 min) 
    Keep in mind that these methods are used in a variety of different rangeland monitoring programs and in research across the world, so some details might be different than those of the AIM program (for example plot layout, subsurface soil stability samples etc.). Be proactive in your understanding of the protocol by watching the videos in conjunction with reading/reviewing the manual, maintaining active communication with your project lead or other relevant point of contact (POC), and utilizing the aim.landscapetoolbox.org website. 
  • Third, please complete the pre-course quiz on the methods found here 

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