Students taking the Environmental Technician Program at Algonquin College gain the skills needed for entry-level practitioners within the environmental sciences sector.
Graduates of the Environmental Technician program may find entry-level employment in the compliance and promotion sectors, as remediation technicians, in the areas of water and wastewater treatment operations, as contaminated site assessment technicians, or working within the consulting industry as environmental practitioners.
Exciting educational opportunity for Environmental Technician students: Join us in the Jungle!
Registration is now underway – Rainforest & Tropical Science is an applied general education course that introduces students to ecotourism and ecology principles. The unique outdoor adventure course is held in the winter semester and combines online delivery with practical learning in the rainforests of Costa Rica.
For details and course information, visit the website at:
Starting Fall 2013: This is a Mobile Learning Program.
As a student in this program you will require a mobile computing device, for example a laptop or tablet computer.
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- Ontario College Diploma
- 45 Weeks
- Program Code:
- Academic Year:
This two-year Ontario College Diploma program, delivered in a compressed format over 45 weeks, is designed to meet the current and growing need for skilled entry-level practitioners within the environmental sciences sector. Students have the opportunity to gain invaluable workplace experience through an optional paid co-op placement. The accelerated program delivery allows graduates to enter the workforce sooner than those who enrol in a traditional two-year college offering. Students obtain theoretical and extensive practical training in three disciplines of environmental sciences: biology, chemistry and engineering, and learn to collect, measure and analyze variables commonly considered in environmental studies. Students learn to use the appropriate tools and equipment needed in biology, hydrology, ecological field sampling and analytical chemistry. The program provides field and laboratory experience in soil, water and air testing and combines it with a basic knowledge of freshwater environment systems, soils and landforms, the chemistry of pollutants and ecological processes. Students learn to work effectively within a regulatory framework that demands a basic knowledge of standard operating procedures, quality controls and compliance practices.
Students have the opportunity to obtain industry-related certifications targeted at enhancing their employment opportunities. Paticipation in the summer co-operative work placement allows students to gain real-world work experience and provides further opportunity to network and make industry contacts. Students return for the last academic term with experience and insight that helps them succeed in the final level.
This program is well-suited for students who:
- Seek an active, outdoor, hands-on learning environment.
- Are eager to measure, monitor, protect and improve the environment.
- Want to become familiar with both field and laboratory methods used broadly in the environmental sector.
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Graduates may find entry-level employment in the compliance and promotion sectors, as remediation technicians, in the areas of water and wastewater treatment operations, as contaminated site assessment technicians or working within the consulting industry as environmental practitioners.
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A broad overview of ecological concepts and issues is provided. The ecological foundation that students need to understand the environment and the impacts of development on a variety of ecosystems is also presented. Concepts that are covered include ecological principles, sustaining biodiversity and humans as agents of change. These ecological principles are studied and discussed in the context of current ecological issues, as they relate to local, regional and global sustainability.
Students are introduced to the fundamental principles of biology and microbiology, particularly as they relate to the environment. The structure, function and biological processes of organisms are major areas of concentration. Further study demonstrating the abilities of organisms to react and cope with changes in their surrounding environment is delivered through field and lab activities.
Students are exposed to the fundamental principles of chemistry that build the foundation for understanding chemistry applications in the environmental fields. Students learn to explore the various states of matter, understand how matter is described and its characteristics. Chemical bonding and the properties of solutions are areas of concentration. Laboratory exercises emphasize phase changes, solution concentrations, chemical reactions relevant to environmental studies, and the safe handling of chemicals and laboratory equipment.
Basic computer skills required to succeed in college and in the workplace are covered. Students gain experience using the college standard, elearning software Blackboard. Topics covered include effective use of email, email attachments and word processing. Also covered is the management of data using spreadsheets, as well as graphic presentation of spreadsheet information. Effective Internet searching is discussed, as well as sources of Internet mapping information.
Communication remains an essential skill sought by employers, regardless of discipline or field of study. Using a practical, vocation-oriented approach, students focus on meeting the requirements of effective communication. Through a combination of lectures, exercises, and independent learning, students practise writing, speaking, reading, listening, locating and documenting information, and using technology to communicate professionally. Students develop and strengthen communication skills that contribute to success in both educational and workplace environments.
Physical, chemical and biological characteristics of freshwater environments are introduced. Students specifically gain an understanding of the ecological importance of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. The relationships between landscapes and aquatic environments are explored. Field trips are used to familiarize students with freshwater systems and to provide practical training in an array of aquatic observational, measuring and sampling techniques. Protocols for collecting, identifying, analyzing, storing and transporting aquatic samples are practised.
|FOR7314||Soils and Landforms|
The characteristics of common soils with emphasis on the physical, chemical and biological features are explored. Students spend a portion of time in the field examining soil texture and profile, and the correlation between landforms and a variety of landscapes. Soil movement, erosion, contamination and their control are examined.
Mathematical principles that are required to solve numerical problems in the environmental sciences are introduced. Emphasis is placed on the study of fractions, percentages, geometry and scales. Students describe word problems in mathematical terms and interpret results.
|SCI7614||Physical, Chemical and Biological Sampling|
Students practise the appropriate field methods required to collect a wide range of air, water, soil and biological samples. Students learn safe handling procedures for samples, a variety of preservation techniques, protocols for legal samples and best practices for sample shipping. Various types of equipment are used by students to collect and preserve samples.
Students prepare for employment in their field of study. Resume preparation, cover letters, job search techniques and interview skills are covered. Students learn the proper etiquette, conduct and attitude necessary to be successful in their employment search. The work term and co-op components are also introduced. In addition to the introduction of the co-op and work term, an introduction to the professional development components of the program, conference attendance and a digital portfolio is undertaken.
Students develop technical communication skills. Topics include written and oral reports; technical writing style; employment correspondence and resumes; locating, evaluating and documenting technical information; interpreting and using visuals; and other communication skills required by technicians in today's workplace.
|ENV7411||Contaminants in the Environment|
Students gain a broad understanding of existing natural and man-made contaminants in the environment and understand their potential impacts on terrestrial and aquatic organisms, populations and ecosystems. Principles of natural background concentrations, bioaccumulation, biomagnification, degradation and the chemical fates of contaminants are explored. Legislation and regulations that apply to contaminants are reviewed.
|ENV7412||Water Treatment Technology|
Students gain a comprehensive overview of key aspects of water treatment with particular focus on drinking water treatment technologies. Topics covered include water characteristics and sources, disinfection, treatment, sampling, analysis and regulations governing drinking water. Students prepare to challenge the Ontario Entry-Level Drinking Water Operators Exam.
|ENV7413||Hydrology and Hydrogeology|
The hydrological cycle, the movement of water through the atmosphere and on the earth's surface and subsurface is introduced. The physical principles that govern the movement of water are discussed. Students learn to perform calculations that describe these flows. The effect of human activities on hydrology is covered.
Focus is placed on more holistic approaches to ecosystem sustainability. Students learn to identify critical linkages between organisms and their habitats. Students also learn to recognize the impacts of human induced stressors resulting from socioeconomic needs. The concepts of ecosystem services are introduced. Students are able to recognize the linkages between environment, the economy, and the cultural needs of its inhabitants. Challenges associated with measuring and quantifying cumulative ecosystem impacts are discussed. Working individually and in groups, students explore strategies for protecting and managing ecosystems.
Students have the opportunity to gain certifications in various preferred specialties. Possible certifications include Pleasure Craft Operator, WHMIS, Transportation of Dangerous Goods, Float Plane Safety, Aquatic Biomonitoring, Erosion and Sediment Control, GPS Greencheck, and GIS ESRI ArcMap.
|GIS7315||Geographical Information Systems|
Analysis of spatial data is introduced. Students learn to efficiently use ESRI's ArcMAP software as the primary geographical information system software. Students practise basic skills in manipulating and presenting spatial information with particular focus on the integration and appropriate delivery of technical data. Students gain further exposure to a wide variety of emerging online spatial resources and tools. ArcPAD hand-held field technologies are also introduced.
|MAT7221||Statistics and Data Management|
The following topics in statistics are introduced: the collection, organization and presentation of statistical data, measures of tendencies and variation, basic probability concepts, errors in data and construction of indices. Basic principles of database design and the tools needed to manage data in an effective and secure manner are also examined.
|WKT7102||Cooperative Education Work Term|
For students who qualify academically and who choose to participate, there is the opportunity to enhance their diploma with an officially recognized co-op designation. This designation is achieved by successfully completing a paid co-op educational employment experience where students have the chance to gain valuable work experience, network and make contacts in the industry, and assess their skills and weaknesses in a real world work environment.
Based on the general principles of national citizenship, environmental citizenship goes beyond national borders to emphasize global environmental rights and responsibilities - to focus on both conservation of and planned sustainable use of our planet's resources, as well as the recognition that environmental health is a prerequisite to human health. Environmental citizenship is a personal commitment to learning more about the environment and to taking responsible environmental action. This course is a journey into adopting attitudes and behaviours that foster global environmental responsibility.
|ENV7431||Global, Regional and Local Environmental Issues|
Students learn about key global, regional and local environmental issues and their inter-dependencies. Students, working as individuals or within teams, are assigned a local environmental issue and required to research, analyze, design and implement an action plan that effectively manages or resolves the issue. Opportunities to conduct small-scale applied research projects are provided.
Environmental Assessments (EAs) are legislated requirements for many environmentally related projects. Students have the opportunity to conduct an Environmental Assessment in collaboration with local industry partners. The various phases of an EA and the requirements of a technician at each phase are introduced. Students are responsible for conducting preliminary site assessments, initiating a monitoring plan, collecting and compiling relevant data and making basic recommendations to an industry partner.
|ENV7433||Contaminated Site Assessment and Remediation|
Contaminated Site Assessments are legislated requirements for many Canadian governmental organizations. Students have the opportunity to conduct a Contaminated Site Assessment (CSA) in collaboration with local industry partners or government. The various phases of a CSA and the requirements of a technician at each phase are introduced. Students are responsible for conducting preliminary site assessments, initiating a monitoring plan, collecting and compiling relevant data and making basic recommendations to an industry or government partner.
|ENV7434||Land and Water Stewardship|
Protecting and enhancing the environment through implementation of a variety of land and/or water-based stewardship projects is the focus. Students explore joint stewardship opportunities with local stakeholders in areas of shared interests. The establishment of formal partnerships with industry/community-based organizations allows students to actively contribute to the implementation of on-the-ground environmental solutions.
|ENV7435||Environmental Management Systems|
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a management framework by which an organization can demonstrate progress towards improved environmental performance. Students are familiarized with the ISO14001 standard and learn the various stages of the EMS Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. Exposure to the various policies, impacts and objectives surrounding an EMS are the main focuses of this course. Students learn to recognize cost-savings gained through commercial reduction of waste and more efficient use of resources.
|Choose one from equivalencies:||Hours|
|GED1212||General Education Elective|
Students choose one course, from a group of general education electives, which meets one of the following five theme requirements: Arts in Society, Civic Life, Social and Cultural Understanding, Personal Understanding, and Science and Technology.
Equivalencies: ARC9001 or FAM1218 or GED1896 or GED5006 or GEN2000 or HIS0001 or HOS2228 or MGT7330 or MVM8800 or PSI0003 or RAD2001 or FIN2300 or GED5200 or GEN1001 or GEN2003 or SOC2003 or GED5004 or GED5009 or GED5300 or GEN2009 or GED5005 or GED6022 or GEN1957 or LIB1982 or ENV0002 or GED5002 or GEN2007 or HIS2000 or PSI1702
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Tuition Fees: $1,684.96 per term.
Information Technology Fee: $62 per term. *
Student Activity/Sports Fee: $200.50 per term.
Student Commons/Auditorium Fee: $22 per term.
Student Centre Building Fee: $17.50 per term.
Health Service Fee: $20 per term.
Health Plan Fee: $117.02 paid once annually. **
A $40 graduation fee is payable in the final term.
A $25 transcript fee is payable in the first term a student attends Algonquin College.
International Students pay all relevant Canadian fees plus an International Premium of $4,400 per term.
* Students paying the Information Technology fee are provided with a network account, an email address, and Internet access. For more information please visit our website at www.algonquincollege.com/its/services/it_fee.htm.
** Students who have coverage with another plan can request a refund by supplying the Students' Association with documentation supporting the request. This request will have to be made annually.
Co-op Fee: $465 payable in two installments in the term preceding each work term. The first installment of $100 is payable at the time of registration for co-op and is non-refundable. The second installment of $365 is payable on the standard fees due date. Students on a co-op work term will pay 10% of the Student Activity and Building Fees. Co-op students on work term in the Fall will pay the Health Plan Fee.
Books cost approximately $1,800 for the program duration and can be purchased in the campus bookstore. As part of the certification course in the second level, fees for certifications are assessed separately, and are announced early in the program. Students will be expected to purchase a personal flotation vest, hip waders, work or hiking boots, a Fox 40 whistle, a lab coat, protective lab eyewear, and a high visibility vest.
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- Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent. Applicants with an OSSD showing senior English and/or mathematics courses at the Basic Level, or with Workplace or Open courses, will be tested to determine their eligibility for admission; OR
- Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate; OR
- General Educational Development (GED) certificate; OR
- Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program). Eligibility may be determined by academic achievement testing for which a fee of $40 (subject to change) will be charged.
- English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent). <
- Mathematics, Grade 12 (MCT4C or MAP4C or equivalent).
- Biology Grade 11 (SBI3C or equivalent) is recommended.
- Chemistry Grade 12 (SCH4C or equivalent) is recommended.
A current Standard First Aid and CPR certificate is preferred prior to registration. Otherwise, the student must obtain the certificate within the first two months of the first level.
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Applications to full-time day programs must be submitted with official transcripts showing completion of the academic admission requirements through:
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, Ontario N1G 5J3
Applications are available online at www.ontariocolleges.ca. A $95 fee applies.
Applications for Fall Term, Winter Term and Spring Term admission received by February 1 will be given equal consideration. Applications received after February 1 will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis as long as places are available.
International applicants applying from out-of-country can obtain the International Student Application Form at https://xweb.algonquincollege.com/FormIE/index.aspx or by contacting the Registrar's Office.
For further information on the admissions process, contact:
Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley
315 Pembroke Street East
Pembroke, ON K8A 3K2
613-735-4700 ext. 2708
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The cost of some certificates and licences will be in addition to the
established program tuition.
For more information, please contact Murray Kyte at 613-735-4700 ext. 2751 or email@example.com.
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