Professional Development Short Courses

***Postponed. To be re-scheduled soon *** Updates to be provided here by the end of October.

Science Communication

Effective science communication is imperative. Communicating science and research to multiple and varied audiences is critical in ensuring that science remains a priority in Canadian society, improving science literacy, producing better scientists, and influencing decision-making. In this virtual, 3 hour workshop, we demonstrate evidence-based communication practices, share the research that supports these practices, and provide participants with worksheets and frameworks to guide them in their own communication efforts. At the end of this workshop, participants will be equipped with a toolkit of effective and practical science communication strategies.

Instructors: Chantal Barriault, PhD and Michelle Reid, MSc., G.Dip.

Dr. Barriault is the Director of the Science Communication Graduate Program at Laurentian University, which is delivered in partnership with Science North. Since 2005, she has led graduate education in Science Communication with the launch of the Graduate Diploma in Science Communication, which became a Master’s degree in 2017. Her research interests focus on understanding and assessing the impact of science communication strategies through the application of learning theories in informal learning environments. Over the last 10 years, Chantal has led over 30 science communication professional development workshops for various groups including government researchers, university faculty, and scientists at research institutions. Her research interests focus on understanding and assessing the impact of science communication strategies in informal learning environments.

Michelle completed an MSc in Environmental Geochemistry and is a graduate of Laurentian’s Science Communication program. Since graduating from Science Communication in 2015, Michelle produced close to 50 short films for an online course at Laurentian called “Environmental Remediation: Global Lessons from the
Sudbury Story”. She is currently our program’s Technical Advisor, and an instructor for courses such as Audiences and Issues, Design Theory in Science Communication, Communicating Science Through Traditional and New Media, and Communicating and Presenting Research. Michelle has delivered professional development training to researchers, scientists, faculty and graduate students for 4 years.

Food Chain Modelling for Ecological Risk Assessment

Food chain modelling is the most common method for estimating contaminant exposure for wildlife in an ecological risk assessment. In this short course you will learn how to use food chain modelling to estimate daily contaminant exposures by mammals, birds and reptiles, including identification of receptor groups and surrogate species, and identification of model inputs.

Instructor: Scott Steer

Mr. Steer is the principal at Steer Environmental Associates in Nelson, BC and a Risk-Based Standards Approved Professional with the Society of Contaminated Sites Approved Professionals of British Columbia (CSAP) with more than 20 years of experience in human health and ecological risk assessment and contaminated site assessment. He specializes in the development of risk-based remedial solutions for properties with soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water and air contamination. Mr. Steer is also a partner and risk assessment educator at GeoEnviroPro (since 2014), a BC company that specializes in contaminated sites training.

Holistic Risk Assessment for Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment

In his work in human health and ecological risk assessment and environmental health over the past 17 years, Dr. Froese has observed the disconnect between the intent of the risk assessment approach and overall community wellbeing. Despite all the technological improvements in the assessment process, communities’ concerns and perceptions of their wellbeing hasn’t improved. With a lack of trust in the science and the process, overall community (particularly Indigenous community) health and wellbeing continue to suffer. Ken has created a framework to evaluate health from a holistic perspective that incorporates the concept of trust to bridge the gap of communication that exists between the assessment and community. 

Instructor: Dr. Ken Froese, PhD, PChem

Dr. Froese is the owner and principal of GatePost Risk Analysis. He is an expert in environmental chemistry and toxicology, human health risk assessment, and environmental health.  He will be speaking on combining a holistic health perspective with risk assessment to provide a more comprehensive and meaningful result.  Ken will explain how the current risk assessment guidelines are inadequate for communicating the health risks to communities, because it doesn’t take into consideration their values and perception of the results. The concept of trust is essential for understanding the relationships between environment, contaminants, and wellbeing. Ken will share his framework for how to evaluate health from a holistic perspective that positively impacts community wellbeing and fosters greater connection.

Beyond Data -Conceptual Site Models from Site Characterization to Risk Assessment

“Beyond Data” implores you to recast diverse investigation data sets and information within the context of the Conceptual Site Model (“CSM”).  Learn how to use the CSM to assess the relevance and uncertainty behind investigation data and interpretation, and use these insights to develop meaningful risk assessments and robust risk management alternatives.  This interactive virtual workshop uses many real-world examples to put you into the critical learning zone, gaining competency in the assessment and interpretation of environmental data, and teasing out the strengths and uncertainties within the characterization data that serve as the foundation of your risk assessment. 

Instructor: Mr. Guy Patrick, Patrick Consulting Inc.

Mr. Patrick is a contaminant hydrogeologist and environmental engineer with over 35 years of experience in the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites in soil, sediment, and bedrock environments.  He provides technical training via in-class courses and webinars through GeoEnviroPro (, with a focus on effective use of conceptual site models in site characterization, risk assessment, and remedial planning. As Managing Director of Patrick Consulting Inc. ( and a Contaminated Sites Approved Professional in the Province of British Columbia (, Mr. Patrick’s expertise also includes strong technical review and project oversight, with a focus on the development of innovative approaches in the assessment and clean-up of contaminated sites.  His work experience includes the investigation, remediation, and litigation support for complex legacy sites in freshwater and tidally influenced environments that are contaminated by inorganic and organic constituents including metals and light and dense non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) such as petroleum hydrocarbons, coal tars, creosote, and chlorinated solvents.