Water Conservation & Management – Diploma – Vermilion Campus

Year I Required Courses

BI 110 Ecology & Field Biology 3
Introduces fundamental ecological principles and concepts, emphasizing organisms and their environments as well as techniques for analysis of structure and function of these systems. Lectures cover ecological levels from individual, population and communities through to larger environmental scope of ecosystems and global ecology. Time spent in field studying plant and animal relationships in local community types using standard field equipment. Prerequisite: Biology 30.
BI 205 Limnology: Lakes & Rivers 3
Covers various physical, chemical and biological properties of freshwater systems. Introduced to techniques used in collection and analysis of limnological data. Prerequisite: BI 110 or BO 120.
BO 120 Field Botany & Plant Taxonomy 3
Focuses on study of native plants within Central Parkland and Boreal Forest. Emphasis on collection, identification, morphology and classification of flora within local communities. Learn fundamental concepts of botany such as morphology, anatomy and taxonomy. Study fundamental ecological principles directly related to plant communities. Practical field experience in plant community relationships while collecting and preserving plants for further study. Spend considerable time in lab learning to use plant keys for classification and identifying plant species and families.
CO 166 Scientific Writing & Computer Applications 3
Explore fundamental approaches to scientific writing. Considerable time spent discussing what constitutes critical content and how that content is effectively organized for variety of documents used in the scientific industry. Strategies for efficient technical writing emphasized for laboratory reports, formal technical and scientific reports, abstracts, and other discipline-specific applications.
MA 202 Statistics & Data Management 3
Provides introduction to basic statistical procedures and data management techniques commonly used in environmental sciences. Emphasis placed on methods for organizing, storing, retrieving, analyzing, graphing and interpreting environmental data with database and spreadsheet software. Major topics include measures of central tendency and dispersion, probability distributions, hypothesis testing, correlation analysis, simple linear regression, and single-factor analysis of variance.
SC 110 Inorganic Chemistry 3
This is a basic course in inorganic chemistry with an emphasis on environmental applications. Basic chemical concepts are presented in the lecture series with application of those concepts in the laboratory component.
SC 120 Maps, Air Photos & GPS 3
Introduction to map reading, map contents, coordinate systems and National Topographic System (NTS maps). Practice map interpretation, measurement, and scale calculations, and learn to interpret contours and visualize relief. Compass use and basic field orienteering taught. Aerial photography introduced, with emphasis on understanding of annotation, scale, measurement, indexing and purchase of conventional and digital products. Practice stereo viewing, and learn to relate aerial photos to maps at different scales. Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments used for navigation, and learn to collect, differentially correct and upload field coordinate data.
SC 140 Environmental Sustainability 3
Focus on human interactions with the environment. Environmental impacts of food production and agriculture, forestry, mining, energy processing, urbanization, and other land-use activities explored. Considerable time spent investigating current environmental issues within context of society: water quantity and quality, global warming, air pollution, and biodiversity crisis. National and provincial environmental policy relating to these issues investigated.
SC 200 Organic Chemistry 3
Study structure, properties and reactions of the main classes of organic compounds and relationship to living organisms and the environment. Laboratory techniques include tests required for assessing environmental quality. Prerequisite: SC 110.
SC 220 GIS & Remote Sensing 3
Learn Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing and aerial photography concepts. Practice photogrammetry, stereovision and image interpretation, while working with variety of hardcopy and digital imagery products. Use scanners, digitizers and Global Positioning System (GPS) instruments for data input. Gain proficiency with ArcGIS, ArcView and Idrisi GIS software packages in laboratory sessions that emphasize natural resource management applications. Prerequisite: SC 120.
BI 270 Managing Rangeland Ecosystems 3
A study of rangeland ecology, this course focuses on soil-plant-animal-water interactions in rangeland ecosystems.  Basic factors determining survival and the competitive strategy of range plants are studied in detail.  Sound range management strategies designed to ensure ecosystem stability and sustainability are emphasized.  Considerable time is spent in lab learning to key and identify native plants.
SO 210 Introductory Soil Science 3
Overview of soil formation processes and fundamental morphological, physical, chemical and biological characteristics of soil. Gain knowledge of soils through lectures and hands on experience. Become familiar with The Canadian System of Soil Classification to Order level and issues associated with ‘problem soils’.
Year II Required Courses

BI 338 Vegetation Sampling Techniques 3
Focus on sampling techniques, including rare plant surveys, for variety of habitats including grasslands, forested lands, wetlands, and disturbed lands. Vegetation measurements such as productivity, utilization, cover, density, and frequency compared. Methodology, sample size, techniques, and procedural issues for required outcomes in various habitats investigated. Considerable time spent in field and on field trips applying principles and techniques of sampling discussed in lecture. Prerequisites: BI 270, BO 120.
BI 405 Aquatic Bio-Monitoring 3
This course is designed to introduce the student to various concepts and techniques associated with environmental biomonitoring, the analysis of samples collected during biomonitoring work, and the analysis of environmental samples using bioassay tests. Current methods used by environmental monitoring agencies and laboratories for the detection of pollutants are emphasized. Prerequisite:  BI205.
LA 320 Water Conservation and Regulations 3
This course focuses on the topics of environmental legislation and management and how these are used by government as a tool for environmental protection. Acts, regulations, codes of practice, policies, standards, objectives, and guidelines are all studied and applied to common natural resource and industrial development scenarios. The role of government, boards, non-governmental organizations and practices in environmental management such as strict liability, due diligence and environmental management systems are also examined.
SC 301 Watersheds & Water Resources 3
This course focuses on the main components of the hydrologic cycle and how this impacts quantity, quality and distribution of water resources within a watershed basin. Precipitation, evapotranspiration, runoff, streamflow and groundwater flow are examined with reference to drought, flooding, erosion and sedimentation. Students are introduced to field techniques in stream discharge measurement, and geomorphic characterization of watersheds.
SC 307 Environmental Site Assessment 3
Gain basic understanding of how to evaluate contaminated sites through processes of a Site Assessment, Site Characterization, and parallel process of Environmental Risk Assessment. Effective management of environmental risks (i.e. contamination) and remediation of contaminated sites requires basic understanding of science, policy and culture of risk assessment and risk management. Prerequisites: SC 110 and SC 200.
SC 316 Solid Waste and Wastewater Management 3
This course provides students with the knowledge and skills required to develop and incorporate an overall integrated waste management strategy for most industries in Alberta. Topics include:  solid waste management (municipal and industrial) hazardous wastes, oilfield wastes, and wastewater treatment systems. Field trips are used to demonstrate integrated waste management systems in operation. Prerequisites: SC 110 and SC200.
SC 316 Industrial Waste & Water Management 3
Provides knowledge and skills to develop and incorporate an overall integrated waste management strategy for most industries in Alberta. Topics include: solid waste management (municipal and industrial), hazardous wastes, oilfield wastes, water and wastewater treatment systems. Field trips used to demonstrate integrated waste management systems in operation. Prerequisites: SC 110 and SC 200.
SC 336 Environmental Contaminants 3
This course covers the fundamental principles of mass transport, chemical partitioning, physicochemical characteristics, and fate and transport of pollutants in environmental media (air, water, soil, sediment, groundwater) and biota. Emphasis is placed on the physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting the behavior of pollutants and their distribution in the environment. Students learn about industrial pollutants discharged into the environment from various sectors such as pulp and paper, oil and gas, mining and agricultural developments. Mathematical models as well as laboratory analysis are used to understand the movement of chemicals within the environment and how to assess risks of exposure in humans and ecological receptors. Prerequisites: SC110, SC200 and SC301.
SC 352 Environmental Monitoring and Sampling 3
This course introduces students to sampling strategies in a wide range of media including surface water, groundwater, wastewater, sediments, soils and air. Emphasis is placed on the sampling protocols (i.e. appropriate sampling methods, preservation of samples, sources of contamination & transportation) required for representativeness of samples for each media. The concepts of quality assurance, quality control and data quality interpretation are discussed in detail. Prerequisites: SC110 and SC200.
SC 437 Aquatic Habitat Protection 3
This course looks at various human activities known to have a negative impact on freshwater habitats and why, and how, these negative impacts occur. Students are also introduced to techniques used to eliminate or minimize the negative impacts of an activity on freshwater habitat, as well as those commonly used in attempts to restore such habitat where degradation has already occurred. Prerequisites: BI205 and SC301.
SC 448 Groundwater Monitoring Techniques 3
Introduction to equipment and methods commonly used when conducting groundwater monitoring projects. Learn to plan and implement a fieldwork program including conducting a desk study, field and lab evaluation of aquifers, borehole selection and installation, taking and interpreting water levels, chemistry and pump test data, and using safe working practices. Introduction to impacts of groundwater resources due to agricultural, industrial and petroleum production activities including those resulting from extraction of coal bed methane. Prerequisite: SC 301 or equivalent water resources competency strongly encouraged.
SO 340 Soil Classification & Landforms 3
Study of Canadian System of Soil Classification with emphasis on factors affecting soil genesis and taxonomy. Topics include geology, glaciation, weathering and chemistry and physics of Canadian soils. Extensive fieldwork focuses on methods of classifying soils and landforms, soil mapping and report preparation/use and basic procedures in land assessment. Prerequisite: SO 210.
SC 242 Spill Response and Field Certification 3

This course introduces students to various environmental protection and safety skills identified by employers as being important to working field professionals in the environmental industry. Successful candidates will receive industry recognized certification in Spill Response, Standard First Aid and CPR-C with AED (Automated External Defibrillator), H2S Alive ®, All Terrain Vehicle Operation and Safety, and Motor Boat Operation and Safety. Students also gain a working knowledge of spill response and reporting requirements as provided by the Alberta and Saskatchewan governments.

SC 430 Oilfield and Drilling Waste Fundamentals 3
This course focuses on drilling operations associated with oil and natural gas developments, with emphasis on regulations and best practice for the management and disposal of drilling and associated wastes. Major topics include an introduction to drilling and completion operations, and a review of pertinent regulations governing drilling wastes. Types of drilling wastes and drilling mud additives, disposal options, on-site drilling waste handling and treatment systems, drilling waste testing equipment and sampling techniques, proper handling of samples for lab and field analyses, interpretation of analytical results, and disposal rate calculations are also covered. Prerequisites:  None.

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