Upcoming courses:

Summer course registration opened on Feb. 1, 2024. Courses can fill up fast, so be sure to register early to get your seat. Please register for your course online if you are a program student or call the Continuing Studies registration desk 250-472-4747.

Restoration of Natural Systems Program (RNS)


Ecological Restoration Program (ER PSC)


5-year schedules online

Bookmark the 5-year program schedule for quick access:

Program updates

Green Career Fair 2023

by Andrea Kwok

Between course readings, assignments and the other responsibilities that make up a student’s busy schedule, it can be challenging to remember the “why” behind pursuing studies. When graduation seems on the distant horizon, it’s easy to miss “the forest for the trees.” Enter the UVic Green Career Fair, hosted on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 by the SER UVic Student Association and the School of Continuing Studies. This inaugural event aimed to reconnect students with the big “why” behind their studies and help them prepare for their futures in the environmental employment field.

Jemma Easton, Andrea Kwok, Kara Mullin, and David Krug, Executive Committee of the SER UVic Student Association

The day began with a career panel of four diverse and eloquent environmental experts, who shared their unique backgrounds and philosophies before a Q&A session with audience questions. We were honoured to have Loreisa Lepine, an Indigenous Land Steward from the Songhees Nation, share a territorial welcome. Loreisa, who leads the Place of Medicine restoration project in the courtyard of the David Turpin building, shared her belief in the importance of seeking elders and mentors to help guide our decisions related to career and personal crossroads. Dr. Cara Gibson, Executive Director of the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, shared her experiences of finding her voice in the occasionally-exclusive, doctorate-level STEM circles, and making space for others that may be underrepresented at the table. Alexander Fanni, General Manager of Landmark Resource Management, shared how his decision to push outside his comfort zone after graduating and move to a remote, northern community opened up a world of new perspectives, personal meaning and professional development for him. Paul de Greeff, Manager of Parks and Planning with the District of Saanich, described his passion for rain gardens, and his advice on staying inquisitive, humble and open to lifelong learning outside of a classroom.

Environmental expert panel: Loreisa Lepine, Paul de Greeff, Dr. Cara Gibson, Alexander Fanni

Following the career panel, event participants took to the David Turpin lobby, where a job fair featuring eight environmental employers were prepared to field questions, share information about their organizations and collect resumes for open positions. The mix of employers featured CRD Parks, the Gorge Waterway Action Society, the IISAAK OLAM Foundation, Saanich Parks, Gwaii Engineering, the Sandown Regenerative Centre for Regenerative Agriculture, the Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary, and Terra Vita Design. Each organization brought unique employment opportunities to suit students’ interests, and provided valuable experience in face-to-face networking.

The UVic Green Career Fair 2023 was a resounding success, and with such a strong turnout from curious and passionate students, the SER UVic Student Association is inspired to make the event an annual tradition.

ABT Credentialing

We are pleased to announce that the College of Applied Biology has confirmed that graduates from the RNS diploma and certificate programs will now meet the academic requirements for entry as an applied biology technician (ABT) and associated ABT in training category with the college. Applicants to the college will need to meet the other requirements set out in the credentialing standard, including work experience, competencies and references. Learn more here.

RNS program student resource site

New online resource in Brightspace for the Restoration of Natural Systems programs.

You’ll find information to help you plan courses and complete your program. There is also information on local volunteering opportunities and professional development. It’s free to sign yourself up!

Becoming more involved!

There has been a surge of student activity in the restoration realm on campus, and it has created amazing opportunities to increase your involvement with restoration and interact with your fellow students:

  1. The Ecological Restoration Club is actively restoring the campus oak meadow, working on native plant propagation on campus, and conducting lots of trips and excursions for local restoration events. If you’re interested in joining up, email nature@uvic.ca.
  2. Our students are leading the ratification and registration of our very own Society of Ecological Restoration Student Chapter! They will be focused on connecting with professionals, each other and SER in Western Canada and internationally. For more information, email Andrea Kwok.
  3. The Greater Victoria Green Teamis always planning events. These have limited space, so we encourage interested volunteers to RSVP as soon as they can on our Meetup page. Details can be found on our Meetup page. Everyone of any age or experience level is welcome to all of our activities—we will provide the necessary training and tools (and snacks!).

Reminder: checking your grades

We encourage you to log on 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 logging 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 logging in to the Continuing Studies website. Click on “My Account” near the top right of the page, then click on “Transcripts, Reports, Tax Forms” on the left 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:

Pavlik Park in North Saanich

This project involves working with the Friends of North Saanich to add yet another park to their list of managed sites (of which some have been almost CLEARED of invasive species!) The park is 8 ha, partly logged perhaps 60 years ago with brush on one section—about 4 ha—with lots of adult daphne and ivy. The importance of this park is its small section of old growth (not aged at this time) at the corner of Ardmore Drive. Access is poor, so a student would help plan and create access for the Friends, as well as lay out restoration options, lead aerial ivy control efforts and create maps of the site for the stewardship efforts.

Pacific Rim National Park

Parks Canada is looking for a student with a drone and/or geomatics background to help assess and plan dune restoration efforts in the park. Please only express interest in this project if a) you have those skills; or b) you are planning to take the drone micro-credential program from UVic.

Scientific research on the impacts of English holly

The Metchosin Invasive Species Council has been doing extensive, municipality-wide clearing of English holly. They are hoping to enlist a student who will design a scientific study to measure the potential effects of the “dead zone” in the drip line of adult trees. This project would be a close collaboration between MISC, a student and the RNS academic director.

The Land Conservancy (two projects)

The Alston-Stewart property is The Land Conservancy of BC’s (TLC) most recently acquired property located in Saanich. It is 3.21 ha in size and has large areas of ivy, daphne and English holly. TLC is looking for a student to create an invasive species management plan focusing on either the terrestrial area (majority), the pond area or both. The interested student will create a five-year plan identifying which species/areas to prioritize and provide recommendations for future property management.

Second Lake is a property owned by TLC and is in the District of Highlands. It is 74.05 ha in size and is predominately forested and features a beautiful lake. Over time Scotch broom has taken over parts of the property and it needs an invasive species management plan. The interested student will identify the extent of Scotch broom on the property, address priority areas and give recommendations for future property management. 


Note: ER390 projects are typically focused on hands-on activities, so these plans would be complemented by on ground work or public outreach and education.

Don’t forget to apply for the Lorene Kennedy Field Award if you need financial support for your final project!


Other updates

SER North American Conference

The SER North American Conference will take place in Vancouver this year from Oct. 28 – Nov. 1, 2024. The call for proposals is open and the deadline is being extended. Please see the website for more details

We have new micro-credential programs you might be interested in:

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.  
  • Join the Ecological Restoration Club on campus as they implement restoration plans on campus lands. Email: nature@uvic.ca for more information, or visit their Facebook page.
  • Engage with regional restoration planning for the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (email: makeadifferenceweek@gmail.com), or join the RNS launch of a SER Student Chapter (email: nshack@uvic.ca).

For more information:

Tusa Shea, Program Coordinator 250-721-8463 | ecorestoration@uvic.ca

Aly Trippel, Program Assistant | 250-721-8458 | bstadmin@uvic.ca

Nancy Shackelford, Academic Director | 250-472-4387 | nshack@uvic.ca


  • Posted February 9, 2024