A Unique Wetland Course at Nipissing University
Anyone wishing to qualify as a Wetland Evaluator in Ontario must take the Ontario Wetland Certificate Course (OWES) which is only available through Nipissing University. For years, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) had been holding their week-long OWES sessions in North Bay, owing to the tremendous quality and diversity of wetlands in the area. Since 2018, Nipissing University Instructors have gradually taken over responsibility for the course. That puts Nipissing University at the centre of the “wetland world” in terms being a training hotspot for those needing to gain the credentials required to evaluate wetlands, and it creates a new market for the university – largely consisting of professional biologists and environmental consultants. Members of the Nipissing University team include Dave Hackett, Corina Irwin, Oriana Pokorny, Joe Boivin, Paul Courville and Kevan Cowcill, along with student-assistant Stephanie Jeffery. The photos show team members visiting local wetlands in the spring to flag sites of interest, to identify noteworthy wetland species, and to safety-check each field location before bringing students in for a week of intensive training. The course is designed to run each year for several weeks in late June when wetland flora and fauna are at their finest. For further information, contact Dave Hackett.