Research Assistant in Conservation and Paleolimnology

Dalhousie University Published: June 15, 2019
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Salary range
Hours per week
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The Research Assistant will assist with the development and application of paleolimnological techniques to the field of conservation. A challenge for resource management and conservation planning is baseline knowledge of how ecosystems operate. Without knowledge of the natural trajectory of change, how do we establish what the goalposts are for conservation efforts? Likewise, monitoring information is often lacking or not possible to obtain with traditional surveys because ecosystems have already been influenced by centuries of human intervention and change. Working with the research group of Andrew S. Medeiros at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, the research assistant with assist with exploring the potential of paleolimnology to address the lack of data needed to make decisions for conservation planning. Paleolimnology is the study of indicators preserved in lake sediment through time. With these methods, lakes can serve as storybooks of the past, and the information contained can be used to calibrate our projections for the future. This research will both outline the potential for paleolimnology in conservation planning, as well as outline a specific resource development legacy and conservation challenges.

Duties and responsibilities

The student will assist with paleolimnological assessment of lacustrine sediment records collected. This includes enumeration of biological indicators preserved in these records. Inferences will be made to environmental condition by application of models generated to reconstruct past environments, and subsequently calibration for projection of future change. Interns will be managed by Andrew Medeiros at the School for Resource and Environmental Studies. They will be working in a team setting supported by the office administration of SRES at Dalhousie University on a daily basis while working in the department, contact person Brenda Smart Weekly meetings will occur with the interns to ensure that project deliverables are being met, students have adequate training and support, and to foster a collaborative positivism in the workplace.


  • Perform and assist with research and reviews of current planning and development initiatives
  • Engage with local and regional collaborators for developing model parameters
  • Perform laboratory work on a daily basis
  • Maintain safety within the work environment on a daily basis
  • Assist with data collection and database entry, organization and maintenance
  • Assist with the preparation of briefing memos, reports, and publications

Knowledge and skills

1. Fundamental skills: Laboratory training ability to process biological samples in a laboratory environment from lacustrine sediment records, management of information in an online database, webrelated development and organization, problem solving.

2. Personal Management: Learn collaboratively in a research team, work safety in a laboratory setting, time management.

3. Teamwork: collaborative teamwork on processing laboratory samples, participation in projects and group activities.

Education required

Bachelor's degree or equivalent in environmental science, management, or sustainable business (or equivalent combination of relevant training and experience working in a research environment). Other qualities: dependable, strong independent & teamwork skills, detail-oriented, strong organizational and time management skills. Must possess excellent communication skills, both written and oral. Experience with scientific writing/editing is an asset. Knowledge of climate change adaptation planning is an asset.

Certification required

Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training from Dalhousie University is required. Interns will undergo online laboratory safety training at the beginning of their internship.

Eligibility criteria

Career-Launcher Internships are funded by the Government of Canada under the Youth Employment Strategy. For program criteria information visit their website.


Qualified interns are:

  • Between the ages of 15-30 (inclusive) at the start of the internship
  • Canadian citizens, permanent residents or persons granted refugee status in Canada*
  • Legally allowed to work according to the relevant provincial and Canadian legislation and regulations
  • Not receiving employment insurance during their internship
  • Available to work for at least six months
  • Not previous participants of a federal youth employment program

*Refugee protection must be conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Persons awaiting refugee status, as well as those who hold a temporary visitor visa, student visa or work visa, are ineligible to participate in a Youth Employment Strategy initiative.

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