General Information

General Information – June 2023 Ontario Wetland Evaluation System Training

The course will be offered from Monday June 19th to Friday June 23rd, 2023

Cost: $2,300.00 (plus HST)
(Sorry, but we are not able to refund registration fees for cancellations after June 1, 2023)

We suggest that you arrive in North Bay on Sunday night to ensure that you are on time for the early start Monday Morning.

Adjustments may be made to the agenda in the case of inclement weather, but be prepared to do field work in rain or shine.

If you have constraints on your time (ex. daycare) please let us know ahead of time so we can help you make alternative plans best as we can.

In the interest of finishing at a reasonable time each day, and in case of changes to the schedule due to weather conditions, please have your field equipment packed and ready to go at all times.


To get the most out of the course we recommend familiarizing yourself with the OWES manual ahead of time. The manuals are available online for download at You will receive one printed copy of the manual at the course (your choice of Southern or Northern, as ordered during registration).

As well, a series of 13 Pre-OWES lessons have been developed to prepare people for the week-long OWES course. The lessons will be posted at this site as they become available.


We are currently in the process of devising the meal plan for this year’s course. Please check this page frequently for updates as we will provide detailed information as it becomes available.

Typically we provide most meals on campus over the week.

You are responsible for arranging some meals and snacks yourself. The accommodations at Chancellor’s House are apartment style with kitchenettes (if you wish to cook, you should bring your own dishes, cookware, small appliances). There is a No Frills and a Sobey’s very close to campus should you wish to purchase groceries and prepare your own meals/snacks.

There are grocery stores, coffee shops and fast food restaurants near the campus, plus there are several nice restaurants around town – the Nipissing U staff can provide recommendations for dining out.


The cost of the accommodations is not included in your registration fee; however, student residences are available in summer for a very reasonable fee (approximately $45 per night).

A block of rooms has been reserved in “Chancellor’s House” on the Nipissing University Campus. The accommodations are apartment style, with four single bedrooms (each can be locked for storing valuables), 2 bathrooms, and a common area (lounge/kitchenette) per suite.

The kitchenettes are equipped with a fridge and range, but if you wish to cook, you must bring your own cookware, dishes, and small appliances (toaster, kettle, etc.).

Please book your room by contacting Stay At Nipissing at (705) 474-2526 ext. 4808 or and let them know that you are with the OWES Course. More information on accommodations can be found by visiting


Classes will take place in the classroom on the ground floor of Chancellor’s House, with the exception of the GIS lab components. Directions will be given in class to the GIS lab on the main campus. Parking passes will be made available for parking on the main campus for the GIS components of the course.


You are responsible for your own transportation to and from Nipissing University. Learn more about what North Bay has to offer at:

You can also used the interactive 3D map to help find your way around campus.

Our accommodations and classroom for the week are both in Chancellor’s House (Lower Residences). See the campus map. Parking at Chancellor’s House is included with your accommodations.

Field Sites

Bus transportation will be provided to field sites. For reasons of liability, we are not allowing transportation to field sites using personal vehicles.

You will be assigned to field groups in class on Monday. Maps and directions to field sites are included in the package.

What To Bring

Equipment & Gear Checklist

  • Laptop computer (a cell phone would also be handy)
  • Field notebook
  • Clipboard
  • Pencils, erasers, highlighter pens
  • Calculator
  • Ruler
  • Ziplock bags (large – for plant samples, waterproofing maps, etc.)
  • Binoculars
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat & sun block
  • Compass and/or GPS Unit (if you have either/both)
  • Insect repellent/jacket
  • Bright-coloured safety vest or jacket
  • Rain gear
  • Rubber boots or other appropriate footwear **
  • Day backpack and waterproof bag (for your cell phone/camera, etc.)
  • A few of your favourite field guides to identify wetland plants and animals. Regarding plants, we recommend “Wetland Plants of Ontario” by Newmaster, Harris and Kershaw (Lone Pine) – this book is now out-of-print but you may be able to find it at local retailers or second-hand stores. If not, another excellent book – which we WILL be using in the course – is “Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide” by Lawrence Newcomb. It would be advantageous to have your own copy (available at, at Chapters, and in many bookstores).

** We will get wet up to our hips at some field sites. A plentiful supply of old sneakers, hiking boots or other old footwear & old pants/jeans are recommended for wading into wetlands. Hip‐waders or chest‐waders are not recommended as they can be too hot and difficult to move in on dry land between wetlands, and can be a safety concern if they fill with water.

For Residence Suites:

  • Dishes, utensils
  • Pots, pans, small appliances (toaster, kettle, coffee maker) if you will be cooking your own meals
  • Pillows, linens, towels are provided, but you may wish to bring your own

Gear that will be provided by Nipissing University

  • GPS units
  • Soil Augers
  • Clipboards
  • Rite in the Rain field books
  • Pencils/pens
  • Extra field guides for identifying wetland plants plus other reference material
  • Bags for specimen collection
  • Safety whistles
  • First Aid Kits
  • Bear spray