Certificate Programs

The ESRC will be launching a number of non-credit certificate programs in the coming months! Below you will find details and descriptions of these new initiatives including the ESRC Drone Academy, Certificate in Project Management, Leadership in Environmental Sustainability and the Certificate in Geospatial Technologies and Environmental Sustainability.

ESRC Drone Academy

ESRC Drone Academy

Come fly with us! Calling all aspiring drone pilots to participate in the new “Introduction to Drones” certificate program offered by the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre!

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) are tools that have been used by the military since World War 1. Commonly referred to as “drones”, these vehicles have seen a recent upsurge in popularity with a range of applications beyond their original use for military purposes. Indeed, some common applications of drone technology include: agricultural/viticulture crop assessments (health, yield), forest-fire mapping and monitoring, surveying, rapid shipment of goods, search and rescue operations, storm tracking and forecasting, marketing (e.g., for real estate and businesses such as wineries), and for recreational purposes such as racing. Drones are particularly important for environmental sustainability, as they allow us to remotely map, monitor, and evaluate inhospitable/inaccessible sites without disturbing fragile ecosystems, can allow us to perform air quality assessments (including pollen counts), and can provide us with the means to improve map accuracy. This type of remote-sensing technology also provides important opportunities for researchers to engage with different members of the community, industry, and/or municipalities to address contemporary sustainability challenges. These benefits and opportunities also come with inherent risks. Proper training is thus essential to mediating these risks and responsible drone operation.


Our Introduction to Drones certificate is designed to instruct beginners on the basics of flying drones, such as the various applications of drones, the types of drones and their basic operating principles, the new laws and regulations around flying drones (as mandated by Transport Canada as of June 1, 2019), licensing requirements, and best practices for environmental and human safety. In-class instruction is supplemented with experiential education in which knowledge gained is applied to flying miniature quadcopters (less than 250g). By the end of the course, students will feel competent in the knowledge-based and practical skills they have acquired, and will be provided with the information and resources to work towards their Transport Canada RPAS Pilot License – Basic Operation. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate of completion* from the ESRC.

2020 Course Dates Coming Soon

Please Note: This course is not intended to prepare students to take the Small RPAS Basic Exam from Transport Canada, nor does completion of this course permit students to fly drones over 250g. It is intended to provide basic instruction in drone operations, regulations, and best practices. For more information on how to legally fly your drone in Canada, please see  https://www.tc.gc.ca/en/services/aviation/publications/tp-15263.html.

ESRC Drone Course Interest Form

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Certificate in Project Management

Architect Checking Insulation During House Construction

Gain knowledge and improve your project management skills by taking the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre’s Certificate in Project Management!

Project management is essential in industries, non-governmental organizations, and public sector agencies. It increasingly occurs in an environment characterized by complexity and change, where sustainability is imperative. Our Project Management certificate program is designed to equip aspiring and current project managers with the knowledge, advanced tools, and practical skills necessary to effectively and efficiently deliver projects in light of contemporary and future challenges. It encompasses Project Management Professional instruction which prepares aspiring professionals to take the PMP examination. In addition, professionals will gain a working knowledge of environmental sustainability and insights into innovative approaches for navigating complexity and uncertainty.

About the Certificate Program

This program is module-based, with most modules taking place over the course of weekend. Participants are required to take 6 modules (3 required; 3 electives) in order to earn the certificate.  Successful participants will receive a certificate upon completion from the ESRC to signify their proficiency in project management.

Project Management Course Interest Form

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Leadership in Environmental Sustainability

Environmental Leadership

Become a leader in Environmental Sustainability! The Environmental Sustainability Research Centre is offering a “Leadership in Environmental Sustainability” certificate to empower the next generation of leaders.

Sustainability is imperative and omnipresent. Businesses, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies all require individuals with knowledge and skills to make positive strides towards sustainability. Our Leadership in Environmental Sustainability certificate program is designed to equip individuals with knowledge about environmental sustainability and advanced skills required to become future change agents. To support the needs of both current and aspiring leaders, this program can be tailored to ensure that you gain the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the needs of your organization.

About the Certificate Program

This program is module-based, with most modules taking place over the course of weekend. Participants are required to take 6 modules (3 required; 3 electives) in order to earn the certificate. Successful participants will receive a professional certificate upon completion from the ESRC to signify their proficiency in environmental sustainability leadership.

Certificate in Geospatial Technologies and Environmental Sustainability

Geographic information systems concept, woman scientist working

Earn a certificate from the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre in the rapidly-growing field of geospatial technologies!

Geographical information is essential for addressing sustainability challenges and realizing opportunities for societal innovation. Geospatial technologies refers to the science of gathering, manipulating, analyzing, and presenting geographic and spatially-referenced data, it is a rapidly developing field. It encompasses knowledge and application of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing using both airborne (e.g., drones) and space borne (e.g., satellite) platforms, and advanced cartography. Individuals with knowledge of geospatial technologies and applied skills to environmental sustainability are in high demand. Exciting career opportunities are available in both the public (e.g., Environment Canada, Parks Canada, Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP, public colleges and universities) and private (e.g., Google, Microsoft, TomTom International, EllisDon) sector. Our theoretical and practical (hands-on) certificate program provides training for aspiring and existing professionals who currently utilize geospatial technologies.