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Water Data Specialist

Company: The Gordon Foundation
Location : Toronto,ON
Company Profile

The Gordon Foundation is a philanthropic foundation based in Toronto, Canada. The Foundation undertakes research, leadership development, and public dialogue so that public policies in Canada reflect a commitment to collaborative stewardship of our freshwater resources and to a people-driven, equitable, and evolving North. Over the past quarter-century, The Gordon Foundation has invested over $27 million in a wide variety of northern community projects and freshwater protection initiatives.

DataStream is an open-access platform for sharing water data. Its mission is to promote knowledge sharing and advance collaborative, evidence-based decision-making. DataStream is led by The Gordon Foundation and carried out in partnership with regional monitoring networks. There are currently three DataStream hubs:

Mackenzie DataStream: www.mackenziedatastream.ca
Atlantic DataStreams: www.atlanticdatastream.ca
Lake Winnipeg DataStream: www.lakewinnipegdatastream.ca

Job Description

Reporting to the Water Program Director, the Water Specialist will support the continued growth of DataStream in the Mackenzie, Lake Winnipeg and Atlantic regions. The Water Data Specialist will play a key role in increasing DataStream use, particularly among water scientists. Working alongside the DataStream team, the Water Specialist will contribute water science and data management expertise to inform various aspects of the program whether it be software development decisions or new science literacy materials.

The ideal candidate is technically strong in her/his field and capable of applying these skills to find practical solutions to support DataStream’s diverse user community.  The ideal candidate is capable of communicating complex concepts to non-experts and is passionate about improving access to water data in Canada.

Required Qualifications
• Master’s Degree in limnology, hydrology, hydrogeology or related discipline;
• Experience working with large datasets;
• High proficiency with R, Excel and Google sheets including advanced formulas, pivot tables, macros, scripting;
• Experience with Python, SQL, MATLAB, SAS
• Strong communications skills – can easily distill technical information to audiences with a wide range of expertise in water science and computer skills;
• Demonstrated track record in building and maintaining relationships;
• Self-motivated, curious, adaptable and able to work independently and as an effective team member;
• Ability to manage heavy workloads and at times quick timelines;

Additional Desired Experience/Qualifications
• High level of French proficiency a major asset
• Science communications training or experience
• Knowledge or experience working with a software team
• Experience working with federal, provincial or territorial governments
• Experience working with Indigenous governments and organizations

Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Grow DataStream’s user community with a focus on water researchers including those within key academic institutions;
  • Coordinate outreach with water scientists to gain insights to continually improve the DataStream platform. For instance, this will include managing the continual evolution of DataStream’s WQX data schema. Available here: github.com/gordonfn/schema.
  • Contribute scientific expertise to inform key development processes (e.g. public API and ETL tools);
  • Liaise with laboratories used by DataStream contributors to streamline data upload processes;
  • Perform research on a range of topics (i.e. inventory of modelling tools, complementary systems, data collection sensors) to inform program priorities and direction;
  • Perform testing on new DataStream features to ensure they perform as designed prior to release;
  • Provide technical input on the development of multimedia communications products including “how to” guides and primers on water science;
  • In collaboration with the team, offer webinars and hands-on workshops on technical topics.

How to Apply

To apply, please forward your resume and cover letter to info@gordonfn.org with “Water Data Specialist” in the subject line. The cover letter should clearly describe how the candidate meets the list of qualifications above.


Your resume and cover letter must be received by 5pm (eastern) on March 6, 2020. Anticipated start date is April 20, 2020 (with some flexibility).

We thank all applicants for their interest however only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.