Arthropods Specialist Subcommittee: Call for Expressions of Interest in Membership
Expressions of interest are invited for individuals wishing to serve as volunteer members (four-year term) of the arthropods specialist subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).
Requirements: In this search, we are looking for qualified individuals with expertise in the ecology, natural history, taxonomy, and conservation biology of non-marine arthropods. An understanding and ability to apply critical thought to arthropod conservation, at-risk ecosystems, conservation status, and threats assessment are important assets. Preference will be given to individuals with expertise that complements current members of Arthropods Species Specialist Committee. Areas of expertise could include Orthoptera, Coleoptera, arachnids, moths, wasps, Diptera, aquatic arthropods and regional knowledge of the western Prairies and Newfoundland.
Diversity matters: COSEWIC is committed to having a skilled and diversified membership representative of the population we serve, and recognizes many benefits of a safe, inclusive environment where people with diverse perspectives can collaborate in support of wildlife species assessment. All qualified people are invited to apply. In recruiting members, preference may be given to qualified applicants self-identifying as women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, racialized persons, persons of diverse sexual orientations and genders, persons in other under-represented groups, early career individuals, and all qualified individuals with the skills and knowledge to engage productively with equitable, diverse, and inclusive communities. The application template (the self-identification section under item number 6) provides an opportunity to clearly state if you identify as a member of any of these groups. Please feel welcome!
Expressions of interest may be submitted between November 1st, 2023, and December 13th, 2023.
Deadline: December 13th, 2023, at 3:00 pm Eastern time. Late expressions of interest will not be accepted.
On this page
- About COSEWIC
- Species Specialist Subcommittees
- Meeting Travel
- Application Process
- Application Template
The principal functions of COSEWIC are:
- to assess the status of wildlife species considered potentially at risk in Canada, identifying existing and potential threats to the wildlife species
- to report the results of its assessments and the reasons for the designations to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council, and the Canadian public
COSEWIC carries out its functions on the basis of the best available information, including scientific knowledge, community knowledge, and Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. The assessment process is independent, transparent, and based solely on evidence. COSEWIC status reports, while forming the basis for recommendations to the government under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), are also widely cited by scientific and environmental organizations, resource users, government agencies and media. COSEWIC reports provide information about the state of wildlife species populations, which are of concern to all Canadians.
Species Specialist Subcommittees
Species Specialist Subcommittees (SSCs) are fundamental to the COSEWIC process. SSC members review and ensure the quality of the wildlife species status reports under the responsibility of their respective SSC. They also recommend species status designations to COSEWIC based on those reports. Therefore, they should have expertise in the biology and conservation of the relevant taxonomic group, work effectively in a consensus-based team, and satisfy the other requirements of SSC membership (see the Application Template that follows).
Duties of SSC Members
Each SSC member typically serves for a four-year (renewable) term. Using their best judgement and knowledge, SSC members:
- meet annually, in person or by teleconference, to carry out the functions of the SSC, in a collaborative environment where knowledge and mentorship are readily shared
- contribute to the development and maintenance of a list of species that are candidates for assessment, within the relevant taxonomic group.
- review status reports for completeness, accuracy and reliability (from 4 to 10 status reports for each SSC in most years)
- recommend status designations through discussion at SSC meetings, based on COSEWIC’s Assessment criteria.
SSC Meeting Travel
Travel expenses incurred by SSC members within Canada are covered by Environment and Climate Change Canada. For an SSC member whose travel originates or terminates outside Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada will provide support which is the equivalent of the average travel expenses incurred within Canada.
Expression of Interest
We ask both new applicants and incumbent members to provide BOTH of the following:
- a CV or resume
- a cover letter that specifically addresses each of the criteria in the Application Template, using the same headings and subheadings. Even if you feel your CV already addresses a question, please provide a brief summary for each element of the template.
Preference may be given to qualified applicants in groups that are under-represented in the SSC. If you wish, please include a clear self-identification in section 6 of your application if you identify as a woman, Indigenous person, person with a disability, racialized person, person of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender, person in other under-represented groups, or early career individual, providing further information as relevant. Please also feel welcome to describe your skills and knowledge to engage productively with equitable, diverse, and inclusive communities. Those making the selection will take self-identifications of qualified applicants into account in their evaluation of the applications.
The Secretariat will endeavour to acknowledge each application via email to each individual within two business days. If you do not receive an acknowledgement within this time, please contact the Secretariat by telephone at 819-938-4125.
Submissions will be evaluated by a selection committee. Successful individuals will be notified by December 31, 2023 and will serve their terms of office from January 1, 2024 to December 31, 2027.
Knowledge and Education Background
State your knowledge and education background.
- I have extensive ecological knowledge of the southern Okanagan area of British Columbia, specializing in reptiles and amphibians.
- I have a BSc in wildlife management, an MSc in salmon fisheries, and a PhD in systematics of North American salmon.
- I have an honours BSc in zoology, 5 years of experience in population biology and genetics of caribou and 12 years of experience in conservation biology of other ungulates.
- I have spent the past decade learning about Prairie plants from elders and knowledge-keepers in my community and sharing knowledge of plants among Indigenous communities across the province.
Expertise with Taxa
Outline your expertise and experience with respect to Canadian arthropods.
- I am an Indigenous community member with 7 years’ experience on programs and projects related to Species at Risk.
- I have an excellent knowledge of the ecology and systematics of freshwater molluscs in all of North America, with particular expertise in the Sphaeriidae in Canada, especially in Ontario.
- In the course of my MSc studies on the systematics of Pacific salmon, I became familiar with the use of genetic information to infer phylogenetic relationships within and among species.
- I have worked with Traditional knowledge holders in my Nation’s communities for 3 years.
- I have recorded, with photos and/or specimens, more than 500 verified occurrences of terrestrial snail species in western Canada, most of which are now accessible on iNaturalist.
- I have identified over 5,000 moss specimens so far, during my training and in providing consulting services.
SSC Specific Requirements
Identify your suitability with respect the following specific requirements: we are looking for qualified individuals with expertise in the ecology, natural history, taxonomy, and conservation biology of non-marine arthropods. An understanding and ability to apply critical thought to arthropod conservation, at-risk ecosystems, conservation status, and threats assessment are important assets. Preference will be given to individuals with expertise that complements current members of Arthropods Species Specialist Committee. Areas of expertise could include Orthoptera, Coleoptera, arachnids, moths, wasps, Diptera, aquatic arthropods and regional knowledge of the western Prairies and Newfoundland.
For example: I have an excellent knowledge of the ecology of Canadian Arctic fishes and have conducted research on their life histories for the past 5 years in support of an integrated, Inuit-led research and stewardship program, which fits well with the specific requirements outlined in the Call for Expressions of Interest.
Expertise with Conservation Biology and Canadian Flora and Fauna
What is your level of knowledge of concepts and techniques related to the assessment and conservation of wildlife species at risk, and of the legal provisions for designation and protection of wildlife species at risk at the federal or provincial/territorial level? What is your experience formulating objective conclusions and recommendations about the biological status of wildlife species?
- For the past 5 years I have been gathering data on population biology and genetics of salmonids. These data will be used for developing recovery and management programs for Sockeye Salmon.
- Throughout my training to date, I have devoted my summers to assisting in conservation research and have contributed an average of 10 hours per month of volunteer work to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
- For the last 5 years I have been assisting the Haida Nation in drafting conservation plans for plant species.
- For the past 5 years I have been providing advice on the integration of local ecological knowledge into provincial wildlife management planning.
- I am a member of Ducks Unlimited and have participated in surveys to determine the condition of wetland habitats in Manitoba.
- I have extensive knowledge of federal/provincial/territorial species at risk legislation, and I have written three wildlife status reports.
Include a statement about your level of knowledge of other Canadian flora and fauna outside your primary area of expertise.
- Although my main focus is amphibians, I have developed solid plant identification skills to the point where I can confidently identify most eastern Canadian vascular plants and many lichens.
Writing, Reviewing, and Communication Skills
Describe your experience in writing and reviewing technical material (e.g., refereed papers, books, reports, websites, etc.), and in providing constructive feedback on such materials written by other people. Describe your experience communicating information in a group setting.
Please provide the following statements (three required, two optional), each with its own subheading.
Personal interests and/or perspectives: Please describe your personal interest and/or perspective that leads to your wish to participate in the COSEWIC species assessment process. Please consider sharing the perspective and knowledge systems you bring to the COSEWIC species assessment process, and/or how your background, life experience, and/or perspectives could contribute to better decision making and problem solving with respect to COSEWIC’s work.
Goals: Please describe the ways in which an opportunity to work with the SSC would align with your goals.
Self-identification (optional; the information is collected for selection purposes only): As COSEWIC strives to increase diversity in its membership, preference may be given to qualified applicants in groups that are under-represented in the SSC. If you wish, using the subheading “Self-Identification”, please acknowledge the skills and knowledge you have to engage productively with equitable, diverse and inclusive communities, and/or self-identify as any of the following, providing further information as relevant.
- Indigenous person
- person with a disability
- racialized person
- person of diverse sexual orientation and/or gender
- person in other under-represented groups
- early career
Interruptions (optional; the information is collected for selection purposes only): Reviewers will consider legitimate career interruptions resulting from maternity, parental, medical, or family leaves. The time devoted to these types of leaves will not be included in the assessment of productivity. Please feel welcome to identify any personal circumstances that may have impacted you.
Please provide the names and contact information of three references. Include at least one person with whom you have worked in a committee or team. These referees will be asked to provide examples and evaluations to the following criteria:
- Your ability to work constructively within a consensus-based decision-making process and foster consensus among peers within a committee.
- Your ability to take initiative.
- Your reliability in meeting timelines and delivering products.
- Your ability to demonstrate sound judgement.