Local recruitment: Senior Science Advisor - Water and Watershed Sciences

Government of Alberta

Edmonton, AB, Canada 🇨🇦

Calgary, AB, Canada 🇨🇦

Posting Date: Feb 21, 2024

Location: Edmonton or Calgary, AB

Company: Government of Alberta

Job Information
Job Title: Senior Science Advisor – Water and Watershed Sciences 
Job Requisition ID: 54254
Ministry: Environment and Protected Areas
Location: Edmonton or Calgary
Full or Part-Time: Full Time
Hours of Work: 36.25 hours per week
Permanent/Temporary: Temporary (18 months)
Scope: Open Competition 
Closing Date: March 6, 2024
Classification: Scientific 4 (026SCA)
Salary: ​$3,604.17 to 4,784.18  bi-weekly ($94,068 – $124,867/year)

The Government of Alberta is committed to a diverse and inclusive public service that reflects the population we serve to best meet the needs of Albertans. Consider joining a team where diversity, inclusion and innovation are valued and supported. For more information on diversity and inclusion, please visit: https://www.alberta.ca/diversity-inclusion-policy.aspx.

We support Albertans in being proud stewards of air, land, water, and biodiversity by leading the work required for the desired environmental outcomes and sustainable development of natural resources.

For more information about the Ministry of Environment and Protected Areas, please visit our website at: https://www.alberta.ca/environment-and-protected-areas.

Role Responsibilities

Are you looking for a way to creatively use your scientific knowledge and experience to provide expert advice on program and project design related to water and watershed sciences? 

The position is accountable to the Chief Scientist and reports to the Director of Science Advice, Reporting, and Partnerships in the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS).

This unit is responsible for providing scientific expertise, leadership and coordination to support the legislated mandate of the OCS in developing and implementing an environmental science program to monitor, evaluate and report on the condition of the environment in Alberta. 

The position requires expertise within a relevant subject matter area that has ideally led to broad recognition as an expert in water and watershed sciences. 

The Senior Science Advisor works with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas (EPA) and external partners to ensure that the Government of Alberta has scientifically credible and relevant evidence-based information necessary to address complex environmental challenges and opportunities facing the province.  

In this role, you will be expected to provide expert advice to EPA staff and leadership.

The Senior Science Advisor for water and watershed sciences is a recognized expert in their field of research and should be able to collaborate with peers in academia. Supervision of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows via appointment as an Adjunct faculty member at one or more post-secondary institutions is an asset.

Key responsibilities for this role include the ability to:  

  • Support the Chief Scientist and/or Director on water and watershed sciences projects as required;
  • Provide expert advice to EPA staff and leadership on research and monitoring design related to water and watershed sciences (with preferred emphasis on water quality); 
  • Lead and/or participate in collaborative writing of standard and non-standard reporting products communicating major observations and conclusions of long-term monitoring and focused research activities related to water and watershed sciences, including but not limited to peer-reviewed scientific papers, technical condition of the environment reports, major scientific synthesis reports, and plain-language summary documents;
  • Provide technical review of applicable scientific content prepared by EPA for publication, meetings, workshops, conferences, web pages, and briefing packages;
  • Convene or participate in existing senior Departmental or cross-ministry teams when water or watershed information or advice is required; 
  • Support EPA scientists in pursuing collaborative applied research projects with external research organizations (i.e., primarily postsecondary institutions) by promoting opportunities and developing partnerships between researchers;
  • Work with EPA science staff to ensure innovative, scientifically credible research and monitoring protocols are in place and implemented. The Senior Science Advisor will support a culture of scientific excellence in research and monitoring;
  • Support the establishment and uphold a process for Condition of Environment reporting to inform the Government of Alberta and Albertans on relevant water quality and quantity indicators; and
  • Generate novel scientific ideas and approaches to address current water-related information priorities for EPA.

Role Responsibilities (cont’d)

To effectively complete the required responsibilities, you will need knowledge of the following areas:

  • Current and emerging provincial and national water and watershed issues and opportunities;
  • Water quality and quantity monitoring;
  • Advanced statistical analyses of large water or watershed data sets, ideally including data from EPA monitoring and/or research programs or similar programs and studies performed by others in Alberta or elsewhere;
  • Application of appropriate models or other means to predict local, regional and cumulative impacts on water quality and quantity;
  • New and emerging methods related to the study of water quality and quantity and watershed conservation;
  • Good understanding of provincial and federal water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life; and 
  • Applicable Alberta legislation, regulations, and policies (e.g., Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, Water Act, Alberta Land Stewardship Act, Alberta Fisheries Act, Public Lands Act, and Forest Act).

APS Competencies

Competencies are behaviors that are essential to reach our goals in serving Albertans. We encourage you to have an in depth understanding of the competencies that are required for this opportunity and to be prepared to demonstrate them during the recruitment process.

This link will assist you with understanding competencies: https://www.alberta.ca/system/files/custom_downloaded_images/psc-alberta-public-service-competency-model.pdf.

Creative Problem-Solving – You will use your scientific knowledge and expertise to create new and innovative solutions to mitigate environmental concerns.

Systems Thinking – You will have an understanding of how your role impacts working with others to see the larger picture of overseeing the environmental well-being in Alberta.

Develop Networks – You will interact with other scientists, ministries and external stakeholders to research, share and develop innovative approaches to projects, plans and situations as they arise.

Build Collaborative Environments – You will use effective negotiation and facilitation skills to bring resolution to complex issues among diverse group/individuals.

Drive for Results – Using your strong communication, leadership and interpersonal skills, you will develop and deliver understandable scientific information to key stakeholders, the scientific community, public audiences, and senior executives in government.



  • Ph.D. in a relevant scientific discipline related to watershed science, limnology, aquatic ecology, aquatic toxicology, or comparable related disciplines
  •  Minimum of 5 years post-doctoral or equivalent related work experience.

Equivalencies will be considered – a Master’s of Science Degree in an applicable discipline plus 7 years of experience or a Bachelor of Science degree plus 9 years of experience.

Additional assets:
Preference will also be considered for candidates that have:

  • Experience in a research environment directly related to water and watershed sciences; and
  • Record of publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals commensurate with established peers with a similar level of experience (for example, Assistant or Associate Professors at Canadian academic institutions).

Minimum recruitment standards outline the minimum education and experience required for appointment to a job classification. Refer to https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-public-service-minimum-recruitment-standards.


  • This is a full-time, temporary position ( 18 months)
  • Monday – Friday, 36.25 hours per week. 
  • Include your list of publications and presentations with your resume and cover letter.
  • Candidates may be asked to complete a written assignment as a part of the interview process

Any costs associated with obtaining the required documents/checks as noted or interview travel expenses, will be the responsibility of the candidate. Out-of-province applicants can obtain the required documents/checks from the province they currently reside in. 

Links and information on what the GoA has to offer to prospective employees:

How To Apply
Applicants are advised to provide information that clearly and concisely demonstrates how their qualifications meet the advertised requirements, including education, experience, and relevant examples of required competencies.

Candidates are required to apply for a job online. Please visit https://www.alberta.ca/job-application-resources#before for more information. Please visit Recruitment Principles, for more information.

It is recommended applicants who have completed post-secondary studies from outside of Canada obtain an evaluation of their credentials from the International Qualifications Assessment Service (IQAS)(https://www.alberta.ca/international-qualifications-assessment.aspx) or from a recognized Canadian Credential Evaluator; please visit the Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada for more information (https://canalliance.org/en/default.html).

 It is recommended that applicants include the assessment certificate from IQAS or any other educational assessment service as part of their application.

Closing Statement
This competition may be used to fill future vacancies, across the Government of Alberta, at the same or lower classification level.

We thank all applicants for their interest. All applications will be reviewed to determine which candidates’ qualifications most closely match the advertised requirements. Only individuals selected for interviews will be contacted.

If you require any further information on this job posting or a copy of the role profile, please contact Jane McEwen, TAS Administrator via email at Jane.McEwen@gov.ab.ca.





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