Principles and Concepts of Ecological Restoration

Code: ER311
Apply this course towards: Restoration of Natural Systems – Certificate, Restoration of Natural Systems – Diploma

Course description

This course introduces you to the practice of ecological restoration. We’ll start by examining the physical and biological characteristics of ecosystems as well as the need to maintain and restore them. We’ll also examine natural and human-caused changes, at ecosystem to species levels, while considering the philosophy and ethics of restoration within legal and policy frameworks.

This course also introduces you to the process and techniques of assessing ecosystems and developing recommendations. In addition, you’ll develop your ability to combine and analyze factual scientific analysis of ecosystems in the context of human values and needs.

The emphasis is on examples from British Columbia but the approach applies to issues around the globe.

View course outline (PDF)

Please note this course is mutually exclusive with ES341.

Learning objectives

This course will:

  • Introduce you to the physical, biotic and human issues of restoration of natural ecosystems and assist you to explore these in the broadest sense.
  • Demonstrate the critical role of scientific description and analyses (biophysical sciences) and the importance of the integration of scientific data, models and approaches with human needs and attitudes (social sciences) for successful restoration.
  • Demonstrate the importance of communication for the successful development and management of a restoration project, and introduce you to selected skills.
  • Provide you with the basic tools for carrying out restoration projects.
  • Link you to restoration activities in the community and to others carrying out restoration in the province of British Columbia.
  • Provide you with a solid introduction to your further study of courses in the Restoration of Natural Systems Program.
  • Integrate what you learn into practice.


Online Asynchronous delivery style over a 14-week period, requiring approximately 10 hours of coursework per week.


Acceptance to the RNS program or a combination of work and/or education experience equivalent to third-year standing.

  • If you’re not currently enrolled in the Restoration of Natural Systems (RNS) program, including UVic and Letter of Permission students from RRU and TRU, you must obtain approval from the Program Coordinator ( before registering.

Tuition and fee payment

  • RNS Diploma students pay $100 of the course tuition upon registration, with the remainder paid to UVic Tuition.
  • RNS Certificate students pay the full course tuition upon registration.

To drop a course call 250-472-4747

NEW Non-refundable fee policy

Course fees will be fully refundable if you withdraw a minimum of 10 business days* prior to the start date of a course. After that, a non-refundable fee of $50.00 will be charged in addition to the regular UVic fee reduction deadlines listed in the UVic Calendar This non-refundable fee policy will take effect January 1st, 2019.

*A business day is considered an official work day and does not include statutory holidays or weekends.

Next offering

See our 5-year course schedule

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