Sustainable food production is more accessible than ever in Lethbridge, as aquaponics grows in popularity. The expert scientists in Lethbridge College’s Aquaculture Centre of Excellence (ACE) have launched a new series of courses that will provide training in the area to everyone from high school students to interested amateurs to experienced greenhouse technicians.
The first two of nine microcredentials are available now. Aquaponics is an integrated system in which fish and plants are grown together within a recirculating system. Each of the nine courses focuses on a unique aspect of aquaponics and is tailored to the user experience. Each person can pick and choose the combination of modules that meets different individual needs.
“We know the industry needs workers,” says John Derksen, ACE chair. “We are seeing more really large-scale aquaponics operations beginning and they may have greenhouse workers, but they don’t have as many people who have done aquaponics work before. So, if someone has already worked in a greenhouse, maybe they don’t need those courses, or if they already have fish knowledge, maybe they don’t need that section, so they can pick and choose what they need.”
The college has offered aquaponics courses in the past as part of its academic programming through the Centre for Applied Arts and Sciences. However, microcredentials allow flexible learning that can be accessed at any time and completed at the user’s own pace. Upon completion, the user receives a badge signifying they have completed the course.
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