What is a Major in Land Reclamation?

Land reclamation is the important process of converting disturbed land to its former or other productive uses. This program teaches you how to assess and minimize the impacts of development and resource activities, and to restore impacted ecosystems to maintain quality environments. You’ll gain the knowledge and practical skills to conduct remediation, soil reclamation, and re-vegetation, as well as environmental assessment and land-use planning.

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Featured Courses

History and Fundamentals of Environmental Protection and Conservation (REN R 260)

A philosophical and sociological exploration of historical and contemporary perspectives on human-environmental relationships and their implications. Explores these perspectives in a framework of critical thinking and through case studies.

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Restoration Ecology (REN R 366)

Principles and practices of restoring ecosystem structure, function and biodiversity after natural or anthropogenic disturbances. The course focuses on ecological theory and how to apply it to ecological restoration. Topics include landscape processes and connectivity, soil-plant processes, techniques, philosophy and ethics and societal aspects of ecological restoration.

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Disturbance Ecology Fundamentals (REN R 440)

This course will cover various aspects of disturbance ecology, including concepts of disturbance frequency, severity, intensity; ecological resilience and resistance and ecosystem responses to and recovery from disturbance. Students will define what a disturbance is and critically evaluate disturbance types and their characteristics in different ecosystems and their implications for conservation, sustainability of ecosystems, and application to reclamation / restoration.

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Environmental Soil Chemistry (REN R 444)

Chemical processes in soil and related terrestrial environments and the consequences of these processes as they relate to soil productivity, environmental quality and pollution of soil and water. The course describes fundamental chemical concepts such as soil solution and solid phase chemistry, sorption phenomena, ion exchange, oxidation-reduction reactions and speciation of metals. These concepts are used to predict the fate (distribution, transport, bioavailability and transformation) of inorganic and organic contaminants in soil.

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Feature Careers

In general, reclamation specialists restore disturbed land to productive condition after it has been impacted by erosion, mining, oil and gas activities, flooding, commercial development or other processes.

Source: Government of Alberta, Occupations in Alberta



  • Reclamation Specialist
  • Remediation Specialist
  • Environmental Planner
  • Soil Conservationist
  • Environmental Assessment Analyst
  • Environmental Auditor

Check out the U of A’s Environmental Science Career Guide for more options.


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