The new Ecological Restoration Certificate in the San Juan Islands is provided in partnership with the San Juan Islands Conservation District and Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. The program combines academic coursework and hands-on implementation of the fundamentals of ecological restoration. The program is delivered via a series of quarterly online courses plus paid, field-based practicums in the San Juan Islands, integrating hands-on restoration activities, online activities, and in-person learning.
The certificate pairs weekly coursework through Huxley College with a paid 21-hour per week AmeriCorps position hosted by the San Juan Islands Conservation District’s Islands Conservation Corps, based on Orcas Island. Certificate students enrolled in the ICC will conduct field restoration activities that count toward practicum credits for certificate courses. In addition, ICC enrollees receive a $3,172 education award and take certificate courses at a deep discount, incurring no out-of-pocket costs for 20 credits on their transcript. Upon completion, students receive an accredited professional certificate and are in a position to continue work towards future college degrees or post-graduate certificates.
The program starts Sept. 1 and runs through July 1, 2022. Fieldwork occurs two days a week from April-June and three days a week from October through April. Classes are scheduled from 5-8 p.m. and are initiated by in-person faculty with the use of interactive conferencing.
Students are provided a $900 monthly living stipend and $350 towards rental assistance. In addition, AmeriCorps provides assistance with accessing Washington State healthcare.
The ICC conducts 20 hours per week of field-based restoration in San Juan County with land agency partners including SJC Land Bank, SJC Public Works, SJ Preservation Trust, OPALCO, WA DNR, State Parks. Crew activities include invasive weed removal, fuel reduction and forest thinning activities, biomass processing, planting native shrubs and pollinators, riparian zone restoration, and trail construction.
The program is grateful to the generous support of the Orcas Island Community Foundation, San Juan Community Foundation, Career Connect Washington and land agency partners. This collaborative seeks to provide equitable access to education and career pathways in the field of land management. To apply, visit: https://www.sanjuanislandscd.org/icc.