Teaching at the Oliver Centre

The variety of habitats (wetlands, old abandoned fields, forests, shoreline and lake) in addition to proximity of the Oliver Centre to Trent University makes it an excellent site for one-day field trips from the main campus in Peterborough. To date, field trips to the Oliver Centre include wetland ecology, limnology, pollution ecology, air pollution chemistry, herpetology and plant ecology courses.

Residential Field Courses Offered through the Oliver Centre

Ecological Restoration Program

This new, collaborative program developed by Trent University and Fleming College provides a bold and innovative solution to the challenges of remediating degraded and damaged ecosystems.  Requisite for students in such a program is a sound understanding of the principles of ecosystem function and to become familiar with the flora and fauna that provide the structure for ecosystems.   The facilities  of the Oliver Ecological Centre will provide the infrastructure for such training.  For questions please contact:  Dr. Eric Sager.
>> go to the Ecological Restoration web site >>

Environmental Assessment Techniques for Aboriginal Communities

This course was developed for the non-science students enrolled in the  Indigenous Environmental Studies Program at Trent.  Through field work, students were exposed to some of the current stressors that are impacting our natural ecosystems and some of the different tools currently being used to determine their impacts.
>> go to the Indiigenous Environmental Studies web site >>

Living and Learning on the Land

This course examined the rich and complex nature of Aboriginal knowledge from a holistic “on-the-earth” perspective. The connections between Indigenous knowledge, the Land and each student’s individual lives was explored. The course has been designed to implement, at the undergraduate level, the vision of the PhD Graduate Council which seeks to ensure that the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions of Aboriginal knowledge, as reflected in traditional and contemporary world views and expressed in practice are articulated, discussed, documented, recognized and experienced.  Students were engaged in learning experiences that were centered in Aboriginal cultures in content and process and reflect the interaction between traditional and contemporary knowledge within the academic context. It is an interdisciplinary program developed and sustained in partnership with the Aboriginal community, which seeks to advance learning through the creative interaction of teaching, research and experience of the highest quality.
>> go to the Indigenous Studies web site >>

Courses offered through the Ontario University Program in Field Biology

Ecology of the Kawarthas

This course introduced students to a wide range of ecosystems typical of the Kawartha Highland Region of central Ontario, including hardwood forests, lakes, and wetlands.  Emphasis was placed on the ecology of local amphibian populations and terrestrial and submersed angiosperms.  Ecological sampling methods and analysis were a major theme. 

Wetland Ecology:  Life on the Edge

This course examined the role of littoral and wetland communities in the functioning of the Kawartha Highlands ecosystem.  It included a combination of field and laboratory work examining both flora and fauna of these ecotones.  Students learned the role that these systems play in the greater hydrological cycle.  In addition to identification of key species, field topics include bogs succession, effect of shoreline development on littoral communities, and provincial wetland evaluation.  Students designed and conducted a small research project that incorporated skills and knowledge gained during the course. A number of lectures were interspersed with field and laboratory work in the first week.  During the second week students complete their independent research projects.

Methods in Forest Ecosystem Monitoring

This course introduced students to current methods in forest monitoring as they relate to overall ecosystem health.  Some topics that have been covered include ecological effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors, the role of biogeochemical cycles, and rudimentary models being used in forest health studies. Ecological sampling methods and analysis were a major theme.