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Looking for Professional Development Opportunities in Aquatic Sciences?

Posted by CRI Programs   |   April 22, 2016

The Canadian Rivers Institute (CRI), hosted by the University of New Brunswick, announces its next slate of non-credit professional development courses in aquatic earth sciences.

“CRI places a significant emphasis on providing professional development opportunities for aquatic science students and professionals”, says Sarah Tuziak, Manager of CRI Training and Professional Development.  “Our Aquatic Environmental Techniques Certificate provides students and professionals with a multi-disciplinary compliment of non-credit courses to build the next generation of well-rounded water practitioners”, she says.

Last year alone, CRI provided professional development courses, field practicums and webinars to over 800 students and professionals in aquatic and earth sciences including: hydrology, hydrometry and fluvial geomorphology, remote sensing, fish and invertebrate biology, river habitats and hydraulics, stream restoration, environmental effects monitoring, biological statistics, and more.

CRI courses are open to anyone and participants come from a diversity of disciplines and are affiliated with an array of organizations, such as: universities, non-government organizations, consulting firms, industries, government agencies, and First Nations. Individuals from across Canada and the U.S and around the world, including from countries such as Uganda, Ghana, India, Chile, Palestine, Tunisia, and Kenya, have taken our training courses.

“Our goal is to provide opportunities to take courses that will improve their employability or simply wish to learn more about a specific field of environmental science. By providing these courses, we help to develop highly qualified researchers and practitioners to meet the global demand for the evolving field of environmental sciences in research, public and private sectors”, says Tuziak.

Mike Coffin, a CRI PhD candidate studying the linkages between nutrient loading and biological effects in estuaries of the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, at the University of Prince Edward Island, has recently completed the Watershed and Aquatics Training in Environmental Research (WATER) program. WATER was funded by an NSERC CREATE grant which enabled CRI to provide the professional development program to 56 students across Canada and internationally.

“It is very rare, in graduate school, that you get the opportunity to take courses outside your specific area of research. CRI provided me with a wonderful opportunity to gain skills in areas that would not have occurred otherwise. I always thought it was a good sign that there were employees from consultant companies and provincial and federal governments taking the courses alongside graduate students”, says Coffin.

For many of the participants the experience is also much more than a school- or job-related professional development opportunity.

“We worked in the river during the day, and in the evening we tried to speak English, French, Italian, and Finnish to share our projects and stories”, Gaetano Cecere, an Environmental Engineer from Italy, remembers about the Practical Hydrology, Hydrometry and Fluvial Geomorphology field course offered last year at Centre Interuniversitaire de Recherche sur le Saumon Atlantique (CIRSA) in Sacre-Cœur, Quebec. “The courses have helped me to improve my skills in human relationships, team working, sharing knowledge, and has allowed me to discover new places”, says Cecere.


CRI courses are also popular for professionals and community leaders in aquatic monitoring looking to brush up on their field or lab techniques or to obtain certifications. These leaders are particularly drawn to our signature offerings such Water Quality Assessment Analysis and Interpretation; Electrofishing; and the Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) certification, a training program developed by Environment Canada. CRI works as a partner to deliver the training on the use of the nationally standardized protocols for aquatic biomonitoring and assessment.

Heather Leschied is the Water Program manager for Living Lakes Canada, based out of the Columbia and Southern Rocky Mountains regions of British Columbia. Leschied was certified in the CABIN protocols through the CRI online courses. Now, Leschied is a CABIN field lead, training other organizations and their members in community-based water monitoring.

“The CABIN certification offered by the CRI has enabled me to, in-turn, train hundreds of people who are out in their watersheds, empowered to better understand their waters using standardized monitoring protocols”, said Leschied.

Currently CRI has seven non-credit courses and field practicums open for the upcoming field season, with many beginning May 1:

Canadian Aquatic Biomonitoring Network (CABIN) Protocols
Basic Statistics Using "R"
Water Quality Assessment, Analysis, and Interpretation
Swiftwater Rescue
Wilderness First Aid
Electrofishing
Practical Hydrology, Hydrometry and Fluvial Geomorphology

Gain new or refresh your skills in aquatic sciences! Visit our website for course descriptions, dates and to register. Other professional development opportunities will arise throughout the year. To receive updates via email from CRI Training updates, sign up here.

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