Ecological Restoration Professional Specialization Certificate

A line transect conducted to sample understory vegetation in a forest. The ER Certificate is taught online but students can incorporate field work into their course projects.

Ecological Restoration Professional Specialization Certificate

Our Ecological Restoration Professional Specialization Certificate is a 4-course credential with an innovative systems approach to ecological restoration, especially relevant to urban areas.  This non-credit certificate has been designed for professionals seeking advanced restoration training and/or professional development opportunities in a convenient online format.

  • The program content is equivalent to advanced undergraduate or introductory graduate-level work. Students applying to the program should have one of the following:An undergraduate degree in environmental studies, biology, forestry, geography, or landscape architecture; or
  • An undergraduate degree in any other discipline plus a minimum of two years’ work in the field of environmental studies, landscape architecture, landscape design, or restoration; or
  • Permission of the Academic Administrator.

Online applications are accepted year round on the Division of Continuing Studies website. Students admitted into the program do not need to be accepted for credit study at UVic. International students benefit from the non-credit status of the courses in this program as they do not have to pay the higher international student fees associated with credit courses.

Course Descriptions

ER 501 - Design Principles for Natural Processes

Ecosystem restoration attempts to create self-renewing plant and animal associations. They need to work with and expand on existing natural processes. This course identifies natural processes involved in maintaining ecosystems and how they are recreated in restoration projects. It also addresses the element of design where a particular restoration project accommodates special requirements such as wildlife crossings. In an urban context design considerations include low impact development and aesthetic appeal.

ER 502 - Ecosystem Design through Propagation of Native Plants

An introduction to the principles of native plant selection and propagation to meet site-specific objectives for ecosystem restoration. Topics include native plant propagation techniques; the role of artificial propagation in ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration; criteria for species selection; scientific and ethical principles for the collection of propagation materials; site stabilization; site preparation; out-planting; and bio-engineering.

ER 503 - Restoration Ecology

Restoration ecology melds ecological theory with the principles of adaptive management. This advanced course delves into the foundations of ecology to better understand how to repair damaged ecosystems. By incorporating the Open Standards for the Practice of Conservation, this course offers a tried and tested road map to the implementation of restoration projects used by an expanding number of the world's environmental organizations. A collaborative process that values diverse experiences and perspectives, these "Open Standards" provide a step by step standard to the execution of effective and efficient ecological restoration.

ER 504 - Invasive Species Management

Exotic species are considered the second greatest threat to biodiversity and have gained the attention of researchers, managers and conservationists throughout the world. This course will provide a broad approach to the topic, covering ecological, social and economic aspects. The first part of the course will focus on local/Canadian examples of introduced species and their impacts. The second part will compare Canadian legislative, management and control efforts to those in other parts of the world.

ER 505 - Special Topics in Native Species and Natural Processes

This course provides a vehicle for the inclusion in any year, instruction in contemporary or specific topics related to the study of native species and natural processes including specific geographical areas. Examples might include: species recovery, low impact development, restoration of northern grasslands or green roof design.