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Wetland and Estuary Restoration ECOR 9301

Ecological Restoration Course

International Fees

International fees are typically three times the amount of domestic fees. Exact cost will be calculated upon completion of registration.

Course details

​This course covers the fundamentals of wetland and estuary form, function, classification and restoration in Canada. The wetland section of the course covers wetland classification, examines mechanisms of wetland loss and the importance of wetlands in storing carbon, and the physical, chemical and biological mechanisms by which constructed wetlands remove pollutants from urban storm water. The steps for building groundwater wetlands, surface water wetlands, wetlands with liners and floating wetlands will be examined, in addition to the steps for building and maintaining constructed wetlands. The estuary section of the course covers estuary classification, reviews the high ecological importance of estuaries and reviews the physical, chemical and biological nature of estuaries. Procedures for restoring estuaries is covered, including dealing with invasive species (plant and animal) and legacy contaminants. The course will focus on re-establishing the carbon flux and storage in the estuaries through re-planting of sub tidal eelgrass, emergent sedges and strategic placement of large woody debris. Students will participate in a one-hour seminar discussion each week with specific emphasis on critically reviewing the concepts and their application to ecological restoration. Seminar topics will follow directly from the lecture material and be guided by leading questions. Students will prepare and lead each seminar discussion with guidance from the instructor. Students that have taken RENR 8106 would not be able to take this course for credit in the M.Sc. program. Students will participate in a field trip to design a wetland for construction, construct a wetland, or monitor the performance of a recently constructed wetland. This trip is typically scheduled during the second or third week of class.


  • No prerequisites are required for this course.



Not offered this term
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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • Explain the concepts and principles of the managing wetland and estuarine habitats relevant to ecological restoration.
  • Apply the concepts and principles in assessment and evaluation of degraded wetlands and estuaries
  • Integrate the concepts and principles in design restoration activities.

Topics include:

  • Categorize the wetland regions in Canada, and Ramsar sites.
  • Categorize wetlands according to Canadian classification of wetland system, recognize wetland loss, and outline the rationale behind wetland restoration.
  • Examine the history of wetland drainage, evaluate soil taxonomy and texture, and assess water chemistry and pollutant removal mechanisms.
  • Conceptualize carbon storage and wetlands, and the process of carbon sequestration mechanisms and emerging markets.
  • Contrast the three main types of wetlands.
  • Evaluate sites to determine which wetland can be built and how to build them.
  • Design groundwater wetlands, wetlands with liners, and floating wetlands.
  • Design a constructed wetland and develop the mechanisms for pollutant removal.
  • Evaluate the types of estuaries on the Pacific Coast of North America.
  • Assess the ecological importance of estuaries, and review causes of estuary losses.
  • Assess estuarine chemistry, physics, stratification and circulation.
  • Evaluate estuarine biota; assess carbon storage, eelgrass and sedge ecology; and propose invasive-species management actions.
  • Assess the problems with restoring urban estuaries – heavy metals, oils, contaminated soils, urban drainage issues.
  • Apply basics estuary restoration techniques – physical and large wood.
  • Apply basic estuary restoration techniques – biological, aquatic, and terrestrial.

Effective as of Fall 2016


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