Assistant Conservation Biologist

Organization icon

Nature Conservancy of Canada

Location icon

Brantford, Canada

Clock icon

30+ days ago

Location: Norfolk County, Ontario
Position Details: 1 year, term contract
Reports to: Program Director, Southwestern Ontario

Taking care of our environment has never been more important than it is today. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for an Assistant, Conservation Biology – Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara) to join the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain.

Since 1962, NCC and its supporters helped conserve over 15 million hectares of ecologically significant land across Canada. NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success for the sake of nature and Canadians. With a national office in Toronto and seven regional offices across the country, NCC delivers results you can walk on.


As the Assistant, Conservation Biology – Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara), you will assist with conservation efforts in Norfolk County and the Niagara Region, with a focus on the Southern Norfolk Sand Plain Natural Area where NCC has conserved and stewards over 2,400 ha (6,000 ac). You will work closely with NCC’s Coordinator, Conservation Biology, Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara) to undertake property stewardship activities on NCC lands including habitat restoration, invasive species control, trail and infrastructure maintenance and monitoring, and species at risk surveys. The Assistant, Conservation Biology is also responsible for supporting the administration of NCC properties, contributing to strategic conservation planning, managing visitor access, and hosting Conservation Volunteers events. The position will be based out of Norfolk County with travel to Niagara and occasional overnight stays at NCC’s research cabin on Long Point.

Key Responsibilities:

Property Stewardship and Conservation Planning

  • Assist in the implementation of recommended stewardship and management actions on NCC properties, with a focus on habitat restoration, invasive species removal, and visitor management;
  • Work with the Coordinator, Conservation Biology and other staff to maintain and repair buildings, dams, and other infrastructure;
  • Monitor and maintain trails, fences, gates, signage, and address liability issues on NCC properties such as unwanted motorized vehicle access and trespassing;
  • Assist in the development and management of leases, contracts and research permits pertaining to NCC properties;
  • Monitor the status of biodiversity targets (including species at risk) and threats and the effectiveness of conservation actions on NCC properties;
  • Assist with monitoring conservation easements;
  • Provide infield supervision of seasonal Conservation Technicians;
  • Assist with the development, preparation, and implementation of baseline inventories, property management plans, and natural area conservation plans.

Property Administration

  • Work with the Coordinator, Conservation Biology to ensure that accurate and current property information and records are available to regional and national managers;
  • Work with administrative staff to ensure the enrollment of all NCC eligible properties into applicable tax incentive or reduction programs;
  • Ensure that NCC’s Land Resource Management System is populated with accurate and complete data, including required digital layers;
  • Work with the Coordinator, Conservation Biology to ensure all liability issues are dealt with promptly and accurate records are maintained for insurance related matters;
  • Support the Coordinator, Conservation Biology to ensure that conditions of all agreements (e.g. agricultural lease agreements) are administered in a timely fashion.

Community and Partnership Liaison

  • Assist with planning and hosting Conservation Volunteers events on NCC properties;
  • Foster and maintain positive relationships with landowners, lessees, volunteers, contractors, and local partners;
  • Become a known presence on the ground at NCC properties to help deter unwanted behaviour and promote positive visitor interactions and compliance;
  • Represent NCC on specific committees and at meetings or workshops related to land management and conservation as required.

Development and Fundraising

  • Work with the Program Director and the Coordinator, Conservation Biology to identify new resources and programs to help achieve strategic conservation goals;
  • Assist the Program Director and Coordinator, Conservation Biology in advising Development staff of funding priorities, amounts and deadlines for ongoing stewardship needs;
  • Assist with property tours for donors, partners or the media.

Reporting & Business Planning

  • Assist the Program Director and Coordinator, Conservation Biology in the development of annual work plans and budgets for stewardship and science activities;
  • Assist with providing timely reports as required to regional and national staff and Boards.


  • Other duties as assigned by the Program Director or Ontario’s Director of Conservation.


This posting is targeted to individuals possessing the following skills:

  • Good botanical and wildlife inventory skills, experience using identification keys, working knowledge of Ontario’s Species at Risk, and an understanding of Ecological Land Classification;
  • Demonstrated experience conducting independent fieldwork, comfortable working in wilderness settings and knowledge of field safety practices;
  • Demonstrated interest and ability to carry out physical labour and work outdoors in all types of weather and environmental conditions;
  • Previous experience with invasive species identification and control;
  • Comfortable working with and around pesticides as part of regular job duties;
  • Experience using power tools and other mechanized stewardship equipment (backpack sprayers, mowers, brush saws, hydraulic spray systems);
  • Navigational skills including understanding of GPS devices or applications, compass, and air photo interpretation;
  • Project management skills, including excellent problem solving, planning and organizational skills, and attention to detail and timelines;
  • Experience in trail management, visitor engagement, and/or mitigating impacts of visitors on natural lands;
  • Experience engaging with members of the public or volunteers;
  • Experience in delivering land/resource management programs in a rural community.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff and/or volunteers;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • Proficient with word processing, desktop publishing, and spreadsheet software.

The following additional skills and abilities would be assets in the position:

  • Pesticide exterminator license;
  • Standard First Aid – Level C CPR certification;
  • Mechanical aptitude for maintaining and repairing equipment;
  • Previous experience working with species at risk and maintaining confidential species at risk information;
  • Experience implementing property or natural area management plans;
  • Experience in delivering land/resource management programs in a rural community;

Terms of Employment

  • This is a full-time (37.5 hrs/week), contract position (12 months)
  • The position is based out of Norfolk County and will involve travel to and from field sites. Some weekend, evening, and overnight work will be required.

Application Deadline: September 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. ET

NCC is an equal opportunity employer. If you are interested in joining our team, please submit your cover letter, resume and salary expectations through our Career Centre.

NCC welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

We value and incorporate diverse traditions, heritage, knowledge and experiences in our mission and in our workplaces. We celebrate the full participation of people from all walks of life as we work towards common goals. We strive for a conservation movement in which equity, diversity and inclusion are the norm. This is our continuous commitment: to promote healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet for everyone.