Research Associate (Permafrost)

 (via Indeed)
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, ON, Canada
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Entry Level (0-2 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

At Laurier, we are a community. It’s what brings our students here and what keeps our people here.As an educational institution, we inspire lives of leadership and purpose in our student community. As an employer, we seek, foster and value the same qualities of leadership and purpose in our employee community.We currently have an opportunity to join the Laurier community as a Research Associate (Permafrost).

The Research Associate will be part of a highly productive team of university researchers focused on monitoring changing permafrost and hydrology in the Northwest Territories (NWT). These investigations will consider changes in permafrost in key regions of the NWT and will link to integrated observations of changes in climate, snow, vegetation, and hydrology in order to consider environmental and water resource changes related to a warming climate, as well as to infrastructure and resource development. In addition, the incumbent will operate and maintain equipment, provide guidance and oversight of student activities and provide assistance with data analysis and interpretation.

The position will be based at Laurier’s Yellowknife research office. The incumbent will assist in the coordination of and will participate directly in field-level assessments at various Northern locations. This position will be required to travel and participate in field work that is expected to occur a few times per year. This may include several weeks of time in remote locations each travel period.



  • Maintains, operates, or installs field instrumentation and conducts field work for collection of information on permafrost and hydrological conditions using a wide combination of methods, including for example: surface energy balance stations, temperature sensors, ground probing and drilling, and geophysical methods such as ground penetrating radar and ground resistivity methods;
  • Trains and supervises undergraduate and graduate students in field collection techniques in summer and winter conditions;
  • Works in field conditions with collaborating partners, including community members and partnering institutions;
  • Liaises with other academic, government and Indigenous community members as appropriate and under the guidance of the Principal Investigator;
  • High degree of consideration for self and team safety in extreme field environments.

Laboratory Work:

  • Laboratory work could include analysis of soil and peat samples;
  • Trains and supervises undergraduate and graduate students in relevant laboratory techniques;
  • Liaises with technical support personnel on and off campus as required;
  • Organizes and conducts laboratory analyses in consultation with the PIs and partners; participates in problem-solving as required.

Data Analysis:

  • Assists in data analysis and interpretation;
  • Organizes, structures, and summarizes collected data, in the form of spreadsheets, databases, and reports using appropriate software;
  • Works closely with other data managers in the Global Water Futures project to ensure data access, appropriate platforms for data management, etc;
  • Efficient use of Excel and Word and uses various permafrost and hydrological related models and software as appropriate;
  • Knowledge of other software such as Matlab and graphics software is an asset.


  • Helps in shaping and designing project goals and long term objectives and actions;
  • Strong interpersonal skills for interactions with community members and partner organizations;
  • Assistsin preparing annual reports, presentations, manuscripts for peer review, proposals and budgets relating to project;
  • Collaborates with other technicians, principal investigators, etc., on various aspects of Global Water Futures and other intersecting laboratories at Laurier and partner organizations.


  • MSc or PhD in geographical and/or geophysical sciences, preferably with extensive research on permafrost and hydrology, and/or related fields of study;
  • At least two (2) years’ experience working in a comparable research environment with knowledge of permafrost and hydrological conditions;
  • Work/educational experience and understanding of multi-disciplinary projects in permafrost environments;
  • Strong leadership skills and independence;
  • Proven ability to work in a team environment withPrincipal Investigators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as other scientists, partner organizations and community members;
  • Positively interact and work with members of communities and partner organizations;
  • Excellent analytical and computer skills;
  • Experience and confidence in field-based work with preference for remote locations or northern environments;
  • Interest in and ability to work and live in remote areas in the north for periods of time (weeks);
  • Demonstrated experience in significant data management an asset;
  • Experience in writing lab reports and research papers, and making presentations;
  • Previous publications a definite asset;
  • A valid G driver’s license is required and willingness to travel and work in northern locations;
  • Willingness to operate snowmobiles, ATVs, and/or small boats in field environments.