Taking care of our environment has never been more important than it is today. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking for a Coordinator, Conservation Biology – Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara) to join a team committed to protecting our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain.
NCC is the nation’s leading not-for-profit, private land conservation organization, working to protect our most important natural areas and the species they sustain. Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have protected 15 million hectares (more than 35 million acres) of ecologically significant land across Canada. NCC takes a collaborative, science-based approach to achieve conservation success for the sake of nature and Canadians.
PURPOSE AND GENERAL DESCRIPTION
The Coordinator, Conservation Biology – Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara), reports to the Program Director, Southwestern Ontario. This position will lead 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). The Coordinator, Conservation Biology – Southwestern Ontario (Norfolk and Niagara) is responsible for the stewardship and administration of NCC properties and contributes to strategic conservation planning. Working with a team of Assistants, Conservation Biology and seasonal Conservation Technicians, you will lead stewardship of NCC’s lands including habitat restoration (seeding, wetland creation, tree planting), invasive species management, trail and infrastructure maintenance, property monitoring, conservation planning, and species at risk surveys. The position will be based in Norfolk County with travel to Niagara and occasional overnight stays at NCC’s research cabin on Long Point.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
1. Property Stewardship and Conservation Planning
- Implement recommended stewardship and management actions on NCC properties, with a focus on invasive species monitoring and management and habitat restoration;
- Plan and implement habitat management such as prescribed burns and plantation management activities on an annual basis
- Coordinate the implementation of landscape-scale control of invasive species, focusing on Phragmites, Garlic Mustard, Common Buckthorn, Autumn Olive and Multiflora Rose;
- Provide infield supervision of Assistant(s), Conservation Biology and/or seasonal Conservation Technicians;
- Develop and manage leases, access agreements, contracts and research permits pertaining to NCC properties;
- Coordinate the maintenance and repair of 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;
- Coordinate the monitoring of and reporting on the status of biodiversity targets and threats and the effectiveness of conservation actions on NCC properties;
- Monitor and map the distribution of species at risk, and other conservation targets, on NCC properties;
- Manage the field work and reporting required to develop and implement Baseline Inventories, Property Management Plans and Natural Area Conservation Plans for NCC properties; and,
- Monitor and report on conservation easement agreements.
- Ensure that accurate and current baseline property information and records are available to 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;
- Ensure all liability issues are dealt with promptly and accurate records are maintained for insurance related matters; and,
- Ensure that conditions of all agreements (e.g., landholding agreements, fee for service agreements, research permits, lease agreements) are administered in a timely fashion.
3. Development and Fundraising
- Work with the Program Director to identify new resources and programs to help achieve strategic conservation goals;
- Assist the Program Director in advising Development staff of funding priorities, amounts and deadlines for ongoing stewardship needs;
- Assist regional staff in identifying, cultivating, and requesting funds from both existing donors and new prospects, including individuals, businesses, foundations, government sources, and non-government organizations; and,
- Assist with property tours and events for donors, partners, or the media.
4. Reporting & Business Planning
- Develop annual work plans and budgets for stewardship and science activities;
- Provide timely reports as required to NCC Boards, partners and donors;
- Provide project management and administrative support to the Program Director including grant preparation and reporting, budget management and internal conservation planning and tracking; and,
- Manage project-level finances and reporting under the direction of the Program Director.
5. Community and Partnership Liaison
- Foster and maintain positive relationships with landowners, lessees, volunteers, contractors, local partners, and local Indigenous Communities;
- Plan and host Conservation Volunteers events on NCC properties;
- 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; and,
- Represent NCC in appropriate external communications relevant to NCC’s science and stewardship activities in the subregion, including public speaking and media relations.
- Other duties as assigned by the Program Director or Ontario Associate Director of Conservation.
REQUIRED SKILLS AND ATTRIBUTES
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 experience with stewardship and restoration of tallgrass ecosystems, including oak woodland, oak savanna, tallgrass prairie and sand barren habitats;
- Strong project management and reporting skills, including excellent problem solving, planning and organizational skills, financial budgeting, tracking and reporting, and the ability to manage numerous agreements and deliverables simultaneously while paying attention to detail;
- 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);
- Experience in trail management, visitor engagement, and/or mitigating impacts of visitors on natural lands;
- Demonstrated ability to manage staff and/or volunteers;
- Excellent written and oral communication skills;
- Experience engaging with members of the public or volunteers; and,
- Proficient with word processing, desktop publishing, and spreadsheet software;
- Flexibility, reliability, self-motivation, and ability to work independently.
The following additional skills and abilities would be assets in these positions:
- Navigational skills including understanding of GPS devices or applications, compass, and air photo interpretation;
- Pesticide exterminator license;
- Experience operating ATVs, boats and tractors;
- Experience with planning and implementing prescribed burns and/or plantation management;
- 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.
Skills and Aptitudes:
- A degree or diploma in a relevant field (e.g., environmental science, sustainability, GIS, business) with 3-5 years of applicable work experience or equivalent;
- Entrepreneurial, with a strong ability to prepare and manage timelines, goals and expectations wisely;
- Must be prepared to travel, work flexible hours at times and work in rural areas;
- Must have a valid class “G” driver’s license and ability to rent a vehicle in Ontario; and,
- Must have their own reliable transportation.
Application Deadline: Friday, March 01, 2024 (11:59pm EST, 9:59pm Mountain Time, 8:59pm Pacific Time, 10:50pm CST, 00:59 am +1 AST)
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.