Job Specification

Position Title:
Regional Aquatic Ecosystems Science Specialist
Job Code:
14026 - Biologist 3 (B/U)
Job ID:

Purpose of Position :

To provide leadership in the identification of scientific needs assessment, synthesis and transfer of science/information to meet the needs of resource management planners and practitioners in the region relative to aquatic ecosystems and populations.
To contribute to the direct integration of science advice in support of resource management decisions, issues management and policy implementation.
To provide scientific/professional advice and leadership in the calibration and use of resource assessment and management practices, standards, statistical design, science tools and analytical procedures.

Duties / Responsibilities :

Job requires:
1. Transferring existing science, knowledge, information and technology to resource management practitioners and planners to support Regional Operations Division (ROD) priorities by developing and delivering workshops and training sessions; providing direct technical assistance in the use and interpretation of science and information (e.g. assessment of aquatic populations for specific water bodies, effects on surface water/riparian zone interface); and for reviewing current literature and communicating relevant information to clients in a timely manner. Preparing technical guidance documents or reports.

2. Identifying the science and information required by resource practitioners relative to aquatic ecosystems and populations by liaising with local resource management practitioners, including staff from ministry districts, industry, stakeholders, Indigenous groups and other resource management partners. Based on the information gathered and through the identification and analyses of resource management and assessment problems (e.g. fisheries population concerns, dam/barrier development or removal, aquatic invasive species), preparing proposals to address ROD science needs and gaps to appropriately feed into ministry work planning and priority setting.

3. Identifying the best existing science, knowledge, information and technology available to meet the needs of resource management planners and practitioners relative to aquatic ecosystems and populations by conducting reviews and synthesizing information from scientific and resource management literature; by building/maintaining effective and active communication linkages/liaisons and partnerships with researchers, science specialists, client groups and experts within the ministry, other government agencies, provincial, federal and international resources and the scientific, academic, and resource management communities to keep abreast of emerging issues and new developments; and by supporting other divisions in initiatives that align with ROD priorities.

4. Providing expertise and science advisory support with respect to regional planning activities, e.g. assessing and contributing to the establishment and maintenance of regional priorities and work plans. Participating in and providing advice to ROD business engagement models (e.g. Committees or Task Teams addressing localized science gaps) consistent with regional priorities and work plans as approved by managers.

5. Synthesizing existing science and information for a variety of audiences to provide support for dealing with issue management, to contribute regional/ROD input to policy development from an aquatic science advisory perspective and to assist in dealing with client relations (e.g. presentations on aquatic populations and riparian stream dynamics, communications products for lake and river specific issues and assessment of water flows). Providing advice, guidance and on-site assistance to resource planners and practitioners. Attending and making presentations to clients, at public meetings and the media; and preparing a variety of reports, briefings, letters, new releases, etc.

6. Advising on the applicability, appropriateness and soundness of the science content of resource management plans, development proposals and in support of local/regional management, monitoring and assessment efforts related to aquatic ecosystems and populations by: analyzing and reporting findings using existing datasets collected through operational inventory, monitoring and assessment programs; and/or by reviewing inventory, monitoring, assessment and investigation content of internal and proponent produced management plans and resource development proposals (e.g. mining and energy developments, water and fisheries management plans). Participating on regional and provincial task teams and committees to build consensus on practices, standards and resource management approaches.

7. Supporting the development of analytical tools or technology to assist resource management activities, including data collection and sampling methodology through: design advice, calibration, validation and review of practices, standards, statistical design, tools, analytical procedures and project management. Providing decision support tools, regional analysis and modelling to support policy implementation and resource allocation.

8. Other duties: Management has right to assign other duties.

Knowledge :

Job requires:
Advanced knowledge of the theory, principles and practices related to biology, with a focus on aquatic ecosystems and populations (e.g. species requirements and interactions, habitats, lake, river and riparian function) as well as knowledge, understanding and ability to apply current ecological, resource management principles and planning approaches: to provide specialized advice to staff and managers on resource issues; to identify science needs and transfer science/technology information and tools through workshops and field-based courses; and to provide input in the development of provincial policies, programs, standards and guidelines.
Knowledge of current government strategic direction, ministry priorities, resource management legislation, regulations, policies and guidelines relative to Ontario (e.g. Endangered Species Act, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, Environmental Assessment Act, Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act, Green
Energy Act, Crown Forest Sustainability Act, Municipal Planning Act), federal legislation (e.g. Species at Risk Act & Fisheries Act) to provide expertise and advisory support to resource managers (e.g. identification of science needs associated with environmental assessment processes).
Knowledge of technical and scientific procedures and practices for monitoring and assessment (e.g. sampling methods, design and standards) in order to provide advice and guidance related to regional monitoring programs, including the application of standards and practices.
Knowledge of scientific methods such as experimental design and statistical analysis to organize and calibrate tools and/or analytical procedures to support resource management initiatives and to advise on clients' projects (e.g. establishing statistically sound studies to sample aquatic populations).
Knowledge of organizational and project management processes to organize and complete work within assigned timelines.
Knowledge of computer software, including word processing, data management, spreadsheets, presentation, geographic information systems, statistical analysis programs, modelling techniques/tools and internet to access and analyze information, to prepare scientific reports/technical papers, briefing
materials, correspondence, reports, publications and presentations.
Knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and regulations that apply to the workplace and work being performed.

Skills :

Job requires:
Analytical/organizational skills to conduct district/regional/client science needs analysis by leading working groups and workshops, interviewing staff and researching available scientific/technical information to meet those needs (e.g. species interactions and habitat usage). Analytical skills to review
literature and scientific reports to bring forward information to contribute to regional objectives, priority setting and work planning.
Analytical and problem solving skills to investigate existing science related to resource management challenges or issues (e.g. habitat alterations or harvest issues); to assess biological/resource management situations based on large resource/user datasets; to clarify problems, evaluate options and identify approaches to address a variety of aquatic science, biology and related ecosystem concerns (e.g. leading the calibration of tools such as models).
Project management, organizational and leadership skills to to support resource management activities and decisions within timelines and to develop/deliver staff/public workshops and training sessions.
Oral/ written communication and presentation skills to provide input to regional priorities, strategic/operational plans and reports; to provide advice and guidance to partners/clients and explain resource management approaches and technical scientific information to staff and the public, including making senior level presentations and providing media interviews; to liaise with clients, partners and ministry staff to ensure their input is understood/considered in projects, e.g. forest industry, government agencies, environmental groups; to transfer science and technology in symposia and workshops; and to prepare and/or present briefing notes, technical reports, Minister's letters.
Interpersonal and relationship management skills to effectively liaise with local resource management practitioners, ministry districts, industry, Indigenous groups, environmental non-government agencies and other resource management partners on aquatic science needs and resource management issues; to liaise and network with researchers and science specialists in other ministries, jurisdictions and academia to maintain currency in the field; and participate on a number of provincial, regional and/or inter-agency committees and working groups.
Facilitation and conflict resolution skills to effectively identify various perspectives, determine areas of common agreement and facilitate cooperation between researchers, clients and partners (e.g. facilitating workshops attended by staff, partners, stakeholders and other agencies with conflicting interests).
Ability to work under pressure to achieve assigned objectives within strict timelines.

Freedom of Action :

Work is performed under the general supervision of the Resource Advisory Supervisor. Job requires working within ministry and government legislation, resource management policies, guidelines, directives, procedures and established biological/scientific principles, practices and procedures.
The job provides aquatic ecosystem and population expertise, guidance, advice and solution recommendations to clients with respect to the synthesis and application of current science research to assist in resource management decision making, including contributing to the establishment and maintenance of regional priorities and work plans, and disseminating this information through development of technical guidance documents, reports and training.
Job provides scientific/professional advice and leadership in the use of resource assessment and management practices, standards, statistical design, science tools and analytical procedures.
Job requires making decisions on content of reports and analytical approaches to be used to assist with resource management activities and/or to address issues, often within the context of multi-disciplinary teams; and in participating on provincial/regional working groups to develop agreement on practices, standards and resource management guidelines.
Job requires taking into account government policy agenda and interpretation of existing policy, links to other science and technology programs when providing scientific advice.
Work is reviewed by the Supervisor for overall effectiveness in dealing with aquatic ecosystem and population management issues, sound judgement and the accuracy/effectiveness of advice and recommendations.

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