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The Calgary Zoological Society
Closing date
May 28, 2023

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Job Details

Take the next step in your career by joining the team at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and grow your experience in Conservation Research at a globally recognized conservation organization!  The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is seeking a full-time permanent Conservation Research Population Ecologist to join our team.

The successful candidate will be responsible for project management, developing peer-reviewed publications and reports related to conservation translocation programs.  They will supervise and mentor associate research and field technician staff, provide guidance regarding program decisions to internal and external partners and will take and inspire conservation actions.  The Conservation Research Population Ecologist leads research to provide science-based advice to inform management decisions and/or the development of policies, guidelines, or best practices for species at risk.  They will build and foster partnerships and collaborations with representatives from academia, government, industry, local communities, and other involved parties to advance the zoo’s mission and vision.

As the successful candidate, you will work within our Conservation Translocation portfolio with a focus on our Vancouver Island Marmot project, however in the future you may be required to focus on other conservation species as needed.

Our Mission | Take and inspire action to sustain wildlife and wild places

 Our Values | Effective collaboration and communication, honesty and integrity, customer focus, safety, and conservation


Job Responsibilities:

  •  Project management including adaptive and evidence-based decision-making involving consultation with internal departments and external agencies to develop and implement future project directions and strategies while meeting project objectives and timelines
  • Build and foster partnerships and collaborations with representatives from academia, government agencies, industry, land holders, internal departments, and coordinate with other parties to advance projects or initiatives
  • Lead research with the aim of publication in peer-review journals. This includes management and analysis of existing data for publication, design and development new studies addressing current gaps in knowledge for Vancouver Island Marmot conservation, and supervision of on-going research in collaboration with external agencies
  • Provide science-based advice to support management decisions and/or the development of policies, guidelines or best practices
  • Participate or lead internal or external teams, working and advisory groups
  • Communicate project results and progress to managers, executive team, communications team, media, researchers, and public audiences.
  • Assist in the development of funding proposals, donor reports, and presentations and facilitate field site visits for donors and staff
  • Financial responsibility for developing and managing project budget and monthly expense reporting
  • Obtain research and fieldwork permits
  • Train, supervise, direct work, and evaluate performance of project researcher, field technicians, volunteers, and/or students
  • Assist with other departmental needs associated with conservation translocation and community-based conservation science as needed


Experience and Qualification Requirements:

  • MSc in Biology or Zoology is required, PhD in Biology or Zoology is an asset
  • Class 5 Driver’s License
  • 5+ years’ experience in conservation biology or a related field
  • Experience with biological fieldwork
  • Experience with study design (e.g., habitat assessments, distance sampling, population modelling, spatial ecology, etc.) as well as collecting, managing, analyzing, and interpreting data
  • Experience publishing peer-review scientific papers
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Experience supervising/mentoring
  • Experience managing budgets and project/financial reporting
  • Partnership management and ability to liaise with involved cross-sectoral parties
  • Flexibility, adaptability, and responsive decision-making
  • Physical fitness requirements (see Working Conditions below)

 Additional Requirements:

  • All candidates must be eligible to work in Canada
  • Class V driver’s license
  • Training in avalanche safety (AST-1 or higher) is required, as hiking/snow shoeing in areas with avalanche risk is a possibility. Training will be provided for those who are not yet certified.
  • Standard First Aid Certificate– Occupational Level 1 BC or equivalent will be required (to be provided), Wilderness First Aid is preferred

Working Conditions:

  •  Extensive office work involving long periods of sitting at computer work stations
  • Although this position is primarily office-based in Calgary, this position will require spending stretches of time on Vancouver Island during the Spring and Summer seasons.
  • Fieldwork is located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia at elevations approximately 1100-1500 km above sea level
  • Field days include long daily treks (driving and hiking) to remote marmot habitats in sub-alpine environments, requiring navigate very steep terrain on several different mountains. A high level of physical fitness (both strength and cardiovascular) and moderate to extensive experience working or recreating in steep mountain conditions is considered an asset.
  • Field work may involve hazards such as dangerous animals, insects, working in very hot or cold temperatures and heavy rainfall, avalanche risk, working with field equipment such as trucks or ATVs, heavy lifting of field equipment, exposure to wildlife diseases.
  • Extensive driving on busy highways and active/decommissioned logging roads for up to 4 hours (2 hours each way) in addition to 6-8 hours spent hiking each day
  • Days off and the length/structure of workdays are variable and weather dependent
  • Working long, irregular hours
  • Hiking and camping in remote locations under various weather conditions, ~4 days a week
  • Hiking up and down extremely steep (25-45 degree) mountain slopes, on uneven terrain including loose rocks and scree, while carrying up to 50 lbs. of weight on your back.
  • Working in steep terrain involves substantial side-hilling, which requires a high degree of balance and ankle/lower body strength to prevent ankle rolling, knee strain, or slipping down the slope.
  • Loads must be carried over undulating and steep terrain for up to 15 km return in a safe and controlled manner
  • Off-trail hikes are characterized by loose soil, exposed rocks, scrambling sections, and loose sticks/tripping hazards
  • In the spring, routes may be snow covered and snowshoeing for up to 10 km (return) may be required
  • Crew members are expected to be sufficiently conditioned to complete the required driving, hiking, and field work in a safe and effective manner and be capable of providing support to teammates in the event of an emergency

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is an outdoor facility and all staff must be comfortable working in a large variety of outdoor conditions. The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo follows the advice of Environment Canada when responding to temperature and air quality issues.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is no smoking environment including vaping. 

What We Offer:

  • Competitive Compensation
  • Flexible benefits plan, including a health spending account
  • Employer matching RRSP
  • Participation in the Staff Pass Benefit Program
  • Discounts on food, beverage, and merchandise
  • A fun, rewarding work environment and the opportunity to work in a park full of animals from around the world

 Are you ready to join one of Canada’s leaders in wildlife conservation?

If this position suits your skills, experience and personal attributes, we want to talk to you.

Apply by doing the following; 

Applicants must be legally entitled to work in Canada.

If this position is a fit for you, we encourage you to apply with a resume and cover letter no later than May 28 , 2023 @ 4:00pm MST. 

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo strives to cultivate a workplace in which everyone feels welcome and empowered to bring their authentic selves to work. As a conservation organization, we respect and value the diversity of all life and come together as individuals and teammates to achieve the organization’s mission and vision. We recognize the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and work to advance our culture to ensure diverse viewpoints are heard and everyone has an equitable chance to succeed and thrive.

All candidates are thanked for their applications and advised that only those selected for interviews will be contacted.


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