Biophysical Foundations (W24) Blended Course

Interactive Online Class: April 12, 2024

Field Training Date: Thursday, May 30, 2024

Location: South of Bragg Creek, Alberta

Students in a wetland near the SALMTEC field station

Course Fees

Early Bird (until April 1/24)                         $500 (plus GST)   

Regular (after April 1/24)                             $550 (plus GST)

This course provides students with a solid foundation for understanding the biophysical environment. Starting from the ground up, this course guides students to examine soils and landscape features, create plant lists, interpret imagery and field maps, classify ecosystems, assess wetland function, and evaluate wildlife habitat. This course combines online and self-paced learning with interactive classes and field training.

Learning Objectives

Alberta Soil Information Viewer (1+ hours)

  • Navigate the Soil Information Viewer
  • View and interpret the soil and landscape data (based on AGRASID)
  • Understand the basics of landscape models, soil models and Alberta’s land suitability rating system
  • Apply soil and landscape data to different land management scenarios

Alberta Conservation Information Management System (1+ hours)

  • Define a conservation data centre
  • Understand different ACIMS conservation tools
  • Apply ACIMS tools to different land management scenarios
  • Provide a basic understanding of how species data are collected and processed
  • Navigate the ACIMS Online Mapping Tool
  • Querying information and locations of species in Alberta

Grassland Vegetation Inventory (8+ hours)

  • Develop a basic understanding of grassland and Rocky Mountain ecosystem components
  • Learn how to differentiate between GVI site types
  • Understand how to obtain and interpret the GVI map product
  • Review different ways that GVI can be applied to land management, pre-disturbance and reclamation activities

Alberta Wetland Policy Basics (2+ hours)

  • Understand the basics of wetland assessment (identification, delineation, classification, wetland function assessment, species surveys, and hydrology assessments), impact analysis and mitigations
  • Identify the role and requirements of an Authenticating Wetland Professional
  • Provide a basic understanding of the regulatory requirements for different activities in a wetland
  • Facilitate an understanding of the Wetland Policy and how it is implemented in Alberta
  • Provide an overview of the Alberta Wetland Replacement Program

Field Skills (9+ hours)

  • Introductory plant identification
  • Soil characterization
  • Site characterization
  • Map interpretation
  • Field data collection
  • Site type classification
  • Wetland-obligate songbird, raptor and mammal habitat structure indicators

Course Format

Course Format

  • This course has four foundational topics that are presented through self-paced learning, and instilled via an interactive video-conference class, and a one-day field training.
  • Online learning modules consist of:
    • Online instruction videos,
    • Online quizzes,
    • Offline activities, and
    • Online exams.
  • This course takes between 21 to 24 hours to complete.
  • Students have one-and-a-half years to complete the course and can start immediately upon registration.
  • Interactive classes are scheduled in April and December.
Interactive Class: April 12, 2024
Field Training Day: Thursday, May 30, 2024
Laurie Hamilton

Course Leaders

  • ­­­­­­Amy Griffiths, P Biol
  • Laurie Hamilton, M.Sc., C.E.T., P Biol

Course Outline

Did you know…

…The Biophysical Foundations Blended Course qualifies for the minimum hours required to receive a Canada-Alberta Job Grant, which can be used to pay course fees?

  • For more information on the Canada-Alberta Job Grant CLICK HERE
  • Some of the information you will need to apply for the Canada-Alberta Job Grant is in the Course Outline.

Start Immediately!

This course takes between 21 to 24 hours to complete, and you can start immediately upon registration!

Students have until end of Winter 2025 (April 2025) to complete this course.

Interactive Classes & Field Training Dates

  1. Students must have all GVI online material completed prior to attending  GVI class
  2. The next scheduled class will be in April 12, 2024 from 12pm to 2:30pm MST
  3. The next field training date is Thursday May 30, 2024 from 8am to 5:30pm MST in Bragg Creek, AB