Planning Ecologist
rare Charitable Research Reserve - Cambridge, ON

Responsible for ensuring the successful preservation and restoration of a unique 900+ acre site in one of the fastest growing areas of the country, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is an urban land trust situated in the Waterloo Region of Southwestern Ontario. Its conservation lands provide a natural laboratory for scientific study and research, and related educational programming.

Reporting to the Executive Director, and working closely with the management team, the Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC), and other key staff positions, the Planning Ecologist is a senior leader in all aspects of conservation land management and planning.
Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead all conservation planning activities of the reserve, with focus on preservation and restoration of the terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.
  • Chair meetings and liaise with rare’s expert Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC) on a regular basis using their time and expertise and experience wisely via positive engagement
  • Identify priorities and trends in conservation land management, spearhead information gathering on key regional, provincial, as well as national and international conservation and land management issues.
  • Build positive relationships and partnerships with government and conservation stakeholders at those same levels.
  • Together with EAC, develop a Strategic Land Securement Plan, spearhead planning and negotiations for potential acquisition of ecologically significant lands or conservation easements.
  • Together with EAC, review potential threats and opportunities to the rare property and develop public position on current issues from a conservation biology perspective. Spear-head/Contribute to the organisation’s strategy for addressing threats and opportunities.
  • Regularly update and oversee implementation of rare’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and associated special projects, compile annual progress reports. Complete stewardship plans for priority restoration recommendations within the EMP including timelines and budgets.
  • Together with EAC and other key stakeholders, such as Facilities staff and external partners, develop long term land use strategy for rare , including the EMP, a Trail and Facilities Master Plan, and a plan for the future of agriculture at rare .
  • Develop and maintain property maps for different purposes.
  • Coordinate taxation, monitor classifications to leverage down tax assessments, and coordinate membership renewals related to land management.
  • Develop relationships and lead negotiations with landowners and other stakeholders.
  • Evaluate and report on conservation success, monitor success of current land management practices and identify innovative approaches and tools to conservation land management on the rare property.
  • Responsible for record keeping relevant to ecology and biodiversity of the property.
  • Manage Junior Conservation Ecologist, or other staff and volunteers in land management related positions, offer support and guidance in undertaking field work, monitoring and other conservation efforts, such as developing restoration and planting protocols
  • Build capacity and increase efficiency in land management and conservation staff, including interns, summer students and volunteers by providing training and knowledge transfer.
  • Develop and maintain policies and procedures, best practices and training materials in effective, research-based land management to support staff and volunteers.
  • Build capacity by researching and seeking out opportunities for collaboration and partnership with a wide variety of stakeholders (including, but not limited to municipalities, land owners, corporate stakeholders, developers, conservation authorities, other organizations).
  • Review development applications for lands surrounding rare , gather information, attend city council and other meetings to liaise with internal and external stakeholders
  • Represent rare and be rare’s conservation and land management spokesperson by providing expert testimony at meetings, committees, hearings, etc. as needed.
  • Review and comment on other relevant documents, such as research applications, as necessary, make recommendations.
  • Develop and write funding proposals and complete final reports to granting agencies.
  • Develop and deliver public presentations, support fundraising for land securement, land management and other conservation activities.

Required Skills:

  • A University degree or College diploma in Environmental Science, Biology, Ecology, Geography, Forestry, or a related field is required.
  • Minimum 10 years of experience in an active land management or environmental consulting role in Southwestern Ontario, or comparable qualification; at least 5 years of experience in planning
  • Experience in land acquisition is desired
  • Experience in wetland restoration, invasive species management, other restoration related tasks.
  • Experience with prescribed burns would be an asset.
  • Staff management experience, excellent communication skills.
  • Proven ability to liaise and negotiate with diverse groups of stakeholders.
  • Ability and experience to read and interpret development plans, impact assessments, stormwater management plans, construction blueprints, etc.
  • Proven project management and presentation abilities.
  • Experience in grant writing, report writing, and project development.
  • Experience in using ArcGIS, Adobe Illustrator and similar would be an asset.
  • Working knowledge of designations, statutes and regulatory controls affecting land management and development in Ontario, such as the Planning Act, Conservation Authorities Act and Regulations, Environmental Assessment Act, Endangered Species Act, Fisheries Act, Provincial Policy Statement, etc.
  • Strong working knowledge of the ecology of Southwestern Ontario, aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, land management and planning.
  • ELC and OWES certification would be an asset.

The Appointment

  • This position is full time (35 hours/week), commencing as soon as possible with an initial contract of two (2) years.

Applications including a cover letter, resume and contact information for three references should be emailed in ONE file (.pdf) and will be accepted until Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 5:00 pm. Please address applications to:

Stephanie Sobek-Swant
Executive Director
rare Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Road, Cambridge ON N3H 4R8

Visit rare on the web at www.raresites.org for additional information on the organization.


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