Environmental Technician

EVTBANNER

  • Program Title: Environmental Technician
    Credential: Diploma
    Delivery: Online
    Program Length: 3 Semesters (One year)
    Program Availability: Full time or Part time
    Offered: This program is available starting every Monday.

    Program Description


    Environmental protection is a cross disciplinary element of the growing environment industry, which requires knowledge of the present state of the environment combined with techniques for preventing, minimizing, or recovering from environmental stresses. Determining the state of the environment is a science-based occupation, requiring the ability to obtain samples and measure or analyze them using chemical, biological or instrumental techniques. Dealing with environmental stresses requires knowledge of pollution prevention, control and remediation techniques along with the management framework within which these are applied.

    Learning Outcomes


    1. Collect representative environmental samples and perform routine tests, using current and relevant tools.
    2. Use scientific concepts and models when contributing to the prevention, control and elimination of environmental hazards and remediation of contaminated sites.
    3. Assist with analysis of water/soil/air samples and with the resolution of environmental problems through the application of scientific and engineering principles.
    4. Follow standard procedures for conducting environmental sampling projects including the use of appropriate equipment and materials.
    5. Promote and maintain sustainable practices by applying the elements of ecosystem-based management.
    6. Carry out work responsibilities adhering to standards of professional conduct and principles of professional ethics.
    7. Complete assigned tasks in adherence to occupational health and safety standards and applicable legislative requirements.
    8. Follow established protocols in support of environmental management systems.
    9. Provide ongoing support for project management.
    10. Communicate technical information accurately and effectively in oral, written, visual and electronic forms.
    11. Develop and present strategies for ongoing personal and professional development to enhance performance as an environmental technician.

    Your Career


    Graduates provide technical support to the investigation, assessment, monitoring and control of pollution levels in air, water and soil. They also provide support in the use of environmental management systems and sustainability programs. They work within the parameters of relevant and current environmental protection legislation, codes, policies and procedures.

    For graduates of the Environmental Technician Program, there are employment and career opportunities in a variety of areas of business, industry (e.g., pulp and paper, mining industries) government and public organizations. Graduates may enter into careers in areas including: investigation and enforcement for government agencies; pollution abatement and clean-up for industries; operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities for municipalities; and, as technical support personnel for engineering and environmental consulting firms.

  • Admission Requirements


    College Eligibility

    • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent; OR
    • Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate; OR
    • General Educational Development (GED); OR
    • Mature Student status (19 years of age or older and without a high school diploma at the start of the program).

    Call the Admissions Office at 1 (800) 267-2577 for more details. Academic prerequisites for this program may be obtained free of charge through Academic Upgrading.

    Application Process
    Program intake – Apply to this program by visiting our Registration page. If you are entering into this program as a mature student please attach your resume when submitting your registration information online.

  • Courses


    Semester 1
    Basic Study Skills
    Technical Communications
    Ecosystems and Humans
    Geological Structure and Dynamics
    Energy and Ecosystems
    Flows and Cycles of Nutrients
    Biodiversity
    Biomes and Ecozones

    Semester 2
    Ecology
    Resources and Sustainable Development
    Non-Renewable Resources
    Renewable Resources
    Environmental Stressors
    Gaseous Air Pollution
    Toxic Elements
    Acidification
    Complications of Surface Waters

    Semester 3
    Ecological Effects of Forestry
    Agriculture and the Environment
    Ecologically Sustainable Development
    Communication Strategies
    Health and Safety
    Environmental Dimensions, Units, and Conversions
    Water Assessment and Treatment
    Environmental Management Systems
    Environmental Regulations and Law

    Every attempt is made to ensure the accuracy of information provided on our website. The College reserves the right to modify any course, program, curriculum, fee, timetable, or campus location at any time.

  • Course Descriptions


    Semester 1
    Basic Study Skills
    This course will enable students to assess their current study skills and plan for improvement. Students will practice time-management techniques for successful studying. Students will learn to develop powerful reading skills and practice memory techniques to enhance ability to learn and improve test performance. This course will also help students to develop specific study skills for mathematics and related subjects and implement an action plan to improve them.

    Technical Communications
    Using a variety of technical writing techniques and placing emphasis on brevity, clarity, conciseness, unity and coherence, this subject introduces the application of technical writing through a series of writing assignments. Basic research, effective oral communications and/or collaborative skills are also covered.

    Ecosystems and Humans
    This course introduced students to environmental science and ecology, and describes the nature of interdisciplinary studies, the ecosystem approach, and the relationships of species and ecosystems. The influence of humans on ecosystems is explained within the context of environmental stressors and ecological responses. Ethics and world views are examined from an environmental perspective.

    Geological Structure and Dynamics
    This course provides a foundation for understanding of the geological structure and dynamics of planet Earth. It examines tectonic forces, glaciation, erosion, weathering, and other important geological processes. The course also describes hydrologic and atmospheric processes, and examines the concepts of climate and weather.

    Energy and Ecosystems
    This course describes the nature of energy, the states in which it can occur, and the laws of thermodynamics that govern its transformations among various forms. Planet Earth is interpreted as a flow-through system for solar energy, and a physical energy budget is presented and explained. Ecological energetics is described in terms of the fixation of solar energy by photosynthetic organisms and the passage of biologically fixed energy through food webs.

    Flows and Cycles of Nutrients
    This course examines the concept of nutrient cycling and illustrates it by describing key aspects of the cycles of carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur. The soil ecosystem is also described and classified. This course provides important background context for the interpretation of disruptions of aspects of these cycles.

    Biodiversity
    This course outlines the concept of biodiversity and describes its various components.
    These range from variation at the level of population genetics, through species richness in communities, to the richness and dynamics of landscapes and seascapes. The importance of biodiversity and justification for its conservation are explained in terms of utilitarian value, ecological services, and intrinsic value. The course describes the manner in which biologists classify the diversity of organisms in terms of kingdoms and lower taxonomic groups, such as species and subspecies. The five kingdoms of life are described: Monera, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia, as are major groups within each of these large groups.

    Biomes and Ecozones
    This course describes the world’s major biomes and their geographical distributions. The ecosystems of Canada are further described in terms of natural terrestrial and marine ecozones, as well as anthropogenically modified habitats.

    Semester 2
    Ecology
    In this course ecology is examined at its various hierarchical levels. Species are examined in terms of their adaptations to different regimes of environmental stress and disturbance of their habitat. Variations of abundance and natural constraints on the size of populations are described. Communities are discussed in terms of the factors that influence their composition, distribution, and dynamics. The characteristics and dynamics of landscapes and seascapes are examined. Finally, consideration is made of the Gaia hypothesis, and its usefulness in interpreting the structure and functioning of the biosphere.

    Resources and Sustainable Development
    This course discuss the theme of natural resources, and examines the essential differences between non-renewable and renewable resources. It describes how management practices can be utilized to increase the productivity and stocks of many renewable resources. Cases are examined of the non-sustainable use of some potentially renewable resources, and the reasons for such unwise use are discussed. The differences between economic growth and development are explained. The attributes of sustainable and non-sustainable economies are discussed.

    Non-Renewable Resources
    This course examines global and Canadian stocks and use of non-renewable resources, such as metals and fossil fuels. The great reliance of industrialized economies on non-renewable resources is examined, as is the likelihood that these crucial resources will remain freely available in the future. Energy use and technologies are examined in detail, including both non-renewable and renewable source of energy.

    Renewable Resources
    This course examines the major kinds of renewable natural resources, and describes their character, productivity, and rates of use. The ways that renewable resources can be degraded are examined, and case studies are presented of this kind of damage. The renewable resource base of Canada is examined, and the sustainability of its use is discussed. The focus is on surface and ground waters, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and hunted mammals and birds.

    Environmental Stressors
    The nature and causes of environmental stress are examined, and their effects on the structure and function of ecosystems are explained. The differences between contamination and pollution are discussed. Examples are given of natural and anthropogenic pollution and disturbance, and of their ecological consequences. The differences between toxicology and ecotoxicology are explained, and voluntary and involuntary risks are described. The process of risk assessment of potentially toxic chemicals is examined.

    Gaseous Air Pollution
    The major sources of emission of gaseous pollutants are described, with a focus on sulphur dioxide, nitrogen gases, and hydrocarbons. The differences between primary and secondary pollutants are explained. Ozone problems are described, both in the lower atmosphere and in the stratosphere. Effects of ambient air pollution on human health are examined. Detailed case studies of ecological damage caused by sulphur dioxide are described.

    Toxic Elements
    The ubiquitous distribution of elements in the environment is described, and is discussed in terms of contamination and pollution. Examples of naturally occurring pollution by toxic elements are outlined, as are the ecological consequences. Ecological damage caused by anthropogenic pollution by toxic elements is examined using case studies, with emphasis on metal mining and processing industries, the use of inorganic pesticides, the disposal of sewage sludge, the use of lead shot and fishing sinkers, and leaded gasoline.

    Acidification
    This course examines the causes of acidification of soil and water, and the many ecological consequences of this environmental change. The chemistry of precipitation is examined with a view to understanding the causes of its acidification. Changes in the spatial and temporal distributions of acidic precipitation and dry deposition are described and interpreted in terms of natural and anthropogenic influences. The factors that result in surface waters and soils being vulnerable to acidification are discussed, as are the biological and ecological effects of these important changes in environmental chemistry. The mitigation of acidification of soil and water by liming is described, as are the prospects of preventing these widespread problems by reducing the emissions of air pollutants.

    Complications of Surface Waters
    Eutrophication is defined, and its causes in fresh and marine waters are described. Evidence is presented in support of the hypothesis that phosphorus is the primary cause of eutrophication in lakes, with a focus on pivotal Canadian research. The control of phosphorus emissions is discussed, including sewage-treatment technologies. Canadian case studies of eutrophication and related ecological stressors are described. The course then examines the ecological effects of dams and impoundments. Both run-of-the-river and large-reservoir developments are described. Key Canadian case examples are used to examine the ecological effects of these kinds of industrial developments.

    Semester 3
    Ecological Effects of Forestry
    This course examines the ecological effects of forestry. The course explains how nutrients are lost during forest harvesting, and what the potential consequences might be for site quality and renewability of the timber resource. Effects on watershed hydrology, erosion, and stream water temperature are examined, and the ecological consequences are discussed. The effects of timber harvesting, site management, and plantation establishment on biodiversity are examined, with emphasis on mammals, birds, plants, and the special case of old-growth forest. The concept of integrated forest management is examined as a tool for accommodating a number of important economic and ecological values on forested lands.

    Agriculture and the Environment
    Agriculture is a major industry in Canada, and it has many impacts on the environment. This course examines the history of agriculture and describes the major crops grown around the world and in Canada. Particular agricultural practices are examined, and their usefulness in enhancing crop production is explained. Examples are given of integrated management systems used to intensively cultivate selected crops in various regions of Canada: the cultivation of wheat on the prairies, and intensive management of livestock. The environmental effects of agriculture are examined, with particular attention to the declining fertility of intensively cultivated land, pollution caused by agricultural practices, and consequences of the conversion of natural ecosystems into agroecosystems. The principles and practices of organic agriculture are then examined, and a comparison is made with the environmental effects of conventional agricultural practices.

    Ecologically Sustainable Development
    Environmental impact assessment is described as a planning process that is used to examine the potential effects of proposed developments and policies. This process is examined in general, and also using several Canadian cases of actual assessments. Programs of research and monitoring are discussed as being essential to detecting changes in environmental quality, and to understanding their causes and consequences. Environmental literacy is discussed as crucial to dealing with the environmental crisis, based on the assumption that literate people will make choices that help to avoid damage. The course ends with an examination of the roles of government, non-governmental organizations, companies, and citizens in achieving an ecologically sustainable economy in Canada and internationally.

    Communication Strategies
    The primary aim of this course is to enable participants with an understanding of the impact that their communication skills can have on others, while exploring the different ways in which developing these skills can make it easier for them to succeed in the work force.

    Health and Safety
    This course will focus on the evaluation of situations and steps that can be taken to ensure personal health and safety, specifically how to protect yourself from risk of injury or exposure. Other topics include construction site safety, working in remote areas, project planning and provincial and federal safety regulations.

    Environmental Dimensions, Units, and Conversions
    The ideas associated with units and dimensions are introduced. Several schemes used to classify units are presented. Four derived units (density, concentration, flow rate, and residence time) are defined. The concept of unit conversion is explored and a variety of examples are presented that exemplify this skill. The precision and accuracy of measurements taken in the laboratory are also discussed.

    Water Assessment and Treatment
    In this course students discuss the selection of appropriate unit operations and unit processes that are used for treating drinking water. Primary and secondary drinking water standards are examined. Typical water treatment flow diagrams for treating surface and groundwater are outlined. How to design mixing systems, flocculation basins, settling basins, and granular media filters are described in detail. Water softening and the lime-soda ash method for removing hardness from water is presented. The importance of disinfection and selection of the appropriate disinfectant is also discussed.

    Environmental Management Systems
    This course provides an introduction to the development of environmental management and to the organizational drivers that require managers to adopt environmental management systems (EMSs) to reduce the level of environmental risk to which their organizations may be exposed. This course also outlines some of the options available to reduce this risk.

    Environmental Regulations and Law
    This is an introductory course to the laws of Canada relating to the protection of the natural environment. It begins with the principles of legal systems generally, and the Canadian system with its Federal framework and the sharing of jurisdiction over the environment between Canada’s Federal and Provincial governments. It looks at the protection of the environment through the assessment of environmental impacts, the establishment of environmental legislation and regulation and examines specific environmental statutes that are significant in Canadian practice today.

  • Fees & Expenses


    Tuition fees listed are in effect for the 2015-2016 academic year.

    • Application Fee: $100.00
    • Textbooks: $975.00
    • Postal Fee: $49.00
    • Tuition Fee: $3,825.00

    Total Tuition & Fees: $4,949.00