John has just completed another Environmental Monitor Training Program (EMTP) in Fort Smith on behalf of Aurora College. This marks the 14th EMTP John has instructed since 2007 and the 25th that Blyth & Bathe has delivered.

The EMTP is a program developed by Eco Canada and BEAHR (Building Environmental Aboriginal Human Resources) and is delivered across the country. The program is designed as an introductory course to environmental monitoring and gives students the ability to work at an entry level position in the environmental sector. The course includes six modules:

  • Personal Skills
  • Introduction to the Environmental Sector
  • Technical Skills
  • Health and Safety
  • Local and Traditional Knowledge and Environmental Monitoring
  • Research Skills
Students working on a transect

Students working on a transect

As part of the course, students learned common field work skills such as GPS use, compass and topo map use, digital photography for documentation and evidence gathering, writing quality field notes, systems of measure, trip planning and safety, and communication equipment use. The health and safety component included useful certifications for employment such as TDG and WHMIS. In addition, John delivered the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, the course required to apply for your firearms licence.

Students learned the process for collecting water samples using the protocols of Taiga Labs in Yellowknife as well as how to order the equipment for sampling, and how to interpret the results from the samples against the CCME and Health Canada guidelines. They learned how to determine if the results are in compliance with the terms and conditions set out in a water licence.

Students conducting water samples at Pelican Rapids

Students conducting water samples at Pelican Rapids

During the course, the students were shown the CABIN protocols for monitoring stream health through sampling benthic invertebrates.

The course culminated in the students having to deliver a fifteen minute presentation on a component of the environment, a monitoring technique, or environmental issue. The course required students to consult experts within their own communities on their subject as well as conduct research in order to complete the project successfully. Subjects included walleye monitoring in Tathlina Lake, Water Level Changes in Great Slave Lake, and Lake Trout in Great Bear Lake.

Students from the course werefrom across the NWT and returned to their home communities to work on a variety of projects ranging from community based monitoring programs, to compliance environmental monitors with industry.

Students Practicing the Deployment of Bear Bangers.

Students practicing the deployment of bear bangers.