Environmental Monitoring Certificate

The northern economy is on the verge of an industrial boom, creating a ripple effect of demand for environmental awareness surrounding LNG, mining, and oil and gas operations. There has never been a better way to take advantage of emerging career opportunities than by completing UNBC Continuing Studies’ self-paced online Environmental Monitoring Certificate.

This online program provides students with a solid understanding of the theoretical and practical components of baseline and construction phase environmental monitoring. On the job, Environmental Monitors identify the associated impacts of industrial activities on the environment: Observing, Recording, Communicating and Archiving (ORCA) this information to stakeholders in order to minimize or mitigate negative environmental impacts. Students will be prepared to play a key role in ensuring industry activities comply with environmental laws and regulations (in British Columbia primarily).


UPON COMPLETION: Environmental Monitoring Certificate

What does an Environmental Monitor do?

Environmental Monitors are advocates for the environment who strive to minimize negative environmental impacts associated with industrial activities. This is done through the ORCA model of Observing, Recording, Communicating and Archiving collected data and providing it to project stakeholders in order to identify sustainable and responsible environmental practices. This Online Environmental Monitoring Certificate provides a basic understanding of the theoretical and practical components of the baseline and construction phases of environmental monitoring.

Is this certificate for me?

Whether you’re an environmental superhero or looking to build your career within the industry – this certificate is for you! The Online Environmental Monitoring Certificate is geared to sharpen your skills and knowledge, or kickstart your career as an Environmental Monitor in one of many upcoming proposed industrial projects.

stopwatchTight on time?

No problem! This certificate is ideal for anyone’s schedule – offering a self-paced learning environment with the program broken down into 10 focused courses relevant to Environmental Monitoring.

Field Skills

Since this is an online course, it’s hard to take part in field skills like what would normally be done for the classroom course. For those interested in obtaining field skills, we can provide this as an additional (optional) component of the Environmental Monitoring Certificate.

The additional component would be useful for those individuals who have recently completed or are working on the UNBC Online Environmental Certificate or those looking to enhance their field skills related to environmental monitoring.  Students will be introduced to, and given hands on practice using a variety of environmental data collecting equipment.  A variety of field sites will be visited giving the students a broad overview of past, present and future construction field sites.  The instructors for the course have a vast amount of experience in this area and will provide many examples and site specific content.

Field Course Objectives:

  • Apply Chance Find Procedures in the field
  • Identify archaeology features in the field
  • Proper installations of sediment fence
  • Proper installation of check dams with multiple materials
  • Proper techniques for cover (straw, mulch, woody debris)
  • Proper poly tarping techniques
  • How to implement a drainage channel
  • How to install wattle fence and live stakes, what species to take cuts from, how to prepare them
  • How to create berms and swales (with machine or with straw bales/sausages and stakes)
  • Go over directing run off into vegetation
  • Proper installation of straw sausages
  • Mock armoring exercise with scaled down armoring
  • Basic sampling designs demonstration and grid setup in the  field
  • Demonstrate different types of water quality testing in the field
  • Outline steps in responding to a spill and complete a mock spill response field clean up
  • Examine spill kit contents
  • Introduction to Handheld GPS use in the field
  • Identify field site characteristics and influence on ecosystems
  • Identify field site soil genesis, factors that influence soil development
  • Identify field site a soil profile
  • Identify field site differences between trees, shrubs, herbs, mosses, lichens
  • Demonstrate vegetation sampling in environmental monitoring
  • Identify field site plant succession/competition
  • Demonstrate tree mensuration
  • Stream discharge and how to measure it in a variety of ways
  • Perform a worksite isolation in the field

If obtaining field skills is of interest to you, please email us at cstudies@unbc.ca or call us at 1-866-843-8061 to express your interest. A minimum of 12 students is required to plan this supplemental component.


Cathy Mackay, MSc, RPBio, PAg

Cathy Mackay is a Professional Biologist, a Professional Agrologist, and an owner of EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. Her technical background is split equally among specialties in wildlife, wildlife habitat, and aquatic sciences.

Read More About Cathy

Rob Bryce Continuing Studies Coordinator, UNBC, GPS Instructor

Rob Bryce is a Coordinator with UNBC Continuing Studies who focuses on a wide variety of program areas, but with an emphasis on natural resource management. Rob also instructs courses on Global Positioning Systems and Oziexplorer Mapping Software for the department.

Read More About Rob

Eric Vogt, Fisheries Biologist

Eric Vogt has been involved in fisheries research and consulting since completing BSc at UBC in 2010. He is currently a graduate student at UNBC and is studying the behaviours of coastal cutthroat trout in the Kitimat River.

Read More About Eric

Jason Yarmish

Jason Yarmish is a Professional Biologist with over 18 years of experience working throughout western Canada. Jason completed his BSc in Natural Resource Management as a Fisheries major in 2001.

Read More About Jason

Richard B. Krehbiel J.D.

Rick Krehbiel served with the Saskatchewan and BC Natural Resources Departments until founding his consulting business in Prince George in 1993. Prior to relocating to British Columbia in 1990 he graduated from the University of Saskatchewan College of Law and worked in private practice and as a provincial Crown Prosecutor.

Read More About Richard

Quinn Barabash B.A. Geography, Qualified Environmental Professional

Quinn Barabash has over 10 years of experience working in multiple disciplines within the environmental sector. He specializes in fisheries and wildlife sciences and social sciences. He has experience in community outreach and environmental awareness, rehabilitation, and restoration on the Sunshine Coast.

Read More About Quinn

Hanna Van de Vosse B. Sc., R.P. Bio

Hanna Van de Vosse is a Professional Biologist with a background in fisheries and water quality. She began her consulting career in 1995 conducting various fish distribution and habitat assessments on the Columbia River in the West Kootenay Region.

Read More About Hanna

Brian V. Brown AScT, ID, CRSP, CHSC, EP

Brian Brown is a Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP); an Applied Science and Technology Professional (AScT); has received his Provincial Instructors Diploma (ID) and has qualified as a Certified Health and Safety Consultant (CHSC) under the auspice of the Canadian Society of Safety Engineering.

Read More About Brian

Kevin Christie, BSc, RPBio, PBiol, AAg

Kevin Christie is a Registered Professional Biologist working with EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc., an environmental consulting company in Prince George, BC. He is a graduate from the Recreation, Fish and Wildlife Program at Selkirk College in Castlegar, BC, where he received a technical diploma.

Read More About Kevin

Bruce Rogers MSc, RPBio, PAg, Regional Ecologist Omineca North/East

Bruce Rogers is Regional Research Ecologist for Omineca/North East Regions with the BC Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operation, and a member of the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) Program. He has a BSc in Wildlife Biology, an MSc in Forest Ecology, and is a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio) and Professional Agrologist (PAg).

Read More About Bruce

Mark Thompson M.Sc, M.Ed, RP Bio

Mark Thompson is a professional biologist with the BC College of Applied Biology, Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, and director with the BC Association of Professional Biologists. He specializes in herpetology, the study of amphibians and reptiles.

Read More About Mark

Jen Herkes, MA, Archaeologist

Jen Herkes is an archaeologist with Ecofor Consulting Ltd. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Victoria and in archaeology from Simon Fraser University, and she has earned a Master’s degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern BC.

Read More About Jen

Nicki Veikle, BSc, AScT, Environmental Scientist

Nicki Veikle is an Environmental Scientist with experience working in the private and public sectors. As an environmental consultant, Nicki has done her fair share of environmental monitoring of construction projects.

Read More About Nicki

Ian Riemenschneider, HBSc.

Ian is currently the Project Manager for the Terrace Salmonid Enhancement Society. He manages the Kitsumkalum River Chinook Salmon Project at Deep Creek Hatchery in Terrace, BC. He has been working in fisheries for the last 10 years, beginning his experience at an early age.

Read More About Ian

Dan LeGrandeur

Dan LeGrandeur is the president and chief instructor at Bear Scare Ltd. He has more than 25 years field experience working with bears and other wildlife, first as a Conservation Officer in British Columbia, then as the creator of Bear Scare Ltd., and through his work as an educator, training others in techniques for safely co-existing with bears and other wildlife.

Read More About Dan

What is it like to be an environmental monitor?

Environmental Monitoring Certificate - Water Testing
Environmental Monitoring Certificate - Water Testing
Environmental Monitoring Certificate - Construction In Sensitive Areas
Environmental Monitoring Certificate - Field Work

Where could you work with an Environmental Monitoring Certificate?

  • LNG pipelines
  • Mining reclamation
  • Oil and gas operations
  • Forestry operations
  • Transmission lines
  • Seismic lines
  • and many more!