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Trent University and Fleming College Announce New Joint-Program in Ecological Restoration


$196,500 grant from CUCC and MTCU sparks development of unique program that will fill a critical shortage of environmental specialists

Wednesday, May 2, 2007, Peterborough

Trent University and Fleming College announced today they will begin development of a brand new joint B.Sc. Honours and diploma program in Ecological Restoration, responding to growing concerns globally for the environment and the resulting needs for skilled and knowledgeable employees in the environmental sector.

Trent University’s Environmental and Resource Studies Program (ERS) and Fleming College’s School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences (SENRS) were awarded $196,500 in funding from the Ontario government through the College University Consortium Council (CUCC) Change Fund Initiative in order to assist in the development of the joint program, the only one of its kind in Ontario.

Ecological Restoration is an emerging discipline that helps with the recovery of damaged, degraded or destroyed ecosystems. The first intake of 30 students is expected for the fall of 2008. The Ontario government is providing funding to develop a range of innovative projects that promote greater collaboration between colleges and universities and provide a wider range of pathways for students.
“Greater collaboration between our colleges and universities will have significant advantages for learners, institutions, employers and the government,” said Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal, who was on hand at Trent today to participate in the announcement. “Our government is committed to increasing student access and opportunities within the postsecondary sector – and this collaboration between Trent University and Fleming College will help us meet our goal.“

The CUCC received a grant from the Honourable Chris Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, to be used to develop new College University pathways for qualified students. In response to a call for proposals by the CUCC, 26 submissions were received by January 31, 2007. The proposal submitted by Trent University and Fleming College was one of five selected for funding. Robin Armstrong, executive director of the CUCC, explained that, “the review committee was impressed by the track record of cooperation already established by the two institutions, and by the timeliness and integrity of the proposal for the creation of a joint program in Ecological Restoration."

“At a time when the environment is top-of-mind with individuals, governments and NGOs across the globe, the launch of the Trent-Fleming Ecological Restoration B.Sc. is both topical and meaningful,” said Professor Bonnie Patterson, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University at the event held in the AJM Smith meeting room overlooking the Otonabee River at Trent. “This program builds on the excellent reputations of both institutions in programs related to the environment – and on a relationship of trust and mutual respect that has been developed between Trent and Fleming. The funding for this is just one of the outcomes from the Rae Report on Postsecondary Education, an initiative that allows us to considerably enhance effective university-college collaborations such as this.”

“This program will expand the existing pathways between Fleming College and Trent University, allowing more students to benefit from the resources of both institutions,” said Dr. Tony Tilly, president of Fleming College. “Frost Campus is renowned for its environmental programming and excellent applied learning opportunities. By integrating increasingly challenging and complex applied learning and field experiences across the curriculum, students will enjoy a unique combination of college and university learning – the best of both worlds.”
Hailed as a timely and significant new collaboration, the new Ecological Restoration B.Sc. and diploma will set the pace for such interdisciplinary, science-based curriculum as a fully integrated model that infuses diploma and degree level outcomes across the four years of study. Students will complete years one and two at Fleming College’s Frost Campus in Lindsay, and then attend Trent for the third and fourth years of this program. Highlights of the program include:

  • a broad-based curriculum focusing on developing student understanding of ecological principles that can be transferred to any ecosystem, and adapted to any project, regardless of scale
  • full and immediate integration of learning and field experiences
  • opportunities for field camps and field courses, internships, co-op or summer employment, capstone courses and international development opportunities across the four-year program
  • opportunities for graduate studies at Trent
  • creation of interdisciplinary content
  • focus on student success

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is renowned for striking a unique balance between outstanding teaching and leading-edge research. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a deep commitment to the individual student. Home to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Worsfold Water Quality Centre and the new DNA Building, Trent is globally renowned for its strengths in the environmental scholarship, particularly aquatic sciences and biogeochemistry, environmental and natural resource studies, and environmental quantitative modeling.

Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 90 full-time programs in Business, Community Development, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fine Arts, Health and Wellness, Law and Justice, and Technology and Skilled Trades. Fleming College has 5,000 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and more than 50,000 alumni.

The CUCC was established in 1996 to facilitate, promote and coordinate joint education and training ventures in order to aid the transfer of students from sector to sector, facilitate the creation of joint programs between colleges and universities, and, further the development of a more seamless continuum of postsecondary education in Ontario.


For more information, please contact:

Professor Tom Whillans, chair, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University,
(705) 748-1011, ext. 7789

Professor Linda Skilton, academic team leader, School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Fleming College, (705) 324-9144, ext. 3216