Ecosystems for the Future


Course description

Over the past five years, how often have you heard the expression, "I have never seen a …fire / flood / drought / rainstorm / insect infestation / sea level rise… of this magnitude"? The world's climate is out of balance, and in this state, is driving ecosystem changes that few of us have seen in our lifetime. What is the scale of these changes now and into the future? How will this affect the way you work and live? How can we adapt? The practice of ecological restoration can point the way to positive actions at the ground level.

This week-long online learning session will bring into focus the practice of restoration of ecosystems at the local and regional level in BC through a series of presentations delivered by faculty from UVic's School of Environmental Studies, First Nations speakers and Elders, and professionals whose work intersects with ecology in diverse ways. We'll start by rooting our introduction in Indigenous perspectives on how the local ecosystems are changing. We'll discuss basic principles and practices of ecological restoration on the ground. We'll then explore the complexity of BC's biodiversity, basic drivers of change in ecosystems, and the challenges they present in different types of ecosystems. We'll look at how climate change models help us understand what the future scale of change might be, and we will finish up by discussing how ecological restoration principles can apply to different disciplines.

Throughout the week, you'll be learning with a cohort of colleagues from diverse disciplines and the following experts:

  • Thomas Munson, MSc, PAg, Course Facilitator

  • Tiffany Joseph, ŚW,ȻENEṈITEL, Indigenous Food Systems Animator

  • Earl Claxton Jr., Tsawout First Nations Elder

  • Dave Polster, Faculty, Ecological Restoration Program, UVic

  • Dr. Brian Starzomski, Faculty and Chair, School of Environmental Studies, UVic

  • Dr. Richard Hebda, Faculty, Restoration of Natural Systems Program, UVic

  • Dr. Nancy Shackelford, Director, Restoration of Natural Systems Program and Faculty, School of Environmental Studies, UVic

  • Dr. Eric Higgs, Faculty, School of Environmental Studies, UVic

  • Sonia Voicescu, PhD Candidate, School of Environmental Studies, UVic

  • Adriane Pollard, Planner and Manager of Environmental Services, District of Saanich

  • Judith Lyn Arney, Ecosystems Director, Pepekan Hautw Nursery and Food Garden, W’Sanec Tribal School, Brentwood Bay, BC

  • Bev Windjack, Landscape Architect, LADR Landscape Architects

  • Chris Krasowski, Climate Change Specialist, BC Government and Volunteer with City of Victoria Parks


Climate Adaptation Network LogoThis course was developed in partnership with the Adaptation Learning Network: Inspiring Climate Action project, which aims to build British Columbia’s capacity to adapt to climate change by providing working professionals with education, training and networking opportunities.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the local First Nations perspective on climate change impacts
  • Understand the main principles and objectives of ecological restoration
  • Discuss biodiversity in the local ecosystem
  • Understand the changing climate situation in BC
  • Predict what will happen with ecosystem change response
  • Evaluate how ecosystems respond to change
  • Recognize local examples of ecosystem types and how to restore them
  • Identify how ecological restoration principles intersect with different disciplines

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