Make a difference in our environment.
Urban sprawl. Deforestation. Air pollution. Water contamination. Invasive species. The demand for sustainable actions is higher now than ever before, and it's only going to grow.
Our courses in Sustainability will equip you with the tools and knowledge to make a difference. From seed saving to rainwater harvesting, these courses will empower you to have a positive impact on our community.
Our certificate and diploma programs—offered in partnership through UVic's School of Environmental Studies—are designed to give you the knowledge and skills you need to restore habitats to their natural state, as you pursue a career in sustainability.
From hands-on workshops to walking tours, our community Sustainability courses will help you get your hands dirty! Topics include:
- how to harvest rainwater
- how to save seeds
- which plants are native to Vancouver Island
- environment projects in the community
Courses are offered in the spring and fall. View our available courses below.
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Stay up to date on current information in the field of restoration and sustainability.
- Addressing Climate Anxiety and Ecological Grief
- Advanced Principles & Concepts of Ecological Restoration
- Biodiversity and Conservation Biology
- Climate Change and the Ocean
- Conservation at the Interface - Indigenous Knowledge and Environmental Science
- Conservation Conflict Transformation: Processes and Principles
- Ecorestoration Strategies: Case Studies
- Ecosystems of British Columbia, Canada, and the World
- Environmental Writing Workshop: Turning Knowledge into Feeling
- Ethical, Legal, and Policy Aspects of Environment Restoration
- Expected and Actual Performance of Green Buildings: Lessons Learned
- Field Study in Ecological Restoration I
- Field Study in Ecological Restoration II
- Forest Restoration and Sustainable Forestry
- Galiano Island Field Study
- Gardening with Native Plants
- Gardens in History: Ecological Gardens that Engage with Nature
- Good Fire Ahead: Controlled Burning in the American West
- Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping
- Landscape Design for the Pacific Northwest
- Mining Reclamation
- Non-Timber Forest Management and Sustainable Use by Major Forest Zones in BC
- Principles and Concepts of Ecological Restoration
- Restoration of Marine Aquatic Systems
- Science Communication for Ecological Restoration
- Selection and Propagation of Native Plants for Ecological Restoration
- Soil Conservation and Restoration
- Special Topics in Ecological Restoration: Climate Change in Ecological Restoration
- Special Topics in Environmental Restoration
- Special Topics in Environmental Restoration: Climate Change in Ecological Restoration
- Special Topics in Environmental Restoration: Fire Ecology
- Traditional Systems of Land and Resource Management
- Urban Restoration and Sustainable Agricultural Systems
- UVic's Restoration of Natural Systems Program: What can it do for you?
- Water in the Garden
Summer Arts Series
Annual summer arts series for professional and practicing artists, and UVic alumni.
UVic on the Peninsula
Each term we offer a selection of lectures and short courses in Sidney, most of which take place at the Mary Winspear Centre.
Advanced ecology training that builds on your knowledge in the field. Courses are offered online, appealing to working professionals as a means to meet their annual professional development requirements or to update their skills and understanding.
This flexible certificate program allows you to customize a course of study to meet your specific learning goals.
Restoration of Natural Systems – Certificate
Knowing where we are headed, from an ecological standpoint, requires an understanding of environmental impacts and recovery strategies. The Restoration of Natural Systems program provides a bridge that connects this knowledge with the practical skills needed to solve complex restoration issues.
Restoration of Natural Systems – Diploma
The Restoration of Natural Systems program provides a bridge that connects this knowledge with the practical skills needed to solve complex restoration issues. The program’s holistic approach will empower you, as someone who is passionate about the environment, to make a difference in how we connect with the natural world.
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this November 2023 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this August 2022 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this February 2022 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this November 2021 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this August 2021 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this May 2021 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
This year launches the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. It is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, graduation dates, 390 project ideas, COVID-19 notice and more in this winter 2021 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
Upcoming courses, program updates, 390 project ideas and more in this fall 2020 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
COVID-19 update, Upcoming courses, program updates, and more in this summer 2020 Sustainability and Ecological Restoration Newsletter.Read Story
New program video, June graduation dates, program reminders including tax information, and a save the date for an RNS spring celebration!Read Story
There are lots of new additions to our program – read on for details!Read Story
There are lots of new additions to our program – read on for details!Read Story
The RNS program is excited and pleased to introduce our new program director, Dr. Nancy Shackelford, who will be joining us in January 2020.Read Story
Plans to restore a Garry Oak meadow in honour of former Metchosin councillor, Moralea Milne—who passed away suddenly in 2018—are being given a helping hand by the division's Restoration of Natural Systems (RNS) students and Program DiRead Story
For his final RNS diploma program project, Todd Redding restored a section of mountain bike trail in the Three Blind Mice trail network near Penticton, BC. Redding planned and undertook the restoration of the trail with the support of the Penticton Area Cycling Association.Read Story
More than half of the earth’s grasslands are degraded from nearly a century of intensive agriculture, resource extraction, and urbanization.Read Story
Our relationship with nature is complex. We usually think in terms of taking from nature. It provides us with our needs and wants. But to be a part of nature we also need to give back. There needs to be reciprocity.Read Story
Julian enrolled in the RNS program in 2002 thinking he’d learn better ways to pull broom, but instead he learned much about planning, and especially the importance of community involvement in ecological restoration. Whenever the courses allowed, he would do his studies and reports about Cuthbert Holmes Park.Read Story
Restoration of Natural Systems Program alumni, Wendy Kotilla, founded the Youth and Ecological Restoration Program (YER) in 2004 based on her own experiences of being surrounded by the healing powers of nature.Read Story
Bringing together ecological restoration and permaculture while also incorporating traditional ecological knowledge held by the Penelakut Tribe is the goal of Adam Huggins’ final project for his RNS Diploma.Read Story
"If we are going to save environmentalism and the environment, we must also save an endangered species: the child in nature." -Richard Louv, 2005Read Story
The University of Victoria offers two programs in ecological restoration benefitting from a partnership that brings together content expertise from the School of Environmental Studies and the sensitivity to adult learner needs and online teaching expertise from the Division of Continuing Studies.Read Story
Ecological restoration depends critically on context. In addition to the ecological perspective, ecological restoration in cities needs to consider social and political layers that have impact on a site as well. Context for the site design is critical for a project to endure. There is no single prescription for restoration. To really work, a design requires that we understand the layers of a site’s past history, current influences — both on- and off-site and future impacts.Read Story
Amanda Evans is originally from Toronto but came out to Victoria in 2003 to attend the University of Victoria. In 2012, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Geography, and a Diploma in Restoration of Natural Systems.Read Story
Have you ever wanted to design your own credential? Have you ever struggled to find a program that meets your specific interests and needs? Then you might be interested in our newest program: the Certificate in General Studies.Read Story
Like many in her program, Coleman works full time and is five courses into the 12-course program. As a chemist, her day job is analyzing data for an environmental laboratory in Sidney. "I wanted to know more about the environment and systems and how it all fits together," she says. "I thought this program would be a little flaky, like maybe it won't be anything I can use (in life or work). But it definitely is."Read Story