Conservation Research Assistant – Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, BC Chapter (CPAWS-BC) is part of one of Canada’s oldest non-profit conservation groups. We protect wilderness in every corner of B.C. and deep into the ocean. We have been defending B.C.’s nature since 1978, and are dedicated to keeping B.C.’s public land and ocean wild forever. We use science-driven campaigns to establish new terrestrial and marine protected areas and to ensure that nature comes first in the management of existing parks. CPAWS-BC has a history of success and the capacity to engage successfully with both a wide variety of stakeholders and decision-makers within industry and government.

CPAWS-BC works on the traditional territories of Indigenous peoples, including both unceded and treaty lands. We recognize that all people have the right to a healthy environment. Identity, culture, and survival are often deeply rooted in people’s connection to the land and ocean; however, not all people have equal access to, and decision-making powers over, the use of the land and ocean. As a conservation organization, we have the responsibility to uphold the values of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion of marginalized voices and perspectives. CPAWS-BC’s hiring practices give priority to Indigenous people and people who face barriers to employment.

The role:

We are looking for a short-term research contract to assist with policy analysis. You will work closely with the Terrestrial Conservation Team based in the Vancouver, BC office to support our efforts to be a watchdog for protected areas. This position will be looking at the overlap between existing land designations and Other Effective Conservation Measures (OECMs) in BC in order to inform CPAWS-BC recommendations on the progress BC has made towards Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Targets. The various land designations identified will be compared to international criteria for protected areas (e.g. IUCN Protected Area Categories System).

Outcomes of the contract will include:

  • Research on land protection designations in BC;
  • Categorize various land designations into the corresponding IUCN Protected Area Categories System;
  • Run each designation through the criteria for an OECM and;
  • Provide justification for your findings in a summary report.

Required characteristics and qualifications:

  • Committed to furthering reconciliation with Indigenous peoples;
  • Good understanding of land regulations and designations in British Columbia;
  • Familiarity with Canada’s Pathway to Target 1 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets;
  • Able to search and find information in various electronic government databases including the BC Data Catalogue and DataBC;
  • Skilled at reading and interpreting management plans, regulations and legislation;
  • Able to find and analyze reports created by government departments, academic institutions and ENGOs;
  • Able to work remotely with limited supervision;
  • Able to work in Canada without restrictions (e.g. Canadian citizen or permanent resident);
  • Have your own equipment to be able to complete the contract.


  • Experience working with GIS software

This 4 week contract is for $2,000 paid in installments based on deliverables. We estimate it will take approximately 70-90 hours to complete. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis and will close once a suitable candidate is selected. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

Application procedure:

Please send a cover letter, resume and sample of your work to hiring@cpawsbc.orgPlease clearly state “Conservation Research Assistant” in the subject line. Please ensure that your cover letter indicates how you meet the needs of CPAWS-BC for this role, as well as how your past experience will make you successful in this position. You will receive an auto-response informing you that your application has been received. We respectfully ask for no phone calls and note that only successful candidates will be contacted.

Preferred Start Date:  Beginning of April, 2019.