In his work as a wetlands scientist and environmental consultant, Marc Seelinger’s entire adult life has been spent energetically advocating for responsible management and conservation of these critically important ecosystems. These frequently or permanently flooded wetlands play a critical role in maintaining the health of the planet by contributing to water purification, helping mitigate floods, protecting coastlines and providing habitats for wildlife.
Fifteen years ago, Seelinger combined his experience and dedication with his love of teaching to create The Swamp School, an online and in person professional learning center providing training and certification for safe management of these important wetland assets. Past and present customers are a vast array of organizations and individuals that include regional governments, municipalities, developers, city planners, engineers, farmers, architects, environmental advocates, Federal Emergency Management, USEPA, U.S. Forestry Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A roster of instructors ensure students receive attentive support, working from a curriculum authored mostly by Seelinger, informed by an encyclopedic resume packed with degrees and certifications in Earth and Life Sciences.
With his unique market niche successfully established, Seelinger engaged Rivers Agency to help update the look and functionality of the site. It began with some back end integration of the site’s CRM capability with the student portal. A new home page is in the works, as is a more nuanced section on who can benefit from the learning, the full scope of classes, how the training is broken out and how the site works.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed working with the Rivers team,” says Seelinger. “They go the extra mile by really taking an interest in how my business works. They’ve not only created a great looking website, they’ve also increased the back-end functionality of our enrollment systems. This frees me to better focus on our student’s needs.”
The updated site elements debuted in conjunction with a new, COVID-conscious research, teaching and testing protocol designed specifically to address the travel limitations and distancing needs caused by the outbreak. The program is outlined in an infographic developed by Rivers featuring a simple, friendly and flexible illustration style that helps communicate often complicated scientific and technical concepts and sequences. This style will be introduced throughout the site over time.
The site’s updates will be instituted in stages to minimize complications from a wholesale relaunch – all classes are on-demand, and the site is engaged around the clock with students working within their individual schedules in different time zones in the U.S. and internationally.
With its 2005 launch, The Swamp School is one of the country’s first successful online teaching programs, making Seelinger not just an influential environmental advocate but an internet trailblazer as well.
“The Rivers team devised a solution to problems we have struggled with for years in a matter of days,” continued Seelinger. “Their technical acumen and creativity are unsurpassed.”
With the global impact of COVID-19, Seelinger’s vision for a comprehensive, in-depth online learning resource has made The Swamp School instrumental in keeping professionals current on the science and best practices for maintaining the health of the planet. We at the Rivers Agency are glad to have a role in this important undertaking.