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Ontario Nature conservation staff surveying mussels with Fisheries and Oceans Canada © Stephanie Muckle

Nature Reserves Intern (2 positions)

Job Description

Ontario Nature is seeking enthusiastic and dedicated individuals for the positions of Nature Reserves Intern for 22-week contracts starting in May 2020. The Nature Reserves Interns will assist with several aspects of the Nature Reserves Program including stewardship projects and field work. The main duties are conducting detailed ecological inventories and other data collection at nature reserve properties, data entry, event planning, and community outreach.

The ideal candidates have a keen interest in conservation, working knowledge of species at risk and invasive species found in Ontario, and have experience conducting field work. The ability to work well as part of a small team, as well as independently, is required.

Principal responsibilities

  • Assist with data collection, entry, analysis and reporting as required to develop and implement property management plans.
  • Support the classification of habitats on Nature Reserves following Ecological Land Classification and Vegetation Sampling Protocol.
  • Assist with annual inspections and baseline inventories including documenting threats and usage, species at risk monitoring, and easement compliance monitoring. 
  • Assist with public and volunteer engagement on Nature Reserves including restoration activities, invasive species removal, trail maintenance and guided hikes.
  • Assist with communications for the Nature Reserves Program including contributing to social media, blogs and webpage updates.
  • Support the maintenance of well-organized digital and hard copy files for the Nature Reserves Program, ensuring easy access for file users.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated interest in conservation in Ontario.
  • Diploma or Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, environmental science or a relevant field.
  • Experience with compiling information on conservation lands including natural features, threats, species at risk and invasive species.
  • Experience with detailed notetaking, data collection and entry, and data quality assurance.
  • Working knowledge of Ontario’s flora and fauna, and experience using dichotomous identification keys. 
  • Good verbal and written communications skills including active listening. 
  • Ability to work well independently within a small team structure and collaboratively with partners.   
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work outdoors for extended periods in sometimes challenging conditions (e.g. high temperatures and humidity, heavy rain, dense bugs) and terrains. 
  • Basic navigational skills including experience with field GPS unit, compass and air photo interpretation. 
  • Valid class “G” driver’s license and ability to rent a vehicle in Ontario.
  • Meet requirements for Canada Summer Jobs:
  • Canada citizen, permanent resident or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada.
  • 30 years of age or younger.

Desirable assets

  • Experience with Ecological Land Classification and/or Vegetation Sampling Protocol.
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software.
  • Experience capturing and handling reptiles and amphibians.
  • Experience conducting breeding bird surveys.

Anticipated start date: Mid May 2020

Duration of position: 22 weeks, full-time (funding dependent)

Hourly Rate: $14-16/hour depending on experience

Location: Ontario Nature Head Office – 214 King Street West, Suite 612, Toronto, ON

Working conditions:

This job requires frequent travel across Ontario and frequent weekend and evening work. During these trips staff often camp or stay in rustic accommodations. The position requires the ability to work outdoors for extended periods in various weather conditions (e.g. high summer temperatures and humidity, heavy rain) and terrains. The job can be physically demanding, including hiking, tree-planting, hole-digging, camping in uncomfortable conditions and lifting heavy objects (up to 40 lbs).  

To apply 

  • Include your resume, cover letter and three references in one document (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF), addressing your qualifications and experience 
  • Include “Nature Reserves Intern” in the subject line  Submit your application by email to the attention of Anna Dipple, annad@ontarionature.org 
  • Deadline for applications: April 6, 2020

Although Ontario Nature appreciates the efforts of all those who apply for this position, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No unsolicited emails or phone calls please. 

Ontario Nature is committed to employment equity, diversity and accessibility. Requests for disability-related accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process, and applicants should make their requirements known when contacted. 

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