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Position: Ontario Northern Boreal Freshwater Scientist
Organization: Wildlife Conservation Society Canada
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario

Type: Contract
Salary: $60,000 — $65,000


Position type: Full-time
Term: 13 months (parental leave replacement)
Supervised by: Dr Justina Ray and Dr Matthew Scrafford
Application closing date: 7 April 2019 at 12 pm EST
Start date: 15 May 2019

Position Summary:

WCS Canada is seeking a full-time freshwater conservation scientist for its Ontario Northern Boreal (ONB) landscape conservation program. This is a 13-month parental leave replacement position. The ONB landscape program is focused geographically on the far north in Ontario and includes applied and field-based research on terrestrial and aquatic socio-ecological systems and policy-relevant actions. This position will be dedicated to pursuing the progress of existing conservation strategies designed to further the conservation of freshwater wildlife and their habitats in the ONB landscape. The responsibilities of this 13-month term position will include the compilation and synthesis of freshwater and fisheries data for various audiences, data analysis, ecological modelling, communications, strategic responses to relevant provincial and federal policy processes, and managing the logistics of an established collaborative field program.

Position Objectives:

  1. Position WCS Canada as a key non-governmental organization that provides the best available freshwater conservation science to land use planning and best practices for industry in the ONB landscape.
  2. Collaborate and share knowledge about freshwater issues within the ONB program, with other WCS Canada programs, and with partner organizations on conservation and research in order to achieve positive conservation outcomes for wildlife and wild places.
  3. Actively contribute to the field of freshwater conservation through activities such as writing reports and publications for peer-reviewed journals, and delivering presentations at meetings and conferences.
  4. Contribute to WCS Canada input and commentary on environmental planning and management processes (e.g., policy, legislation, best practices) in order to support conservation priorities in ONB.

Principal Responsibilities:

  • Manage an ongoing field-based and applied research program focused primarily on lake sturgeon, including budgeting, purchasing, project reporting, remote management of staff and personnel, and ensuring compliance with all safety and permitting requirements. Responsibilities might also include some remote fieldwork in the summer and fall.
  • Engage respectfully and appropriately with Indigenous peoples and local communities, in order to advance shared priorities for conservation, and in compliance with WCS principles under the Conservation Initiative for Human Rights (CIHR) and Communities and Conservation Program.
  • Produce freshwater program research, including compiling, analyze, and synthesize freshwater and ecological information.
  • Disseminate the results of program research for various audiences (e.g., communities, other scientists, policy-makers) through the writing of conservation reports, peer-reviewed publications, technical papers, books and popular media.
  • Contribute to WCS Canada input and commentary on environmental planning processes such as policy, legislation, and best practices that affect freshwater conservation in the ONB.
  • Provide expertise on freshwater issues to the ONB program, and to other WCS Canada programs, as required.
  • Represent WCS Canada at provincial, national and international conservation meetings, as required.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. (or equivalent experience) with demonstrated experience in design and implementation of field-based and applied research in freshwater biology, wildlife ecology, conservation biology, landscape ecology, or similar field.
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of, and experience with, fisheries conservation issues in North America, particularly boreal, sub-arctic, and arctic ecosystems.
  • Excellent knowledge of ecological data analysis in R.
  • Demonstrated ability to apply advanced modelling techniques (e.g., agent-based models, conservation planning tools) to ecological problems.
  • Demonstrated ability to synthesize and present scientific information for diverse audiences (e.g., communities, policy makers, scientific publications).
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a research program, including administrative tasks (e.g., project reporting, budgeting).
  • Record of peer-reviewed publications relating to conservation of species, communities, ecosystems, or socio-ecological systems.
  • Ability to travel to remote areas of northern Ontario for field- and community-based work.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Excellent communication skills, including writing for diverse audiences (e.g., communities, policy, scientific publications).
  • Knowledge of ecological data analysis and modelling.
  • Ability to manage fisheries or wildlife research project, including supervision of staff and personnel, and remote operations.
  • Knowledge of environmental planning and policy relevant to freshwater conservation.
  • Self-motivated and capable of working remotely when required.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, detail oriented, and resourceful.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary work environment.

To Apply:

Apply online. Include a cover letter addressing each of the required qualifications, your cv/resumé, and a relevant example of your written work.

Position Inquiries:

Dr. Constance O’Connor, Ontario Northern Boreal Lead
Ph: 807-285-9125
Email: coconnor(at)

About WCS Canada:

WCS Canada was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. Our mission is to conserve wildlife and wild places by improving our understanding of, and seeking solutions to, critical problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. We implement and support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve key conservation problems by working with a broad array of stakeholders. We also provide technical assistance and biological expertise to local groups and agencies that lack the resources to tackle conservation concerns. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed, while retaining a strong collaborative working relationship with sister WCS programs in more than 60 nations, including an integrated North America Program. The Wildlife Conservation Society ( is a recognized global leader in conservation and for more than a century has worked in North America promoting actions such as bison reintroduction, pioneering field studies, parks creation, and legislation to protect endangered wildlife.

WCS Canada strives to uphold our core values or respect, accountability and transparency, innovation, collaboration, integrity, diversity, and inclusion. We value staff and community partners from all backgrounds and cultures with different skills, abilities, and perspectives; we ensure that everyone has an opportunity to fully contribute to our mission. For more information, see

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Mar 15 2019    ID: 52141