The development of specific and marketable skills for the restoration economy is central to the ASPIRE program. Trainees aspire to become highly qualified professionals through participation in the six program elements:

Upon completion of the ASPIRE program, trainees will have developed advanced technical, leadership, and business skills that are marketable to the restoration sector in Canada and internationally.

 
 

Mandatory for ASPIRE trainees but available to non-trainees, the two new graduate courses encourage the development of skills marketable in the Canadian restoration economy and worldwide, adding to your professional toolkit.

Environmental RESTORATION: PRACTICE AND POLICY

This course will focus on restoration of aquatic ecosystems. Students will be introduced to several aspects of restoration work including regulatory frameworks, public consultation, technical approaches and developing quality assurance/quality control frameworks.

ECMM 6024: New Venture Creation

This course will encourage entrepreneurship, commercialization, and marketing of the technologies and skills that ASPIRE trainees will have from working on restoration projects.

New Venture Creation is about entrepreneurship: the process of creating new businesses. It employs cases, experiential exercises, and a major project to expose students to the issues, problems, and challenges of creating viable new business. The project provides students with the opportunity, within the framework of a formal class, to explore and develop business ideas they have been considering or wish to investigate. The final output of the project is a feasibility study, business plan, and financing proposal for a new venture.

 
 

Trainees will gain field experience and exposure to a variety of projects through the annual field school. The multi-day workshop will include the assessment, design, and monitoring of a different disturbed or restored aquatic system each year. Trainees will gain teamwork and project management skills as they work in project teams to produce a restoration assessment or design, while receiving on-the-ground training from faculty.

 
 

This aspect of the ASPIRE program will help trainees to achieve professional designations through the completion of an internship with one of our industrial partners. Time spent in the internship will be the equivalent of 20% of the program length.

Trainees will be matched to industry partners based on the needs of the industrial partners and the experience and interests of the trainee.

 
 

Trainees will have opportunities each semester to share their projects and findings with their peers in a half-day seminar. Not only will each student get to present at a seminar during their program, they will also take turns acting as co-chair of the seminar to organize and host the event.

Seminars will also feature guest lectures from visiting national and international researchers, industry representatives and government regulators covering both technical and non-technical topics.

 
 

A yearly dinner and poster symposium will allow trainees to network with the ASPIRE partners, including industry and government representatives from consulting firms, regulating bodies, and eco-tech start-ups. Students will provide poster presentations of their research and industry guest speakers will provide talks on different aspects of restoration work over a semi-formal dinner.

 
 

We value inclusion in the ASPIRE program and believe it is important to celebrate women in STEM by fostering an environment where everyone feels welcome. Female mentors associated with ASPIRE will host a themed event twice per year, in conjunction with the fall and winter semesters. Students, graduate students, professors, and industry partners will discuss the challenging and encouraging aspects of being a woman in STEM.