One-year Research Position at Saint Mary’s University


Canada’s Coastal Communities

A 1-year full time research position is available to work under the supervision of Dr. Tony Charles at Saint Mary’s University, in Halifax, within the OceanCanada partnership.

OceanCanada is a SSHRC-funded cross-country research partnership exploring the ingredients of resilient and sustainable oceans, and ocean uses, and supporting coastal communities in responding to rapid and uncertain change. OceanCanada research synthesizes social, cultural, economic and environmental knowledge about oceans and coasts nationally, in order to build scenarios for possible futures of our coastal-ocean regions, and create a shared vision for Canada’s oceans.

The successful applicant will carry out community-level and synthesis research focused on the future of Canada’s coastal communities. One component involves community-based scenario-building to explore options for responding to changes in social-economic and ecological aspects of coastal communities, and of specific sectors (e.g., fisheries, tourism, youth, elders), relating to economic development, environmental conservation, coastal planning, and climate change. This research will involve direct engagement with the community of Port Mouton Bay, Nova Scotia, an OceanCanada partner. The second research component, encompassing the province of Nova Scotia and beyond, involves comprehensively identifying and surveying coastal communities engaged in local visioning, scenario planning and sustainable economic development, to develop a database of relevant communities, and to analyze results across the identified communities. The above analyses may be adapted for use in coastal communities and marine regions elsewhere on Canada’s Atlantic coast and on other coasts of Canada.

The individual selected will combine a passion for place-based communities, with demonstrated interest and experience in social science research, both quantitative and qualitative, working with coastal communities and/or on human dimensions of coastal/marine resources and social-ecological systems. Applicants must hold a Masters or Doctoral degree, and should work broadly in the social sciences; a demonstrated non-disciplinary (transdisciplinary) approach to research is desirable. The successful applicant will preferably have experience working across multiple spatial scales and governance levels, i.e. from local communities or First Nations, to regions and/or provinces, to entire coasts, and be familiar with methodologies ranging from local-level participatory approaches, to collection and analysis of secondary data, to policy analysis. Strong interpersonal capabilities are crucial.

The salary is $44,000 annually. The successful applicant will begin the position between mid-February and mid-April 2017, for a one-year period.

Deadline for applications is February 6, 2017

Applicants should provide a cover letter describing their suitability for this position, a full curriculum vitae, and names and contact information for three references. Submissions, or enquiries, should be sent to Barbara Paterson ( with the subject heading “OceanCanada”.