Job Opportunity: Caribou Maternity Pen Operations and Effectiveness Lead

The Pen Lead will oversee field operations, and engage in regular work at the maternity pen used to protect
the cows and calves from predators during the calving season.



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Caribou Maternity Pen Operations and Effectiveness Lead

Job title: Caribou Maternity Pen Operations and Effectiveness Lead (“Pen Lead”)
Reports to: NWSS Executive Director
Work location: Pen site (Treaty 8 territory, south of Hudson’s Hope), possible remote, office

Project background

The Nikanese Wah tzee Stewardship Society was formed by West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations to undertake caribou protection and recovery initiatives within Treaty No. 8 territory and British Columbia. The Society’s objective is to restore caribou populations to levels which can sustain traditional harvesting by members of the Nations. The program has been highly successful to date, restoring caribou in the Klinse-za herd from a low of ~38 in 2013 to ~135 today, through maternal penning, predator reduction, habitat protection and ecosystem restoration. NWSS is looking for a Caribou Maternity Pen Operation and Effectiveness Lead (Pen Lead) to support the Society’s maternal pen program.

This is an exceptional opportunity for an early/mid-career biologist to be part of a dedicated team delivering a highly-effective Indigenous-led conservation program. The Pen Lead will oversee field operations, engage in regular work at the maternity pen (used to protect the cows and calves from predators during the calving season), and ensure all work at the pen is completed in a timely manner. Additionally, this position will support the continued herd monitoring necessary to evaluate the benefits of the various conservation measures, and to inform future measures to guard against population decline. This position will also assist in the regulatory process to ensure consistent pen operations.

General description

Goals of the position are:

Pen operations

  1. Organize all activities necessary for caribou to be held within the pen from March-August each year. Identify and prioritize tasks that maintain pen integrity and safety for both caribou and personnel.
  2. Provide leadership and direction to the pen Guardians from both communities, in collaboration with the Guardian coordinators.Organize and coordinate pen Guardians and contractor activities to provide an efficient workflow.
  3. Assist with organization of site visits to the pen.




Pen effectiveness

  1. Work with contractors to ensure proper allocation of resources so that all herd monitoring activities occur in the most efficient and timely manner possible, in conjunction with the Executive Director and others as required.
  2. Support and participate in herd monitoring activities such as surveys, collaring activities, and mortality investigations.
  3. Ensure the correct provincial permits are in place in a timely manner for the operation of the maternal pen.
  4. Support reporting on the herd status for sponsors.


  • Minimum of a BSc in Biology, or another relevant field
  • Ideally three years’ experience conducting aerial ungulate surveys and mortality investigations.
  • Fundamental knowledge of caribou biology.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of ungulate capture and collaring methods and techniques.
  • Previous experience with proposal writing and reporting.
  • Proficiency in the use of both aerial and ground-based telemetry systems.
  • Proven leadership, time management and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to think clearly and logically, especially in response to events which may not be foreseen, and/or under rapidly changing field conditions/circumstances.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Detailed and organized.
  • Self-motivated with a good work ethic.
  • Strong commitment to safety

Physical requirements

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs
  • Able to walk up to 10 kms a day on uneven terrain, in all weather conditions.

Main tasks, duties, and responsibilities

  • Work with the Maternity Pen Advisory Team (Executive Director, Project Scientist, BC Provincial Veterinarian, and BC Northeast Regional Biologist) to operate the pen and monitor effectiveness.
  • Assist in purchasing GPS collars to maintain adequate sample size of collared individuals in the herd.
  • Assist in facilitating capture and collaring of adult caribou to allow for continued monitoring of survival and causes of mortality.
  • Facilitate capture and collaring of caribou calves held in the maternity pen to allow for continued monitoring of survival and causes of mortality.
  • Provide all necessary capture biological samples and reports to BC and support in reporting to funders.
  • Conduct mortality investigations in an efficient and timely manner, collecting all necessary biological samples.
  • Conduct at least one aerial survey each year using a combination of aerial telemetry and GPS collar location data. Surveys will be designed in collaboration with the Project Scientist.
  • Record all flight paths and animal waypoints for reporting analysis.
  • Develop funding proposals or assist in developing applications to various agencies.
  • Manage activities and timelines accordingly to ensure adherence to budgets, reconcile and apply for funding changes/extensions if required.
  • Address requests and concerns from funding sponsor representatives.
  • Prepare fish and wildlife permit applications for all caribou monitoring and penning activities.
  • Upload all necessary monitoring data to the designated government database.
  • Undertake and/or assists in summary reports of all activities, and results thereof.
  • Report to NWSS Executive Director and Board of Directors and provide monthly updates prior to scheduled board meetings.
  • Communicate appropriate board decisions to the caribou guardians and other related field crews, with the Executive Director.


This is a full-time position. Working hours will generally be eight hours per day, with flexibility to accommodate unscheduled events and emergencies.

Compensation $60,000 -$90,000/year DOE.


Please send resume and cover letter to Candace Batycki ( [email protected]). Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis until January 5, 2024 at 4:00 pm Pacific.