Research Assistant (Data Science)

IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA)

Kenora, ON, CA

IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is one of the world’s most influential freshwater research facilities. It features a collection of 58 small lakes and their watersheds in northwestern Ontario, Canada. For over 50 years, scientists at IISD-ELA have conducted whole-ecosystem experiments and made significant scientific discoveries related to issues such as acid rain, mercury from air pollution, algal blooms and pharmaceutical chemicals in water. The facility is operated by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an independent think tank headquartered in Winnipeg. 


IISD-ELA acknowledges that our research facility is located on Treaty Three lands and the care of these lands during experimentation and restoration to original state is implicit in its mission. Many local schools in the region come to the facility to learn more about the science of aquatic ecosystems and how humans have a role in working with one another to protect these resources.


The unique nature of the IISD-ELA facility and our whole-ecosystem approach to freshwater science provides an opportunity to deliver different kinds of educational programming and community outreach for a wide variety of audiences. IISD-ELA aims to inspire and train the general public and the next generation of research scientists, providing a platform for science education and innovation. 


This position will be based at IISD’s office in downtown Winnipeg, MB, with occasional overnight travel to the IISD-ELA research facility near Kenora, ON.



  • Work with IISD-ELA scientists to improve the collection and curation of scientific datasets.
  • Assist in managing and improving IISD-ELA’s scientific database.
  • Explore innovative data fusion and analysis methods, including Machine Learning and Neural Networks.
  • Develop and/or deploy digital sensors to monitor water quality parameters.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Skills & Qualifications:

  • Enrollment in a university or college program leading to a degree in biology, statistics, computer science, environmental science, geography, or engineering; or recent completion (December      2019–April 2020) of such a degree.
  • Eager to modernize one of Canada’s longest-running whole-ecosystem experiments.
  • Able to occasionally travel to the Experimental Lakes Area from Winnipeg and perform field sampling/sensor deployment in rugged environments.
  • Familiarity with SQL and relational databases.
  • IISD-ELA requires successful completion of criminal record and child abuse registry checks. 

Asset Skills:

  • Experience with GIS and spatial data.
  • Experience with scientific scripting (Python or R preferred).
  • Enthusiasm for interdisciplinary methods and self-directed research.
  • Interest in the potential of artificial intelligence and digital technologies to improve environmental management.
  • Ability to speak French and/or Ojibwa is considered an asset.

The contract is for a full-time term position of 4 or 6 or 8 months (depending on availability) beginning May 4, 2020.

Compensation: $576.56–$672.66/week CAD

All submissions must be in English.

Closing date: Monday, February 24 at 9 am CST 

IISD-ELA is committed to equal opportunity.

Candidates must hold appropriate work authorization for Canada.

Accommodations for job applicants with disabilities are available on request. Please contact [email protected]

We thank all candidates for their interest; however, only candidates advancing in the recruitment will be contacted for an interview. We kindly request that further contact is not necessary.