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Tier II Canada Research Chair in Ecosystem Based Management


  1. Background
  2. Research Focus of the Chair
  3. Collaborations
  4. Expectations
  5. Qualifications and Position Posting
  6. Application Procedures
  7. About Vancouver Island University


The last decade or so has seen a growing emphasis on and interest in an integrated approach to management that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans. Ecosystem-based management, for example, is an overarching approach where the goal is “…to maintain an ecosystem in a healthy, productive and resilient condition so that it can provide the services humans want and need.”  According to a recent scientific consensus statement, EBM:

  • emphasizes the protection of ecosystem structure, functioning, and key processes;
  • is place-based in focusing on a specific ecosystem and the range of activities affecting it;
  • explicitly accounts for the interconnectedness within systems, recognizing the importance of interactions between many target species or key services and other non-target species;
  • acknowledges interconnectedness among systems, such as between air, land and sea; and
  • integrates ecological, social, economic, and institutional perspectives, recognizing their strong interdependences.

    (  [For further background on EBM, see reference list in the consensus statement, as well as Arkema et al., 2006, Halpern et al., 2008, Kappel et al 2009, Leslie and McLeod, 2007; Murawski, 2007; and Rosenberg and McLeod, 2005].

Situated on beautiful Vancouver Island, VIU offers an ideal ‘living laboratory’ for a CRC in ecosystem based management (EBM).  Resource management, community-based research and engagement with First Nations communities are strong areas of institutional expertise and research emphasis, highlighting the connections to and support for the CRC in EBM. 

Research Focus of the Chair

The CRC in EBM at VIU will develop a significant research programme in this area that will help build institutional capacity and expertise in this growing field.  Areas of specialization are open, but preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated interdisciplinary competence in terrestrial and/or aquatic ecosystem science and the human dimensions of resource management (including First Nations).  Specific areas of specialization include, but are not limited to:

  • Social-ecological system dynamics

  • Ecological Restoration

  • Local and Traditional Ecological Knowledge
  • Policy and Governance

  • Sustainable aquatic food systems

  • Representations of the environment

  • Ecological and/or environmental history


Vancouver Island University has a number of strong programs in applied natural resource management (Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Geography).  Other departments with a strong interest in this area include Biology, History, Anthropology, Sociology, First Nations Studies, Chemistry, and English.  Collaborative partnerships are also supported by a number of active research centres and institutes, including the Community-Based Research Institute, the Rural Tourism Research Institute, the Applied Environmental Research Laboratory, the Institute for Coastal Research, the Centre of Shellfish Research, and the Deep Bay Field Station.  VIU is also home to two additional Canada Research Chairs, one in Coastal Resource Management and one proposed in Shellfish Aquaculture Ecosystem Interactions.

Working at Vancouver Island University provides a number of opportunities for collaborative work with other research organizations in close proximity.  These include the Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, the Pacific Forestry Centre, the Forum for Research and Extension in Natural Resources (FORREX), the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada (FERIC), the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network (EMAN), Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the Pacific Biological Station of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. 


  • Increase EBM research capacity at VIU,
  • Provide research leadership,
  • Foster a collaborative approach to research, developing new areas of collaborative research and research network development,
  • Develop an independent grant-funded research program,
  • Facilitate community consultation and involvement,
  • Engage in knowledge mobilization, broadly,
  • In addition to the research program the Chair will participate in the academic programs including the teaching of undergraduate courses and other educational and scholarly activity and service.
  • A commitment toward interdisciplinary research is essential.

Qualifications and Position Posting

The Canada Research Chairs programs expects Tier II nominees to:

  • be within 10 years of receiving their PhD;
  • be excellent emerging researchers who have demonstrated particular research creativity;
  • have demonstrated the potential to achieve international recognition in their fields in the next five to ten years;
  • be proposing an original, innovative research program of high quality;
  • as a chairholder, have the potential to attract excellent trainees, students and future researchers.

Click here to view the position posting.

Application Procedures

Applicants should also review the Canada Research Chair web site for eligibility requirements .

Applications should include:

  • A cover letter with a statement of applicant's educational philosophy relating to the position and the applicant's expected contribution to the University;
  • a curriculum vitae (SSHRC CV or similar);
  • in keeping with the Canada Research Chair application guidelines ( ), a two page concept paper covering an innovative research plan;
  • the names, addresses and phone numbers of three references;
  • and three confidential letters of recommendation sent under separate cover by the candidate’s referees

Applicants need to create a job application account at Vancouver Island University in order to apply electronically. The web page for creating the account is here LINK. The application package should be uploaded to your account and submitted electronically.

Applications are due by May 19, 2010. Review of applications will begin in June with interviews to be held in August.

About Vancouver Island University

To find out more about Vancouver Island University please check this page and visit the VIU web site.