Professional Development Short Courses


All short courses will be held at the Sheraton Wall Centre, 1088 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC (rooms to be announced and/or go to CEW Registration Desk at hotel upon arrival)

Date: September 30th, 2018

Short Course Descriptions:

How BC Regulates Discharges to the Aquatic Environment (Full day, 8:30 to 4:30 am)

Instructors:  Lana Miller, Gabi Matscha, Deb Epps, Greg Tamblyn, Cindy Meays
** All of the instructors are Section Heads with BC ENV’s Regional Operations Branch and have up to 10 years experience leading teams of biologists who review permit applications, monitoring plans, monitoring reports and developing provincial water quality monitoring programs.

This course will discuss how BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy regulates discharges to the aquatic environment under the Environmental Management Act, using a set-check-evaluate framework.  Case studies from throughout the province will be used to work through the material. You will learn about:
– the Environmental Management Act and related policy
– water quality guidelines, objectives and Science Based Environmental Benchmarks
– the effluent permitting process and what is needed in an effluent permit application
– impact assessments
– monitoring and ongoing reporting requirements
– consultation requirements and approaches with public and First Nations
– decision making processes under the Environmental Management Act
– Compliance & enforcement policy and activities
– ongoing evaluations of permit effectiveness

Ocean Plastics Pollution: From Micro to Global (Half day, 9:00 am to 12:15 pm)

Instructor: Stephen Chastain, M.R.M., research technician at the Coastal Ocean Research Institute, an Ocean Wise initiative


I will review the current state of science on microplastic pollution in the ocean. This will include:

-A summary of the issue: where we know plastic pollution collects and the most recent estimates of the total, global concentrations
-Selected case studies of especially problematic plastic-related issues, including the problems of developing countries
-A special introduction on microplastics and why they are challenging to study. This will include a review of the various methods used to count microplastics and also to determine their composition.
-The most up-to-date knowledge of sources, sinks, and fluxes of microplastics in the ocean
-An in-depth case study on synthetic fibers originating from garments and their impact on the ocean
-A brief overview of effects on animals and humans (research on human effects of ingesting microplastics is still very limited)
-Solutions and mitigation efforts

Introduction to Regulatory Toxicology (Half day, 1:00 pm to 4:15 pm)

Instructors: James Elphick (Nautilus Environmental) and Dr. Rainie Sharpe (Golder Associates)


This course will involve a summary of technical and regulatory aspects of laboratory-based toxicity tests that are used in Canada for permit compliance, development of water quality guidelines, and other environmental monitoring and investigations. The content will include an introduction to the science of environmental toxicology and of the regulatory processes that involve toxicity testing that are used in Canada for permitting and monitoring industrial discharges to the aquatic environment.

Topics related to laboratory testing will include: a summary of available test methods; statistical analyses that are used to interpret and report test data; effects of modifying factors on toxicity; anomalous responses that can occur in tests including how to identify and address them; and methods to identify causes of toxicity.

Topics related to regulatory aspects of laboratory toxicology will include: a summary of regulatory processes that require toxicity tests, as described in permits and regulatory documents such as the pulp and paper and mining effluent regulations; regulatory consequences of observing adverse effects in acute and chronic toxicity tests; and use of laboratory and in situ testing as a component of Environmental Effects Monitoring.

This course will provide an introduction to laboratory-based environmental toxicology that will be useful for scientists in industry and government who need to interpret and understand toxicity test data, as well as to those who are new to the field of environmental toxicology and its application in Canada.