Northern Environmental Research & Development (NERDS)

The Northern Environmental Research Program is a four credit program which will be offered to Grade 12 students, during the second semester of the 2021/2022 year. This program is designed for students who enjoy the outdoors and who may be interested in pursuing a post secondary college or university career in natural resources, natural sciences or environmental sciences. Students will be involved in a wide variety of projects which will include data collection, analysis, and communication of information as part of on-going monitoring and scientific research with numerous local agencies and associations involved in natural resource management and environmental monitoring. Students will have opportunities to work with fish, wildlife and forestry specialists and have input into the provincial data base of land and natural resources information. They will also gain valuable experience that will help with future studies in environment and resource management at the college or university level, as well as experience and contacts for future jobs.

Successful completion of these credits, along with other designated courses, will earn the student a “Specialist High Skills Major in the Environment” seal on the Ontario Secondary School Diploma, as well as acknowledgement on the student’s final transcript.

Enhanced Program Contribution: $375.00 (some assistance may be available)


1. Standard First Aid & CPR
2. Wilderness First Aid Seminar
3. AED certification
4. WHMIS Training
5. Winter Survival Skills (OPP)
6. Pleasure Boat Operator’s Course
7. GPS Certification/GIS Training
8. Bear Safety Training
9. Young Worker Workplace Safety Training
10. Basic Canoe Training
11. ATV Training
12. Post Secondary Education Exploration
13. Ice Safety and Ice Rescue Training and Certification
14. Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring program introduction
15. Working At Heights
16. Search and Rescue Level II (OPP)
17. Stick Nest Identification


1. Winter Tree ID/Twig Collection
2. Map and Compass Training
3. GPS and GIS to collect data for natural resource projects
4. Winter Oxygen Testing/Water Chemistry
5. Spring Lake Trout Netting Project
6. Fish Hatchery Maintenance and Management
7. Lake Analysis
8. Cold water stream inventory and analysis
9. Water quality analysis
10. Forest Stand Analysis - Basal Area, Disease
11. Forest Management Planning
12. Tree Planting
13. Tree Marking
14. Whip-poor-will Survey
15. Loon Survey
16. Independent Research Modules
17. Resume and Portfolio Development
18. Boundary Line Marking

Courses: CGR4M Environment and Resource Management (college/university)
CGO4M Geomatics: Geotechnologies in Action (college/university)
2X CGR4MCO Environment and Resource Management Co-op (college/university)

Animal Tracking
Remote Lake Access Mapping
Eagle’s Nest Trail Development
Phragmites Removal
Wildlife Research
Endangered Species Inventory
Bathymetry Mapping

Northern Environmental Research & Development (N.E.R.D.S) timelines 2019/2020 (Pdf)

Northern Environmental Research & Development (N.E.R.D.S) clothing and equipment requirements (Pdf)

Algonquin Animal Tracking Forest Management
Babysitting the Baby Fish Ice Rescue
Cold Water Stream Survey OBBN Loon Survey