Jobs Board

Key Biodiversity Area Data Strategy Consultant

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada , Canada

Posted By: Meg Southee, August 25, 2020


The Canadian Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) initiative’s goal is to develop new and crucial information about biodiversity and ultimately to encourage its use in securing better conservation decisions at all scales in Canada – such as through conservation on private lands, protected area planning, land use planning, environmental assessments, and more. This goal will be accomplished through the identification of KBAs across Canada (specific sites that meet the KBA criteria), and also by creating and making available a number of derivative data products to the broader conservation community. As part of this process, we are creating ancillary data products and platforms that are co-produced and shared among three organizations: WCS Canada, NatureServe Canada, and Birds Canada.

We now require additional capacity and resources to help us to 1) optimize existing and future data management systems to ensure the needs of each organization are met, 2) design efficient and sustainable data flows between the core organizations and platforms, and 3) ensure that resulting data products are broadly available to inform biodiversity conservation efforts.

Contract Objectives:

The consultant will work with the KBA team to develop common understanding of data management resources and needs across organizations and to co-develop data management solutions for the long-term success of the KBA initiative that are acceptable to each organization. Data management recommendations emerging from this contract will require the consultant to develop understanding of the catalogue of data held by project partners, how it is currently managed and stored, and how it will ideally be accessed and used by the Canadian conservation community.


Suggested Activities:

  1. Based on an initial inventory of geospatial and tabular data, data products, and data management needs provided by each organization, the consultant will provide an overview analysis of the data management context and needs. The consultant will refine the provided inventory through interviews with clients and review of materials and databases.
  2. Document the mechanisms and processes around data storage and sharing across the KBA initiative, seeking to understand all needs, responsibilities, opportunities and challenges, legal agreements (e.g. data sharing agreements with Provinces and Territories and between partners and temporal dimensions of these), and data sensitivity issues related to sharing and displaying KBA information.
  3. Assess the platforms and networks being used by KBA partners for data management, storage and sharing, and provide recommendations – within the scope of existing systems – to improve efficiency, reduce costs and effectively serve KBA partners and the Canadian conservation community.
  4. Provide overarching recommendations on a sustainable, long-term, open data management system for the KBA initiative. The desired data management system will need to be flexible enough to allow the project to evolve as different partners become more or less active and funding availability changes, and should aspire to open data standards where possible.


  1. Catalogue of data, data products, and data needs of the KBA initiative and characteristics associated with each that could inform other activities/objectives listed above.
  2. Written report on assessment of data management system, focusing on items listed above, with detailed recommendations for KBA Canada, as well as specifically for WCS Canada, Birds Canada, NatureServe Canada on how to maintain a sustainable and accessible set of databases over the long term. The report should include recommendations on how to implement efficient data flows between organizations and platforms.
  3. Two video conferences with KBA Management Committee to present and discuss recommendations (1. early assessments and ideas; 2. Report with detailed recommendations). Regular meetings with KBA team leads should be held throughout work period.


  • experience implementing sustainable, long-term data sharing workflows involving multiple organizations and teams
  • experience designing solutions accessible to teams with varying degrees of technical capacity in GIS, data management, etc.
  • experience working across Canadian jurisdictions and with information sharing complexities related to varied data sharing and licensing structures (knowledge of and experience with Canadian biodiversity monitoring data and platforms (Conservation Data Centers, NatureServe, ECCC, COSEWIC) an asset)
  • knowledge of open data best practices and principles, including FAIR data and open licensing
  • conservation biology or ecology background an asset

In addition, the consultant should have specific technical knowledge in, or partner with someone who has the following skills:

  • 5+ years of experience in geospatially-enabled systems and databases 
    knowledge of relational database management systems and best practices (specifically, PostgreSQL and SQL Server)
  • knowledge of spatial analysis and other data processing using spatial data platforms (ArcGIS Enterprise/Server, ArcGIS Desktop/Pro, PostGIS, SQL Server spatial data types and R)
  • experience publishing and hosting geospatial datasets 
    knowledge of virtual server management, including Microsoft Azure


The consultant will be under the supervision of Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne and Meg Southee (Wildlife Conservation Society Canada).


The project term is September 2020 – January 2021. Initial data management recommendations are due November 15th, 2020, with more developed recommendations to be submitted January 15th, 2021. The contract would take a stepwise, iterative approach and involve regular meetings with the KBA team to collaboratively co-create solutions to data management needs.

Contract Remuneration

Will be between $18,000 and $25,000 (CAD).

How to Apply

Please send us your CV with a cover letter explaining why you or your team would be a good fit for the position, listing similar project engagements. Please provide a two-page proposal that outlines the approach you would take to complete this contract, a basic budget and a timeline for completing and submitting the deliverables. All documents and additional details should be submitted through Fitzii at

For questions regarding the job description, please contact Dr. Ciara Raudsepp-Hearne

Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process. Applicants need to make their requirements known when contacted. For questions regarding the application process please contact tdias@

Deadline for applications: August 30, 2020