Riparian Habitat Restoration Intern

Watersheds Canada

  Posted: April 27, 2021

  Location: Perth and surrounding areas, ON

  Internship Program: Natural Resources

  Salary Range: $10,000 - $20,000

  Hours per Week: 35

  Start Date: July 10, 2023

  End Date: January 26, 2024

Job Description

Shoreline ecosystems, or riparian zones, include the first 30 metres of land around a lake or river. It is considered the “ribbon of life” because it supports 70% of land-based wildlife and 90% of aquatic species at some point in their lifetime. This area is also critical in strengthening community resilience and adaptative capacity to climate-related natural disasters (ex: flooding, severe storms). Climate change is a growing concern for waterfront property owners, municipalities, and waterfront associations. The long-term trends anticipated with climate change include temperature increases and changing precipitation patterns which can negatively impact water quality, habitat availability, populations of native species, and resiliency and safety of shoreland communities and homes. These impacts are exacerbated from increasing development pressures and environmental degradation along shorelines that is seen from the lack of decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and continuing with “business as usual” landscaping and development.

The Riparian Habitat Restoration Intern will contribute to the natural resources stewardship and outreach work conducted by Watersheds Canada by equitably working alongside many different stakeholder groups (landowners, community groups, municipalities, schools, Indigenous communities, businesses, etc.) to restore and enhance terrestrial and aquatic habitat found in the riparian zone. By using nature-based solutions and clean technology, the intern will facilitate programs that prevent, reduce, and eliminate the environmental degradation of local lakes, rivers, wetlands, and shorelines.

This role focuses on protecting the environment and advancing nature-based processes to have positive environmental outcomes for Canada’s freshwater. The Intern will be crucial in providing resources and tools to stakeholders like shoreline property owners and municipalities and giving them concrete steps to take action for their freshwater in the wake of climate change and increased degradation of freshwater areas. The Intern will implement environmental protection and sustainable shoreline planning projects that will accelerate Watersheds Canada’s impact to serve freshwater groups, nature organizations, individuals, and youth, and meet our mission to protect Canada's freshwater. This position will include field work, conservation and ecology enhancement assessments, education resource creation, outreach events, and completing shoreline naturalizations and restorations using native plant species. Specifically, the intern's duties and responsibilities will advance Goals 8, 11, and 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Duties and Responsibilities

The successful applicant will contribute to the stewardship and outreach work at Watersheds Canada by raising awareness of equitable water stewardship principles and delivering nature-based climate change solutions to protect the health of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and shorelines. The Intern will deliver on-the-ground habitat restoration projects across Central-Eastern Ontario that will:
• Ensure the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services by planting native species of trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. Observed ecosystem benefits will include increased tree cover and shade, increased evapotranspiration, and reduced sedimentation, erosion, overland runoff, and algal bloom occurrences.
• Facilitate community knowledge sharing and create science-supported documents to integrate ecosystem and biodiversity values into local municipality planning.
• Help fish populations recover and thrive (ex: walleye, brook trout, largemouth bass), ensuring communities can maintain historic fishing practices.
• Improve education and individual knowledge capacity on nature-based solutions to reduce freshwater health impacts and increase adaptation to climate change impacts.
• Protect local freshwater quality and terrestrial ecosystem health.
• Compile existing progressive land use planning policies that achieve sustainable development around lakes, with a discussion of their supporting science.
• Conduct research into sustainable development practices based on earth sciences (water resources, geology, and the interaction between land and water).
• Create and conduct educational events on best practices for natural resources management.
• Utilize iOS App software and Wordpress site to create restoration plans and resources to help individuals, municipalities, and groups reduce and prevent pollution such as overland runoff, warmth, fertilizers, and pesticides from entering the waterways.
• Assist with data entry and analysis.
• Support other project components and staff as assigned by the management.

Knowledge and Skills

Watersheds Canada recognizes that all candidates may not have all of these knowledge and skills. We encourage applicants who possess many of the following to still submit their application for consideration.

Desired knowledge and skills:
• Excellent English written and oral communication. French bilingualism is an asset.
• A demonstrated knowledge and passion of Canadian freshwater issues and protection.
• Previous field work/lab experience/research/non-profit experience a strong asset.
• Strong identification skills of native plant trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
• A knowledge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and their indicators.
• Comfortable with public speaking and engagement of the public.
• Comfortable disseminating complex scientific principles into understandable terms.
• Experience with iOS Apps, Wordpress, NationBuilder, various social media platforms, and Zoom.
• Proven multi-tasking skills in a fast-paced environment, completing projects within time constraints and with changing deadlines.
• Ability to work both independently and in a team environment.
• Proven high level of motivation and initiative.
• High attention to detail.
• Ability to work independently. A self-motivator.

Education Required

College or University, with preference given to those with a specialization in Natural Resources Management, Environmental Studies/Science, Landscape Architecture, Horticulture, Environmental Policy, Planning, Botany, or Conservation Biology

Certification Required

Valid First-aid/CPR certification, valid G license, clean driving record

  How to Apply

To apply, send your resume to

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