Job Posting: 53799 – Position: Adaptation Resilience Training Program – Low Tech Process-Based Riverscape Restoration Pilot Project
Application Deadline: 08/31/2022 11:59 PM
How to Apply? Apply through campusBRIDGE
Organization University of Alberta, Division Sustainability Council
Job Posting Information:
Job Term: 2022 – 2023
Position Type: Full Time
Position Term: Temporary
Position Title: Adaptation Resilience Training Program-Low-Tech Process-Based Riverscape Restoration Pilot Project
Number of Vacancies: 1
Location Remote: The ideal candidate will be able to commute to Calgary on an occasional basis
Position Start Date: Mid-September 2022
Position End Date: April 2023
Minimum Education Required: Some Post-Secondary
This position is offered as part of the Adaptation Resilience Training (ART) Program. Trout Unlimited Canada is a national conservation charity with a mission to conserve, protect and restore Canada’s freshwater ecosystems and their coldwater resources. Our work focuses on water quality and quantity, aquatic habitat, and aquatic communities. Although our staff is currently working from home, we expect a return to the office (located in SE Calgary, east of Chinook Centre) in fall 2022.
Many small streams in Alberta have experienced interruptions and alterations to natural processes as a result of anthropogenic
activities (e.g. loss of beavers on the landscape, agricultural, recreational and industrial land uses). To address this, Trout
Unlimited Canada has been applying our stream restoration skills and experience to improve ecosystem function and health. Not only does this work improve native biodiversity but it improves the resiliency of riverscapes and the fish and wildlife that these systems support. This is becoming increasingly important to help both humans and wildlife adapt to climate change as stochastic events such as flood, drought, and fire are expected to become more intense and occur more frequently.
With support through the Adaptation Resilience Training program, TUC will host a student or recent grad to enable our organization
to advance the practice of “low tech process-based restoration” (LTPBR), an emerging field within the stream restoration
community that has been gaining momentum in the western USA but is relatively unheard of in Alberta. LTPBR is centered around the use of beavers as a key component of restoration success. Previous schools of thought in the river restoration field have
centered on engineered designs that require the use of heavy equipment to restore streams to a reference condition. While effective
in some scenarios, this approach is far too costly and often too complicated to carry out at the scale which is needed to restore
health and function to watersheds such that they are resilient to the effects of climate change. The relative simplicity and low cost of LTBPR solutions have the potential for meaningful and lasting climate change adaptation projects that can be implemented by farmers, ranchers, NGOs, and community groups on a much larger scale. TUC has identified several potential project sites and partners to implement beaver coexistence and beaver mimicry, (for example, building beaver dam analogs to mimic and promote beaver activity). Research suggests that beavers could play a pivotal role in climate change adaptation by easing drought conditions, reducing the impacts of wildfire, buffering the effects of floods, creating fish habitat, storing carbon, and improving biodiversity. The successful candidate will develop an LTPBR pilot project that will serve also as a workshop and demonstration site help build capacity among partners, stakeholders, and regulators.
- Conduct a literature review of LTPBR projects (namely beaver dam analog complexes) and summarize lessons learned in other jurisdictions.
- Conduct a risk assessment for proposed beaver coexistence and beaver mimicry projects in southern Alberta with the goal of developing an LTPBR pilot project that will serve as a workshop and demonstration site.
- Support project planning related to on-the-ground restoration for the pilot project, including refining project sites and restoration prescriptions, engaging with stakeholders (land managers, regulators, partners) to refine project plans, submitting regulatory approval applications
- Identify key performance indicators for restoration projects and develop a monitoring plan to evaluate the success of restoration works Work with TUC team members and partner organizations to scope out and organize a workshop on restoration techniques and implementation using one of the planned restoration sites as a demonstration project. The workshop would be aimed at restoration practitioners, watershed stewardship groups, landowners and land managers, and regulators with a goal of raising awareness and acceptance of low-tech process-based restoration while building capacity among community groups to implement these techniques.
- The candidate will be supported in these tasks by TUC’s Alberta Biologist and other members of the conservation team in Alberta.
Deliverables and Milestones:
- September: onboarding and field training including participation in beaver dam analog installation and other stream and aquatic restoration projects, completion of 3.5-day online LTPBR workshop series, site visits to proposed project sites
- October: completion of literature review and “lessons learned” summary
- November-December: initial restoration plans, risk assessment, and monitoring plans for proposed 2023 projects completed,
- January: solicit feedback on 2023 restoration plans from partners and stakeholders, incorporate changes into project plans and work with the TUC team to prepare and submit regulatory approvals packages
- February: Workshop planning (identify and apply for funding opportunities, draft a workshop itinerary and secure a workshop leader/key presenter
- March-April: procure materials for restoration/demonstration projects, plan workshop logistics (location, itinerary, registration, etc.) Southern Alberta’s landscapes and riverscapes are under extreme climate stress, experiencing drastic flood/drought cycles that are acutely felt by ranchers (availability of forage and water for livestock), fish (threatened native trout at high risk), humans (water quality and quantity challenges), etc. We can apply nature-based solutions that are relatively low cost and highly scalable to help this landscape, and the people and biota that depend on it, adapt to the effects of climate change. The ART Work Placement candidate and the LTPBR pilot project will greatly advance TUC’s ability and success on this front.
Skills and Qualifications:
To be eligible for the ART positions, applicants must be either:
- A current student, in either an Undergraduate or Graduate program, at an accredited post-secondary institution in Alberta OR
- A recent graduate of an accredited post-secondary institution in Alberta (recently defined as since May 1, 2020)
Skills and experience that will lead to success:
- GIS experience is an asset
- A valid, non-graduated Class 5 or above Drivers License with fewer than 3 moving violations and less than six demerits on a three-year abstract is required
- Areas of study: Biology, ecology, hydrology, geomorphology
- The successful candidate will gain skills in teamwork and collaboration, stream/riparian restoration, organizational skills, writing, project management
Application Instructions Apply through campusBRIDGE.