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  • As most readers are aware, AESAC offers in-depth, hands-on training and certification courses for conducting Phase One and Phase Two Environmental Site Assessments. These courses are offered at different venues across Canada, typically twice yearly in eastern and western Canada. In addition, AESAC also offers custom ESA training courses that we bring directly to the consulting firm or governmental/quasi-governmental organizations. As we conduct another in-house AESAC Training course, I thought it would be a good time to look back and reflect on past in-house courses that have been conducted by AESAC.

    2012 - Lindsay, ON – this Phase One ESA course was presented in conjunction with Fleming College and included the introduction of the first Phase Two ESA Workshop, which was later expanded to the present-day Phase Two course. We were able to incorporate a field drilling demonstration in conjunction with Fleming College’s Drilling Program. For me personally, it was very interesting to teach and lecture at my old college, and even catch up with a few of my old instructors.

    2014 – St. John’s, NL – the Phase One and Two course was co-organized with the Newfoundland Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), as part of their NEWLEEF Conference. NEIA members and other industry stakeholders subsequently attended the AESAC courses after presentations and workshops conducted during the NEWLEEF event. Highlights (for me) included a nice walk to Quidi Vidi brewery, and enjoying a Quidi Vidi Iceberg beer on George Street in beautiful downtown St. John’s.

    2015 – Edmonton AB – AESAC presented our first Oil and Gas-focussed training course for a private Upstream Oil & Gas company in Edmonton. This was later expanded to form AESAC’s ESA training course specifically for the Upstream Oil and Gas industry in Alberta, and also added our first AB-based instructors with extensive expertise in this sector.   A personal high point was seeing the visiting Calgary Flames play the hometown Edmonton Oilers.

    2016 – Calgary, AB – this course combined the Phase One and Two ESA training, along with Upstream Oil and Gas ESA training for a private Oil and Gas consulting firm. My favourite extra-curricular event was watching the visiting Edmonton Oilers play the hometown Calgary Flames (attending NHL games is a recurring theme when teaching away from home).

    2017 – Vancouver BC – this course comprised the Phase One and Two ESA training (normally lasting 6 days in total) condensed into a 5-day course with content geared specifically to First Nations communities. The course was coordinated through Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC – now ISC, Indigenous Services Canada), and included government representatives from INAC, and land managers and environmental coordinators from First Nations across BC. AESAC has always had attendees from Indigenous communities, but this was the first of several courses AESAC conducted specially for our First Nations partners.

    2018 – Portage La Prairie, MB – this was another 5-day course directed to First Nations environmental specialists. The course was offered through the Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council in conjunction with Indigenous Services Canada, and was attended by community members from all across Manitoba. I remember it was very cold (that’s Portage in mid-February), although some attendees from the far north were wearing T-shirts and open jackets, and telling me that -30C was actually pretty nice, compared to their daily winter weather.

    2022 – Chalk River, ON – as I write this blog, we are in the midst of a Phase One and Two ESA course being conducted for Canadian Nuclear Laboratories at their Chalk River Nuclear facility, a fascinating place with all kinds of interesting environmental features, and a great deal of security and restricted areas (as you would expect at a world-class nuclear research facility). The location on the Ottawa River makes a scenic backdrop for after-course leisure activities.

    Please reach out to AESAC to discuss your organization’s particular needs for ESA training. We can bring the training and certification directly to your group or facility, and can also offer custom-made training geared to the specific needs of your staff and group.

    Bill Leedham, P. Geo., CESA    

    Bill is the Head Instructor and Course Developer for the Associated Environmental Site Assessors of Canada (www.aesac.ca); and the founder and President of Down 2 Earth Environmental Services Inc. You can contact Bill at info@down2earthenvironmental.ca