COVID-19 updates    

Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 terms are offering both online and in-person 5-day field courses. We will alert registered students as soon as possible to any changes to the current schedule or format, and ask you to read our emails carefully, as well as information that might be attached. As a reminder, please check your junk mail in case our emails are being routed there by mistake!

Upcoming summer term courses:

Spring course registration opened on Aug. 1. We recommend registering early to ensure you get the courses you need. Summer course registration opens on Feb. 1, 2022. Please register for your course online if you are a program student or call the Continuing Studies registration desk at 250-472-4747.

Restoration of Natural Systems Program (RNS)


Ecological Restoration Program (ER PSC)


5-year schedules online

The 5-year program schedule has been updated and has its own webpage where you can link straight to course descriptions. Bookmark these for quick access:

Program updates

New instructor

Adam Huggins has joined our faculty and will be teaching ER501 starting fall 2021. Adam is the restoration coordinator for the Galiano Conservancy Association on Galiano Island, where he designs and implements restoration projects using a range of approaches. He holds a BSc in biology and environmental studies from the University of Victoria, as well as a diploma in the Restoration of Natural Systems. Over the past decade, he has worked from central California to the north coast of BC in plant nurseries, on restoration projects, and in remote fieldwork. He produces and co-hosts the Future Ecologies podcast, and is also an avid backpacker, musician and naturalist.


Dave Polster is retiring this year. A plant ecologist with over 40 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management, we are grateful for his expert knowledge, student mentorship and guidance in the Ecological Restoration program. As a mentor for our students, he has made a lasting impact on their success. We wish him all the best.

Dave Polster


New issue of Ecorestoration journal

The Spring 2021 issue of Ecorestoration RNS Technical Series has been published. All students who complete their ER390 project are eligible to publish in Ecorestoration annually. Check out your fellow students’ finished projects in past issues of the journal.

SER student chapter interest

If any student is interested in creating a SER student chapter at UVic, please get in contact with our director, Nancy Shackelford. A student chapter provides a great way to pursue professional development and offers special rates for events and activities, and access to resources. Learn more about SER

New elective course coming soon

In fall 2022, we are launching ER336 Communication and Leadership Skills for Ecological Restoration, which has been redeveloped by instructor Alina Fisher. This course will introduce a variety of perspectives, methods and skills that will help when dealing with the human aspect of ecological restoration. Skills for interacting with stakeholders and partners are needed for every aspect of a career in ecological restoration, from dealing with coworkers, attracting volunteers, and advising decision-makers to communicate with the public and media. Look for this elective next fall!

Reminder: checking your grades

We encourage you to sign in and check your final grades online. Depending on whether you are a credit or non-credit student, there are different places to check your final course grades.
If you are an RNS Diploma (credit) student: you can view your grades by signing in to the UVic home page and searching under “My online tools”.
If you are an RNS Certificate or ER Certificate (non-credit) student: you can view your grades by signing in to Continuing Studies Website. Click on “My Account” near the top right of the page, then click on “Transcripts, Reports, Tax Forms” on the left hand side menu and select Administrative Transcript.

Post nominal letters

Wondering what to put behind your name once you graduate? Here are the post nominal letters according to program:

  • Restoration of Natural Systems Diploma: Dip.RNS
  • Restoration of Natural Systems Certificate: Cert.RNS
  • Professional Specialization in Ecological Restoration: PSCert.ER


390 project ideas

If you are interested in finding a 390 project, please consider the following:

University of Victoria – Mystic Vale Gateway Project and Bowker Creek Restoration Design (Victoria)

Two exciting opportunities have arisen at the University of Victoria.

The first, led by UVic alumni in coordination with the District of Oak Bay, will involve designing an educational gateway into Mystic Vale, based at the sump house near Cedar Hill Road. The sump house—covered in artistic graffiti and situated at a beautiful curve in Hobbs Creek, already has planters that are currently overrun with weeds. It presents a perfect location for meaningful design and educational opportunities for Mystic Vale users.

The second, led in partnership between the RNS Program and Bowker Creek initiatives, will focus on the headwaters of Bowker Creek, situated on the university campus. Current conditions and restoration opportunities will be mapped, and long-term plans for connecting with downstream efforts will be launched.

Galiano Conservancy Creek Restoration (Gulf Islands)

The Galiano Conservancy is launching an effort to restoration natural stream and creek flow patterns to their flagstone property. The project is an enormous effort that will take many years. They are looking for keen RNS students willing to plan pieces, from working on the hydrology and installation, to native planting plans. Their lead steward is an RNS graduate and a phenomenal mentor, and this is a great opportunity!

Photo credit: Galiano Conservatory Association

Courtenay River/K'omoks Estuary (Comox Valley)

Kus-kus-sum (KKS) was once a tidally-influenced forested riparian area and salt marsh alongside the Courtney River and within K’ómoks Estuary. In 1949, it was developed as a sawmill. The restoration of the site involves the recreation of a natural shoreline, saltmarsh channels and riparian forest. Project Watershed has partnered directly with the City of Courtenay and K’ómoks First Nation on this initiative, and have had strong community and individual engagement. They are looking to build further collaboration through student involvement in the restoration phases of the project, which are launching spring 2021.

Exploring the causes of decreased berry production in a historic cranberry garden

Native cranberry production has declined in many regions across BC from a large suite of environmental changes, including altered water tables, nutrient enrichment, and changes in plant composition due to the loss of traditional management practices. In the Fraser Valley, the Katzie First Nation has observed changes in berry production in their traditional garden areas, and are seeking a deeper understanding of why and what management actions are best suited moving forward. They are looking for a student, guided by community members and advised by Dr. Richard Hebda, to methodically test the causes and solutions of local berry declines.


Other updates

If you are currently looking for work, here are some employer websites to check out:

Looking to volunteer?

The following groups are recruiting volunteers:

Want to connect with the larger UVic Environmental Studies community?

Sign up for the bi-weekly newsletter and find out relevant information on local events, seminars, volunteer opportunities and more


For more information:

Tusa Shea, Program Coordinator 250-721-8463 |

Aly Trippel, Program Assistant | 250-721-8458 |

Nancy Shackelford, Academic Director | 250-472-4387 |

  • Posted May 3, 2021