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Just thought I'd share this with Trailspace, because you guys have definitely been inspirational.
Here are some of the classes I'll do in this two-year programme:
Ecosystem Ecology, Environmental Citizenship, Habitat Assessment, Silvics, Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems, Forest Surveying, Fish and Wildlife Biology, Field Navigation, and Wilderness Survival. (Must be a bummer to fail the last two! :) )
Each term has an extended field camp. Here's some of the "required equipment" list:
Compass (Suunto MC2), axe, chest waders, "Thermarest" (has this become a generic term, like Kleenex?), hiking boots, "good quality raingear", neoprene gloves, sleeping bag, snowshoes, and "flashlight" (I have my Tikka XP2, thanks Trailspace!). "Snowsuit" is also on the list, but I think I have my winter layering system down pat (thanks again!). Oh, and a bug jacket, which is listed as "optional". I doubt it!
Students are also required to have the following outside certification before they can graduate:
Canadian Firearm Safety Course / Hunter Education
Paddle Canada - Introduction to Lake Canoeing
Coastal Navigation Certificate
Pleasure Craft Operators Card
Restricted Operators Certificate (Maritime) DSC Endorsement
ATV Safety Training
Wilderness First Aid
Trapper Education Certificate
Fifteen years ago I was an English Lit major. I wrote my essays in a tent whenever possible, spent Christmas and 'spring' break on snowshoes, and summers working for Parks Canada. So I think I'm going to like my new school. :)
I want to thank everybody at Trailspace (and not just for the help with gear!). Many of you have reinforced the idea that wilderness can be not just recreation, but a calling. Here's hoping that in a couple of years I find myself in a position to help protect it!