CBU’s Verschuren Centre launches Sustainable Remediation Course


CBU’s Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (VCSEE) will present a Sustainable Site Remediation course in September 2017. The course will bring together students and practitioners from across the globe with local professionals who have acquired vast experience from working on some of the largest remediation projects in Canada.

The course, themed “Lessons Learned,” aims to highlight the remediation expertise gained by diverse environmental cleanup activities completed across Cape Breton Island, including the Sydney Tar Ponds, Steel Plant and Coke Ovens site, the Sydney Coal Fields, as well as the current Boat Harbour project in Pictou, NS.

Martin Mkandawire, Industrial Research Chair in Mine Water Management and Associate Professor, Chemistry and Ken Oakes, Industrial Research Chair in Environmental Remediation and Associate Professor, Biology, will facilitate the course. Oakes says, “The Sustainable Site Remediation course is quite unique in that it is directly tapping into a previously unexploited resource: those consultants, government managers, and public representatives who devoted considerable time, the bulk of their careers in many cases, to remediating contaminated sites.”

The course will focus on learning in the field, bringing participants to remediated sites to see successful projects first hand. The unique geographic location and environmental remediation projects of Cape Breton’s industrial past, coupled with the Island’s relationship with Indigenous communities will offer one of a kind learning experiences for students.

“Quite simply, no other location in Canada has the geographic proximity to such massive, diverse, long-term environmental issues and remediation efforts as is found in Cape Breton,” says Oakes. “These local remediation efforts are also unique as they focussed on the inclusion of First Nations groups in the process, specifically with the intention to not only consult but to build capacity within these communities to meaningfully engage in the remediation work.”

Approved as professional development by Engineers Nova Scotia, the VCSEE is currently awaiting three-credit course approval from CBU to offer this unique hands-on learning experience to graduate and undergraduate students as well. Students interested in academic credit will be required to complete additional assignments and can sign up via the Engineering Department at CBU.

For more information or to register for the course, visit the Verschuren Centre Website.