Technical Writing for Natural Resource Professionals 

The Challenge

Creating compelling technical writing is a challenging task - and one of the most important duties required of all Natural Resource Professionals. Writing clear and engaging text is essential to developing competitive proposals, creating persuasive and compelling arguments, for permit and regulatory applications, and to provide complex information to clients in a credible and trust-building manner. Writing is often your only impression to others, and represents the face of any organization.

Practitioners: Need to take your technical writing skills to the next level? 

The challenge is that technical writing, as traditionally taught and used, is mundane; it is tedious to write and laborious to read. It does a very poor job of persuading the reader. The discipline has become dogmatic on rules and brevity - at the cost of effective persuasion. While operating within the conventions of technical writing, we must return the focus to its purpose: to convey information and persuade the reader.

The Solution

Natural Resources Training Group (NRTG) offers a dynamic two-day, in-person course to help you improve the quality of technical writing in the natural resources sector. Technical Writing for Natural Resources Professionals equips students with eighteen hands-on tools. The course draws on tools of other writing genres to inspire, motivate, and to empower better writers.

Employers: Writing is the face of your company.

We offer discounted group rates to bring this course to your organization. Technical Writing for Natural Resource Professionals offered by NRTG is highly customizable. With notice, and at no additional cost, we can customize the course for:

  • Specific writing concerns or interests (e.g., proposals, EMPs, EAs, etc.)

  • Specific industries (e.g., mining, forestry, linear developments, urban development, etc.)

  • Regions of the country (e.g., BC, prairies, northern Canada, central Canada, Maritimes)

For further information, please contact us!


My writing has improved ten-fold since taking the course, as well as my confidence. My supervisor and I have both noticed it - whether it is an email, summary letter, or full report, the flow is better and everything reads easier.
— Rachel Cullen, Biologist, Cochrane Alberta
Really appreciated the emphasis on important principles and new updates and approaches to writing, as well as tips, tricks to better writing.
— Freda Shabrang, Community Planner, Campbell River BC
I learned a great deal in this course. Writing is a lot of work, and this course gave me a good base to keep growing from.
— Cam Dexter, Biologist, Nanaimo, BC
Sean is a skilled presenter. One exercise was terribly frustrating to start, but was a valuable experience in perseverance and value.
— Ryan Turner, Biologist, Prince George, BC
Strongly recommend this course and instructor!
— Kirk Miller, Wildlife Ecologist, Prince George BC
Valued the number of group and individual exercises, and the discussion on how to approach a new writing assignment.
— Stephanie Moloughney, Ecologist
Great course, more hands-on that I was expecting and surprisingly, it was not dry material. Sean had lots of stories, quotes, exercises and tips and by the end of the two days, I had confidence that I wasn’t the horrible writer I had made myself out to be. Writing just takes work and practice like everything else. I’d love to take this course annually to re-inspire and refresh my writing skills.
— Jessica Hobden, Biologist, Kelowna BC
Really enjoyed, appreciated and benefited from a lot of what this course offered. Strongly recommend this instructor and course.
— Warren Littlejohn, Environmental Professional, Victoria BC


By the end of this course, course participants will have the tools and strategies to:

  • Write in engaging manner

  • Ensure internal logic and consistency

  • Select relevant material for inclusion and exclude the irrelevant

  • Select appropriate words to truly and accurately convey their intentions/meaning

  • Edit their own and other’s work

  • Appreciate the critical importance of edit/review/redraft.

Course format:

This two-day, 16-hour course is a highly interactive, classroom-based review of technical writing and reporting.  Course participants will complete a number of in-class assignments, exercises, group discussions and group teachings. This course equips students with eighteen hands-on tools to create technical writing which is more engaging, compelling, and persuasive. The course draws on tools of other writing genres to inspire, motivate, and empower better writers.

Employers: we offer discounted group rates and can customize course content for your organization.

With notice, and at no additional cost, we will customize the course for:

  • Specific writing concerns or interests (e.g., proposals, EMPs, EAs, etc.)

  • Specific industries (e.g., mining, forestry, linear developments, urban development, etc.)

  • Regions of the country (e.g., BC, prairies, northern Canada, central Canada, Maritimes)

For further information, please contact us!

Potential Students: 

The course is directed at Junior and Intermediate staff that have significant writing duties, but lack either the experience or previous training for effective technical writing. It is open to senior staff as well who may wish to improve their efficiency of technical writing.


There are no formal prerequisites.  A standard college or university English course or previous experience writing reports is recommended.

Personal Equipment Requirements:

 Participants are required to bring/supply their own laptop, writing pad, pen/pencils and refreshments (lunch is not provided).  For further information, please contact NRTG.  

Course Fees:

Course fees will vary by course delivery location.  For further information, please refer to our Course Schedule.   

How do I Attend?

This course is available via our website schedule, or on contract to community groups. The Technical Writing for Natural Resource Professionals course is regularly scheduled for community-based deliveries throughout the year (providing suitable weather).  Interested groups or organizations can also arrange for an ‘in-house’ or contract delivery of this course.  In either scenario, contact NRTG for further information.

If you would like to have this course delivered to your group or community, please consider the following:

  1. Contact us well in advance of your preferred course start date

  2. If applicable, secure program funding

  3. Recruit course participants (most NRTG courses have minimum enrollments of 10 participants)

  4. Coordinate course participant equipment, classroom facility, and contractual agreement with NRTG.

Note: see Course Customization above for other options to bring this training to your organization and/or community. 

Instructor Profile:

Sean Mitchell, PhD, RP Bio

Sean has worked in and studied the field of biology and impact assessment since 1987 and in that time has gained experience in four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland) working on a broad array of fish and wildlife, from periphyton to mammals. Sean’s experience has ranged widely from basic fieldwork to experimental biomechanics of crustaceans; from environmental impact analyses and fisheries issues through biogeography, philosophy, and sophisticated data analyses and modelling; from forests to the ocean. Sean has been, and strives to remain, a generalist in a world of hyper specialization and fascination with technology.

Sean’s chosen career has required continual writing during his professional life, including more than fifty contract reports, two academic theses, and twenty three professional, peer reviewed papers. However, in addition to a requirement for his work, writing is a passion for Sean. He has written articles and short pieces for non-technical audience and is currently working on three book projects (two non-fiction; one novel). Sean brings tools and strategies from other forms of writing to technical writing. He strongly believes, and propounds, that studying the processes which fiction and creative writers use can greatly help our technical writing abilities and efficiencies.

To teach a writing course requires some experience in teaching as well as writing. Sean has taught six biology courses at universities in Nova Scotia and British Columbia, ranging from first to third year, and from introductory biology to field school. He now bring the tools and strategies learned from these experiences to this writing course to create a valuable learning experience to the student.

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