Director's Blog

Two new graduate student positions with Dr. Simon Courtenay at Waterloo (MSc and PhD)

Posted by Michelle Gray   |   January 15, 2015

Masters of Environmental Science Position: Community Aquatic Monitoring Program

A fully funded MES position is available to work on the Community Aquatic Monitoring Program (CAMP).  CAMP is a field program managed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Gulf Region (DFO; http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Gulf/CAMP) in collaboration with the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability (Coalition-SGSL; http://coalition-sgsl.ca/CAMP.php).  Monthly, June through August, DFO and Coalition-SGSL work with community environmental groups to sample the nekton (fish, shrimp and crabs) living nearshore in 36 bays and estuaries around the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (waters bordering New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island).  Data are also collected on water quality, substrate and submerged aquatic vegetation.  The intent is the community of animals tells us something about the health of the estuary but does it? With over a decade of data now collected there is an opportunity to conduct statistical analyses on this dataset, and to do fieldwork to carry out empirical tests of assumptions of the program, in order to refine the monitoring and ensure that it provides information that can be used for making decisions.

You are interested in some or all of: marine ecology, how we detect meaningful change in the environment (i.e., monitoring), aquatic research and citizen science programs.   You have graduated or are anticipating graduating an undergraduate program in a related field (e.g., Biology, Environment) with a first class average.  Learning how to work with a large dataset to address questions through univariate and multivariate statistical approaches, developing sampling regimes for coastal marine environments and working in teams of various levels and types of expertise are all skill-sets you want to acquire.

This position is available immediately.  For further information please email:

Dr. Simon Courtenay
Professor, Department of Environment and Resource Studies
Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
CRI, Science Director

PhD position: Canadian Watershed Research Consortium

How do you know if a lake, stream, river or estuary is healthy?  How do you measure impacts of human activities on that ecosystem and how can you tell if it is getting more or less healthy over time?  These are the questions being addressed by the Canadian Water Network through its Watershed Research Consortium (http://www.cwn-rce.ca/initiatives/canadian-watershed-research-consortium/).  Researchers across Canada are focusing on seven areas: Saint John Harbour and Northumberland Strait estuaries in New Brunswick, the Grand River and Muskoka in Ontario, Tobacco Creek in Manitoba, Slave River and Delta in Northwest Territories and the Murray River watershed in Northeastern British Columbia.  Working with some or all of these areas, and/or in new areas, there is an opportunity to consolidate what we have learned to date about how to conduct aquatic monitoring in support of cumulative effects assessment at watershed and regional scales, identify and then pursue next steps.

A fully funded doctoral position is available immediately to pursue this opportunity. 

For further information please email:

Dr. Simon Courtenay
Professor, Department of Environment and Resource Studies
Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
CRI, Science Director

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