Community Liaison/Field Technician (UINR/OTN)

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The Ocean Tracking Network (OTN) is a global research and technology development network headquartered at Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS. The OTN deploys Canadian state-of-the-art acoustic receivers and oceanographic monitoring equipment to record movements and survival of marine animals globally.  

Applications are being accepted for a Community Liaison (CL) / Field Technician to support a project that seeks to enable better stewardship of marine resources by integrating Mi’kmaq, local, and western knowledge systems. Through a collaboration among Mi’kmaw technical organizations, Mi’kmaw and local knowledge holders, academia, and other local stakeholders, we hope to increase our understanding of the movements and seasonal habitat use of valued aquatic species in the Bras d’Or Lakes.  

Working on the OTN Technical team and with the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), located in Eskasoni, NS, the CL / Field Technician will help to build community support for project activities by engaging with community harvesters and members. Incorporating the values of the Mi’kmaq, the CL / Field Technician will also assist with the capture and tagging of animals, and the preparation, deployment, maintenance and data retrieval of acoustic receivers and other oceanographic monitoring equipment in the Bras d’Or Lakes.  

Key Responsibilities: 

  • Liaise with community harvesters and members, project partners, and resource users to build relationships between the project team and the Mi’kmaw communities in the project area; 
  • Coordinate community engagement activities; 
  • Coordinate sample collection with community harvesters; 
  • Assist with the capture, tagging and release of aquatic study species; 
  • Assist with the preparation, deployment, maintenance and retrieval of a wide variety of oceanographic equipment, and recording/submitting the associated metadata to the OTN data warehouse; 
  • Assist with other scientific and Mi’kmaw knowledge collection activities conducted by UINR; 
  • Coordinate project advisory committee meetings; 
  • Participate in Mi’kmaw knowledge acquisition. 

Qualifications: 

Candidates should have a strong understanding of Mi’kmaw culture and experience working in and around Mi’kmaw communities. This is a capacity building position. Candidates should have, or are interested in acquiring, knowledge on acoustic telemetry (receivers, releases and tags, handling of live fish and use of fisheries sampling, assessment equipment, and basic computer operation and database management).  Additional training will be provided. Preference will be given to a Mi’kmaw resident of Eskasoni, Potlotek, We’koqma’q, Wagmatcook or Membertou. 

Requirements: 

  • Must be able to work collaboratively with a team and independently when necessary. 
  • Must be willing and able to work year-round, in all weather conditions, evenings and weekends as required. 
  • The position also requires extensive physical labour (repeated lifting and carrying up to 30 kg). 
  • Must have reliable transportation and the ability to travel to remote field locations. 

The following skills would be considered an asset BUT ARE NOT NECESSARY: 

  • Working knowledge, or an understanding, of acoustic telemetry and satellite tagging technologies, CTDs, temperature and tilt loggers;  
  • Experience in handling small boats (and boat trailers), including inflatables; 
  • Marine First Aid and Marine Emergency Duties (Note: certification will be provided); 
  • Experience with hand tools; 
  • SCUBA certified. 

Status: 37.5 hrs/week     

Salary Range: $35,000 – $40,000 (including benefits) 

Location: Eskasoni, Nova Scotia 

Start Date: Early-April 2019 

Duration: 1-year contract with possible extension up to 2 years 

Deadline for application: March 15, 2019 or as soon as qualified candidates have been identified. 

*Interested parties: Please send a cover letter and CV to Evelien.VanderKloet@dal.ca  

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