WCS Canada – University of Guelph Postdoctoral Fellow Position type:  Full time Affiliations:  Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada) & Guelph University Supervised by:  Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne & Dr. Cheryl Chetkiewicz (WCS Canada) & Dr. Faisal Moola (University of Guelph) Position Location:  University of Guelph, Ontario (negotiable)Term:  1 year (with potential for extension) Salary:  $45,000, plus benefits, travel and research expenses to be determined

Application deadline: 31 October or until position filled

Position Summary:

WCS Canada and Guelph University are seeking a Ph.D. graduate for a postdoctoral fellowship in environmental conservation with Indigenous Peoples. The project will explore the relationship between biocultural significance and the ecological criteria that define the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) standard<https://portals.iucn.org/union/sites/union/files/doc/a_global_standard_for_the_identification_of_key_biodiversity_areas_final_web.pdf>, and explore how KBAs could be implemented to expand conventional conservation planning processes to include Indigenous values and knowledge.

The project will be developed within the context of:

  1. the Conservation as Reconciliation Partnership (CRP), which is an Indigenous-led initiative, involving more than 30 Indigenous and non-Indigenous community and research collaborators from across Canada (including WCS Canada), to ensure Indigenous laws and knowledge systems play a significant part in helping Canada meet its international obligations for the increased protection of biodiversity; and,
  2. The Canadian Key Biodiversity Areas initiative<http://www.kbacanada.org/>, a collaborative effort to identify and establish a comprehensive national network of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Canada. KBAs are sites that are identified using a set of quantitative criteria and represent areas that are crucial to the persistence of global biodiversity. They represent information that will inform a range of conservation measures, including protected area planning and land use planning.

As well as having opportunities to contribute to the Guelph University academic community, such as through seminars, there will be opportunities to contribute to WCS Canada’s applied conservation efforts and outreach activities, such as through blog posts, community presentations, contributions to global discussions on conservation planning and tools, and commenting on policy and environmental management proposals.

This position is supported by a MITACS fellowship, with co-funding from Wildlife Conservation Society Canada.

Position objectives:

  1. Identify one or several Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) on Indigenous lands using multiple knowledge systems (in collaboration with WCS Canada partners)
  2. Through community-based participatory research, develop and apply a framework for how to identify biocultural indicators based on Indigenous community priorities, and publish results in the peer-reviewed literature.


*   Ph.D. graduate in a relevant field (e.g., Ph.D. in social science, or biological science focused on social-ecological systems, with experience in social science research methods, focused on environmental conservation).

*   Demonstrated ability to conduct community-based research; experience with Indigenous Canadian communities preferred.

*   Understanding and appreciation for reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through the application of culturally-appropriate research methodologies.

*   Excellent oral and written communication skills for diverse audiences.

*   Strong interpersonal skills in cross-cultural environments.

*   GIS skills a plus, but not required.

To apply:

Include a cover letter, full CV (including contact information for 2 references), and two relevant examples of your written work.

Apply by following this link https://www.fitzii.com/apply/44086?s=c9


Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne by email (craudsepp (at) wcs.org)

About WCS Canada:

WCS Canada was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. Our mission is to conserve wildlife and wild places by improving our understanding of and seeking solutions to critical problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. We implement and support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve key conservation problems by working with government, Indigenous communities, and stakeholders. We also provide technical assistance and biological expertise to local groups and agencies that lack the resources to tackle conservation concerns. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed while retaining a strong collaborative working relationship with sister Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) programs in more than 60 countries.

 About the Conservation as Reconciliation Partnership:

The Conservation as Reconciliation Partnership (CRP) represents a seven-year program of work hosted by the University of Guelph that weaves together a breadth of partners including Indigenous thought leaders, organizations, youth and Elders; emerging and established scholars; prominent conservation agencies and organizations; Indigenous communities and nations; and knowledge mobilization specialists. Our collaboration seeks to be a model for cross-cultural, decolonizing partnerships that leverage collective wisdom by embracing multiple worldviews, knowledge systems, and protocols for working together. We support the establishment of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas (IPCAs) and the transformation of existing protected areas to be better aligned with Indigenous knowledge systems and law. Biocultural Indicators and Outcomes is one of the four research themes in the project. Its goal is to conduct the research necessary to develop appropriate conservation planning mechanisms that align with Indigenous and Crown law, reflect Indigenous priorities and employ both Western science and Indigenous knowledge systems.