Ottawa is providing $348,952 in funding so that Saskatchewan Polytechnic can purchase new equipment for its Natural Resource Technology programs.

It will enable Sask Polytech to purchase hydroacoustics equipment and unmanned aerial vehicles, enhancing its ability to conduct aquatic habitat surveys and airborne terrestrial mapping activities.

According to a government release, hydroacoustics will further broaden student capabilities to include sonar data and its many applications for lake and river mapping, fish population assessment, and reservoir monitoring.

The government also says training on the new equipment will provide the students with the skills necessary to meet the increasingly sophisticated demands of the natural resource management, conservation law enforcement, and environmental service industries.

Faculty and students will also be able to collaborate with industry on applied research projects in the field using the new equipment.

Meanwhile, an expansion of the school’s NRT programming will include 12 new spots for Aboriginal students to be offered as an extension course in Buffalo Narrows.