Invitation to apply: Certificate in Ecological Restoration in the San Juan Islands, 2022-23

Submitted by The Islands Conservation Corps.

The Islands Conservation Corps, a program of the San Juan Islands Conservation District, is accepting applications to the 2022-23 Certificate in Ecological Restoration program in the San Juan Islands , offered in partnership with Western Washington University’s College of the Environment. This certificate combines academic coursework with hands-on fieldwork performing the fundamentals of ecological restoration. Working with regional land management agencies, students proactively address imminent threats to our environment through restoration, conservation, and adaptive management. Students will gain skills in ecological theory, conduct technical fieldwork, and collect and analyze field data using software such as ArcGIS and R studio. This certificate is for candidates seeking careers in conservation and land management practices, by providing accredited coursework, networking relationships, and exposure to potential employers.

ICC enrollees participate in an average of 21 fieldwork hours per week, receiving an AmeriCorps payment of $900 per month and a $3,172 education award that can be applied to their coursework throughout the year. As the certificate courses are offered at a significant discount, students incur no out-of-pocket costs for 20 credits on their transcript. To take courses for credit, the program requires an associates degree or two years of college coursework completed. Students without two years of coursework are encouraged to apply and can audit the courses, receiving a non-accredited certificate at the end of the program.

To learn more about the program and apply, please visit Applications will be open until April 1st, 2022.

The program is grateful to the generous support of the Orcas Island Community Foundation, San Juan Community Foundation, Career Connect Washington, Washington Fire Adapted Communities Network, the WA Department of Natural Resources, and our land agency partners. This collaborative seeks to provide equitable

access to education and career pathways in the field of land management.

Upon successful completion of this certificate program, students will be able to:

Design field sampling protocols; manage data to answer environmental questions; apply basic statistical techniques to professionally communicate environmental data;

Utilize spatial data, spatial data sources, and gain practical experience in GIS applications; communicate statistical information, field methods, and statistical analyses to a broader audience;

Perform technical tree-felling, landscape scale fire management and riparian zone restoration with trainings from the US Forest Service and Washington Department of Natural Resources

A background in ecological restoration provides a specialty that pertains to a broad range of careers. Understanding challenges in the field of natural resources and opportunities for resiliency and carbon sequestration offers relevant skills to shape the next generation of managers and practitioners tasked to address the landscape stresses of climate change. The certificate prepares individuals for careers such as conservation scientists, natural resource managers and planners, environmental engineers, environmental communications, arborists, wildland firefighters, environmental analysts, environmental advocates, government agency employees, sustainability officers, water resource managers, environmental consultants, forest service employees, and ecological educators.