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The River Institute provides a unique opportunity for graduate students in the BCIT-Simon Fraser University MSc program in Ecological Restoration to engage with a wide range of organizations conducting ecological restoration of aquatic ecosystems. As with any post-secondary institution, most work and progress originates with keen graduate students. Project sponsors occasionally provide supplemental income via the Canada Summer Student Employment Program, which helps students focus on their graduate studies. The benefit of graduate students conducting MSc research with our various partners is that it provides real world learning experiences and some students are offered employment by their sponsors following graduation.