When: February 13, 2018
Duration: 6 Hours (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Cost: $80.00 USD

Natural processes have been restoring natural disturbances since the beginning of time. This workshop will explore how these natural processes can be applied to the restoration of sites that humans have disturbed to greatly reduce the cost of restoration. Traditional reclamation treatments can be costly and fail to generate the ecological goods and services that were lost during the disturbance of the site. This workshop will look at how disturbed sites can be re-integrated with the natural successional processes that operate to create productive, self-sustaining ecosystems. We will look at common constraints (filters) to recovery – erosion, compaction, low nutrients, lack of propagules, herbivory, etc. and how natural systems solve these problems. We will explore practical methods of applying these solutions to anthropogenic disturbances often at a fraction of the cost of some current reclamation practices. Soil bioengineering techniques for the treatment of steep and/or unstable sites will be presented.


David F. Polster, R.P. Bio. is a plant ecologist with almost 40 years of experience in vegetation studies, reclamation and invasive species management. He graduated from the University of Victoria with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and a Master of Science degree in 1977. He has developed a wide variety of reclamation techniques for mines, industrial developments and steep/unstable slopes as well as techniques for the re-establishment of riparian and aquatic habitats. He is the past-president (third term) of the Canadian Land Reclamation Association. He is the treasurer for the B.C. Chapter of the Society for Ecological Restoration and is on the board of the International Society for Ecological Restoration. He served as the alternate mining representative on the board of the Invasive Species Council of B.C. for 9 years.


When: February 13, 2018
Duration: 2 hours (10:00 am – 12:00 pm)
Cost: $24.00 USD

A discussion of the opportunities, challenges, and complexities of integrating ecosystem restoration and remediation in an urban and semi-urban context. Presentation will discuss how various ecosystem services, biodiversity strategies, and restoration goals are integrated into community planning documents, and how these are then realized through individual development projects. Workshop can be formatted to include an initial presentation, followed by a hands on ‘design charrette’ to involve participants in a mock urban design sketching session.


James Godwin MLA, BCSLA, CSLA has a background in Landscape Architecture and Ecology, and is well-versed in urban design, landscape planning, and ecological restoration. He has worked on a range of projects varying in size from large scale masterplanning to detailed site design, and is experienced with all phases of a project from initial concept development through to construction administration.

James works as a Landscape Architect in Vancouver, developing his ability to communicate designs both digitally and through hand sketching. He has managed a number of projects, including several residential and green spaces at the University of British Columbia, a shoreline park and multi-use trail development in the District of North Vancouver, as well as for a variety of institutional, commercial, and First Nations clients. His current focus is on the District of North Vancouver’s new wastewater treatment plant, where a variety of innovative stormwater and biodiversity measures are planned to integrate the facility into its surrounding context.

James’ passion is design focused on the environment, and he has developed an extensive skill set in ecological design and climate change mitigation/adaptation. A member of both local and international conservation societies, he continues to cultivate this interest through volunteer work and courses focused on community engagement.


When: February 13, 2018
Duration: 3 hrs (1:00 pm – 4:00 pm)
Cost: $24.00 USD

This workshop will focus on current knowledge and practices to restore boreal peatlands disturbed by resource exploration/extraction activities in Alberta. The topics to be covered include:

  1. Boreal peatland development and distribution, function and values
  2. Peatland restoration: Eastern Canada experience and Western Canada challenges
  3. Reconstructing fen ecosystems of post-mining landscape: from theory to practice
  4. Remove in-situ footprint on peatlands: well pad and linear feature restoration
  5. UAV and remote sensing technologies to better understand, estimate and mitigate cumulative footprint of industrial activities
  6. Alberta’s Peatland Reclamation Criteria and future research/monitoring needs.

* This pre-conference workshop has a limit of 40 participants


Dr. Bin Xu is a peatland ecologist with a PhD in Plant Biology from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He received his B.S. in Environmental Sciences in early 2000s from Wuhan University, China and his M.Sc. in Biology from Villanova University, Pennsylvania. He worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Calgary before joining NAIT in 2013 as the NSERC Industrial Research Chair for Colleges (IRCC) in Peatland Restoration at the NAIT Boreal Research Institute in Peace River, Alberta.

He has over 17 years of research experience on the impact of human activities on natural peatland ecosystems in boreal Canada. As the IRCC Chair, he is working closely with university collaborators, industry partners and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop science-based, effective techniques and methods to reclaim disturbed peatlands by in-situ extraction in northern Alberta. He’s leading research on assessing and mitigating industrial footprint, particularly linear features, on boreal peatlands through strategic planning, innovative mapping technologies, and ecological restoration. He’s closely involved in the development of the provincial peatland reclamation criteria (2015). He has hosted workshops and field training schools for practitioners, land managers, regulators on bryophyte biology/identification, peatland ecology, community ecology, provincial criteria assessment, as well as hands-on training of site preparation, civil earthwork, plant species selection, propagation and field deployment.


When: February 13, 2018
Duration: 6 hrs (9:00 am – 4:00 pm)
Cost: $80.00 USD

Marine restoration requires coordination and collaboration to be successful, and must be adapted to dynamic ecosystems and a changing climate. In this all-day workshop, participants will identify key methods and approaches for marine restoration in the Salish Sea to help support a network of expertise for the recovery of marine and nearshore habitats. The day will include several presentations covering priority topics related to estuarine and nearshore restoration, with break-out discussions and a panel discussion. Topics covered will encompass the following themes:

  • Overview of marine restoration projects in the Salish Sea,
  • Benchmarks and targets for building resiliency into restored marine areas
  • Connectivity between natural and restored habitats
  • Watershed approaches to estuarine recovery
  • Indicators to use for monitoring estuaries and marine nearshores
  • Sediment research needed to support marine restoration

* This pre-conference workshop has a limit of 60 participants


Nikki Wright, SeaChange Marine Conservation Society, and other presenters T.B.A.