We are hiring: Farmland Ecology Assistant

OFT is searching for a Farmland Ecology Assistant!

Summer Job – Farmland Ecology Assistant

 Are you…?

  • Outgoing and enthusiastic
  • Knowledgeable about agriculture and ecology (or excited to learn)
  • Passionate about land conservation
  • Team-player with a positive attitude and commitment to working cooperatively with others

…then the Farmland Ecology Assistant position with the Ontario Farmland Trust might be for you!

The Ontario Farmland Trust (OFT), a niche land conservation organization that works to permanently protect Ontario’s farmland and associated natural features from being lost to non-agricultural uses. Join our team that is passionate about protecting this critical resource for today’s communities and for future generations.

If you are looking for meaningful, engaging work and are excited about conservation, farmland protection, and work that takes you outside and engaging with people, then we encourage you to apply for the Farmland Ecology Assistant position! 

Job Duties

The Farmland Ecology Assistant will work with OFT staff and their job duties will include:

Farmland Conservation Monitoring Visits (60%)

  • Prepare for and attend farmland conservation monitoring site visits
    • Landowner outreach
    • Create basic mapping of properties
    • Understand restrictions associated with conservation easement agreements and monitor for violations
  • Identify and record various flora, fauna, including species-at-risk and invasive species
  • Use land conservation software, GPS and camera equipment for documenting monitoring visits
  • Draft monitoring reports that document site conditions
  • Catalogue all site visit data

Farmland Securement Program Support (20%)

  • Attend site visits to support Ecological Assessments and Baseline Documentation Reports required for active conservation easement projects
  • Create basic maps delineating parts of property parcels
  • Prepare property reports for properties that wish to be protected through OFT’s farmland conservation program.
  • Assist with generating new ideas for areas of program growth, including researching various models of farmland protection

Administration and Data Management (20%)

  • Support content development for fundraising appeals grant applications for active farmland protection projects.
  • Help maintain OFT’s databases and written records on protected properties, including potential easement and land donations, easement statistics, monitoring reports, species at risk inventories, and photo library of protected properties

Required Skills & Attributes

  • Career interests and post-secondary studies in ecology, botany, agriculture, zoology, environmental studies, geography or a related discipline
  • Experience in plant and wildlife identification
  • Willingness and ability to work outside in various weather conditions
  • Passionate about agriculture, farmland protection, and land conservation
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Motivated and able to work independently with minimal supervision
  • Team-player with a positive attitude and commitment to working cooperatively with others
  • Access to a vehicle and a valid driver’s license is required (mileage will be reimbursed for off site field work)

Additional Information: We have a small staff complement of four full time staff. The incumbent will have a high level of responsibility and accountability right from the start. We pride ourselves in having a culture that facilitates communication, creativity, and professional development. We work with each staff member to ensure they are gaining experience relevant to their future career goals.

Location: OFT has shared office space located at the University of Guelph. Alternatively, the candidate is able to choose to work from home so long as they can participate in video team meetings and have an ergonomic workstation. Monitoring site visits take place across Ontario. 

Details: The wage is $18/hour, plus vacation pay, and 30 hours per week. The weekly schedule is generally Monday-Friday and can accommodate a flexible work arrangement, however occasional evening and weekend work may be required. The anticipated contract period is from April 22, 2024 – Aug 9, 2024, with some flexibility for adjustments or an extension.

Due to funding requirements for this position, candidates must fit the following criteria: 

  • be between 15 and 30 years of age (inclusive) at the start of employment;
  • be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or person on whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [S.C. 2001, c. 27]*; and
  • be legally entitled to work according to the relevant provincial / territorial legislation and regulations. 

*International students are not eligible. Recent immigrants are eligible if they are Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents.

Please note: This position is subject to funding approval through Canada Summer Jobs.

Location: Site visits will take place across Ontario (as far east as Frontenac County, as far north as Simcoe County, and as far west as Huron County). Office work will occur from home.

To Apply: Please forward your cover letter, resume, and references (in one document) to Joel Enman, Farmland Conservation Specialist, via e-mail to joel@ontariofarmlandtrust.ca by Thursday, April 4th, 2024, 5pm EST. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

For more details, download the full job posting attached.