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Full-time Conservation Scientist

at rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge

Job Description

Founded in 2001, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is a community-driven urban land 
trust, nature reserve and environmental institute with its headquarters and seven locations 
comprising over 1200 acres within the Haldimand Tract that spans six miles on either side of the Grand River from source to mouth, land granted to Indigenous Peoples in 1784 to recognise their support for the British in the American Revolution. In Wellington County, rare is creating an Eramosa River Conservation Corridor to protect forever the river and its adjacent forests and uplands –– lands of the highest ecological significance and which are so far largely unaffected by direct human impact –– ensuring connectivity of spaces and survival of species in an increasingly and rapidly developing area. For all its properties, rare acknowledges and is grateful to all of the original stewards of the land. Understanding that this land has been rich in diverse Indigenous presence since time immemorial rare honours and respects the sovereignty of both First Nations in the area: the Onkwehon:we Peoples of Six Nations of the Grand River and the Anishinaabe Peoples of the Mississaugas of the New Credit. As well, rare acknowledges the Neutral people –– for whom there is archeological evidence on the property dating back 10,500 years –– and also those Indigenous Peoples who currently live, work, play and learn in the urban landscape around the properties, such other self-identified and status First Nations, Métis and Inuit.While the goal of rare is to steward its sites and ecosystems intact in perpetuity, for the community to enjoy, forever, in a natural state, it also promotes the lands as a living laboratory for research — including in-house monitoring programs and partnerships with other institutions, citizen scientists, artists and Indigenous Peoples, including various forms of inquiry and world views. Research then informs restoration practices and education programs through a Chain of Learning that reaches even the youngest learners in a program called Every Child Outdoors (ECO), a model of active, hands-on, problem-based environmental learning, driven by inquiry in the out-of-doors. 

Reporting to the Executive Director, and as part of the program management team, the
Conservation Scientist - Research Priorities, Partnerships & Monitoring is responsible for the 
Research and Ecological Monitoring program at rare. The Program Scientist works collaboratively with the Senior Educator, Planning Ecologist, Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC), ResearchAdvisory Committee (RAC) and other key staff and volunteers to ensure that various forms of inquiry, often bridging the arts and science, are an integral part of all programs at rare.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
• Lead all research activities by developing and implementing research priorities and by 
building partnerships with appropriate national and international researchers and artists to 
undertake joint and independent projects
• Build appropriate relationships with representatives of local First Nations from this territory
• Identify priorities and trends in environmental research by keeping current and gathering 
information on key regional, provincial, as well as national and international research issues
• Tying into the organizational Strategy and Plans, build multidisciplinary environmental 
research program that includes various forms of inquiry and disciplines, such as ecology, 
conservation, archaeology, technology/engineering, the arts, social science, etc.
• Continuously develop, implement and update research and monitoring plans for peer 
reviewed research at rare for approval by the ED
• Bring research-related ideas and concerns forward to discuss with EAC, ED and other or 
relevant staff
• Closely work with Planning Ecologist and EAC to facilitate that land management related 
activities are research-based and include research components
• Make the organization’s research work known to potential collaborators, various groups, 
other organizations, universities and the public at large, for example through written 
communications or presentations
• Ensure that research approval processes are followed, liaise with RAC and make
recommendations, with full management information, to the Executive Director
• Review research applications for land use by visiting researchers, and make any necessary 
updates, communicate changes/concerns to research applicants
• Monitor progress of current research projects including ensuring visiting researchers 
complete agreed upon terms and conditions
• Ensure RAC and EAC are informed of research projects that have land management 
implications and ensure all processes are followed
• Develop and maintain policies and procedures, best practices and training materials for
effective research and monitoring processes and administration
• Lead the administration, selection process and further development of graduate scholarships 
and other research funds
• Act as point person to keep track of location of research projects and their relation to one 
another, ensure that research information on website current and updated
• Ensure that Ecological Monitoring remains a priority program at rare and becomes increased 
in scope by including additional organisms/indicators of interest
• Select and oversee summer students and interns who conduct butterfly, benthic invertebrate, 
salamander, bird, forest health and forest soil monitoring, train interns in relevant skills
• Supervise research and monitoring interns and prepare/supervise preparation of final reports 
with recommendations to Executive Director and EAC
• Lead efforts to formally analyse and publish long-term monitoring data
• Lead interpretive hikes to research sites on the reserve for school/public groups where 
• Provide and/or assist with public lectures, media announcements, events and workshops 
related to research, monitoring, the arts and Indigenous resurgence
• Assist with general rare events where appropriate
• Develop and write funding proposals and complete final reports to granting agencies or 
• Work collaboratively with Senior Educator to ensure that research components are at the 
start of every Chain of Learning program
• Together with Senior Educator, translate research at rare into curriculum-based modules
• Additional future leadership opportunities in education may be available, depending on 
incumbent’s interest and skill set

The rare Charitable Research Reserve values and is committed to:
• Providing fulfilling, purpose-driven work that respects the environment and sustainability in a 
continuously growing medium-sized not-for-profit charity
• A workplace that provides staff, volunteers, and others with an invitation to contribute to rare
in a meaningful way by developing new ideas and turning them into viable projects
• Staff to have high expectations for the quality of their own work while approaching challenges with humility and embracing to learn from failure
• Providing an inclusive and equitable culture for employees, volunteers, members and 
supporters that respects and prioritizes emotional and physical well-being and life-work 
• A healthy, positive and effective workplace in an environment that fosters creativity, flexibility, understanding of difference and abundance

Compensation package:
This is a salaried full-time 35hrs/week position with a competitive health benefits package and 
additional perks as outlined below. 
Salary level: $50,000-65,000 annually and commensurate with experience, skills, education and 
training of the successful candidate.
Paid time off - in addition to annual vacation amount:
• In 2023, there are 11 EXTRA paid holidays in addition to Stat holidays offered to all 
o 1 additional for Family Day (Feb 18)
o 2 National Indigenous Peoples Days (Jun 20 & 21)
o 1 additional for Canada Day (Jul 4)
o 7 additional end of year holidays (Dec 19-22 & 27-29)
• Generous amount of paid time off for Personal Days
• 3 days of paid time off for Volunteer Days to support community organizations/programs
• Overtime in lieu of regular working hours (35 hours/week) accrued at time and a half
Paid benefits – excellent group benefit package:
• Extended Health and Dental
• AD&D Insurance
• Critical Illness insurance
• Employee Assistance Program
• Health Spending Account ($1,500 for employee with dependants, or $500 for individual 
Flexible work environment:
• Hybrid work model, work from home up to 4 days/wk on a regular basis, with Tuesdays 
are in-office collaboration days
• Flexible hours as required, easy to manage using the organisation’s HR portal 
• Opportunities for training, mentoring and professional development
• Support for taking initiative and pursuing aligned personal interest projects as time 
• Monthly team building and social opportunities, including outings, lunches, and being 
together on the land
• Pet companions are welcome to visit the office in accordance with related policies
• Free employee parking

Application Process

How To Apply:
Deadline for applications is March 22, 2023
Applicants should send their resume and cover letter as an attachment, following the 
instructions below, to: jobs@raresites.org

Only documents including a cover letter and resume compiled into one pdf file will be 
reviewed. Any application materials provided within the body (text) of your email will not 
be considered. Cover letters for this position may be addressed to Stephanie Sobek-Swant. 
Please include the name of the position for which you are applying in the email subject line.
No phone calls please. Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview.
As part of our commitment to racial justice, reconciliation and equity building, we welcome 
individuals from marginalized communities including Black people, Indigenous people, people of colour, LGBTQI2S+ and self-identifying women candidates to apply for this position. We 
encourage people with disabilities to apply. Accommodations are available upon request for 
candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.
We are dedicated to removing bias from our hiring process. For this reason, we have 
implemented an anonymous review component in our recruitment process. What does this 
mean? We will be removing your name, address and e-mail address from your 
application/resume prior to it being reviewed by the hiring manager, during the first stage of the recruitment process. If you are selected for an interview, this information will become available to the hiring manager only at that time

Required Experience

Required Skills and Qualifications:
• Strong and demonstrated interest in the ecology, environment, conservation and different 
worldviews and forms of inquiry, including science/technology and the arts
• Strong and demonstrated interest in learning more about settler responsibility, settler –
Indigenous relations, and contributing to Indigenous resurgence and reconciliation
• Advanced university degree (MSc), or other equivalent postgraduate research or monitoring 
experience in Environmental Science, Biology, Ecology, Geography, Forestry, or a related 
field that demonstrates sound research and analytical skills
• Minimum 5 years of experience in environmental research or monitoring, preferably in 
Southwestern Ontario, or comparable qualification
• Ability to be highly organized with good record-keeping
• Proven ability to liaise, negotiate and work with diverse groups of collaborators and partners 
and colleagues, demonstrating humility, respect and diplomacy
• A valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle to travel between sites and attend 
meetings and learning opportunities
• In addition to following all COVID-19 safety measures to ensure the safety of our staff, 
volunteers, and guests, the rare Charitable Research Reserve requires all staff be fully 
vaccinated (at least two doses) against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.
Preferred Skills and Qualification:
• Extensive knowledge of current issues in environmental science
• Experience in academic as well as not-for profit organizations
• Experience and demonstrated success in publishing scientific journal articles and other 
forms of academic writing
• Working knowledge and understanding of national and international research funding and 
research opportunities at different levels
• Staff and/or volunteer management experience, excellent communication skills
• No fear of big ideas and ability to embrace change
• Ability to simplify messages, while understanding the complexity of research and monitoring
• Ability to work in a collaborative team environment
• Ability to independently produce ideas, and to independently write plans outlining 
priorities/strategies/tactics, and pursue those plans with minimal supervision
• Creativity and can-do attitude, ability to develop new initiatives for the research success of 
the organization
• Proven ability to develop successful projects from start to finish
• Ability to manage a large volume of work, comfortable with competing priorities
• Flexibility to meet emerging deadlines and changing priorities
• Flexibility to work evenings and weekends when required to support special events and 
major projects

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Published at 10-03-2023
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