Michael Anderson Winnipeg October 19, 2009


Resource Economist/Social Scientist Sought for
DU Canadas Conservation Team

The Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research (IWWR), the science arm of Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC), is seeking a creative, ambitious individual to help us build a new economics and social science research program in support of DUCs conservation mission.

Over the past seven decades DUC and its conservation partners have learned much about what waterfowl need to thrive, and recently have been building knowledge about the broader ecological functions provided to society by wetlands, grasslands and associated habitats. Although our understanding of wetland and grassland values is incomplete, we have enough information to make a multifaceted ecological case to society for the protection and restoration of wetland landscapes.

Yet, significant challenges remain to the adoption of conservation actions by individual landowners and governments. These issues are more economic, social or political in nature than ecological, and we are challenged to understand producer values, decision criteria and drivers for change in public policy. Achieving greater acceptance of conservation products by individual landowners and governments is essential for achieving greater positive change on the land.

The purpose of the program you will lead is to improve our understanding of current barriers to the adoption of conservation measures, especially wetland retention and restoration, at the farm and provincial/watershed scales. This information will, in turn, be used to adapt DUCs conservation initiatives and guide future research. You will also help DUC communicate what we learn to help inform public policy debates and discussions with landowners about sustainable and profitable land use.

You will achieve these goals by research you lead and mostly by engaging expert partners at universities and research institutions to study issues of importance to our conservation business. You will provide the subject expertise to build these partnerships and bridge with DU conservation staff. Some examples of assessments needed include the on-farm and watershed-scale economics of wetland drainage in different landforms; risk factors for conversion of remnant native habitats; non-market valuations of prairie wetland and grassland ecological services; the economics of nutrient management in watersheds; attitudinal hurdles to adoption of conservation practices; effects of rural depopulation on land ethics; and more.

You will focus attention on both farm-scale and watershed-scale issues because important land-use decisions are made at both scales and tradeoffs between private and public net benefits are common. You may also facilitate risk assessments around emerging challenges to landscape conservation such as water availability, impacts of urbanization, social/demographic changes, future energy availability, and agribusiness trends. By utilizing graduate students in this research you also will help build capacity in the developing disciplines of resource economics, rural social science, and environmental policy.

You will have a Ph.D. in resource economics, rural sociology or a closely related discipline. Interest and training in both resource economics and social science would be a strong asset in this position. Knowledge of wildlife conservation would be helpful as well. Post-graduate experience in research program development or program leadership would be highly desirable. Strong communication skills will be essential for success.

This is a full-time term position (2010-2013) with the strong possibility of converting the job to a permanent position if the research program proves successful. Reporting to the Director of Science and Adaptation, you will be located at the DUC head office near Stonewall, Manitoba. We will also consider proposals for sharing this position with another institution and/or basing the position at a cooperating university. In any case, we will encourage you to establish adjunct status at an appropriate university and supervise graduate students as part of your research endeavors.

As Program Leader you will work with an oversight team to develop your work plan; consult with DUCs conservation partners about science priorities; initiate a competitive grants program; develop a network of potential partner scientists and institutions; and coordinate reporting of progress and program recommendations to DU staff and external audiences. Publication of scholarly work in peer-reviewed outlets is also expected. You will also help the Director secure the funds needed to sustain this program, and oversee technical reporting of funded projects and the synthesis of results.

DUC offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience and education and a complete range of employee benefits for this full-time term position. Starting date will be negotiated but hopefully not later than January 2010. If you are qualified and interested in this career opportunity please submit your résumé and cover letter for confidential consideration, by November 15th to the attention of:

Dr. Michael G. Anderson
Director of Science and Adaptation
P.O. Box 1160
Stonewall, MB R0C 2Z0
Email: m_anderson@ducks.ca
Fax: (204) 467-3405

With more than 70 years of conservation achievements, Ducks Unlimited Canada is a successful and respected conservation company with a reputation for getting things done. Join us and help make a difference!

Created in 1938, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is a private non-profit conservation organization that conserves, restores and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North Americas waterfowl.
These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.

Michael Anderson
Director of Science and Adaptation
Ducks Unlimited Canada