Agricultural farming in Souris River, particularly potato farming, has significant damaging effects on the system because of nutrient leaching and siltation into the river. It also is facing serious coastal erosion problems that affect the entire Island, which stem from climate change patterns.
Souris and Area Wildlife Branch will be conducting some major projects in 2018-2019 that will address these issues. We will be planting, maintaining and monitoring two willow projects that are designed to capture nutrients and carbon dioxide to lesson carbon emissions and reduce eutrophication within the streams.
We will be restoring degraded salt marshes by installing three different materials to withhold silt pumped from the estuary to establish a “living shoreline” on Souris River to re-establish original bank altitude and we will seed it with cordgrass to encourage native emergent vegetation in the area.
Souris and Area Wildlife Branch will be establishing beds of eel grass transplanted from other sites to assist in mitigating bank erosion and creating habitat for species of wildlife. Eel grass beds play a significant role in sequestering carbon. We will establish a bed of marram grass to assist in reducing sand dune erosion as well.
Careful monitoring by collecting and analyzing data from each project will be part of the intern’s job description. The data analysis will be used for reporting and to guide future environmental initiatives.
Duties and responsibilities
The intern will be responsible for the planting, maintenance and grooming of approximately 1,000 willow trees. Maintenance and grooming will be involved in another planation of 1,000 trees. Soil samples from three different depths, accompanied by GPS technology, will be taken and labelled for the laboratory. Data sheets following protocol will accompany.
The intern will be taught how to operate equipment to survey sites to determine altitude of potential beds in developing a living shoreline. The intern will be involved in installation of various materials, including oyster shells, coir fibre logs and spruce boughs and the operation of the pumps to pump the silt to the appropriate height for successful marsh grass re-establishment.
The intern will also be installing HOBO temperature and light loggers at various sites determined by GPS technology to monitor temperature, turbidity and water depth.
The intern will be trained to use a YSI meter to measure: conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity on a regular basis at various sites.
The intern will be involved in the measurement of greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes between soil and atmosphere in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems utilizing static chambers at selected sites.
The intern will assist in drone surveying, habitat assessments, electrofishing and other activities that may occur in the watershed.
Knowledge and skills
- The intern will be utilizing water analysis equipment and executing precise water quality monitoring protocol.
- The intern will require knowledge in terms of utilizing GPS equipment.
- Recording of data on specific forms, transferring to Excel and Word processing is a must.
- Recording visual documentation and compiling a photo database is important.
- Knowledge of safe boating practices, driver’s license is essential.
- Ability to work in a team environment is a must.
- Must be willing to be trained in basic surveying techniques.
- Knowledge of topographical surveys would be an asset.
- Must have the ability to preform basic math functions to calculate meters of silt deposited and meters of silt removed from Souris River estuary.
A masters student in science would be preferred but a BSc. is a minimum with preference given to Biology or Environmental Science. We would also consider a strong candidate that has graduate certificate from certified college in environmental studies.
Experience working in the environmental sector, such as a watershed group or watershed management, is desirable.
- Boater's Course
- Basin First Aid
- Driver's License