The BCIT Rivers Institute
The BCIT Rivers Institute is focused on the protection and restoration of rivers, streams, estuaries, lakes and wetlands in British Columbia. We accomplish our mission by teaching the theory and practice of aquatic ecosystem restoration to full and part time students and industry professionals enrolled in the Ecological Restoration Degree Program. We provide guidance and expertise for community based restoration initiatives, conducting applied research, and mentoring the next generation of ecological restoration professionals. The BCIT Rivers Institute is led by Dr. Ken Ashley in the Rudy North Chair in River Ecology.
Vision for the Future
The BCIT Rivers Institute will be a leader in science based management and restoration of aquatic ecosystems in British Columbia, Canada and abroad. The BCIT Rivers Institute is closely integrated with related environmental education programs at BCIT including the Ecological Restoration Degree Program, Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation Diploma Program, Sustainable Resource Management Diploma Program, and the Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering Degree Programs.
History of RI
The Rivers Institute was created to provide an important place for non-profit agencies, other post-secondary institutions, government bodies and international partners to “plug-in” to BCIT’s expertise, resulting in a united community with the shared mission of restoring endangered rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries and wetland ecosystems in British Columbia and beyond. This outreach capability will expand the scope of public awareness activities and provide more leverage to attract funding and create positive change in protecting and restoring our important aquatic environments.
Students will have the opportunity to take part in core courses, customized field trips and applied research projects. The Rivers Institute will provide a medium for the sharing of research and ideas and for interdisciplinary studies.
And while the Rivers Institute will be involved in a number of river, stream, lake, estuary and wetland management initiatives in BC (such as restoring Guichon Creek, the MacKay Creek estuary, daylighting of Renfrew Creek and restoring the Seymour River estuary), we’ll also be exploring international opportunities in countries such as New Zealand, Norway, Japan and China. In short, the Rivers Institute will be a unique entity, have local and international reach, and be involved in an array of river, stream, lake, estuary and wetland related projects. Most importantly, it will educate and develop future generations of resource stewards and aquatic restoration professionals.
The Rivers Institute will be an umbrella entity for the variety of environmental initiatives taking place within the School of Construction and the Environment and throughout BCIT, providing a medium for the sharing of research and ideas and for interdisciplinary studies. Among the programs that will benefit from collaboration with the Rivers Institute include Environmental Engineering, Fish, Wildlife and Recreation, Sustainable Resource Management, Ecological Restoration and others. The Chair in River Ecology will work with faculty to integrate environmental issues into curricula and connect areas where there is natural synergy and desire to start healing the planet, one step at a time.