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Position: Systems Ecologist
Location: Vancouver BC

Full time

ESSA is a unique employee-owned Canadian environmental consulting company with offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Ottawa, Ontario. Our mission is to bring together people, science and analytical tools to sustain healthy ecosystems and human communities. For over 37 years in over 40 countries, we have been pursuing this mission by applying a scientifically rigorous mindset and approach, termed Adaptive Environmental Assessment and Management or Adaptive Management (AM), to help our clients make better decisions in the face of imperfect information in complex social-ecological systems. At ESSA, we are passionate about what we do and take great pride in attracting, developing and retaining people who share our values and mission. Learn more about our story, our approach and our people at

The Opportunity

We are looking for a highly motivated individual to join our Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Team in Vancouver. Our team has built a solid reputation for generating outcomes with challenging projects, using an appropriate mix of technical facilitation, systems thinking, decision analysis, adaptive environmental assessment and management, and quantitative ecology including experimental design, statistical analysis and ecological modelling. By adopting a mindset rooted in AM, ESSA delivers decision paths to its clients that are more robust and sustainable (see: Project domains include water and fisheries management, environmental assessment, recovery of species at risk, decision support tool development, river restoration, and climate change adaptation.

This full-time position involves working to support project managers and other Systems Ecologists at ESSA on existing projects as well as developing new initiatives within North America. The successful candidate will help us to extend and grow our expertise in these and related domains. Our ideal candidate has an entrepreneurial spirit who will find success in developing new business and excel over the long-run developing a network of satisfied clients.


The Systems Ecologist will deliver specialized research and support on various aspects of client projects. This work emphasizes inter-disciplinary study that focuses on complex interactions in biological systems, taking a holistic rather than reductionist perspective in organizing existing understanding and data. Most of our work is focused on predicting the outcomes of applied management actions, and balancing tradeoffs between competing objectives in the presence of uncertainty. We use analyses of target ecological systems to organize complex information, and to develop new methods and tools for evaluating alternative actions under a range of uncertainties. ESSA’s Systems Ecologists work both in teams and independently to solve problems. The selected candidate will deliver rigorous professional-level advice both to our clients and internally to our own staff. Over time, this person will help coach, support, and mentor other ESSA staff working on complex technical projects, enabling individuals to do their best and grow. Systems Ecologists at ESSA also occasionally contribute to internally funded research and development initiatives.

Work in this role will be supervised but only occasionally in detail. The role involves direct interaction with clients at workshops, meetings and teleconferences as well as frequent internal collaborations with our project teams. The successful candidate will be expected to initiate, develop and over time maintain strong relationships with a diverse client base including existing and potential private, public, not for profit and First Nations groups through contributions to the development of proposals and other business development opportunities.


The role requires a minimum of a Masters degree (Ecology, Biology, Applied Science, Resource Management) with a background in aquatic ecology or biology relating to freshwater fish populations. The abilities inherent in the role description above, including the expectation to initiate and develop a diverse client base demands the candidate bring a minimum of 2 years of experience with private, public, or non-governmental sectors. The skills and abilities required by the successful candidate are:

  • Extensive knowledge of environmental management approaches, especially decision analysis, conceptualization of models, tradeoff evaluation, and adaptive environmental assessment and management.
  • Quantitative skills including one or more of – ecological modelling, statistical analysis, science communication, and data visualization.
  • Experience with client relationship management, proposal writing, and project management.
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English, with the ability to develop and deliver professional technical presentations and reports within time and budget constraints.
  • Solid interpersonal skills and awareness, with a flexible demeanor, very comfortable and confident in small group facilitation settings. Strong ability to work effectively and collaboratively within interdisciplinary teams.
  • Proactive and results oriented, with strong problem-solving skills.

Other Skills and Assets include:

  • Experience delivering aquatic Environmental Impact Assessment analyses and documentation
  • Fluency in Spanish and/or French.
  • Experience with International projects.
  • Working knowledge of one or more structured programming languages (R, C#, VB.NET, Python and/or other).
  • Experience with indigenous engagement.
  • Experience with Marine Protected Areas.

Compensation and benefits

We welcome candidates looking for an opportunity to work on interesting and challenging projects with a team of highly skilled professionals. We provide a competitive salary, a profit sharing plan based on corporate, team and individual performance, an excellent extended health benefit plan including Medical Service Plan coverage, and three weeks’ vacation and paid time off between Christmas and New Years. Support is provided for professional development and growth within your role.


Please email a cover letter and résumé to by January 26, 2018 with “Systems Ecologist” in the subject line. We will review all applications and conduct interviews with select candidates in late February 2018. The preferred start date for the successful candidate will be the third week of March 2018. While we appreciate all interest, only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

All applicants must be eligible to legally work throughout Canada at the time of applying.

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Numéro : 43415       Date publiée sur Dec 22 2017