The Applied Ecology and Conservation (AEC) program provides students with the employment skills needed for work as conservation field technicians The program is based on a core of university studies courses that allow students the option of exiting with a Certificate after completion of one year, continuing to the two-year Diploma or transferring into a Bachelor of Technology or Bachelor degree program in Biology, Environmental Science, and Geography at other post-secondary institutions in British Columbia and elsewhere.
The Applied Ecology and Conservation program is unique in providing students with an understanding of both western science and First Nation ecological knowledge systems. Both knowledge systems are integral components of conservation research and regulation. Instruction is provided by both Okanagan College and the Okanagan Nation Indigenous educational institution, the En’owkin Centre. The En’owkin Centre provides expertise for the Traditional and Aboriginal Ecological Knowledge (TEK and ATK) components of the program. Skills are applicable to a variety of ecosystems. Field experiences are taught within the context of one of the most threatened ecosystems in Canada, the south Okanagan, an area with the highest biodiversity and the most species at risk in Canada.
The program provides a solid foundation of conservation and best-practices protocols common to field studies. Students learn principles and theories of biology, applied ecology, conservation, geology, geography, TEK and ATK for a variety of ecosystems. The program covers plant and animal species identification, sampling, data processing and interpretation, safe and environmentally sound field practices, effective report and technical writing, public presentation skills and familiarity with Canada’s Species At Risk Act (SARA). Graduates of the AEC program will be prepared for field technician jobs in environmental assessment, forestry, fisheries, mining, and petrochemical fields with First Nations agencies, industry, and non-governmental organizations. Graduates may also choose to continue their academic studies by transferring to programs other post-secondary institutions.
Certificate: The one-year Certificate requires successful completion of 30 credits of prescribed courses from semesters 0, 1, 2, (if necessary) 3.
Diploma: The two-year Diploma requires successful completion of 60 credits of prescribed courses.
Part-time study: Students may also choose to pursue part-time studies and complete the program over a longer period of time.
Following approval and implementation of the program Okanagan College will seek industry accreditation for AEC certificate graduates from the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT). Additionally, Diploma students may apply, upon completion of their Diploma, to gain the following two credentials: EPts (Environmental Professionals-in-training) from ECO Canada and R.B. Tech. (Registered Biology Technologist in Training) from the College of Applied Biology of British Columbia. External agencies may require students to complete additional written examinations and/or practical competency evaluations and pay additional fees.
A regular applicant will be a secondary graduate or a secondary school student, or its equivalent, who has or who will complete the requirements for senior secondary graduation, or its equivalent, not less than one month prior to commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter. The following minimum entrance requirements will apply to regular applicants:
A minimum of 50% in any of:
Mature applicants are at least 19 years of age and will not have attended secondary school on a full-time basis for a minimum period of one year. Secondary graduation is waived for mature applicants. The English entrance requirements, as stated above, must be satisfied prior to admission. Admission may be granted on the condition that the entrance requirements will be completed prior to the commencement of classes for the semester to which admission is sought - either fall or winter.
This program is not currently offered
Science (University Studies)
Okanagan College Calendar: Printed 10/23/2021