See below for current opportunities to get involved in the Can-Peat project including graduate studies, jobs, volunteer positions, collaborations, etc. Please note the location of the below opportunities as not all are at the University of Waterloo and may be elsewhere in Canada.

Contact canpeat@uwaterloo.ca for general questions. Ensure to submit your applications to the email address listed in the posting.

MSc: Peatland C stock response to anthropogenic disturbances and climate change

A MSc position is available at the University of Waterloo, Department of Earth and Environmental Science to assemble a dataset of peatland physical, hydrological, and biogeochemical properties (including experimental data and field observations) from the selected study sites in the compilation of peatland datasets proposed in Can-Peat project. MSc student will use a robust machine learning model using the data to identify key environmental drivers and predict future changes in greenhouse gas emission rates under future climate scenarios. The goal will be to establish how peatlands in different regions are expected to respond to changing anthropogenic disturbances and climate warming to better understand the peatland carbon and greenhouse gas exchange and the resilience of their carbon source/sink function to disturbance.

If you have any questions regarding the application process and, eligibility, or a request for accommodation during the selection process, please contact Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad (frezanez@uwaterloo.ca) and Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen (pvc@uwaterloo.ca).

To apply, send a single PDF file with your motivation to apply, research interests, CV, transcripts, and contact information for up to 3 references to Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad at frezanez@uwaterloo.ca

PhD: Peat C reactivity: process modeling and regional upscaling

A PhD position is available at the University of Waterloo to develop the reactive transport sub-models that evaluate the biogeochemical transformations of carbon and nutrients in peatlands under examples of anthropogenic disturbances and climatic scenarios to estimate the changes in carbon stocks and budgets for the future peatland ecosystems carbon balances. The outputs of these sub-models will be incorporated into the Canadian Model for Peatlands, to improve regional to national estimates of Net ecosystem exchange and carbon emissions into the Canadian Model for Peatlands frameworks for application at multiple scales and for spatially-referenced and spatially-explicit modelling approaches.

If you have any questions regarding the application process and, eligibility, or a request for accommodation during the selection process, please contact Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad (frezanez@uwaterloo.ca) and Dr. Philippe Van Cappellen (pvc@uwaterloo.ca).

To apply, send a single PDF file with your motivation to apply, research interests, CV, transcripts, and contact information for up to 3 references to Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad at frezanez@uwaterloo.ca

PhD: Mapping Canada’s Peatland Carbon Stocks

The doctoral candidate will carry out detailed mapping of carbon stocks in Canadian peatlands using state-of-the-art mapping methods and tools (e.g. ArcGIS Pro, machine learning, satellite imagery, etc.). Using a range of databases and unpublished sources (e.g. master's projects, government reports) and the collaborations of partners, the candidate will develop a solid database for Canada which will be produced in the form of spatial distribution of peatland C stocks accompanied by peat accumulation rates where possible. This project will be aligned with another Quebec carbon stock mapping initiative that is included in the Plan for a Green Economy 2030 of Quebec (PEV) from the Ministry of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks (MELCCFP). Canadian mapping will become a fundamental reference tool for improving conservation strategies and for quantifying carbon losses caused by the destruction or alteration of these environments.

The doctoral student will join a dynamic and welcoming research group with work focusing on terrestrial carbon sinks and reservoirs at the University of Quebec in Montreal.

Main project activities:

  • Synthesis of available data to quantify soil carbon stocks (e.g. organic deposit thickness, carbon density).
  • Integration of carbon stock data from field inventories conducted in all provinces and territories.
  • Field campaigns to validate the cartography and acquire new data.
  • Spatial modeling of carbon stocks based on peatland mapping.

Essential criteria:

  • Master’s degree in physical geography, biology, environmental sciences or related fields.
  • Solid experience with geomatic tools (e.g., ArcGIS, QGIS, Python).
  • Experience with analyzing large databases.
  • Good written and oral communication in French and/or English.

Start date: As soon as possible.

Deadline: The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is selected.

To submit your application, please send the following documents: 1) Cover letter, 2) Curriculum vitae, 3) University transcripts, 4) Contact details of 2-3 referees in a single PDF file by email to Michelle Garneau (garneau.michelle@uqam.ca).

PhD: Peatland-fire response modeling

A 4-year funded PhD position is available at Carleton University, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies to advance modeling of peatland carbon cycling. This research aims to evaluate future peatland greenhouse gas uptake and emission rates under changing climate and fire disturbance regimes.  This project will focus on the development and evaluation of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s (ECCC) coupled land surface scheme and terrestrial ecosystem model (the Canadian Land Surface Scheme Including Biogeochemical Cycles, CLASSIC), which represents the physical and carbon cycle processes linking the land surface to the atmosphere in ECCC’s family of Earth System Models. The student will also have the opportunity to visit and carry out targeted research at field sites. Candidates should have strong communication and analytical skills. Experience with ecosystem modeling and the use of evaluation datasets including, but not limited to eddy covariance flux datasets, is highly desirable. The successful applicant will join a dynamic research group with the opportunity to develop strong working relationships with academic and government scientists throughout Canada and internationally.

Please contact Dr. Elyn Humphreys, elyn.humphreys@carleton.ca for more information.

Post-doc: Modeling carbon storage in boreal peatlands

We’d like to invite qualified applicants for a full-time post-doc position at Dr. Jianghua Wu's group at the School of Science and the Environment, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. The candidate will work on a 2-year project that is to develop a simulation tool for modeling carbon storage of the provincially significant boreal peatlands.

The candidate will be located at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and carry out fieldwork at several representative provincially significant boreal peatlands across the Province of NL, for developing and validating the simulation tool, which will be applied to other peatlands for estimating the carbon storage. The candidate will be working closely with other researchers from NL Department of Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture, NL Department of Environment and Climate Change, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, and Indigenous Communities. 

Scientists holding or on the point of completing PhD degree with strong background in wetland/peatland ecosystem ecology and ecosystem modeling are encouraged to apply. Good practice of English and demonstrated numerical skills in programming and statistical analysis are required. The initial appointment is for one year with a possible extension for one more year subject to satisfactory performance.

Salary will be commensurate with the candidate’s experiences.

The starting date of the appointment is ASAP, or based on mutual agreement. The application, including a CV, a statement describing research interests and how they would contribute to the project, and contact information for two references, should be submitted to jwu@grenfell.mun.ca under the subject “Post-doc carbon storage”.  We will start reviewing the application once we receive your application, however, only the candidates who are selected for a further discussion will be contacted. This position will remain open until filled.

Please email Dr. Jianghua Wu (jwu@grenfell.mun.ca) or Mr. Piers Evan (piers.evans@natureconservancy.ca) for more information.

Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Canada Peatlands Graduate Research Assistantship

The WAMPUM Lab is seeking a Graduate Research Assistant for the "Indigenous Data Sovereignty and Canada Peatlands" project. This innovative community-engaged research project aims to advance Indigenous data sovereignty best practices for regional model development and assessment.

The Research Assistant will play a critical role in investigating peatland governance approaches for Canadian peatlands, with the goal of establishing principles for Indigenous data sovereignty in the peatland sector. This position will also involve community outreach to understand Indigenous experiences while utilizing Indigenous methodologies to co-design study activities and exploration.

The Research Assitant will work to develop best practices for the governance of Indigenous data within the Can-Peat database. The assistant will further work to build collaborations utilizing the Local Contexts data management protocol. The Local Contexts program helps to support the inclusion of local protocols for access and use peatland data digitized within the CAN-Peat Database.

Wage Range: $43.77 hourly
Hours per week: 10 hour/week maximum
Work Week: Monday – Friday, regular University business hours
Start Date: September 2023 End Date: December 2023

As a Research Assitant the selected candidate will be responsible for the following:

  • Collaborating with the co-investigator (Dr. Kelsey Leonard) and research team to analyze data, review literature, and evaluate policies
  • Conducting literature reviews and synthesizing findings to inform project objectives
  • Developing case studies to understand peatland governance issues affecting Indigenous communities
  • Assisting with report writing, data analysis, and producing project deliverables
  • Conducting interviews with community members and stakeholders to better understand Indigenous experiences and perspectives
  • Co-designing exploration using Indigenous methodologies to facilitate community outreach and engagement
  • Maintaining project databases and keeping accurate and up-to-date records of research activities
  • Contributing to the dissemination of project findings through conference presentations and publications.

To be considered for the Research Assistant position candidates should possess the following required skills:

  • Masters student
  • 2 years of climate, environmental, governance, or social justice experience
  • Study or research experience on peatlands
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to meet deadlines
  • Excellent qualitative research skills
  • Experience with interviewing
  • Previous experience working with First Nation, Métis and Inuit communities would be an asset

In addition to the above technical skills, the ideal candidate should possess the following qualities:

  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Excellent communication skills both oral and written
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills
  • Ability to exercise discretion and maintain confidentiality when necessary
  • Works well independently and in a team setting
  • Experience working with diverse individuals
  • Open to constructive feedback and learning new ways of doing things
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills with strong attention to detail.

To apply, send a brief (one page) statement of interest, transcripts and resume to Dr. Kelsey Leonard: kelsey.leonard@uwaterloo.ca. Please refer to the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and address your cover letter to Dr. Kelsey Leonard.