If you are a self-starter who understands the role efficacious public policy plays in conservation, this may be the position for you. Raincoast Conservation Foundation (Raincoast) is seeking a summer student to support the policy aspect of the Gulf Islands Forest Project. This position will be largely desk-based, involving literature review and policy research.

Position requirements

Funding for this position is provided through the Canada Summer Jobs Program. To be eligible, you must meet the following funding criteria:

  • Be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment*,
  • be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for the duration of the employment**; and,
  • have a valid Social Insurance Number at the start of employment and be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.
  • Access to a personal computer and reliable internet connection

Desired skills & qualifications

  • Must be highly self-motivated and able to work effectively for a fully remote organization
  • Degree (achieved or in progress) or real-world experience in Environmental Studies/Science, Environmental Law, Resource Management, Public Policy/Political Science, or similar
  • Expertise using QGIS mapping software
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Experience in data management
  • Experience conducting literature and/or legislative reviews
  • Understanding of environmental policy in BC especially as it pertains to forests and forestry
  • Some familiarity with the Coastal Douglas-fir region
  • A valid BC drivers license and access to a vehicle is preferred

Strong assets

  • Understanding the unique governance structure of the Islands Trust
  • Understanding of the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) system used in BC
  • There may be some opportunity to partake in forest-based field work, so some experience in this realm would be considered an asset
  • Willingness to travel to Pender Island to participate in restoration events on an as-needed basis

About The Gulf Islands Forest Project

Approximately 30% of British Columbia’s (BC’s) Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) forests and associated habitats occurs in the Gulf Islands region. The smallest of 16 biogeoclimatic zones (“zones”) in the province, the CDF zone is characterized by towering conifers like Western redcedar, and Coastal Douglas-fir; diverse and rare ecosystems like Garry oak meadows; and many threatened native bird and animal species. These ecosystems are among the most biodiverse, rare, and endangered in Canada, and as the unceded traditional territory of Coast Salish people, hold significant social and cultural value.

The CDF has been dramatically fragmented by increasing industrial, commercial, and residential development. In recent years this development pressure has been exacerbated by the progressively tangible impacts of climate change along with unregulated deer browsing, natural fire suppression, and invasions of non-native species, together posing a significant threat to an assemblage of ecosystems unraveling from former levels of diversity and abundance. In response to these challenges, Raincoast Conservation Foundation launched the Gulf Islands Forest Project (GIF Project) with the ultimate objective of securing long-term protection of CDF forests and associated habitats across the Gulf Islands with a preliminary focus on North and South Pender Islands, the Traditional Territory of the W?SÁNE? peoples.

The GIF Project is multi-faceted and innovative, employing multiple strategies to ensure long-term forest protection on the Gulf Islands. Activities generally fall under four umbrellas, and include:

  • Working toward policy change : establishing precedent for improving forest management and maintaining tree cover on private land
  • Ecological investigation: noting forest cover changes; tree mortality; extent of herbaceous groundcover, etc. to better understand baseline forest conditions & inform conservation strategies.
  • Education and engagement: creating awareness about the importance of maintaining contiguous forest cover and biodiversity, and introducing citizen science initiatives to aid in the development of skills and tools to protect and conserve important ecological areas.
  • Land acquisition: securing permanent protection of CDF forests and associated habitats