Weston Family Senior Scientist

Toronto (City), Ontario (CA)
Initial Salary: $97,000
Apr 06, 2018
Jun 06, 2018
Job Level
Senior level
Employment Type
Salary Type

Weston Family Senior Scientist

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (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 2.8 million acres (more than 1.1 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.


Purpose and General Description

Taking care of our environment has never been more important than it is today.  The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is looking to fill the role of Weston Family Senior Scientist to join a team committed to protecting our most important natural areas and the plants and animals they sustain.

The Weston Family Senior Scientist (WFSS) will develop and lead an integrated program of scientific research, thought leadership and outreach, and conservation planning and information that is strategically aligned with the NCC’s mission and conservation work.

The WFSS will conduct and publish scientific research in one of three thematic areas (species at risk recovery, connectivity in settled and working landscapes, invasive species management). The WFSS will develop, oversee and measure the success of the Weston Family Conservation Science Fellows (WFCSF) program for post-graduate students working on NCC priority areas across the country, in one of the three thematic areas. In so doing, the WFSS will produce solid and practical scientific information to inform how best to work on the ground to:

  • Aid the recovery of Canada’s species at risk;
  • Retain and re-establish natural habitat connections and wildlife corridors through settled and working landscapes, an emerging priority in maintaining biodiversity through a changing climate; and
  • Address the spread of pernicious invasive species at a landscape level in order to maintain biodiversity values in conserved natural areas

As a seasoned presenter and communicator of science, the WFSS will incorporate thought leadership and public facing interactions as important aspects of his/her work.

The WFSS will help coordinate NCC’s many scientific research and conservation planning initiatives, and ensure that new findings and best practices discovered through the research of Fellows in the WFCSF program and others are incorporated into NCC’s conservation work.

Duties and Responsibilities

As NCC’s senior scientific authority, the WFSS will be responsible for:

1. WFSS and WFCSF Program, 50%

  • Undertake research in one or more of NCC’s three thematic priority areas (recovery of species at risk, retaining/establishing connections across settled and working landscapes, and management of non-native invasive species) on NCC’s portfolio of lands and natural areas
  • Develop criteria for eligible projects, students and expenses, application and reporting guidelines, the latter to include technical and plain language publications, photos and video footage of field activities
  • Establish criteria and process for selection of successful applicants (long list, short list, interview list)
  • Develop terms of reference for applicant review committee, for approval by the VP Conservation Policy and Planning and the President.  Selection Committee to include 5-7 individuals from across Canada
  • Advertise availability of Fellowships through Canada’s academic institutions, government departments, non-government conservation organizations and other appropriate venues
  • Oversee and participate in the Program Management of the WFCSF program (application process, selection process, award administration, reporting, public outreach)
  • Mentor Fellows throughout the timeline of their project; encourage and support publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Report annually to the Board of Directors Conservation Committee, NCC senior management and The W. Garfield Weston Foundation on financial expenditures and impact of the WFCSF program
  • Establish and implement a process to track and report on the career progress of Fellows

2. Communications, public outreach and fundraising, 30%

  • Publish self-directed original research in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Promote and oversee the publication of NCC’s research projects in peer-reviewed and plain language publications and other media
  • Ensure NCC’s science and conservation planning results are communicated to maximum benefit externally
  • Provide authoritative scientific, regulatory, policy and program advice to a broad range of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Influence scientists and program managers within NCC and externally to advance NCC’s mission and conservation work based on good science and conservation planning
  • Leverage NCC’s contributions with host academic institutions in support of the WFCSF program
  • Working with the VP Development and Marketing and other executive staff, support and as determined co-lead major gift fund raising in support of NCC’s integrated science and conservation planning
  • Facilitate internal and public outreach presentations by Fellows in the WFCSF program

3. Internal Science Program, 15%

  • Coordinate NCC’s national and regional research initiatives, ensuring results are integrated into NCC’s conservation planning and stewardship efforts
  • Implement and supervise NCC science projects as part of annual work planning
  • In conjunction with the Senior Director of Conservation Planning and the VP Conservation Policy and Planning, establish strategic goals and evaluation frameworks for NCC science and conservation planning, including annual financial and human resource planning, reporting and evaluation
  • Measure the success of NCC’s contribution to the advancement conservation science at NCC;
  • Mentor graduate students, participate in relevant graduate student committees, and pursue adjunct status with Universities as appropriate

4. Other duties as assigned by the VP Conservation Policy and Planning, 5%

Required Skills and Attributes

  • PhD degree in, conservation biology, landscape ecology, natural resources management or related field
  • Preferred post-doctoral experience in one of NCC’s priority themes (species at risk recovery, invasive species management, connectivity in settled and working landscapes)
  • Fluency in French would be a clear asset
  • A strong commitment to the cause and mission of the Nature Conservancy of Canada
  • A deep passion for and knowledge of the diversity of Canadian landscapes, species, communities, and conservation issues
  • Minimum of 5 years in research and relevant experience (including time as a post-graduate student)
  • Record of self-directed and multi-authored scientific publications
  • Recognized leader in applied conservation research in Canada with demonstrated experience in integrating science into conservation programs
  • Experience in raising funds and communicating with donors
  • Excellent interpersonal skills including experience and proven results in working tactfully and persuasively with colleagues towards common goals, and influencing staff with whom there is no direct reporting relationship
  • Proficiency in data analyses, advanced statistical and modeling knowledge
  • Outstanding capacity to translate science in compelling oral and written presentations
  • A seasoned presenter and communicator of science, including thought leadership and public-facing interactions
  • Ability to positively engage the collective energies, capabilities and support of NCC staff, Fellows and diverse partners
  • Experience in organizational leadership, human relations, and maintaining collaborative relationships within and beyond the organization to support NCC’s mission
  • Managerial qualities: strategic planning and implementation, developing and administering budgets, administrative management
  • A leadership style that is collaborative, empowering, and inclusive which inspires confidence and builds community
  • Adaptability
  • Innovation
  • Integrity and ethics, creativity, flexibility, perseverance
  • Results focused

To Apply

If you are interested in joining our team, please visit our website for instructions on how to apply: http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/who-we-are/work-with-us/weston-family-senior-scientist.html