Environmental Technician (Advanced Standing) Curriculum

School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences

Accepting Applications for September 2023

Credential: Ontario College Diploma ( 4 semesters )
Classes begin:
September 05, 2023
Offered at:
Frost Campus
Program code:
Tuition & Ancillary Fees:
Tuition is unavailable at this time

Vocational Learning Outcomes

  • Collect representative environmental samples and perform routine tests, using current and relevant tools.
  • Use scientific concepts and models when contributing to the prevention, control and elimination of environmental hazards and remediation of contaminated sites.
  • Assist with analysis of water/soil/air samples and with the resolution of environmental problems through the application of scientific and engineering principles.
  • Follow standard procedures for conducting environmental sampling projects including the use of appropriate equipment and materials.
  • Promote and maintain sustainable practices by applying the elements of ecosystem-based management.
  • Carry out work responsibilities adhering to standards of professional conduct and principles of professional ethics.
  • Complete assigned tasks in adherence to occupational health and safety standards and applicable legislative requirements.
  • Follow established protocols in support of environmental management systems.
  • Provide ongoing support for project management.
  • Communicate technical information accurately and effectively in oral, written, visual and electronic forms.
  • Develop and present strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance performance as an environmental technician.

Courses and Descriptions

Semester 3

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides an introduction to aquatic biology and limnology. Emphasis will be placed on the identification, sampling, and environmental significance of organisms, including aquatic plants, invertebrates, algae, bioindicators, and exotic species. Successful completion of this course requires that students undertake an aquatic plant field collection.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course is designed to develop student awareness and understanding of various aspects of the environment that are measurable and to relate the importance of these measurements in pollution studies. Students learn how to undertake surface water, groundwater and soil quality sampling, open and closed conduit water flow measurements, field and laboratory environmental sample analysis, data interpretation and reporting. These skills are applicable to lake, soil, stream and groundwater quality assessments, microbiological surveys, industrial/municipal inspections and monitoring, watershed studies and pollution prevention/abatement programs.

Units/ Hours: 90

This is a lab course that provides the fundamentals and skills required for working in the environmental field. Laboratory work will include hands-on measurement and identification of soil and rock using standard testing procedures. Plant relationships with earth materials will be examined and evaluated. Basic properties of water, introductory hydrogeology and groundwater sampling/monitoring techniques will also be introduced.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course places the emphasis on the fundamental principles of Geomatics as they apply to Surveying. Electronic instruments will be used to obtain field positions with features and attribute data. These field locations and attributes will be used to create GIS related survey plans, which can be used in the computation of boundaries areas and volumes. The GIS features will be implemented using practical field projects and the projects will be related to land information systems.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course seeks to familiarize students with the types of industrially stressed lands that exist. It will outline the problems associated with stressed lands from a land reclamation and rehabilitation standpoint and promote an understanding of what approaches can be taken to rehabilitate land.

Units/ Hours: 45

This lecture and lab course studies the various components of a watershed (limnology, hydrology, and hydrogeology) and their interactions. Various streamflow sampling techniques and their applications to predictions of flooding and sedimentation will be examined. Attention will be brought to the conflicting demands of use on the watershed and to various remedial options. Legislation under the Conservation Authorities Act and Drainage Act that influences watershed activities will also be presented.

Semester 4

Units/ Hours: 45

This course is divided into two modules. The first module will deal with air pollution and abatement by exploring emission sources, meteorological effects, pollution control technology, monitoring, and relevant legislation. In the second module, students will gain an understanding of the role and function of the federal National Pollution Release Inventory.

Units/ Hours: 45

This course provides emphasis on legislation in the environmental sector. Course content includes in-depth studies of pollution events in various settings with a focus on how and why the event occurred, related industrial and other processes involved and the environmental effect /impact created. Legislative interpretation in various Acts including the Ontario Environmental Protection Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, Nutrient Management Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Environmental Protection Act, Environmental Bill of Rights, Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and other environmental Regulations will be determined.

Units/ Hours: 30

This course examines fundamental components, processes and applied skills in both biotic and abiotic facets of the environment field. The biotic portion of the course will deal with the forces and patterns that shape biological evolution, the nature of the past and present biota of Ontario, and the emergence of ecological thought and conservation biology in the twentieth century. The abiotic portion will deal with the origin, evolution, and current characteristics of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Various practical applied skills will be examined and practiced to prepare students to work in numerous environmental industries.

Units/ Hours: 45

In this course, various methods of erosion control practices and appropriate approaches are introduced. Types of erosion, causes, and methods of erosion control will be examined. In this light, erosion control approaches that apply to urban, shoreline and agricultural sectors will be presented. Proper field inspection techniques and control measures, including engineering and biological approaches will be examined.

Units/ Hours: 44

Field School provides the opportunity for students to integrate theory and practice in a field setting. It supports knowledge that has been gained during the first year. The field school activity also serves as an opportunity to introduce new field environmental techniques that are integrated into the curriculum over the course of the technician-level education and training.

Units/ Hours: 30

In this course, geomatics principles are applied to Land Information Systems. Applied field projects are implemented in to existing geographic and parcel based land fabrics. Extensive use of coordinate geometry (cogo) is used to calculate and plot field projects in CAD based systems. Final plans are place into geographic information systems for manipulation and analysis of spatial data models.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course deals with the identification of approximately 100 species of trees and shrubs of importance to those managing the forests resources of Ontario. Throughout the semester identification features for common trees and shrubs in both summer and winter condition are introduced and applied. A number of field trips are utilized to assist students with their identification skills. In the weekly lecture series topics such as tree growth, reproduction, photosynthesis, respiration, forest ecology and uses of trees will be introduced. At the completion of the course students will have a sound working knowledge of dendrology. The skills introduced in this semester may then be used in following semesters when working with Forest Ecosystem Classification, Restoration Ecology, Conservation Planning and other habitat management situations.

Units/ Hours: 60

This course examines the step-by-step processes involved in conventional and alternative water and wastewater treatment processes, and also looks at methods of industrial wastewater and home drinking water treatment in Ontario. In addition, relevant legislation, guidelines, water/wastewater characteristics, and process control laboratory tests will be studied. This information will prepare students to take a number of Ministry of the Environment Certificate examinations that are offered at the completion of the course.