Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 60.39
Liaison Christina Olsen
Submission Date March 30, 2021

STARS v2.2

British Columbia Institute of Technology
AC-5: Immersive Experience

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution offer at least one immersive, sustainability-focused educational study program that is one week or more in length?:

A brief description of the sustainability-focused immersive program(s) offered by the institution:

BCIT offers a number of sustainability-focused, immersive experience programs. The Fish Wildlife and Recreation (FWR) program is widely renowned locally and internationally for its “field-oriented” learning and applied research. The FWR program is focussed on the sustainable management of fisheries, wildlife, parks and outdoor recreation. It is a unique program that provides hands on training through on-campus living labs and off-campus field trips.

For the last 20 years, FWR students and academic staff have been travelling to the United States (US) for a week long field trip to Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone provides an ideal immersive learning experience giving students the opportunity to observe how the US National Park Service preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the park for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.

Prior to the February 2020 trip, students worked in small groups to research a management topic/issue in Yellowstone and presented their findings to their peers. Management issues were selected from the 2020 Yellowstone Resources and Issues Handbook - an annual compendium of information about Yellowstone National Park which includes important concepts about Yellowstone’s many resources, park history, science and research conducted in the greater Yellowstone area, and critical management issues facing Yellowstone National Park. The students were asked to compare and contrast how the National Park Service manages resources in Yellowstone, with how Canadian agencies manage similar issues in a Canadian provincial or national park.

The hands on experiences at Yellowstone built upon and reinforced the in-class learning. Highlights of the 2020 trip included:
• Natural history field session with local biologists including interpretive walks and wildlife viewing opportunities
• Park visitor use management
• Fisheries and wildlife issues and management
• Field session on “forensic tracking” in the snow and plaster casting of snow tracks

In the students own words:

“On a practical level, the speakers we met and the skills we learned were integral to the FWR program. Natural resource management extends far beyond British Columbia. Seeing firsthand how other countries manage their resources puts us at an advantage to graduates of similar programs. Everything I had hoped to learn was covered through various accomplished speakers and hands on activities. This included fish, bear, wolf, and elk management, as well as snow tracking and geology. I can’t imagine the FWR program without the Yellowstone trip, which solidifies two years of hard work with practical knowledge and the wonder of a novel landscape.” Georgia Dixon

“The park is a powerful example of the human potential to restore disrupted ecosystems to further manage healthy, self sustaining ones. Understanding management methods and guiding principles used by the National Park Service has assisted me to refine a restorative vision towards conserving British Columbia’s wild and natural areas for the benefit of future generations.” Iva Kulic

More information on the FWR program can be found at:

Website URL where information about the institution’s immersive education programs is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.