Become a part of Canada’s premier environmental and restoration related programs. BCIT invites you to join one of the most unique educational models in Canada. In the time it takes to do a typical university degree, you can get two academic credentials; a Diploma in Fish, Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) or Forest and Natural Areas Management (FNAM) and a Bachelor's Degree in Ecological Restoration.
Completion of either of these two-year diploma programs (or similar programs elsewhere) will provide you with the strong foundation needed to apply for entry into BCIT’s Degree in Ecological Restoration. This degree, the first of its kind in Canada, provides world-class applied training on restoring the numerous damaged aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that exist across British Columbia, Canada, and around the world.
Ecological Restoration (ER) is a scientific discipline that has recently emerged due to the increasing need to restore damaged ecosystems. Restoration scientists and practitioners are ‘ecosystem physicians’ …. Doctors apply knowledge of physiology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and parasitology to address human health issues. ER practitioners apply knowledge of: ecology, hydrology, geochemistry, geomorphology, and engineering to address ecological health issues1. Natural habitats across the province have been severely impacted due to habitat destruction, urban sprawl, invasive species expansions, and direct damage due to industrial contamination of soils and aquatic resources. These factors combined with the resulting increase in number of threatened and endangered species have resulted in the strong need for ecosystem restoration work across the province and around the world.
The Bachelor Degree in Ecological Restoration provides graduates with a strong foundation in the methods available to restore a broad range of ecosystems that have been impacted by human influences in British Columbia, across Canada and in other parts of the world. Ecological Restoration graduates will not only bring skills and expertise to current employers but will also be leaders and innovators in this rapidly-developing industry.
These programs, in partnership with the newly established BCIT Rivers Institute, are widely renowned locally and internationally for their “ﬁeld oriented” learning and applied research. The Rivers Institute plays a leadership role in the protection and restoration of rivers and provides support and mentoring to the next generation of river stewards. Working with our many diverse partners on a wide range of applied restoration projects, students gain extensive experience tackling some of the many environmental challenges facing local, regional, provincial and international communities.
NOTE: 1 This analogy was originally described by Hood and Simenstad in Roman, C.T. and D.M. Burdick’s (2012) book titled: Tidal Marsh Restoration: A Synthesis of Science and Management. Island Press, Washington, DC.
As a student in the Ecological Restoration, Bachelor of Science program, you’ll receive a solid foundation of the skills, knowledge, and experiences required to meet today’s many natural resource management and ecosystem restoration challenges.Your learning experiences will be unique with much of the learning done through hands-on field applications involving actual ecological restoration initiatives. You will also be involved in group and individual projects, case studies, class presentations, guest lectures by active restoration specialists, laboratory sessions, field labs and an applied research project.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
The delivery methods for the Bachelor of Science in Ecological Restoration are a combination of classroom-based delivery, hands-on field applications and distributed learning modes. Instruction methods include group and individual projects, group activities, case studies, class presentations, guest lectures by active restoration specialists, laboratory sessions, field labs and exercises, and an applied research project.
A key component of the Ecological Restoration undergraduate degree are the field visits to active restoration projects in the Lower Mainland and other parts of the province. Students in the program go on several multi-day field trips to locations like Squamish, Lillooet, Merritt, Logan Lake, Kamloops, Vancouver Island and throughout the Lower Mainland. Real-world ecological restoration scenarios will be presented through assignments and team-based projects within courses, with a capstone Applied Research Project being the culmination of applied learning in the program.
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. 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 biologists in training, resource management technicians, and habitat restoration specialists.
Eric Anderson, MSc, PhD
Ken Ashley, BSc, MSc, MASc, PhD
Faculty Director, Rivers Institute
For a complete list of faculty and staff and their contact information, please see the Ecological Restoration Staff Biographies [PDF].
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