Land & Water Resources

Length of Program:  2 YearsProgram Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)September 2020


Land & Water Resources Diploma

Applications Open: October 1

Length of Program: 2 Years

Program Status: Open

Become a steward of the land with the Land and Water Resources diploma. This two-year program offers you work-integrated training in applied environmental sciences that will prepare you for careers in land reclamation, environmental stewardship and rural planning emphasizing environmentally sustainable land management practices.

In-field study and future-focused curriculum help you acquire the skills needed to manage soil, plant and water resources in agricultural and natural ecosystems. Students in this program have the option of choosing to major in three areas of specialization: Surface Land Management, Land Reclamation and Remediation, and Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning. 


Graduates are eligible for membership in the Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) where they can pursue the following professional designations: In-Training Program (ATT), Professional Agrologist (PAg) and Registered Technologist in Agrology (RTAg). 

Upon completion, graduates of the Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning major receive Certified Planning Technicians (CPT) accreditation through Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians (CACPT).


Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive a Olds College diploma in Land & water Resources with a major in Surface Land Management, Land Reclamation and Remediation or Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning.

What will you learn?

The Land and Water Resources program prepares its graduates for careers in land reclamation, environmental stewardship and rural planning emphasizing environmentally sustainable land management practices.

Surface Land Management Major

Prepare for an exciting career in land and stakeholder engagement, facilitating successful relationships between industry, government and landowners through the negotiation and acquisition of right-of-way for well sites, pipelines, power lines, cell towers, roadways, alternate energy sites and other surface uses.

View Program Outline

Land Reclamation and Remediation Major

Prepare for a rewarding career in the reclamation industry by helping restore land to its original state after it has been disturbed or contaminated by industry development. Increasing pressure to meet government and industry regulations has led to a spike in demand for land reclamation professionals within the oil and gas, mining and forestry sectors throughout western Canada.

View Program Outline

Environmental Stewardship and Rural Planning Major

Prepare for an enriching career in environmental stewardship and rural planning, ensuring sustainability of the soil, water and wildlife resources amidst agriculture or land development activities.The rapid growth of Alberta’s towns and cities has made both environmental stewardship and rural planning extremely important in order to avoid environmental damage and reduce conflicts that arise between agricultural, industrial, and residential development. 

The major is certified nationally by the Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians (CACPT) and is the only certified planning diploma in western Canada.

View Program Outline

Program Details

Credential: Diploma

Length of Program: 2 Years

Method of Delivery: Olds Campus

Program Intakes: Fall Intake (September program start)

Program Dates: Please visit our Dates & Schedules page to confirm start and end dates of your desired program and confirm campus closures.  

Applications Open: October 1 for Fall Intake

Selection Process for Admission: First Qualified, First Accepted

Tuition, Mandatory Fees, Books, and Supplies: Please refer to the current Fee Schedule for details

  • Year 1: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,290 / Books & Supplies: $1,400
  • Year 2: Tuition: $5,020 / Fees: $1,300 / Books & Supplies: $400

* Please note that international students pay 3.5 times the domestic tuition amount. These fees are provided as estimates only for the purposes of budgeting. All students should refer to the Fee Schedule for the most accurate information and all fees are subject to change.*

Admission Requirements

  • 50% or better in English Language Arts 30-1 or 30-2
  • 50% or better in Math 20-1 or 20-2
  • 50% or better in Chemistry 20 (Mandatory Requirement)
  • 50% or better in Biology 20 OR Science 30
  • Meet the English Language Proficiency Requirement

Academic Upgrading and High School Applicants: Applicants currently in high school or who are completing academic upgrading must submit proof of enrollment and any available interim/midterm marks. Final marks must be submitted within one month following the completion of the course(s) and no later than one month prior to the program start date.

Alternate Admission Option: Alternate Admission status may be offered to applicants who have not or will not complete one of the academic admission requirements. To be considered under Alternate Admission Status, applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  1. (Required) Transcript(s) showing any completed high school and post-secondary courses
  2. (Required) Letter of Introduction and Intent, outlining the following:
    • Introduce yourself
    • Indicate why you wish to enrol in the program
    • Elaborate on your career goals
    • Detail your experience relevant to this program and the industry
  3. (Required) A resume of your work history, extracurricular activities, volunteer service, etc. for the last 5 years
  4. (Optional) Include copies of any tickets and/or certificates you currently hold (e.g.: first aid, safety tickets, etc.)
  5. (Optional) Letter(s) of reference from current or past employers/coaches/etc. (maximum of two letters)

*Submitting Alternate Admission material does not guarantee admission*

Out of Province Applicants: Please refer to the Provincial Equivalency Chart for course equivalencies.

International Applicants

Olds College welcomes applications from international applicants and those who have completed their high school education outside of Canada. Please note, it is still necessary to meet all of the noted admission requirements, including English Language Proficiency. Further information can be found on our website under International Students.

Career Opportunities

Olds College has a solid reputation working with employers in the industry! This directly translates into jobs for our graduates. Opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Land Reclamation Technician

  • Drilling Waste Technician

  • Environmental Monitoring Technician

  • Remediation Technician

  • Environmental Consultant

  • Conservation Group Coordinator

  • Rural Planner

  • Surface Land Agent

  • Municipal Development Officer

  • Land Use Planning Assistant

  • Environmental Technologist

  • Water Quality Technician

  • Agricultural Fieldman

  • Research Assistant

Visit ALIS to find Occupational Profiles with current wages, industry trends and more!

ALIS Occupational Profiles

Admitted Students Information

Program Dates

Find out when your term start and end dates are, so that you know when you are expected to be in attendance. For more information, please review the Program Dates & Fee Schedule.

Class Registration

You will be registered into your classes automatically. This will happen approximately 1 month prior to the start-date for your program. You will be notified once you have been timetabled into your courses. You will be able to see your class schedule in your My Olds College account. If you need to make any changes to your class registration, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

Technology Recommendation

It is required that you come to Olds College with the following technology:

  • A Windows based laptop capable of running Microsoft Office and ESRI ArcGIS Pro 2.5. Students will be using these programs extensively in lectures and classes. The software will be available for installation once you are on campus.

  • The minimum requirements for this laptop are:

    • Operating System: Windows 8.1 (64 bit) or Windows 10 (64 bit)

    • CPU: 2 cores, hyperthreaded (4 cores or more recommended)

    • RAM: 4 GB (8 GB or more recommended)

    • Storage: 32 GB of free space (Solid State Drive recommended

As part of your student accounts, all students have access to Office 365 for the duration of their time with Olds College. To access this you just need to follow these steps:

  • Go to
  • Enter your Olds College email address and password
  • Once logged in there is a button on the right that says "Install Office Apps"

This will give you access to the full Office suite on your computer, for both Windows and Mac based platforms.

Materials & Supplies:

It is recommended that you come prepared with the following items for your field experiences: 
Rain/Snow Gear, including
  • waterproof jacket & pants
  • rubber boots
  • solid hiking books (no flip flops or sandals)
  • umbrella
  • rain poncho 
  • Long Pants
  • Sunhat
  • Sunglasses (if desired)
  • Sunscreen & bug spray (if desired)

Many courses at Olds College require instructor prepared modules as a substitute for textbooks. These modules provide you with the essential course notes and laboratory exercises. They also serve as excellent reference materials for you after you leave school. Modules typically cost between $25 - 40, depending on the size.

Information on other required textbooks and any further supplies will be provided as you attend each class. All books and supplies will be available during the first few weeks of classes in the College Campus Store.

Textbook Order Form

Other Important Information:

  • Time Requirements: An exciting component to this program is you will participate in an off campus hands-on field school experience.

  • Additional Skills: Basic computer skills are recommended for all and it is certainly beneficial to have some prior experience with computers before you arrive at college. A familiarity and comfort in the use of Google products, word processing, spreadsheet and e-mailing software will be a definite asset.

  • Student Clubs: The Land and Water Resources students have a student club which you are strongly encouraged to join. The club involves both social activities and opportunities for professional networking through their annual career day.

  • Opportunities: The Land and Water Resources (LWR) program includes the opportunity to take field trips and attend conferences as part of your studies. These provide real world grounding of subjects learned at the college and allow you to begin to network with industry people.

  • Alberta Institute of Agrology: Every graduate of the LWR program (both Majors) is eligible for membership in the Alberta Institute of Agrology (Agrology Technologist In-Training - ATT).  An Agrology Technologist In-Training (ATT) must meet the educational requirements and be approved for registration by the Registration Committee. Upon completing the In-Training Program, the ATT is eligible to become an Registered Technical Agrologist (RTAg).

Ready to apply?

Visit our Admissions page for more info or go to Apply Alberta to submit an online application!

  • "My experience at Olds College was amazing. I took the Reclamation and Remediation major in the Land and Water Resources program. Now I am working with a Lands and Leasing Department and helping them with all of the environmental components associated with the job both in the field and the office. Everything I learned in school has come in handy and I am so grateful for all of the help and support I received while going to school. The Instructors were great and took the time to help me succeed."
    • Tara Telnes, 2020 Graduate
  • "The L&W program is very diverse and teaches you all the basics to succeed in the environmental industry. It gives you all the knowledge required for doing field work."
    • Tyler Hansen, 2018 Graduate
  • "Olds College is a place where staff and students establish and maintain rapport. This has been beneficial in job seeking efforts as Instructors are there for you whether you are currently enrolled or a graduate. My overall experience at Olds College was a place full of people who genuinely care and make sure you succeed."
    • Derek Alcorn, 2020 Graduate
  • "Olds College provided me with the skill sets needed to find a job in the industry I wanted. Through the small class sizes and hands-on learning, I gained skill sets relevant to getting a career in the environmental field today. I made some of the most meaningful friendships with people who are as passionate about this industry as I am."
    • Megan Miller, 2018 Graduate
  • "I couldn’t have picked a better college than Olds! Not only is the property beautiful but it is aimed at providing hands-on experience and showcasing the real-life aspects of all industries the college is involved in. The instructors truly care about the material and the students, teaching with enthusiasm and putting in more effort than I expected to ensure success not just during academics, but future career development as well. I am so thankful to everyone for helping me grow in so many ways."
    • Carissa Samoila, Graduate 2020
  • "While I attended Olds College (Land and Water Program) my experience was remarkable. In my opinion it was the best choice for my post-secondary education. In addition to creating great connections with peers and colleagues, the education has allowed me a variety of career choices such as reclamation/remediation, forestry, agriculture related industries to name a few. There is also the opportunity to transfer into post-diploma, University degree programs. I recommend the program and promise you will not be disappointed. Whichever path you take they truly do prepare you for the real world."
    • Colby Shedney, 2020 Graduate