Employment Opportunity: Marine Science and Conservation Coordinator Position

View PDF


Following Canada’s commitment to the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and Targets (2010) adopted under the Convention on Biological Diversity and the development of the National Framework for Canada’s Network of MPAs (2011), the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia jointly produced the Canada-BC Marine Protected Area Network Strategy (2014). Concurrently, the Province of British Columbia and multiple coastal First Nations jointly developed marine plans for the North Pacific Coast under the Marine Plan Partnership (MaPP) for the North Pacific Coast (MaPP, 2012). In 2015, the Marine Protected Area Technical Team (MPATT) was formed to align efforts between Federal, Provincial, and First Nations governments to develop a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the Pacific Northern Shelf Bioregion (NSB) by 2019.

In 2016 and 2017, MPATT began planning, conducting analyses, and engaging with stakeholders to identify candidate areas for MPAs in the NSB. MPATT will endeavour to compile the best available scientific data and traditional and local knowledge, take guidance from overarching principles, and take into account design considerations for the development of a MPA network. Design scenarios will be then be produced that aim to meet network objectives while minimizing costs to stakeholders. This will involve a significant amount of coordination and the production of scientific and technical products. This work is being conducted, in part, to support implementation of the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) plan, which was finalized and released in early 2017.

Coastal First Nations – Great Bear Initiative (CFN-GBI), a partner in the development of the MPA network for the NSB, supports four First Nation organizations on the North Coast of B.C. in a variety of marine planning initiatives (MPA planning, MaPP and the PNCIMA).

This position will provide both scientific coordination and support to MPA Network development and add capacity to the CFN-GBI marine planning program.

Position Summary

This position has two components:

The first component requires a time commitment of 3 days/week and focuses on providing scientific coordination and support for the MPA Network planning process.   The successful candidate will work closely with members of the MPATT to provide broad process support and coordination of scientific and technical requirements of the MPA network planning process. It will also provide coordination and support to the Science Advisory Committee (SAC), a body of scientific and technical experts (soon to be established) that will provide advice upon request to MPATT.  In addition, it will represent MPATT and help communicate the scientific and technical aspects of MPATT’s work at key stakeholder and public engagement meetings. The successful candidate will report to the MPATT co-chairs.

The second component requires a time commitment of 2 days/week and will focus on providing project coordination and scientific capacity support to the CFN-GBI marine planning program.   Duties will include, but are not limited to: project management, coordination, administration and engagement The successful candidate will work closely with and report to the Marine Planning Coordinator to support First Nation Communities and First Nation organizations in MPA planning as well as other marine planning initiatives (PNCIMA, MaPP, etc.).

Candidates can express interest in one or both components.  However, preference may be given to a candidate that expresses interest in both.

Scope of Work

  • Provide coordination and support to MPATT Co-Chairs and meetings;
  • Coordinate and support the science and technical requirements of MPATT and associated sub-working groups;
  • Serve as liaison and work closely with the various agency and organization science and technical programs and staff to advance MPATT’s science and technical requirements;
  • Provide coordination and support to the SAC;
  • Provide broad support and coordination for the network process to MPATT and Co-Chairs; maintaining progress and accountability to work plans, timelines and budgets;
  • Prepare a strategy and work closely with MPATT to adjust the workplan to meet the science and technical needs of MPATT;
  • Participate in all MPATT Co-Chair and Technical meetings and, where required or appropriate, MPA Network Committee meetings to report on progress of work plan deliverables, science and technical projects and product development;
  • Work with engagement sub-group and other working groups to develop materials for use with MPATT’s stakeholder and public outreach tasks;
  • Schedule, organize, and coordinate meetings and workshops to support the development or communication of scientific or technical products;
  • Prepare and oversee science/technical contracts including development of project concepts and their scope, statements of work, terms of reference, timelines and application, and payment where applicable;
  • Participate in / lead meetings, working group meetings, workshops, or public forums as required;
  • Prepare and deliver presentations;
  • Prepare briefing materials and other documents;
  • Provide support and coordination to First Nation communities and organizations in the MPA Network process and other marine planning initiatives.

Qualifications, Experience and Skills

  • 5+ years relevant professional experience;
  • Preference to holders of advanced degree(s) in natural or social sciences from a recognized post-secondary institution in an area relevant to the position such as marine planning, environmental science, environmental studies, science communications, fisheries science, natural resource management, oceanography, marine biology, and marine ecology;
  • Experience in developing clear, concise scientific and technical research questions and working with other experts to identify appropriate methods for addressing them;
  • Experience in coordinating or participating in scientific advisory processes;
  • Strong skills in coordinating multiple perspectives and responses to complex questions;
  • Exceptional ability to communicate with planners, managers, scientists, stakeholders, and the public, both verbally and in writing;
  • Familiarity with federal, provincial, and First Nations governments’ policies and perspectives;
  • Proven capabilities in complex project and contract planning and management;
  • Experience working effectively in multi-stakeholder settings;
  • Ability to organize and prioritize workload to meet demands in a fast-paced environment;
  • Computer proficiency with word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets, and familiarity with desktop publishing / graphics software, geographic information systems software, marine spatial planning decision support software a plus.
  • And any other activities

Terms of Engagement

Status: The Coordinator will be an independent contractor to Great Bear Initiative Society submitting progress reports to the MPATT Co-Chairs for MPA Network activities. The successful contractor is expected to work from their own office and to provide the equipment necessary to conduct this work, including a computer and software, wireless access, and cell phone. MPATT requires flexibility in the contractor’s work schedule, so that working days align with critical meetings, travel requirements and timelines for product development. In some cases, this may translate working long hours one week (e.g. to prepare for a meeting) and shorter hours another week.

Contract period: November 2017 to November 2018 with possibility of extension to September 2019.

Contract Amount: commensurate with qualifications and experience

Location: contractor to be located in British Columbia

Travel: this position requires travel to many parts of the BC coast. Travel costs are reimbursable.

Reporting Relationship

The Coordinator will report to the MPATT Co-chairs for the MPA Network component and to the CFN-GBI Marine Planning Coordinator for the other component.

Project Authority

The Project Authority is Great Bear Initiative Society.

For more information or to apply for the position, please contact and/or send résumé to: Steve Diggon, Marine Planning Coordinator, Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative – Email: sdiggon@coastalfirstnations.ca


MPA Network of the Northern Shelf Bioregion is a collaborative partnership between the Government of Canada, the Province of BC and 17 member First Nations

MPA Network Government of Canada Province of BC Haida-Nation Coastal First Nations Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance Nanwakolas Counsil North Coast-Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society