This course looks at methods that monitor forest structure and composition over time.


20 x 20 metre permanent plot and reconnaissance descriptions are methods that monitor forest structure and composition over time.

This 2.5 day training course focuses on the Landcare Research Permanent Plot field protocol. On the course a lot of time is spent in the field, alongside technical experts, working on an actual permanent plot. The focus is on the field methodology and does not cover sample design or planning a project.

Monitoring techniques must be applied consistently so that the data collected is accurate and the studies can be replicated over time. That way, we can build a local and national picture of changes and trend. Monitoring is important to show our work is making a positive difference for conservation.

This course requires further assessment back in your place of work or where you volunteer. You must either be currently working on 20 x 20 permanent plots or have the opportunity to work on 20 x 20 m permanent plots within 3 months of completion of the course. Details on how to organise Workplace Assessment will be available on the course.  

The course is for anyone who works or wants to work or volunteer in conservation, including:

  • regional council staff
  • volunteers
  • members of community groups, trusts and funding recipients.


Before you begin the 20x20 course you must complete the Plant Identification field based course (2 days) or an equivalent qualification.

If you register for the 20x20 course we recommended you also register for and complete the Field Skills online course (2 hrs).

We also recommend that you help out on at least one 20 x 20 plot as a recorder before attending this course. This is not a compulsory requirement.

How to enrol

This DOC field skills course is delivered and administered by Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology (NMIT) in partnership with DOC. For course dates, costs and venues, and how to enrol visit the NMIT website.

Back to top