Biophysical Bootcamp Training Series:

Session 1 (S21)



Session 1 of the Biophysical Bootcamp represents the first of SALMTEC’s biophysical field training series. This course was designed for consultants, regulators, and land managers with a background in applied science and land management and are looking to refresh their knowledge, learn new things, and build upon their existing knowledge.

SALMTEC has designed this course to provide participants with opportunity to get their hands dirty and ask questions with Subject Matter Experts, hone technical skills, and benefit from cross-learning and networking opportunities.

This workshop will be held in the Montane Natural Subregion, at SALMTEC’s field station near Bragg Creek, and topics will include:

  1. Application of Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI) in the field,
  2. The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Actual (ABWRET-A), focussing on indicators of the wetland functionality for songbird, raptor, and mammal wetland habitat,
  3. Field characterization for soil and terrain, and
  4. Plant identification basics.

Course Format:SALMTEC Wetland

  • This one-day course will be held on SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2021
  • Course location will be at SALMTEC's field station, just south of Bragg Creek, AB
  • Class size is limited and will be broken up into smaller groups, to maintain social distancing.
  • Groups will visit four field sites throughout the day, spending approximately 2 hours at each site.

Course Fee:

Regular Registration                                                                $275.00 (plus tax)

Refund Policy:

Full refunds will be issued for all cancellations, received in writing, on or before June 15, 2021. Partial refunds ($50 administration fee) will be issued between June 16, 2021 and two weeks before course date, after which time refunds will not be issued. Full refunds will be issued if course cancelled due to COVID.

--------------------Space is Limited-----------------------

Meet the Instructors

W. Larry Nikiforuk, P.Ag.

Larry has over forty years of soil science experience in the public and private sector in Alberta. One of Larry's legacies, to almost all of those practicing applied science and land management in Alberta, is his role in the AGRASID project (now known as the Alberta Soil Information Viewer). This project converted existing soil surveys of the agricultural portion of the province into digital form. SALMTEC is honored to have one of the founders of AGRASID to demonstrate how to take desktop or digital information from the Soil Info Viewer and apply it to field soil and terrain assessments.  Larry currently runs his own consulting firm, Soil-Info Ltd. His experience includes many soil inventories (at a variety of scales), reclamation planning and assessment, site construction monitoring, environmental impact assessments, and development plans for oil and gas facilities throughout Alberta. Larry co-authored or contributed to multiple reconnaissance level soil inventory reports, including one in the vicinity of the field training course location.

Laurie Hamilton, M.Sc., C.E.T., PWS, P Biol

Laurie Hamilton has over 25 years of practice as Ecologist, Technologist, and Educator, working in a variety of roles and within a variety of sectors in Western Canada, with a focus on Southern Alberta landscapes, land uses, and land management. Laurie is a provincially certified Grassland Vegetation Inventory mapper and has contributed to the production of multiple sections of the GVI spatial dataset, including one within the vicnity of the field training course location. Laurie is the instructor for SALMTEC's GVI course, as well as co-instructor for SALMTEC's ABWRET-A course. In addition to her work building courses for SALMTEC, Laurie is an Authenticating Wetland Professional and consults through her small environmental consulting company, Zanshin Environmental Networks Inc., through which she has conducted hundreds of assessments using GVI and ABWRET-A tools.

Kirby England, P Biol

Kirby is an experienced wetland and riparian areas ecologist with both practice in and a passion for teaching others about vascular plant identification. Using experience gained through several hundred riparian health assessments and inventories across much of settled Alberta, Kirby enjoys using clues taken from the morphology and context of a plant to key out and correctly determine identification, and then also to teach others how to do so as well. So much so that he has since moved onto Lethbridge College and there taught hundreds of students in several courses the skills required to identify a variety of range and riparian plants common throughout the Western Provinces. Kirby is a term instructor at Lethbridge College and environmental consultant at his own small company, You Betula Environmental Inc..

Course Learning Objectives:

Students will:

  • Learn the basics on plant morphology and taxonomy
  • Apply some of the available tools from the Alberta Conservation Information Management System (ACIMS), and other sources
  • Correlate desktop information with observations of biophysical conditions at upland and wetland locations
  • Understand how wetlands are evaluated using ABWRET-A
  • Assess indicators associated with predicting the habitat structure suitability for songbirds, raptors and mammals

Pre-requisites: Registrants should have previously completed or be enrolled in any one of SALMTEC’s courses. However, the following courses are recommended to maximize this applied learning opportunity:

  • ABWRET-A -Blended/Online Course
  • Alberta Wetland Policy Basics - Online Course
  • Understanding ACIMS Tools - Online Course
  • Alberta Soil Information Viewer - Online Course
  • GVI – Online Course

*MAY BE WAIVED, if equivalent course has been taken within the past five years. Contact SALMTEC at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Student Responsibilities

Students are required to:

  • Provide their own transportation
  • Provide their own meals
  • Follow all environmental and safety protocols set forth by SALMTEC