WorkCabin http://www.workcabin.ca Connecting conservation-focused job seekers with outstanding environmental jobs in Canada. Sat, 22 Sep 2018 02:36:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 WorkCabin hired to film and narrate conservation video series http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-hired-to-film-and-narrate-conservation-video-series/ http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-hired-to-film-and-narrate-conservation-video-series/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2018 13:59:19 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=10163 WorkCabin founder and videographer Gregg McLachlan has been hired by Conservation Ontario, the umbrella organization for Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities, to film, host and narrate a multi-episode video series highlighting special places and nature experiences across Ontario. Episodes in the 2018 series feature forest therapy programs, outdoor education, Carolinian forests, raptor rehabilitation and hiking/exploring the […]

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WorkCabin founder and videographer Gregg McLachlan has been hired by Conservation Ontario, the umbrella organization for Ontario’s 36 conservation authorities, to film, host and narrate a multi-episode video series highlighting special places and nature experiences across Ontario.

Episodes in the 2018 series feature forest therapy programs, outdoor education, Carolinian forests, raptor rehabilitation and hiking/exploring the outdoors.

Gregg has filmed and produced videos for national and provincial organizations and is recognized for his authentic connection to nature and the outdoors. He does video production work through his offshoot WorkCabin Creative.

Watch the episode about the Mountsberg Raptor Centre below

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Women in conservation: Helen Kim http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-helen-kim/ http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-helen-kim/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:14:42 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=9318 Women in conservation: Helen Kim Helen Kim at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta (Photo courtesy of Helen Kim/NCC staff) March 29, 2018 | by Wendy Ho In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes. Born in […]

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Women in conservation: Helen Kim
Helen Kim at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta (Photo courtesy of Helen Kim/NCC staff)

Helen Kim at Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta (Photo courtesy of Helen Kim/NCC staff)

March 29, 2018 | by Wendy Ho

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, and growing up in both Seoul and Hong Kong, Helen Kim was closely connected with the mountains and outdoors throughout her childhood. Helen’s father had a deep love for hiking and would trek up the mountains year round, even taking his children up steep slopes at a tender age. Hong Kong’s hilly to mountainous terrain and its many offshore islands presented opportunities for exploring and learning about nature and camping at a young age.

After graduating from university, Helen worked as a money market dealer at a British bank, and travelled to many places before settling in Canada because of its majestic landscapes. Helen eventually joined NCC as a development assistant. And since 2007, as a manager of gift and database administration in the finance department, Helen oversees many aspects of NCC’s gift acceptance, revenue processing and issuance of tax receipting, but still loves to interact with donors and talk about the conservation achievements thanks to their support.

Read my interview with Helen below:

Wendy Ho (WH): Where did you go to school and what did you study?

Helen Kim (HK): I went to university in Seoul and majored in English language and literature.

WH: How has nature impacted your life?

HK: One of the reasons I came to Canada in 1988 was the mountains of Alberta and British Columbia. It was ironic, though, as I only went to the Rockies in Alberta in 2015 and to BC just this past January!

We all have responsibilities to conserve the landscapes of our beautiful country and I know there’s a chance we might not keep them pristine forever, but at least we should do our best to delay the deterioration.

Emerald green waters of Georgian Bay (Photo by Helen Kim/NCC)

Emerald green waters of Georgian Bay (Photo by Helen Kim/NCC)

Ever since my girls were young, we’ve vacationed in the Sauble Beach and Bruce Peninsula areas, camping or staying at cottages, and we went hiking and bird watching. I believe those experiences have fostered a love and appreciation for nature in my family. Now my grown up daughters lead and introduce me to green spaces in Ontario and British Columbia. Nature has taught me to be grateful for what it offers us. I always take time to visit conservation areas, provincial parks and national parks on my time off.

WH: What work/volunteer experience do you bring to NCC?

HK: Before moving to Canada, I worked in the finance sector for many years, and these experiences helped me adapt well into a role with NCC. When I am not volunteering with NCC’s events, I volunteer as an interpreter and participate in the compliance/governance area in the Korean Canadian community.

WH: Why is working at NCC important to you?

HK: I have learned so much since I started working at NCC. Colleagues have taught me to take note of different trees, leaves, listen to birds sing, smell the air, walk on different soils and much more.

I see the difference and results from hard working and committed colleagues and a community that wishes to see more of Canada’s landscapes conserved. I believe NCC has established itself as a trustworthy and accountable group. NCC is patient and looks for longer-term impacts for future generations, urging Canadians to act now. I am proud to be part of this great team.

WH: What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?

HK: Explore Canada as much as you can. We Canadians are blessed with the most beautiful landscapes, including open prairies, majestic mountains, forested valleys, beautiful rivers and lakes, from coast to coast to coast. Exploring our country will open your eyes and help you become a humble human being.

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Wendy Ho (Photo by NCC)

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada’s editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

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Women in conservation: Marcella Zanella http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-marcella-zanella/ http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-marcella-zanella/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:12:05 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=9315 Women in conservation: Marcella Zanella Marcella at Waterton Park Front, AB (Photo by NCC) March 23, 2018 | by Raechel Bonomo In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes. Growing up in the Dolomites in the […]

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Women in conservation: Marcella Zanella
Marcella at Waterton Park Front, AB (Photo by NCC)

Marcella at Waterton Park Front, AB (Photo by NCC)

March 23, 2018 | by Raechel Bonomo

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes.

Growing up in the Dolomites in the Southern Limestone Alps in northeastern Italy, Marcella Zanella was immersed in beautiful mountain landscapes rivalling that of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The small, mountain-side village she was raised in had a very tight-knit community, where everyone knew and supported each other.

This inclusivity she experienced as a child helped form her interest in human rights and social justice, which led her to study law at the University of Padua.

As the director, planned giving at NCC, Marcella uses her 12 years of experience as a lawyer to facilitate gifts in a will and other types of estate giving, such as legacy gifts.

Read my interview with Marcella below:

Raechel Bonomo (RB): How has nature impacted your life?

Marcella Zanella (MZ): Nature was my playground growing up. I learned early on from my father how to enjoy and respect the forests, rivers and lakes that enriched our lives. When I turned 18, his gift to me was not a car, which I was hoping for, but a parcel of a forested area. Together, we planted firs and larches and now, decades later when I visit, I take time to hike through the forest that I’m proud to keep protected in his memory.

RB: What work/volunteer experience do you bring to NCC?

Marcella at Grand Canyon, U.S. (Photo courtesy of Marcella Zanella/NCC staff)

Marcella at Grand Canyon, U.S. (Photo courtesy of Marcella Zanella/NCC staff)

MZ: The core of my work is to support donors in choosing the charitable giving option that best fits their personal, financial and tax situation. I think my experience as a lawyer gives me an understanding of the needs, issues, concerns and also values and beliefs of people from all walks of life. In addition, my legal background allows me to understand the technical, legal and tax-related language and concepts related to charitable giving and estate planning.

I’ve been a member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners since I started my career in fundraising in 2006. I chaired the Greater Toronto Area Chapter for four years. Thanks to my volunteer role, I’ve built a network of advisors in the fields of law, investment, tax and financial planning across Canada.

RB: How do contributions from Canadians to NCC through legacy gifts impact land conservation in our country?

MZ: Legacy gifts left to NCC are powerful agents of change, especially when they’re unrestricted gifts, meaning the money is not designated to a specific project or region. This allows NCC the flexibility to address the top conservation priorities at the time the gift is received.

They provide funds for urgent purchases of land and funding for the growth of NCC’s Stewardship Endowment Fund. These planned gifts also fund conservation planning work that guides us in determining the best places to focus our conservation efforts today and in the future.

In the past 50 years, NCC has been fortunate to receive hundreds of estate gifts from individuals from all walks of life who shared the vision of Canadians conserving nature in all its diversity, by caring for the lands and waters that sustain life.

The footprints of these lives lived are imprinted within the awe-inspiring landscapes and diversity of wildlife across Canada that we all can enjoy now and for years to come.

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Raechel Bonomo (Photo by Chase Wastesicoot)

About the Author

Raechel Bonomo is the content creator/staff writer at the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Read more about Raechel Bonomo.

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Women in conservation: Gayle Roodman http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-gayle-roodman/ http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-gayle-roodman/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:08:46 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=9311 Women in conservation: Gayle Roodman Gayle Roodman cycling in Mesa, Arizona (Photo by Ian Woodworth) March 15, 2018 | by Wendy Ho In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, […]

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Women in conservation: Gayle Roodman
Gayle Roodman cycling in Mesa, Arizona (Photo by Ian Woodworth)

Gayle Roodman cycling in Mesa, Arizona (Photo by Ian Woodworth)

March 15, 2018 | by Wendy Ho

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes.

Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, Gayle Roodman has lived in many cities across Canada as an adult. As NCC’s manager of editorial services, Gayle is a gatekeeper of the proper use of language in NCC’s communications, helping to bring great stories to light and sharing the message of conservation with the public.

Read my conversation with Gayle below:

Wendy Ho (WH): Where did you go to school and what did you study?

Gayle Roodman (GR): I initially started post-secondary with a one-year stint in laboratory science at Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University), with the hopes of getting my degree and going on to medical school. Those dreams were quickly dashed, so I switched trajectories and did a two-year marketing diploma at Humber College.

WH: How has nature impacted your life?

GR: It’s always been a huge part of my life. When I was a kid, my parents had a very rustic cottage, without electricity and running water, on a small lake in Quebec and most of our summers were spent there. After breakfast, we were set free for the day to explore the forest and came back for dinner when it got dark. To this day, decades later, the smell of trees and earth and loam take me back to the best summers of my life. “Go outside and get some fresh air” were words my parents said (or yelled) to my brother and me on a daily basis, which instilled in me a life-long need and desire to be in nature, exploring.

WH: What work/volunteer experience do you bring to NCC?

GR: I spent five years as an Outward Bound instructor in northern Ontario, providing experiential learning in the outdoors to teenagers and adults. During that time, I ate a lot of GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) and swatted a lot of mosquitoes, deerflies, horseflies and blackflies, but more importantly, witnessed the remarkable transformation that nature, resilience and self-reliance had on students.

Most of my working life outside of Outward Bound has been in advertising, marketing and communications. Prior to NCC, I worked for the Organizing Committees for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games and Toronto 2015 Invictus Games.

It has been a massive and very steep learning curve working at NCC. My head is full of factoids, with which I have been known to astound my friends and husband.

WH: Why is working at NCC important to you?

GR: NCC does extremely important work. While I’m not a conservation scientist or biologist and don’t directly help NCC conserve habitat, I’m part of the team that communicates NCC’s work. If I can be a part of getting the message out that we need to conserve more land faster and if I can help inspire Canadians to get out into nature, then I’m a happy camper.

WH: What career advice would you give your younger self, if you could?

GR: Find work that you’re passionate about. If you don’t yet know what you’re passionate about, spend some time volunteering, or travelling, or talking to people. There’s no rush to nail down your career the minute you finish high school. And there’s nothing wrong with switching careers over the course of your life. As Mark Twain said, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Wendy Ho (Photo by NCC)

About the Author

Wendy Ho is Nature Conservancy of Canada’s editorial coordinator.

Read more about Wendy Ho.

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10 practical tips to help you on path to conservation career http://www.workcabin.ca/10-practical-tips-to-help-get-you-on-the-path-to-your-dream-conservation-career/ http://www.workcabin.ca/10-practical-tips-to-help-get-you-on-the-path-to-your-dream-conservation-career/#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:35:12 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=9323 NCC student intern Liam Murphy (Photo by NCC) By Gregg McLachlan Founder, WorkCabin.ca, Canada’s Conservation Jobs Board OK, so you love animals. You sleep and breathe nature. And you want to work in the field of conservation. Super! Now here’s the hard part: figuring out how to land your dream gig. The most common question I […]

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NCC student intern Liam Murphy (Photo by NCC)

NCC student intern Liam Murphy (Photo by NCC)

By Gregg McLachlan
F
ounder, WorkCabin.ca, Canada’s Conservation Jobs Board

OK, so you love animals. You sleep and breathe nature. And you want to work in the field of conservation. Super! Now here’s the hard part: figuring out how to land your dream gig.

The most common question I receive, by far, is how to get a job working in conservation. The question comes from both environmentally qualified job seekers, and people without formal education and training. The first piece of advice to share is this: a job search is a fluid process and requires an action plan. Be prepared to invest time and effort in that process to see eventual rewards.

Here are 10 tips to help get you on the right path to achieve your dream gig in conservation:

1. Think “results” in your resume

Far too many resumes are incomplete. The overwhelming majority of job seekers include only the following under their career experience: Company name, role and responsibility. That’s not enough. You must show more. Think: “What did I specifically do that made my role exceptional and results outstanding?” Anyone can do a role. It doesn’t mean they do it well. Your job on your resume is to show an employer what makes you stand out.

2. Reflect your personal brand on social media

No, this isn’t another reminder to stop posting photos of yourself dancing on a table at a Christmas party with a necktie knotted around your forehead. We’re so past this kind of reminder today. No, this is a reminder to think about how you use social media and how it is building your personal brand. Don’t just repost links about conservation news. Post items that SHOW what YOU are doing for conservation. Photo tools make this easier than ever. Planting trees? Show it! Photographing nature? Show it! Going on a hike? Show it! Authentic people show rather than just tell. Creating authenticity takes effort. (P.S. Also see tip #5!)

3. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer

This can’t be stressed enough: most employers consider volunteer experience as “work” experience. They view skills obtained through volunteering or paid work as skills. Period. Building up your resume with volunteer experience shows you are genuinely interested in the field. Sure, there’s no pay. But you are sending a strong message about your commitment. As one employer once told me, “I know they understand mosquitoes are part of doing field work and won’t quit on me two days later!” Building a relationship with an organization as a volunteer can — and often does! — open doors. Plus, volunteers often fast-track themselves to knowing the culture of an organization, which makes them an attractive hire to an organization.

4. It’s not just about whales and dolphins!

Let’s get this out of the way right here and now. There are only so many jobs available for marine biologists. These types of jobs belong to fully qualified environmentalists. The conservation field is about much more. Like many career fields, there are opportunities for IT specialists, communications professionals, accounting staff, administrative assistants, labourers, office management positions, etc. These are all positions that any large or small organization requires to function.

5. Be a sponge

Read. A lot. Have a thirst for knowledge. It could be research papers. It could be conservation-focused magazines. Soak up the many news stories that organizations post on their websites about the work they do. Watch YouTube videos or TEDtalks by leading experts.

6. Attend workshops

Once you have that degree or diploma in a conservation-related discipline, the learning can’t stop. The dreaded career gap is something many job seekers face when they don’t enter their field of choice immediately upon graduation. That’s where workshops, certifications and training can help. Many workshops are available to anyone, regardless of education. Example: In early 2013, the Nature Conservancy of Canada hosted multi-day Reptile and Amphibian Training Workshops in Ontario. The workshops focused on identification, survey techniques, behaviour and biology, etc., and included both classroom and field components.

7.  Think smaller communities and smaller organizations

A sure-fire way to lower your odds of entering the conservation field is to focus only on big cities. Sure, you may be from Toronto or Vancouver, and you really want to start your career there, but guess what? So do a lot of other people. Just remember: Starting in a larger organization in a big city means you stand a greater reality that your role will be singular. Advancement, if possible, will take longer. In rural areas where many smaller organizations reside, there is less competition among job seekers. When you work in a smaller organization, you will likely have multiple roles. That equals more – and faster – experience. Smaller organizations in rural areas, especially in the conservation field, are often viewed as a credible ‘farm system’ of talent for large organizations when they are seeking new employees. Being strategic can help you get farther in the future and often do it faster.

8. Think high-value networking opportunities

Look at tip #6. You can’t beat networking opportunities like that! These are maximum-value, get-your-hands-dirty opportunities that can pay off faster than all those tips you read about joining online groups, forums or attending crowded conferences where competition for face-time is high. Workshops offer much more intimacy and practically guarantee you interaction with key people.

9. Transferable skills matter!

Play up your soft skills! Most job seekers forget about their soft skills. These are skills that almost every job requires. Some common soft skills include communications, ability to learn and accept criticism, adaptability, work ethic, and attitude. Employers typically weigh a candidate’s soft skills, especially when two candidates are almost identical in field skills. Soft skills are about how you will fit in at a workplace. Employers are always seeking the best fit.

10. Tell stories in job interviews

Stories do what facts and figures can’t. Your stories help you show your authenticity. You can’t wing it and create a story on the spot in a job interview. If you do, you will likely stumble. And that makes you look unprepared. You should have three or four good two-minutes-or-less stories already carefully crafted and embedded in your brain. A good story captures human interest. A good story also illustrates your character, a challenge, and a memorable ending. Most importantly, in the job interview process, a great story will be remembered. You want an employer to remember you. You need at least one great story that illustrates your abilities for each of these core areas: Communication, Teamwork, Conflict Resolution, Adaptability and Problem Solving. You can be guaranteed that you will be asked questions that involve some or all of these core areas. Having stories will help you ace these questions and also appear confident and prepared.

Gregg McLachlan

About the Author

Gregg McLachlan lives in the woods and is the founder of WorkCabin.ca, Canada’s Conservation & Wildlife Jobs Board since 2007.

Read more about Gregg McLachlan.

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Ten tips for finding a job in conservation http://www.workcabin.ca/ten-tips-for-finding-a-job-in-conservation/ http://www.workcabin.ca/ten-tips-for-finding-a-job-in-conservation/#comments Mon, 26 Mar 2018 14:35:14 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=9089 Volunteer measures tree root collar diameter with calliper. (Photo by NCC) March 9, 2018 | by Dan Kraus There’s a lot I love about my job at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Working on endangered species, landscape planning and protecting some of Canada’s most important habitats is not a bad way to spend the day. I also like sharing […]

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Volunteer measures tree root collar diameter with calliper. (Photo by NCC)

Volunteer measures tree root collar diameter with calliper. (Photo by NCC)

March 9, 2018 | by Dan Kraus

There’s a lot I love about my job at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). Working on endangered species, landscape planning and protecting some of Canada’s most important habitats is not a bad way to spend the day. I also like sharing our work, especially with students who are pursuing a career in conservation. Whenever I give lectures, I always get great questions from students like, “How do you measure conservation success?” or “What happens when habitat management for one rare species degrades habitat for another rare species?” But I know this is all a preamble for the question that they all have, and it inevitably gets asked: “How do I get a job in conservation?”

So, to help answer the most important question that emerging ecologists and budding biologists have, I polled some other NCC veterans about the key skills you can develop and the tips to make your resumé stand out when you’re applying for NCC’s Conservation Internship Program or other jobs in conservation.

1. The value of volunteering

Conservation Volunteer Kali planting marram grass plugs (Photo by Sean Landsman)

Conservation Volunteer Kali planting marram grass plugs (Photo by Sean Landsman)

Okay, this first one kind of sucks. But sometimes it helps to work for free before you work for money. Volunteering with a conservation organization can add a few lines of real-world experience to your resumé, and lets you learn more about their conservation work. It shows you are ambitious and a self-starter. It’s also a great opportunity to build your network and meet with practitioners so you can learn about their jobs. You are much more likely to get hired by employers you have met and have helped out.

2. Be good at project management

Completing a thesis or senior-year project in university or college can certainly teach some good project management skills that conservation organizations are looking for. It’s critical to demonstrate that you are effective at managing your time, meeting deadlines and dealing with multiple requests. Experience in teamwork and developing budgets is also an asset. There are many project management training programs out there. I know, you want to be an ecologist and not a project manager, but in addition to making your resumé stand out, remember that good project management skills will help you to do better conservation.

3. Your network is key

Social media networks (Illustration by Wilgengebroed, Wikimedia Commons)

Social media networks (Illustration by Wilgengebroed, Wikimedia Commons)

Start building your professional relationships now (you can finish reading this blog first, though). Follow conservation organizations on social media to learn about their projects and culture. Social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn are essential for building your network, but not enough. Personal connections sparked at professional association events or conferences are better. Just like volunteering, the more people you meet, the more people that are likely to hire you.

4. Understand how the system works

To solve our current biodiversity crisis we need to make sure that good science gets integrated into supportive policies. In many cases, we already have information on species declines, habitat loss and threats to biodiversity. The challenge is to use this information to get people and decision makers to change their behaviours.

It’s important to understand the frameworks for government decision making at the federal, provincial and municipal levels, and the key role of Indigenous peoples in conservation. Learn about environmental policies and regulations, and be able to link them to your work and interests.

5. Be ready for big and emerging conservation issues

You might really be into studying the behavioural ecology of the eastern red-backed salamander or the sex organs in sticklebacks. That’s cool — the investigation skills you learn will make you a better scientist, and you might discover something wonderful. But the more you can align your studies with real-world conservation needs and issues, the more likely you are to land a job in conservation. Fortunately, there are lots of pressing research questions in conservation, such as species recovery, climate change, invasive species, restoration ecology and sustainable land and water use. Check the websites of places you want to work before you start your academic project and align it to their needs. The more you can show that you’ve been streamlining your studies towards their conservation priorities, the more likely you’ll get a job.

6. Have some field skills

Cataloguing biodiversity on NCC properties is an important aspect of monitoring ecosystem health and alterations. Here, Mitchell MacMillan takes a photo of a plant to ID and record during an assessment on Holman's Island, PEI (Photo by Sean Landsman).

Cataloguing biodiversity on NCC properties is an important aspect of monitoring ecosystem health and alterations. Here, Mitchell MacMillan takes a photo of a plant to ID and record during an assessment on Holman’s Island, PEI (Photo by Sean Landsman).

It’s so important that you know the species and habitats that you want to conserve. You may get a field course or two in university, but you’re often on your own for this. I’ve always found the best way to learn new field skills is to be in the field with people that are smarter than me. Local naturalist clubs often offer hikes where you can find those experts.

There are many new apps that can also help you identify and learn about species. Make sure iNaturalist and eBird are on your phone and that you use them. There may also be courses that will help your resumé stand out, such as rangeland health assessmenthabitat restoration and ecological land classification. In addition to being able to identify species and vegetation communities, many jobs in conservation require licences and certification. These vary depending on the job, but can include chainsaw and boater safety licences, first aid and pesticide application training. The more “field ready” you are and the more initiative you show, the more likely you’ll get the job.

7. Know how to communicate your work

This can be a tough one. I followed a passion for botany because I wanted to be in the woods looking at plants, not because I wanted to wear a suit and talk to people. But being able to communicate your work and share your passion is critical to build awareness and support for conservation. Take every opportunity you can to tell people about your thesis or project. Audiences will be interested in what you do, but you will really connect with them if you tell them why you believe it’s important.

Jenna Siu leading the group at Nature Days, Happy Valley Forest (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

Jenna Siu leading the group at Nature Days, Happy Valley Forest (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

Find sites where you can post a blog, such as NCC’s Land Lines. Tweet about it. Join Toastmasters. Lead a hike. Yes, make sure you can tell it to your science colleagues, but most importantly, make sure you can tell it to your grandma. Learn to communicate clearly and without jargon. It’s not dumbing it down – it’s communicating smarter because more people will understand your message. You may think you’re getting into conservation to work with nature, but you are really working with people, and those people, including the people that are interviewing you, need to understand your work and be inspired.

8. Learn to listen, and link your work to people

You can’t be a good communicator if you aren’t a good listener. You especially need to listen to people that are outside of your regular circles. This might include farmers, business people, hunters or politicians. The more you think you disagree with them, the more you need to listen. It’s been my experience that no matter how far apart you are in opinion, there is always some shared common ground. People may not care about measuring groundwater discharge rates in wetlands or the dispersal distance of bumble bees, but they might care about drinking water and pollination. Being able to explain why conservation matters to people, local communities and the economy is becoming increasingly important.

9. Learn to fundraise

I know, I wanted to just be an ecologist too, and now I find myself doing marketing and sales. But the truth is, without funding there’s no conservation. In addition to being able to communicate what your project is, you will also need to be able to communicate why it should be funded. Now don’t worry, no intern is tasked with raising a million dollars to save endangered species; but almost all career trajectories in conservation will get you to a point where you need to help fundraise.

When applying for any job in conservation, it’s good to show that you have raised money and have reported on how it was spent. This could be a scholarship or a grant for a community project. It’s also helpful to know what some of the key funding sources are from government, foundations and corporations for conservation across Canada.

10. Don’t blow the interview

This is your big chance! You (and 10 other applicants) have been selected for an interview. You were picked out of potentially hundreds of applications because, in addition to your great education, your resumé highlighted how you’ve communicated your work, joined a local naturalist club to bolster your species identification skills and met one of the interviewers at a conference. Now you just need to show that you are ready. Share what you’ve learned and your past jobs, and link those experiences to the skills you can bring to the role. “I took a course in ornithology” is great, but “I took a course in ornithology, and got really interested in birds, and can now identify over 50 birds by ear” is better.

If you’ve been selected for an interview, it likely means that you are qualified for the job. Interviewers want you to confirm and expand upon what’s in your resumé, but also to get a sense of what you’d be like to work with. Be professional, but relax! Demonstrate how your skills make you qualified, show that you know something about the organization and ask questions, but it’s also important to show your personality and let the interviewers get to know you.

*Illustration of social media networks, Wilgengebroed (CC BY 2.0)

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Women in conservation: Roberta Weisbrot http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-roberta-weisbrot/ http://www.workcabin.ca/women-in-conservation-roberta-weisbrot/#comments Fri, 09 Mar 2018 14:44:14 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=8898 March 8, 2018 | by Raechel Bonomo In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Roberta Weisbrot, NCC’s brand and digital marketing manager, is a proud prairie girl, through and through. […]

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March 8, 2018 | by Raechel Bonomo

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), we’re celebrating six female staff members at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) who are working to create a stronger future for Canada’s landscapes.

Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Roberta Weisbrot, NCC’s brand and digital marketing manager, is a proud prairie girl, through and through. She grew up in Regina and also spent a lot of time at her family’s farm east of the city.

Roberta at Nakiska in Kananaskis, Alberta (Photo courtesy of Roberta Weisbrot/NCC staff)
Roberta at Nakiska in Kananaskis, Alberta (Photo courtesy of Roberta Weisbrot/NCC staff)

Her treasured childhood memories were made on the farm while taking in nature on what she refers to as the “land of the living skies.” Having also traveled across Canada from BC to Nova Scotia and living in Okanagan Valley, Banff National Park, Kananaskis, Calgary, Saskatoon, and now planting roots in Toronto, Roberta has experienced the natural beauty of an array of landscapes, forming an appreciation for Canada’s natural treasures.

Read our interview with Roberta below:

Raechel Bonomo (RB): Where did you go to school and what did you study?

Roberta Weisbrot (RW): With a love of the environment, tourism, interpretation and culture, I completed a recreation management diploma from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology.  I later earned a bachelor of business administration degree with a marketing specialization from the University of Regina. In 2012, I moved to Toronto to advance my career and work on a national marketing scale. When I first arrived here, I earned an advertising account management post-graduate certificate from Centennial College and graduated at the top of my program.

RB: How has nature impacted your life?

Roberta at Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto (Photo courtesy of Roberta Weisbrot/NCC staff)

Roberta at Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto (Photo courtesy of Roberta Weisbrot/NCC staff)

RW: Ever since I can remember, I’ve always loved nature, and it’s been an important part of my and my family’s lives. Our farm was in our family for over 100 years, and we took great pride in treating that land, and all the animals that lived on it, with great respect. My grandma Weisbrot was also the first female president of the Regina Natural History Society in the early 70s, now known as Nature Regina. My dad’s career in ecology and range management allowed my family many opportunities to learn and interact with nature when I was a kid. As an adult, you’ll find me doing the same. There are so many great natural areas to explore in Canada.

RB: What was your first job in the environmental/conservation/science field? What did you learn in this position that has helped you now?

RW: When I was in high school, I had a summer job to help remove invasive species, such as downy broome, in the Great Sand Hills of Saskatchewan. From this experience, I learned the importance of education and collaboration in stewarding land and protecting its native integrity.

RB: Why is working at NCC important to you?

RW: After visiting Pacific Rim National Park when I was young, I dreamed of being a marine biologist because I wanted to help protect marine wildlife. What I didn’t know back then is that I would have the opportunity to directly help the conservation efforts of our entire country. As a proud Canadian, I definitely appreciate the diversity and importance of our country. I’ve been fortunate to have a close relationship with nature all of my life and want to ensure others can have the same opportunity for future generations, especially for my two young nephews.

RB: How does marketing make an impact on land conservation in Canada?

RW: As NCC’s brand and digital marketing manager, my vision is to collaboratively grow Canadian pride for our unique country, its natural habitats and the species that live within them. This pride can empower Canadians, coast to coast, to support conservation efforts now, ensuring the longevity of our country’s natural beauty for today and tomorrow. Together we can do so much more.

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WorkCabin films for Motus Wildlife Tracking System video project http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-films-for-motus-wildlife-tracking-system-video-project/ http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-films-for-motus-wildlife-tracking-system-video-project/#comments Fri, 22 Dec 2017 23:06:13 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=7912 In the spring of 2017 during migration, WorkCabin Creative filmed at the Long Point Bird Observatory for the large-scale video project about the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. Videographer Gregg McLachlan of WorkCabin / WorkCabin Creative was a contributing filmmaker on this project. Via Motus — The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network […]

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In the spring of 2017 during migration, WorkCabin Creative filmed at the Long Point Bird Observatory for the large-scale video project about the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. Videographer Gregg McLachlan of WorkCabin / WorkCabin Creative was a contributing filmmaker on this project.

Via Motus — The Motus Wildlife Tracking System is a collaborative research network that uses coordinated automated radio telemetry arrays to study movements of small animals. Motus is a program of Bird Studies Canada in partnership with Acadia University and collaborating researchers and organizations.

The Motus Wildlife Tracking System (Motus, latin for ‘movement’) uses a coordinated automated radio telemetry array to track the movement and behaviour of small flying organisms. Motus tracks animals (birds, bats, and large insects) affixed with digitally-encoded radio transmitters “nano-tags” that broadcast signals several times each minute. These signals are detected by automated radio telemetry stations that scan for signals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. When results from many stations are combined, the array can track animals across a diversity of landscapes covering thousands of kilometers.

This multinational system has its roots in the SensorGnome network which was piloted in 2012 and 2013. In 2014 a major infrastructure expansion was made possible through a Canada Foundation for Innovation grant to Western University, The University of Guelph, and Acadia University. This gave rise to the Motus Wildlife Tracking System. The system has grown steadily since that time and as of February 2017 over 350 receiving stations were active accross the Western Hemisphere.

The purpose of Motus is to facilitate landscape-scale research and education on the ecology and conservation of migratory animals. It is a program of Bird Studies Canada (BSC) in partnership with Acadia University and collaborating researchers and organizations.

The Motus video was released in December 2017

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WorkCabin is guest speaker for Ontario conservation authorities conference http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-is-guest-speaker-for-ontario-conservation-authorities-conference/ http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-is-guest-speaker-for-ontario-conservation-authorities-conference/#comments Wed, 08 Nov 2017 22:25:57 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=7600 In October, Ontario conservation authorities packed the auditorium at Geneva Park Conference Centre in Rama, ON to hear WorkCabin founder Gregg McLachlan speak about social media and marketing. More than 30 conservation authorities across Ontario were represented at the week-long conference. McLachlan, a conservationist and recognized as a leading expert on social media in the […]

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In October, Ontario conservation authorities packed the auditorium at Geneva Park Conference Centre in Rama, ON to hear WorkCabin founder Gregg McLachlan speak about social media and marketing. More than 30 conservation authorities across Ontario were represented at the week-long conference.

McLachlan, a conservationist and recognized as a leading expert on social media in the conservation sector, inspired representatives with insights on how social media is changing and what they need to do to stay ahead of those changes. He shared real examples of his work with organizations and showed common pitfalls. This talk is one in a series of guest speaking engagements that McLachlan has done in 2017 for conservation organizations.

To inquire about booking Gregg, email nature@workcabin.ca 

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WorkCabin hikes forests for photo assignments for Nature Conservancy of Canada http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-hikes-forests-for-photo-assignments-for-nature-conservancy-of-canada/ http://www.workcabin.ca/workcabin-hikes-forests-for-photo-assignments-for-nature-conservancy-of-canada/#comments Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:44:59 +0000 http://www.workcabin.ca/?p=7590 At WorkCabin we like to say we’re way more than a job board. And we are. Being completely invested in what we do is part of our everyday work. From filming videos for conservation organizations, to doing photography work, to doing guest speaking at conferences, it’s about living and breathing conservation for us. In October, […]

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At WorkCabin we like to say we’re way more than a job board. And we are. Being completely invested in what we do is part of our everyday work. From filming videos for conservation organizations, to doing photography work, to doing guest speaking at conferences, it’s about living and breathing conservation for us.

In October, WorkCabin’s founder and conservationist Gregg McLachlan, a professional photographer and videographer, headed into the field, loaded with gear, for a three-hour photo assignment commissioned by the Nature Conservancy of Canada to photograph its forest properties. The photographs will be used for a variety of purposes by NCC. The terrain featured lush lowland valleys with coldwater streams. The habitats represented vital wildlife corridors in southwestern Ontario.

 

 

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