March 03, 2009 13:00 ET

BCIT Launches Canada's First Stand-Alone Ecological Restoration Degree

The new four-year Bachelor of Technology will begin in September 2009

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 3, 2009) - It will be the first stand-alone degree program of its kind in Canada - and it was born and bred at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). The new four-year Bachelor of Technology in Ecological Restoration will provide graduates with an understanding of the many ecosystems impacted by human influences in British Columbia, across Canada and in other parts of the world. Beginning this September, the program will teach students how to repair the ecological values of areas damaged in past.

"This is an exciting program for those interested in nature, the environment, and applied biological sciences who also want to be part of a challenging field with an expanding future," says Jace Standish, program head of the BCIT Ecological Restoration program. "Our faculty are active in many aspects of environmental work, including ecological restoration, and will provide students with the applied knowledge and skills so widely recognized in BCIT graduates. I wish there had been a program like this when I was going to university."

Students in the program will learn through hands-on field applications involving actual ecological restoration initiatives as well as group and individual projects, case studies, class presentations, guest lectures, lab sessions, and field research. Applicants with a two-year diploma from BCIT's Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation (FWR) program, or equivalent training from other recognized universities or colleges, will qualify for advanced placement.

"This new degree represents a very natural progression for BCIT as it is very much in line with some of the restoration projects our FWR program has been involved with in the past," says Mark Angelo, program head of the BCIT FWR program who championed the Ecological Restoration degree proposal. "Ecological Restoration graduates will not only bring skills and expertise to current employers, but will also become leaders and innovators in their field."

Natural habitats across the province have been severely impacted due to habitat destruction, urban sprawl, invasive species expansions, and direct damage. These factors combined with the resulting increase in the number of threatened and endangered species have resulted in the need for ecosystem restoration work across the province and around the world.

For further information, please contact Jace Standish at 604.432.8862 or visit http://www.bcit.ca/ecorestoration/.

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