More emphasis on H20

By Geoff Lee

July 7, 2016 12:00 AM

Ben Sey, dean of the School of Energy and Environmental Sciences at Lakeland Coilege said the new water conservation and management major at the Vermilion campus will open doors for students to careers in the public sector.

The environmental sciences major at Lakeland College in Vermilion will be heavily concentrated with water this fall from a name change and content.
Water conservation and management (WCM) is the new name for the former environmental monitoring and protection major, with more educational emphasis on water conservation and management.
The program has always had a water focus, and the name change offers the opportunity to better align with the Alberta Water Act, with its objective to promote and support the conservation and management of water.
In April, Lakeland signed a memorandum of agreement with Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) for the delivery of a new wetlands course: decision making for wetlands management.
Under the agreement, DUC will provide the course curriculum in digital form while Lakeland will market the course to its clients as an offering between DUC and the college.
“These changes are in line with our program objectives and ultimately, our students will come out of the program more employable with the foundation they build in WCM,” said Ben Sey, dean of the School of Energy and Environmental Sciences.
“WCM fits well into the diverse range of environmental sciences programs we have in our school.”
The changes also strengthen the emphasis on water quality conservation and management in the program.
The name change to WCM will take effect July 1 with the approval of Alberta Advanced Education and will be offered to students this fall.
The WCM name change has been a collaborative effort with faculty, current students, alumni, industry and advisory committee members.
“We always strive to continuously improve our programs and this was done in an effort to ensure our programming is in line with current trends and the needs of industry,” added Sey.
“These program changes fit with Alberta’s Water Strategy and the federal government’s emphasis on water and wastewater investments in the recent budget.”
WCM’s course offering includes aquatic bio-monitoring, water conservation and regulations, watersheds and water resources, waste and water management, groundwater monitoring techniques and aquatic habitat protection, among others.
Training students in water management will open doors to careers at the federal and provincial levels, as well as with private sector companies.
“It’s a booming area and that presents incredible opportunities for our WCM students,” said Mal Dissanayake, a WCM environmental sciences instructor.

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