Since 1969, the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program has been preparing students for rewarding careers in the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, parks, and outdoor recreation. The program is designed to give students a broad range of applied skills, experiences, and knowledge.
A significant amount of learning is done in the field where students learn to identify, inventory, and monitor BC’s fish and wildlife species, the habitats they use, and the natural areas set aside for conservation and recreation. Students in the program will also learn how parks and protected areas are established, designed, and managed. Upon completion of the FWR program, graduates will be ready to work in the dynamic and diverse field of resource management.
Fish, Wildlife and Recreation
The FWR program provides students with relevant and practical hands-on learning through field labs and classroom experiences. Learning outcomes are aligned with current needs of government, the conservation and stewardship community and private industry. Faculty liaisons and partnerships with industry, and input from the FWR Program Advisory Committee, ensure that learning outcomes reflect the needs for managing natural renewable resources in urban, rural, and wild land environments.
In Year One (first and second terms), the program provides students with a solid academic foundation and basic field skills for careers in renewable resources. The overall objective of course content and assignments in the first year is to create an understanding of the ecosystems in BC, renewable resource assessment, management, and inventory methods and standards.
This sets the foundation for Year Two (third and fourth terms) where students focus primarily on fish, wildlife, natural landscapes and parks and outdoor recreation management. During this second year, students spend as much time in the field as they do in the classroom.
A significant part of the second year is centered on a year-long applied research project. The project is done in groups of three and is normally undertaken for an external client (e.g., government agency, NGO). Upon completion of the diploma, graduates receive a Diploma of Technology and with work experience, can apply for a professional designation as a Registered Professional Biology Technologist (RPBTech) with the BC College of Applied Biology. Graduates of the FWR Diploma program are also eligible for entry in the BCIT two-year Bachelor’s Degree in Ecological Restoration.
“Studying Fish, Wildlife and Recreation at BCIT was one of the best decisions I ever made. The small class sizes, hands on nature of the courses, and exceptional faculty made for an outstanding educational experience. This program gave me the skills, experience, and connections I needed to launch myself into a career in fisheries.”
Tyler Thibault, Community Advisor, Fisheries and Oceans Canada – 2017 FWR Grad
“Going back to school in my late 20’s and studying FWR was the best career move I have ever made. I was not engaged in typical post-secondary settings, so to learn about fish ecology while standing in a river, park management while in provincial parks, and wildlife habitat while in a forest was a huge reason, I was so motivated to do well. Beyond the amazing field trips and meeting amazing industry professionals, I also had the chance to develop critical reading, technical writing, and engaging presenting skills from a very passionate and knowledgeable faculty. Without a doubt, I would not have the amazing career and life I have now if I had not gone through the FWR program.”
Tyler Farley, Municipal Park Manage, 2015 FWR Grad
“Not only did BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program open my mind up to the many exciting career paths that I could take, it also led to unique experiences, lasting friendships, and valuable skills that I use every day. I can draw a direct link between where I currently am in my career and the skills and connections that I gained from BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation Program.”
Kristi Owen, PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick and Acadia University looking at how wetland birds use human-created landscapes, 2013 FWR Grad
The Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program curriculum has been revised effective for the September 2023 intake. Students who began the program prior to September 2023 should refer to the September 2022 cohort matrix [PDF].
- The Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program is a two-year, full-time day school program.
- Lectures and labs are offered on campus and/or in the field Monday to Friday, from 8:30 to 17:30, except on Wednesdays when classes end at 14:30.
- Academic Year 1 consists of levels 1 and 2. Academic Year 2 consists of levels 3 and 4.
- Each academic year has two terms. Each term is 15 weeks long. Levels 1 and 2 are from September to December. Levels 3 and 4 are from January to April with 15 weeks of classes and a one-week Spring Break in March.
- Part-time entry into the program is not an option.
Your skills have widened, and your experience has grown. As a graduate, you are ready to work in this dynamic and diverse industry.
Graduates of the program are eligible to register for the professional designation of a Registered Biology Technologist or RB Tech with the College of Applied Biology of British Columbia.
The job opportunities for graduates in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation are in both government agencies (local, regional, provincial, and federal) and in the private sector, primarily with environmental consultants.
Laurie Stott, Dipl Tech BA MET
Alexia Constantinou, MSc, BSc
Bridget McClarty, B.Sc. (Hons), B.Ed., M.Ed.
Jason Pon, DipIT, BSF, FIT
Jonathan Smyth, DipIT, RFT
Julia Alards-Tomalin, DiplT, BTech, MEd
Kim Ives, MSc, RPBio
Wayne Horvath, DipIT, RFT, Med
- M. Bartel-Sawatzky, Pacific Salmon Commission
- C. Gillespie, City of Surrey
- J. Gray, City of Vancouver
- K. Hagmeier, EBB Environmental Consulting
- M. Merkens, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks
- J. Moore, BC Parks
- S. Nelson, Stantec Environmental Engineering Consulting
- R. Worcester, Metro Vancouver Regional Parks (Chair)
Please contact Program Advising if you have questions about:
- Application process
- Entrance requirements
- Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
- Program costs
- Job placement and graduate outcomes
email@example.com | 604-434-1610
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