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a collaboration between BCIT and SFU Faculty of Environment

This is Canada’s first master’s program specializing in Ecological Restoration, offered as a joint program between British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and Simon Fraser University (SFU). The MSc in Ecological Restoration combines the strong technical and applied (experiential) knowledge at BCIT with SFU’s fundamental (contextual) basic science and community engagement expertise. The product is a unique joint-degree program that will fundamentally advance both the practice and science of ecological restoration.

Fall 2021 delivery mode: in person

  • This program will be delivered in person for the fall semester.
  • We have put measures in place for your safety and well-being, ensuring that all safety protocols are addressed. Please see the BCIT COVID-19 page for details on the procedures that have been implemented.

Your education is our priority and we will continue to deliver the applied instruction, collaborative experience, and industry connections that you expect from BCIT.

Ecological Restoration (ER) is a scientific discipline that has recently emerged due to the increasing need to restore degraded and damaged ecosystems. Many ecosystem goods, services, and natural habitats have been severely impacted due to the cumulative impacts of previous and ongoing anthropogenic influences, including for example: urban sprawl, industrial expansion, invasive species, and contamination of soils and water resources. These impacts, and the need to remediate, rehabilitate, and restore habitat for threatened and endangered species, have led to the requirement for ecosystem restoration work across the province, Canada, and internationally.  Ecological Restoration is an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity, and sustainability.

This five-term, two-year (36 credits (BCIT)/units (SFU) – inclusive of a 6-credit/unit capstone project) program will produce graduates capable of using critical thinking, adaptive management, and applied research within an applied problem-solving framework. This combination of skills will be applied to the identification of factors responsible for degraded ecosystems and to the rehabilitation and restoration of ecosystem functions, while advancing the scientific knowledge of this rapidly emerging discipline.

Graduates will have the critical and theoretical skills needed to set priorities, develop a structured approach to restoring degraded ecosystems, and critically assess their success in highly complex and unpredictable environments with significant uncertainties.

Inherent in the program are development of essential skills for program management, communication, and respectful community consultation. The program will leverage expertise at both institutions, and local experts and case studies, to understand how to approach ecological restoration in diverse sociocultural and biophysical settings.


  • Is a unique interdisciplinary & inter-institutional curriculum;
  • Is at the leading edge of this new, and rapidly growing, environmental discipline;
  • Courses have been specifically designed to offer advanced, specialized training in ecological restoration;
  • Entails an interdisciplinary, hands-on approach to addressing pressing practical problems;
  • Permits specialization in restoration of aquatic or terrestrial ecosystems;
  • Focuses on using applied research to provide solutions to government, institutional, and industry problems;
  • Has strong industry connections via client-based research projects; and
  • Is a unique program in Canada, and is among very few similar programs in North America.


A highly qualified talent pool is urgently needed in Canada’s ecological restoration industry. This master’s program will provide students with the critical thinking and experiential skills to be leaders and educators in the rapidly developing ecological restoration industry. The unique, inter-institutional curriculum will produce graduates with an integrated body of knowledge and skills for advancing the theory and practice of restoring degraded ecosystems.


The program will establish a unique interdisciplinary and inter-institutional curriculum that provides students with an integrated, science-based body of knowledge and skills necessary to meet the challenge of delivering effective and successful restoration programs. Given that there are so few graduate programs with this specialization in North America, this program will advance the knowledge and practice of ecological restoration in Canada and internationally.

The goals of the program are to provide students with the knowledge and skills to:

  • Critically assess degraded ecosystems at different temporal and spatial scales and locations (local to international) and identify primary causal factors contributing to the declining state of target ecosystems.
  • Design a restoration prescription (unique to target sites and project goals) by integrating ecological principles (theoretical) and physical processes with applied restoration techniques.
  • Develop and initiate detailed monitoring programs needed to assess the success of restoration programs and to identify approaches to guide the restoration process.
  • Adapt and modify the restoration approach as deemed appropriate based on monitoring results within an adaptive management framework.
  • Establish strong scientifically-based approaches (research skills) to enhance reliable knowledge in the field of restoration ecology (the scientific foundation of ecological restoration).
  • Act as a team leader and engage in respectful community engagement and planning of ecological restoration projects.
  • Operate with a historically informed and policy sensitive understanding of the cultural practices and protocols of First Nations.
  • Communicate effectively with all stakeholders as required to successfully initiate and conduct restoration programs.
  • Develop and apply project management guidelines for each stage of a restoration project.
  • Display and encourage behaviour that reflects integrity, responsibility, and the values and ethics of professional restoration practitioners.

Where will I learn?

Map of routes between BCIT and SFU
Auto and bus routes between BCIT and SFU

The program is a unique joint degree in full partnership between BCIT and SFU, both located in Burnaby, BC.  Of the 36 credits/units needed to graduate, 18 credits will be taught at BCIT’s Burnaby Campus and 18 units will be taught at SFU’s Burnaby Campus. Students will be fully enrolled in both institutions and have full student access to each institute’s resources and facilities. Graduates can attend convocation ceremonies at both institutions as well. The Institutions are less than a 20 minute drive apart.

Entrance Requirements

Costs & Supplies


Course Requirements

This program consists of 36 credits or 12 courses. The courses are divided into core and elective courses. Core courses are built into the program, while elective courses are chosen by the student with approval from the Supervisor for program relevance. Students should take two elective courses: a BCIT specialty elective course or an SFU or Western Dean’s Agreement course, and an SFU elective graduate course.

The elective graduate course at SFU is necessary to fulfill the 50% residency requirement to receive a M.Sc. degree from SFU.

Program Details

The program consists of both coursework and applied components. The use of experiential learning is a major strength of the program, with many courses offered in-class at BCIT or SFU (Burnaby) or in the field.

Through experiential learning, students integrate and apply theories, concepts, and observations firsthand.  Through experiential learning, students will experience the variability and uniqueness of ecosystems, and the difficulty of applying the same concepts to all sites.

A case-based learning methodology will also be used throughout the program to provide students exposure to restoring ecosystems in other areas of the world. Case studies will illustrate how concepts can be integrated and applied to complex ecological systems. Students will be actively engaged in discussion of specific problems in complex, real-world situations. This method is student-centered and involves the exchange of ideas among participants. The instructor’s role will be that of a facilitator, while students address problems collaboratively.

A key component of the Ecological Restoration degree will be the field visits to active restoration projects in the Lower Mainland and other parts of the province. The extensive ecological disturbance and damage that has occurred throughout the Lower Mainland provides real-world opportunities to apply skills in a broad range of restoration activities. Real-world scenarios in ecological restoration will be presented through assignments and team-based projects within courses. These projects will allow students to apply their knowledge from classroom and lab sessions.

Graduating & Jobs

Job opportunities

There is currently a shortage of qualified restoration biologists and practitioners trained in the techniques needed to restore terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in British Columbia and other jurisdictions in Canada and abroad. Similarly, there are few opportunities to complete a graduate-level program in Ecological restoration in North America. This program will provide a solid foundation for students wishing to embark upon a career involving the conservation, maintenance and restoration of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Graduates will be qualified for employment with organizations whose mandates involve the restoration of natural ecosystems, particularly fish and wildlife habitats. Upon graduation, students will have the skills and knowledge to qualify for existing positions and develop rewarding careers with municipal, regional, provincial and federal government agencies, private industry, stewardship groups and other NGOs as restoration practitioners, intermediate biologists, and habitat restoration specialists.

Faculty, Advisors & Staff

Program Head

Anayansi Cohen-Fernández, PhD, RPBio

Anayansi in a black background

Contact Information

Faculty and Program Head, Ecological Restoration (MSc)
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
T: 604.432.8322 |


  • PhD in Land Reclamation and Remediation, University of Alberta
  • MSc in Management and Conservation of Natural Tropical Renewable Resources, University of Yucatan, Mexico
  • BSc in Biology, Autonomous Metropolitan University, Mexico
  • University Teaching Program, University of Alberta

Work Experience

Dr. Anayansi Cohen-Fernández is Program Head of the Ecological Restoration MSc Program at the BCIT. Anayansi has over 20 years of experience in environmental consulting and resource management in Mexico and Canada. Her experience revolves around the effects of projects on landscape ecology and biodiversity. She also has experience in the implementation of restoration and reclamation projects following mining, oil and gas, urban and agricultural disturbances.

While doing her MSc in the tropical forests of Southern Mexico, Anayansi developed a model for sustainable use of natural populations of the multipurpose Mayan tree, Bursera simaruba. She later completed her PhD in Land Reclamation and Remediation at the University of Alberta, where she researched reclamation of limestone quarries, re-establishing ecosystem processes and native plant communities and building soils. In her postdoctoral research she evaluated the effects of fine-scale environmental heterogeneity of constructed microsites on native plant species in the Prairie and Parkland Ecoregions of Alberta. At BCIT, Anayansi helps students develop their Applied Research Projects, which have included the evaluation of prairie tallgrass restoration success, plant facilitation effects in a riparian ecosystem, enhancement of soil biocrust establishment to assist reclamation of mine tailings, and the potential of biochar to improve the functionality of rain gardens.

Professional Designation

  • RPBio, British Columbia

Selected Publications

Naeth, M.A., A. Cohen-Fernández, F.P.O. Mollard, L. Yao, S.R. Wilkinson and Z. Jiao. 2018. Enriched topographic microsites for improved native grass and forb establishment in reclamation. Rangeland Ecology and Management 71:12-18.

Mollard, F.P.O., M.A. Naeth, and A. Cohen-Fernández. 2014. Impacts of mulch on prairie seedling establishment: Facilitative to inhibitory effects. Ecological Engineering 64:377-384.

Cohen-Fernández, A., M.A. Naeth and S.R. Wilkinson. 2013. Anthroposol development from limestone quarry substrates. Canadian Journal of Soil Science. 93:1-12.

Cohen-Fernández. A. and M.A. Naeth. 2013. Erosion control blankets, organic amendments and site variability influenced the initial plant community at a limestone quarry in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Biogeosciences 10: 5243-5253.

Cohen-Fernández. A. and M.A. Naeth. 2013. Increasing woody species diversity for sustainable limestone quarry reclamation in Canada. Sustainability 5:1340-1355.

Gálvez, D. and A. Cohen-Fernández. 2006. Partial compensation in Psychotria marginata (Rubiaceae) after simulated defoliation increases photon capture and photosynthesis. Photosynthetica 44: 46-52.


Ana Chará-Serna, PhD

Ana in front of a green background

Contact Information

Assistant Instructor, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


  • PhD in Freshwater Ecology, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia
  • MSc in Aquatic Sciences, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, USA
  • BSc (Hns) in Biology, Emphasis in Ecology, Universidad del Valle, Colombia

Work Experience

Dr. Ana Chará-Serna is an Assistant Instructor for the Ecological Restoration BSc and MSc programs at BCIT. Ana is an Aquatic Biologist with over 12 years of experience across academia, industry, and the non-profit sector in Colombia and Canada. As an academic researcher, Ana spent more than 7 years investigating how human activities impact biota and functioning of freshwater ecosystems. In the non-profit sector, Ana participated in the assessment of riparian forest restoration projects on stream ecosystems of Colombia. As an environmental consultant, she gained practical experience in the real-world challenge of applying environmental science on monitoring and conservation of aquatic ecosystems in BC.

Most of Ana’s research has focused on the effects of agriculture on freshwater biodiversity, particularly benthic invertebrates, and ecosystem functioning. Her studies have addressed the ecological role of riparian forest buffers in mountainous agricultural landscapes, the effects of local agricultural practices on tropical Andean streams, the interactive effects of multiple agricultural stressors on experimental freshwater ecosystems, and the spatio-temporal dynamics of zooplankton communities in the Illinois River.

Selected Publications

Boyero L., Pérez J., López-Rojo N., Tonin A.M., Correa-Araneda F., Chará-Serna A.M., Et al (2021) Impacts of detritivore diversity loss on instream decomposition are greatest in the tropics. Nature Communications, 12: 3700.

Chara-Serna A.M., Richardson, J.S. (2021) Multiple-Stressor Interactions in Tributaries Alter Downstream Ecosystems in Stream Mesocosm Networks. Water 13(9): 1194

Boyero L., Perez J., Lopez-Rojo N., Tonin A.M., Correa-Araneda F., Chará-Serna A.M., Et al (2021) Latitude dictates plant diversity effects on instream decomposition. Science Advances, 7: eabe7860.

Chará-Serna AM, Casper, A. 2020. How do large river zooplankton communities respond to abiotic and biotic drivers over time? A complex and spatially dependent example. Freshwater Biology, 66(2): 391-405.

Chará-Serna AM, Epele LB, Morrissey CA, Richardson JS. 2019. Nutrients and sediment modify the impacts of a neonicotinoid insecticide on freshwater community structure and ecosystem functioning. Science of the Total Environment, 692: 1291–1303.

Chará-Serna AM, Richardson JS. 2018. Chlorpyrifos interacts with other agricultural stressors to alter stream communities in laboratory microcosms. Ecological Applications, 28(1): 162-176.

Chará-Serna AM, Chará J, Giraldo LP, Zúñiga MC, Allan JD. 2015. Understanding the impacts of agriculture on Andean stream ecosystems of Colombia: a causal analysis using aquatic macroinvertebrates as indicators of biological integrity. Freshwater Science, 34(2): 727-740.

Boyero L, Pearson RG, Swan CM, Hui C, Albariño RJ, Arunachalam M, Callisto M, Chará J, Chará Serna AM, Chauvet E, Cornejo A, Dudgeon D, et al. 2015. Latitudinal gradient of nestedness and its potential drivers in stream detritivores. Ecography, 38: 949-955

Chará-Serna AM, Chará J, Zúñiga MC, Pearson RG. Boyero L. 2012. Diets of leaf litter-associated invertebrates in three tropical streams. Annales de Limnologie – International Journal of Limnology, 48: 139-144.

Boyero L, Pearson RG, Dudgeon D, Ferreira V, Graça MAS, Gessner MO, Boulton AJ, Chauvet E, Yule CM, Albariño RJ, Ramírez A, Helson JE, Callisto M, Arunachalam M, Chará J, Figueroa R, Mathooko JM, Gonçalves JF JR, Moretti MS, Chará-Serna AM, et al. 2012. Global patterns of stream detritivore distribution: implications for biodiversity loss in changing climates. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21: 134-141.

Giraldo LP, Chará J, Zúñiga MC, Chará-Serna AM, Pedraza GX. 2014. Agricultural land use impacts on aquatic macroinvertebrates in small streams from La Vieja River (Valle del Cauca, Colombia). International Journal of Tropical Biology and Conservation, 62(2):203-219.

Boyero L, Pearson RG, Dudgeon D, Graça MAS, Gessner MO, Albariño RJ, Ferreira V, Yule CM, Boulton AJ, Arunachalam M, Callisto M, Chauvet E, Ramírez A, Chará J, Moretti MS, Gonçalves JF JR, Helson JE, Chará-Serna AM, Encalada AC, et al. 2011. Global distribution of a key trophic guild contrasts with common latitudinal diversity patterns. Ecology, 92 (9): 1839-1848.

Dave Harper

Dave Harper in a green background

Contact Information

Faculty / Assistant Instructor, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


Dave is a graduate of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation advanced diploma program and the
Environmental Engineering degree program, both at BCIT.

Work Experience

In the consulting industry, Dave gained a variety of experience including environmental monitoring, park management, waterfowl capture, tagging and foraging research, and wildlife trapping and sampling. Dave spent more than 8 years working for the BC Conservation Foundation on the Greater Georgia Basin Steelhead Recovery Program and later on the multi-species Fisheries Recovery Program. Main focuses included project management, stock assessment, stream nutrient enrichment and monitoring, and habitat restoration. He led the first in-stream application using a fertilizer recovered from wastewater to increase the productivity of a Fraser Valley stream, later expanding the program to 5 other local streams. Throughout streams in the Lower Mainland, he has been involved in more than 60 enhancement projects including a 44-log engineered log jam on the Cheakamus River and more recently with fish habitat restoration at the Seymour River and Lynn Creek estuaries.
As a faculty member in the Ecological Restoration programs (BSc and MSc) in Assistant Instructor and Instructor roles, Dave looks forward to mentoring and working alongside students as they become the next generation of environmental stewards responsible for providing valuable contributions to the restoration, enhancement and conservation of aquatic and terrestrial species and their habitat.

Douglas B. Ransome, PhD, RPBio

Contact Information

Faculty, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


  • PhD on resource limitation of northern flying squirrels and Douglas squirrels in managed forests
    in 2001 from the University of British Columbia.
  • MSc in 1994 from the University of British Columbia.
  • His undergraduate degrees include one from University of Guelph in Wildlife Management and
    University of Windsor in General Biology.

Work Experience

Dr. Ransome has been an instructor at BCIT since 2003. He teaches courses in Research Design and Implementation and Restoring Wildlife Populations within the ER programs; and Wildlife Ecology and Management in BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation Program. His research interests include examining the effects of forest practices on various wildlife populations, particularly arboreal mammals and small mammals; restoring wildlife populations; and wildlife damage and techniques to reduce damage in forestry and agricultural operations. During this time at BCIT he has been the Program Head for the BSc (2012-2018) program in Ecological Restoration and the newly designed MSc (2015-2019) program in Ecological Restoration.

Professional Designation
Dr. Ransome was a past Director for the Society of Ecological Restoration (Western Canada Chapter) and is a current director of the British Columbia Waterfowl Society. He is also a research associate with Applied Mammal Research Institute.

Eric M. Anderson, PhD

Eric Anderson in a green background

Contact Information

Faculty and Program Head, Ecological Restoration (BSc)
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
T: 604.456.1085 |


  • Post-doctoral research at: Simon Fraser University (Centre for Wildlife Ecology), Environment and Climate Change Canada (Pacific Wildlife Research Centre), and University of British Columbia
  • MSc and PhD in Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming
  • Graduate Program in Environmental Education, Teton Science School/Utah State University
  • BSc in Mathematics, University of Puget Sound

Work Experience

Dr. Eric M. Anderson is Program Head of the Ecological Restoration BSc Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. He and his BCIT students have conducted applied ecological research with a range of partners, such as Metro Vancouver, Ducks Unlimited Canada, City of Vancouver, Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust, and Squamish River Watershed Society. Eric is also a Research Fellow of the Pacific WildLife Foundation, a Science Advisor for SeaDoc Society (UC Davis), a Research Scientist at Friday Harbor Labs (U. of Washington), and an Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University (SFU). He completed his MSc and PhD in Zoology and Physiology at the U. of Wyoming, and conducted postdoctoral research at SFU (Centre for Wildlife Ecology), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) Pacific Wildlife Research Centre, and the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Eric’s research focuses especially on the ecology and conservation of nearshore ecosystems along the
Pacific Coast. Some recent research projects include:

  • Causes of mortality in a Harbor Seal population at carrying capacity (with SeaDoc Society, The Whale Museum, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Animal Health Center)
  • Effects of proposed off-shore wind power development in Haida Gwaii on marine birds (with SFU, ECCC)
  • Functional dependencies of sea ducks on seagrass beds and herring spawn (with SFU, ECCC)
  • Effects of trace elements on sea duck nutritional status (with Southern Illinois University, with SFU, ECCC)

Selected Publications
(*Denotes undergraduate or MSc student authors):

Brooks, M.L., J.R. Lovvorn, *J. Hallman Behnke, E.M. Anderson. 2021. Detecting silent stressors: trace element effects on nutritional status of declining scoter ducks of Puget Sound, USA. Science of the Total Environment. In press.

*Dickson, R.D., D. Esler, J. Hupp, E.M. Anderson, J.R. Evenson, and J. Barrett. 2021. Dynamics of body mass and foraging effort of Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) and White-winged Scoters (M. fusca) during remigial moult. Ibis. In review.

Anderson, E.M., *R.D. Dickson, *E.K. Lok, *E.C. Palm, J.-P.L. Savard, D. Bordage, and A. Reed. 2020. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), The Birds of the World Online (P.G.Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

*Ashley, E.A., J.K. Olson, *T.E. Adler, S. Raverty, E.M. Anderson, S. Jeffries, and J.K. Gaydos. 2020. Causes of mortality in a Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) population at equilibrium. Frontiers in Marine Science 7:Article 319. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00319

*Whyte, L. M., *J. Sibbald, *A. Kujawiak, *L. Schlectleitner, D., Bondar, M. Taitt, C. Terpsma, and E.M. Anderson. 2020. Effectives of hedgerows on landbird diversity and abundance in agricultural fields. In preparation.

*Law, A.A., *M.E. Threlfall, *B.A. Tijman, E.M. Anderson, S. McCann, G. Searing, and D. Bradbeer. 2017. Diet and prey selection of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) at Vancouver International Airport. Canadian Field-Naturalist 131:26–31.

Lewis, T.L., D. Esler, B.D. Uher-Koch, R.D. Dickson, E.M. Anderson, J.R. Evenson, J.W. Hupp, and P.L. Flint. 2017. Attaching transmitters to waterbirds using one versus two subcutaneous anchors: Retention and survival trade-offs. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41:691–700.

Anderson, E.M., R.D. Dickson, E.K. Lok, E.C. Palm, J.-P.L. Savard, D. Bordage, and A. Reed. 2015. Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Lovvorn, J.R., E.M. Anderson, *A.R. Rocha, W.W. Larned, J.M. Grebmeier, L.W. Cooper, J.M. Kolts, and C.A. North. 2014. Variable wind, pack ice, and prey dispersion affect the long-term adequacy of protected areas for an Arctic sea duck.  Ecological Applications 24:396–412.

*Uher-Koch. B.D., D. Esler, *R.D. Dickson, J.W. Hupp, J.R. Evenson, E.M. Anderson, J. Barrett, J.A. Schmutz. 2014. Survival of Surf Scoters and White-winged Scoters during remigial molt. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:1189–1196.

*Dickson, R.D., E.M. Anderson, and D. Esler. 2014. Status report on the Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Wilson, S.D., E.M. Anderson, A. Wilson, P. Arcese, and D.F. Bertram. 2013. Citizen science reveals an extensive shift in the winter distribution of migratory Western Grebes. PLOS ONE 8:e65408.

Palm, E.C.,D. Esler, E.M. Anderson, M.T. Wilson, T.W. Williams, and O. Love. 2013. Baseline corticosterone in wintering marine birds: methodological considerations and ecological patterns. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 86:346–353.

Palm, E.C.,D. Esler, E.M. Anderson, T.D. Williams, and M.T. Wilson. 2013. Variation in physiology and energy management of wintering White-winged Scoters in relation to local habitat conditions. Condor 115:750–761.

Anderson, E.M., and J.R. Lovvorn. 2012. Seasonal size dynamics of prey mediate complementary functions of mussel and seagrass habitats for an avian predator. Marine Ecology Progress Series 467:219–232.

*Palm, E.C., D. Esler, E.M. Anderson, and M.T. Wilson. 2012. Geographic and temporal variation in diet of wintering White-winged Scoters. Waterbirds 35:577–589.

*Dickson, R.D., D. Esler, J. Hupp, E.M. Anderson, J.R. Evenson, and J. Barrett. 2012. Phenology and duration of remigial moult in Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) and White-winged Scoters (M. fusca) on the Pacific coast of North America. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90:932–944.

Anderson, E.M., D. Esler, W.S. Boyd, J.R. Evenson, D.R. Nysewander, D.H. Ward, *R.D. Dickson, *B.D. Uher-Koch, *C.S. VanStratt, and J.W. Hupp. 2012. A preliminary assessment of the predator seascape for scoters: predation rates, timing, and predator composition. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90:42–50.

Anderson, E.M., and J.R. Lovvorn. 2011. Contrasts in energy status and marine foraging strategies of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca) and Surf Scoters (M. perspicillata). Auk 128:248−257.

Anderson, E.M., J.R. Lovvorn, D. Esler, W.S. Boyd, and K.C. Stick. 2009. Using predator distributions, diet, and condition to evaluate seasonal foraging sites: sea ducks and herring spawn. Marine Ecology Progress Series 386: 287–302.

Anderson, E.M., J.L. Bower, D.R. Nysewander, J.R. Evenson, and J.R. Lovvorn. 2009. Changes in avifaunal abundance in a heavily used wintering and migration site in Puget Sound, Washington, during 1966–2007. Marine Ornithology 37:19–27.

Anderson, E.M., and J.R. Lovvorn. 2008. Gray whales may increase feeding opportunities for avian benthivores. Marine Ecology Progress Series 360:291–296.

Anderson, E.M., J.R. Lovvorn, and M.T. Wilson. 2008. Reevaluating marine diets of Surf and White-winged scoters: interspecific differences and the importance of soft-bodied prey. Condor 110:285–295.

Anderson, E.M. 2007. Changes in bird communities and willow habitats associated with fed elk. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119:400–409.

Forrest Bjornson, MSc

Contact Information

Field Assignment Assistant, Department of Renewable Resources
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


  • MSc on fish biology, University of Manitoba, 2017
  • BSc, Environmental Sciences, University of Manitoba, 2013

Work Experience

Forrest has developed his career as an aquatic biologist while working in both research and industry. His interests in fish biology, ecological restoration and data management lead Forrest to assist in large aquatic ecological restoration and fish conservation projects in Manitoba. Forrest’s research with these projects focused on fish behaviour as a conservation tool. After moving to BC, Forrest worked in aquaculture and environmental consulting where he participated in a number of aquatic environmental assessments, aquatic enhancement projects, and wildlife surveys.

Recent Publications

Bjornson, F., and Anderson W. G. 2018. Body condition, rather than size, predicts risk-taking and resource holding potential in juvenile Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. Journal of Fish Biology. 93(6):1188-1196.

Bjornson, F., Earhart, M., and Anderson, W.G. 2020. To feed or flee: early life-history behavioural strategies of juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) during risk-sensitive foraging. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 98(8):541-550.

Gwangsoek, R., Bjornson, F., Deslauriers, D., and Anderson W.G. 2021. Comparison of methods to quantify metabolic rate and its relationship with activity in larval Lake Sturgeon Acipenser fulvescens. Journal of Fish Biology. In press.

Ken Ashley, BSc, MSc, MASc, PhD

Ken Ashley on a horse with river as the background

Contact Information

Faculty, Ecological Restoration
School of Construction and the Environment
Director, BCIT Rivers Institute


  • PhD, Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, 2002
  • MASc, Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia, 1989
  • MSc, Zoology, University of British Columbia, 1981
  • BSc, Zoology, University of British Columbia,1976

Work Experience

Ken worked for the Ministry of Environment in the Fisheries Research and Development Section on the UBC campus from 1979 to 2005, initially as a project biologist, and eventually as Section Head for Fisheries Restoration and Bioengineering. While in this position he conducted a set of large-scale adaptive management experiments, and is recognized for his research in the design, operation and effects of hypolimnetic aeration systems, lake/reservoir fertilization, and stream/river enrichment. Ken transferred to the Greater Vancouver Regional District from 2005 to 2007 as Senior Engineer and was the project lead for the Environmental Management team, with responsibility for raw drinking water quality, and monitoring the environmental effects of wastewater discharges from the regions five wastewater treatment plants and municipal water withdrawals from the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam rivers. Ken was Secretary for the BC Living Rivers Program in 2008, Senior Scientist at Northwest Hydraulic Consultants from 2010 to 2012, and taught part time in the BCIT Ecological Restoration Degree Program from 2010 to 2012. Ken is currently Director of the Rivers Institute at BCIT, an Instructor in BCIT’s Ecological Restoration Program and Adjunct Professor at SFU.

Professional Designation

  • RPBio, British Columbia

Kim Ives, MSc, RPBio

Kim Ives with a lake as the background

Contact Information

Faculty, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
T: 604-412-7526 |


  • MSc, Wildlife Ecology and Management, University of Alberta
  • BSc, Environmental and Conservation Sciences, University of Alberta

Work Experience

Kim Ives has been working in the natural resources field since 2007. She has worked in both the fisheries and wildlife fields with provincial governments, environmental consultants, and educational institutes. Kim has an MSc in Wildlife Management and Ecology and her research examined predicting extinction
risk in scavenging species and associated interspecies interactions in North America. She has participated in projects that include an assessment of fish habitat in several rivers in the Calgary area in the Bow River Watershed and subsequent compensation following the 2013 floods, a fish inventory and habitat assessment of the Berland River Watershed, and a Northern Alberta non-game fish status assessment, in addition to various baseline inventories/assessments of areas prior to
Kim has been involved in natural resource education programs for the past 12 years, including teaching fisheries ecology, inventory and management courses at institutes that include the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and Vancouver Island University. She has also been an electrofishing certification instructor with VIU since 2012. Kim has previously taught Wildlife Ecology and Management in the FWR program at BCIT and currently teaches several courses in the MSc and BSc Programs in the Ecological Restoration program, in addition to supervising applied research projects in several programs in the Renewable Resources department at BCIT.

Professional Designations

  • RPBio (British Columbia)
  • PBiol (Alberta)

Laura Weatherly, MSc, PhD

laura with a snowy background

Contact Information

Assistant Instructor, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


  • PhD, Fluvial Geomorphology, University of British Columbia
  • MSc, Zoology, University of British Columbia
  • BSc, Ecology and Geography, University of Calgary

Work Experience

Laura Weatherly (née Rempel) is a river ecologist with expertise in both fluvial geomorphology and aquatic ecology. She worked several years as a Park Warden for the National Parks, first in the mountain parks of Yoho, Kootenay and Banff, and later in Pacific Rim and the West Coast Trail. Returning to school with an interest in rivers, she followed a multi-disciplinary path, believing strongly in the importance of understanding the physical processes and dynamics of streams in order to best describe the patterns in distribution and abundance of organisms. Her graduate work centered on the Fraser River, where she worked with a broad group of scientists, NGOs, land managers, and First Nations, to resolve complex resource management questions. She developed a habitat classification for large, gravel-bed rivers and specific monitoring protocols to assess impacts from gravel mining and habitat disturbance. More recently, Laura worked for Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a Research Scientist in the Northwest Territories and developed bioassessment protocols for streams along the Mackenzie River Valley. Also with DFO, Laura has worked as a Habitat Biologist in the Lower Mainland where she was involved in various habitat compensation and restoration projects. Laura has a passion for the outdoors and environmental stewardship. She looks forward to teaching and learning alongside students, and instilling a passion for the protection and restoration of aquatic habitats.

Lisa Henault, BEd, MSc

Lisa Henault with forest as the background

Contact Information

Faculty, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2
T: 604.456.8006 ext. 8006 |


  • MSc, Fluvial Geomorphology, University of British Columbia
  • BEd, High School Education, University of Winnipeg
  • BSc, Geography / Biology, University of Winnipeg
  • Diploma, Natural Disaster Management, University of South Iceland
  • Emergency Management Exercise Design
  • Incident Command Systems Levels 100, 200 and 300

Work Experience

Lisa Henault is both a teacher and geoscientist. After completing her BEd at the University of Winnipeg she completed her MSc in fluvial geomorphology at the University of British Columbia. Following completion of her MSc, Lisa worked for BCIT as program manager of the Squamish First Nations Restoration Program which was followed by nearly 6 years in engineering as a consulting geoscientist. Much of her time in engineering focused on the quantitative evaluation of rivers as a risk to linear infrastructure. This work included many summers in the field and brought her to a wide array of landscapes to evaluate potentially hazardous rivers and slopes. Lisa also managed a detailed hydrotechnical analyses program, which included large scale data collection and evaluation, training engineers in data analysis and the completion of technical reports. In recent years, Lisa has turned her focus to channel restoration, which included project work the Central Westcoast Forest Society and habitat restoration of heavily logged watersheds north of Tofino.

Lisa currently teaches several courses in the MSc and BSc programs and supervises multiple applied research projects in the Ecological Restoration program at BCIT. Her research projects including those focused on natural methods of slope stabilization and bank erosion, achieving suitable spawning grounds through substrate augmentation, and determining best methods for achieving floodplain connectivity.

Millie Kuyer, BSc, BIT

Black and White photo of Millie Kuyer

Contact Information

Assistant Instructor, Ecological Restoration
British Columbia Institute of Technology
3700 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5G 3H2


  • BSc, Ecological Restoration, BCIT, 2017
  • Dipl. Tech. Fish, Wildlife and Recreation, BCIT, 2015
  • Professional Photo Imaging, Langara College, 2009

Work Experience

Millie Kuyer has been working in the natural resource management field since 2005 and has since worked with industry, non-profit, First Nations, federal government, and environmental consultants with a focus on terrestrial ecology. She has a tech. dipl. in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation and a BSc in Ecological Restoration from BCIT. She has worked as a biologist within Canada’s rocky mountain National Parks including restoration planning and monitoring for AltaLink’s 551L Transmission Line Rebuild, rare plant surveys for Lake Louise Ski Resort, environmental monitoring for the Sulphur Mountain Gondola, and riparian vegetation monitoring for the Cascade Creek restoration project. Millie also worked on Parks Canada’s whitebark pine restoration project by assisting in pine cone caging, seed collection, and tree planting in high elevation forests. Millie is currently an Assistant Instructor and provides support to all levels of programming and supervises applied research projects for the Ecological Restoration BSc program. Millie is also a Research Associate with the BCIT Rivers Institute where she is supporting a number of river conservation and restoration projects across southwestern BC.

Professional Designation

  • Biologist in Training (BIT)


Giti Abouhamzeh

Giti Abouhamzeh
Program Assistant
Tel: 778-331-1392

Advisory committee

  • Kevin Shantz, Research Office, Metro Vancouver, Parks Planning & Environment – Chair
  • Andy Smith, Senior Terrestrial Ecologist/Wildlife Biologist, Ecofish Research
  • Brian Titaro, Stewardship Coordinator, Metro Vancouver
  • Bruce Blackwell, Principle, BA Blackwell
  • Chloe Hartley, Referrals Analyst, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
  • Dave Scott, Biologist, Raincoast Conservation Foundation
  • David Polster, President, Polster Environmental Services
  • Eric Balke, Coordinator-South Coast Conservation Land Management Program, Ducks Unlimited Canada
  • Gillian Donald, Owner, Donald Functional And Applied Ecology
  • Jennifer McGuire, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment
  • Ken Hall, Professor Emeritus, UBC
  • Marlow Pellatt, Ecological Restoration Specialist, Parks Canada
  • Natalie Tashe, Project Management Reclamation Planning, Stantec
  • Pontus Lindgren, Environmental Manager, Westpark Electric

Contact Us

Giti Abouhamzeh
Program Assistant for Ecological Restoration
BCIT School of Construction and the Environment
Tel: 778-331-1392

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