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"Alberta Wetlands: From Classification to Policy" Course

Aquality is pleased to announce the release of their Field Guide 

"Common Mineral Wetland Plants of Alberta"

Aquality Environmental Consulting Ltd. offers "Alberta Wetlands: From Classification to Policy", a course aimed at a variety of stakeholders including environmental  consultants, industry specialists, not-for-profit organizations, and municipal and provincial government departments. This Alberta-based Wetlands Course is arranged in topical modules consisting of theoretical and practical components. Topics covered include: Wetland Theory and Classification, Riparian Functions, Policy and Legislation, Airphoto Interpretation and Functional Assessment Tools.

Upcoming Classroom Training Courses:

  • January 27 and 28, 2015 - Edmonton, AB  
  • Spring TBD
  • Summer TBD
Want to get your boots wet?
Visit the Wetland Field Course page for upcoming course dates.   

For more information or to register for the course, please contact Aquality Environmental at Please contact us for the registration form.

Classroom Course Description

Course content may vary by date; please see the description of the course date that you are interested in or contact us at

Module 1 - Wetland Theory, Classification and Riparian Functions

This Module is the quintessential primer of wetland ecology with emphasis on classification systems how they are applied to wetlands in Alberta. The ecosystem roles and functions of wetlands and riparian areas are addressed, including flood attenuation, water quality and quantity, climate impacts, biodiversity and stormwater management. 

Module 2 - Policies Affecting Wetlands in Alberta 

This course will address federal, provincial and municipal policies affecting wetlands in Alberta, particularly the new Alberta Wetland Policy (released September 11, 2013). Regulations, Legislation and Codes of Practice will also be reviewed at a provincial scale. Wetland Avoidance, Mitigation, and Compensation/Replacement guidelines and economic valuation of wetlands will also be addressed.

Module 3: Applied Wetland Skills (session dependent)

 Wetland Airphoto Interpretation Workshop

Alberta has a detailed airphoto inventory of the province dating back to the 1940s. This hands-on module will teach you how to identify, delineate, and classify wetlands in the landscape using black/white airphotos using the Canadian Wetland Classification System. Time-series analyses will allow you to examine the same wetland complex over time to gain an appreciation of their dynamic nature in relation to environmental factors. This module can be especially useful for municipalities seeking to develop their own wetland management policies, as a demonstration of the distribution and abundance of wetlands on the landscape.

 Introduction to the Assessment of Wetland Functions and Benefits Workshop

Under the new Alberta Wetland Policy, wetland management in the Province of Alberta is moving towards a values-based approach, where the purpose of wetland mitigation is to maintain wetland functions and benefits rather than just total wetland area.  This module will introduce participants to the assessment of wetlands functions, values, and ecosystem services.  It will include information on the various wetland functions and benefits to be considered for protection under the old and new policies.  It will also provide an introduction to some of the tools used for assessing wetland functions and benefits, including the US Environmental Protection Agency's Wetland Ecosystem Services Protocol for the United States (WESPUS) tool.

In-house Training Sessions

Aquality offers the option of a customizable in-house Wetlands Course. Ideal for large companies and organizations! For more information on this option please contact Aquality Environmental at (780) 757-5530 or email at

Principal Instructor: Jay White, M.Sc, P.Biol, QWAES

Jay is the principal researcher at Aquality and has 20 years experience in wetland ecology. He is a Professional Biologist (P.Biol) and Qualified Wetland and Aquatic Environment Specialist (QWAES). He has been involved with the development of the Alberta Wetland Policy, has overviewed treatment wetland design and quantified wetland values. Jay is currently the Vice-President of the Alberta Water Council and has been involved with the Provincial Water Strategy (Water for Life) since its creation. Jay is also personally involved with several non-profit groups such as Alberta Lake Management Society, Alberta Stewardship Network, Ducks Unlimited Canada and Trout Unlimited Canada.

Aquality is pleased to announce that our Wetlands Course was awarded the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists' Peggy Thompson Publication Award for communicating biological information to the general public! 


“The personal involvement and passion about this subject helped to hit home and really “sell” the need for proper understanding around the function and importance of each kind of wetland.” – TERA Environmental Consultants

“Great job! Very educational. It was very interesting to learn about Alberta’s Leg/Reg/Acts… I can take this information and relate it to my own area. Thank you!” – 2012 CWRA Conference Workshop

“Excellent! Enjoyed every minute of it!” – 2012 CWRA Conference Workshop

“I know many other folks in government and crowns that would benefit from this course. Keep up the good work!” – Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

“Energetic and very knowledgeable presenter! This is definitely a niche topic, it was good to get insight & clarity, especially on policy.” – Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

“I am glad that an individual private company is willing to put on a course like this and share their knowledge!” – Ridgeline Environment Inc.

“Excellent overall, detailed information; far more comprehensive than available from any singular source. Particularly liked the case study examples.” – ATCO Gas

“Thanks! I wish I could have taken this course 15 years ago!” – City of Grande Prairie

“I found the course to be incredibly helpful. There was a lot to know about Alberta wetlands and with this information I now feel that I have a firm foundation to kick off from to further my career. Thanks!” – Calgary Public Session - June 2013

“Great course! Will definitely recommend to colleagues. Very informative and useful, applicable information.” – Calgary Public Session - June 2013