Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences

students measuring the circumference of a tree

Contribute to the conservation and sustainability of northern resources and communities.

The Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ENCS) program integrates natural and social sciences to investigate the unique ecosystem and cultural issues of the North.

Program Description

In collaboration with the University of Alberta (U of A), Yukon College (YC) offers years three and four of a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Northern Environmental and Conservation Sciences (ENCS), with a major in Northern Systems. 

The ENCS curriculum offered at YC integrates natural and social sciences as related to issues such as:

  • wildlife conservation
  • land use
  • resource management under modern treaties
  • energy
  • global climate change
  • northern and aboriginal studies,
  • local environmental, economic and social context

The program provides students with the knowledge and skills to understand environmental conditions and evaluate impacts on plants, soils, water and animals. The structure and function of ecosystems are explored as students learn to develop, assess and implement conservation and restoration measures for natural and managed ecosystems.

Program Delivery

  • Coursework is completed at YC, taught by U of A and YC faculty.
  • Students may also choose to spend some of their third or fourth years taking courses at the U of A campus in Edmonton.
  • Students from Edmonton may also complete part of their program in Whitehorse.

Frequently Asked Questions Document for Prospective Students

    Admission Requirements

    Students complete up to two years (60 credits) of transferable coursework in a science-based diploma program at Yukon College (such as Northern Science-ENCS Stream, or Renewable Resources Management) or at another institution before applying to transfer into the University of Alberta B.Sc. ENCS program for years three and four.

    Students planning to apply to transfer to the ENCS program from a diploma program at Yukon College should complete a minimum of 24 credits (8 courses) from the core and/or elective courses listed in the Recommended courses for first and second year students interested in the BSc/ENCS document.

    Students applying from other post-secondary institutions should contact the ENCS Program Advisor about transfer credit options.

    Students must also meet the entrance requirements of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta, including:

    • minimum admission GPA of 2.3
    • Biology 12
    • Chemistry 12
    • either Principles of Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12, or equivalents

    Application deadlines: March 1st for September admission; November 15th for January admission

    To apply for admission:

    1. Contact a ENCS Program Advisor to discuss your program options.
    2. Download and complete the application form.  In Section Two: Academic Programs, Faculty should be entered as "Agricultural, Life, and Environmental Sciences", Program as "Environmental and Conservation Sciences", and Major as "Northern Systems".  Send the application form to Dr. Kathryn Aitken, ENCS program, School of Science, Yukon College, P.O. Box 2799, 500 College Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5K4
    3. Have official copies of post-secondary and high school transcripts mailed to Dr. Kathryn Aitken, ENCS program, School of Science, Yukon College, P.O. Box 2799, 500 College Drive, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5K4.  NOTE: If you are, or have been, a Yukon College student, and have official transcripts on file with the College, we may be able to use those for the application process.  Talk to an ENCS Program Advisor to find out if this is an option for you.

    U of Alberta application fees apply.

    Once admitted, students must meet with a ENCS Program Advisor at YC to select courses. Email the Program Advisor to make an appointment.

    Other Requirements

    While enrolled in the B.Sc. Northern ENCS program, students will maintain dual registration at U of A and YC.

    Tuition, mandatory course instructional support fees, and non-instructional student fees will be assessed in accordance with the policies of the University of Alberta. Student fees will be assessed in accordance with the policies of Yukon College.

    Graduation Requirements

    To receive a B.Sc. Northern ENCS degree students must:

    • Complete all course requirements of the B.Sc. Northern ENCS program, including a minimum of 60 approved credits of U of A coursework offered at YC or at the U of A campus in Edmonton.

    • Achieve a minimum GPA of 2.0 in their last 60 credits of U of A coursework.
    • Meet all other relevant academic standing and graduation requirements of the U of A.
    Yukon First Nations Core Competency

    Yukon College recognizes that a greater understanding and awareness of Yukon First Nations history, culture and journey towards self-determination will help to build positive relationships among all Yukon citizens. As a result, you will be required to achieve core competency in knowledge of Yukon First Nations.

    For details, visit Yukon First Nations Core Competency.

    Career Opportunities

    Graduates of the ENCS program are prepared for a variety of career options in both the public and private sectors.

    Examples of employment opportunities include:

    • wildlife biologist
    • First Nations resource manager
    • park warden
    • traditional land use advisor
    • environmental policy analyst
    • environmental educator

    Students may also continue on to graduate studies.

    Money Matters


    Tuition for this partnered program is calculated per course credit based on University of Alberta rates.  See for details or contact an ENCS Program Advisor at

    Yukon College Student Financial Awards

    Students are eligible for U of A awards while formally registered as U of A students.

    Students may also be eligible for Yukon Government student grants and training allowance while registered in partnered programming.

    Please contact Student Services at Yukon College and the Office of the Registrar and Student Awards at the U of A for more information.

    Financial Assistance

    There are government programs, scholarships, bursaries, awards and First Nation funding available to financially support you throughout your academic career.

    See Money Matters for more information, or talk to our financial advising staff in the Student Services Centre. Email or call 867.668.8720 to make an appointment.


    Title Campus Scheduled
    ALES 204 - Professional Communication Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    ALES 291A - Mathematics for the Life Sciences Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    ALES 391 - Critical Thinking and Communications in Science
    AREC 365 - Natural Resource and Environmental Economics Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    NS 200 - Aboriginal Canada Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
    NS 390 - Research Methods in Native Studies Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    NS 435 - Management of Aboriginal Natural Resources
    PLSC 221 - Introduction to Plant Science Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    PLSC 221L - Intro to Plant Science Lab
    RENR 201 - Intro Geomatic Techniques Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 201L - Geomatic Techniques Lab Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 201T - Geomatic Techniques Tutorial
    RENR 205 - Wildlife Diversity and Ecology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 210 - Introduction to Soil Science and Soil Resources Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 210L - Introduction to Soil Science and Resources - Lab
    RENR 250 - Water Resource Management Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 250L - Water Resource Management Lab
    RENR 260 - History and Fundamentals of Environmental Protection and Conservation Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 301 - Special Topics in Renewable Resources Online/Video
    RENR 307 - Environmental Assessment Principles and Methods
    RENR 364 - Principles of Managing Natural Diversity Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 365 - Ecology of Northern Landscapes Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 376 - Wildlife Ecology and Management
    RENR 376L - Wildlife Ecology and Management Lab
    RENR 427 - Science Policy and Canada's North
    RENR 463 - Biological Adaptations to Northern Environments
    RENR 466 - Climate Change and the Circumpoloar World Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 473 - Topics in Northern Resource Management Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 480 - Experimental Design and Data Analysis in Environmental Sciences Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 480L - Experimental Design and Data Analysis for Environmental Sciences Lab
    RENR 491 - Land use Planning in Canada's North Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RSOC 375 - Public Participation and Conflict Resolution Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 322 - Forest Ecosystems
    RENR 322L - Forest Ecosystems - Lab
    RENR 340 - Wildland Fire Science and Management
    RENR 401 - Special Topics in Renewable Resources Whitehorse (Ayamdigut), Online/Video
    RENR 401B - Ornithology Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 401H - Beringia: Environment and Paleoecology
    RENR 401I - Evolution and Ecology of Northern Mammals Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)
    RENR 464 - Conservation and Management of Endangered Species
    RENR 465 - Northern Exposures Field School Off-Campus
    RENR 468 - Management and Conservation of Genetic Resources Whitehorse (Ayamdigut)