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Biophysical Foundations (W24)

$500.00 "plus GST"

The Biophysical Foundations (W24) Blended 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.

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The Biophysical Foundations (W24) Blended Course 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 at SALMTEC’s Field Station, near Bragg Creek, AB.

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

  • 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 consists of: Online instruction videos, Online quizzes, Offline activities, and online exam.
  • This course takes between 22 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 annually.
Interactive Class: April 12, 2024
Interactive Class Platform: tele-conference
Field Training Date: Thursday May 30, 2024
Field Training Location: near Bragg Creek, Alberta

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