Research Opportunities

Field and Laboratory Assistant

Interested in gaining hands-on field research experience that will contribute to the advancement of science and be used to make decisions related to water management? The Coastal Hydrology Research Lab at Vancouver Island University (VIU) is seeking a Research Assistant to help on various projects including examining the effects of fire on drinking water, freshwater influence on marine ecosystems and the role of seasonal snow in watershed hydrology. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in scientific research with a balance between laboratory and field work across the coast of British Columbia

Duties and Responsibilities

This position is based out of Nanaimo, BC. During the autumn months (mid-September to mid-November), the research assistant will assist with field sampling activities related to the above-mentioned projects, including equipment preparation, water sample collection, and driving to/from field sites. Work will also include basic lab analyses, including water sample processing and working with laboratory instrumentation. The assistant will work closely with a M.Sc. student involved in the project.
At the end of the fall season, and into the winter, work will shift onto the freshwater-marine and snow related projects. Field work will include weather station maintenance with access by ski, snow mobile and/or helicopter. Office and lab work will include preparation for the field, working with time series data and geospatial analysis.

Knowledge and Skills

• Ability to maintain a positive attitude and adapt to changing circumstance
• Academic background in environmental sciences, earth sciences, ecology, hydrology, forestry, biology, physical geography, or a related discipline.
• Detail oriented
• Ability to work with a team and complete tasks carefully and successfully
• Willingness to hike moderate distances with equipment and work in inclement weather conditions (rain, cool weather)
• Willing to adapt to a changing schedule and possible long hours in the field
• Valid class 5 Canadian driver’s license

• Experience with field research, sample collection, or general laboratory procedure
• Experience doing stream flow measurements, working with discharge data, creating rating curves
• Proficiency with GIS
• Experience in R and Python
• Experience using data loggers including Hobo, FTS and Campbell Scientific
• Experience back country skiing
• Avalanche Skills Training 1
• Experience Snowmobiling
• Intermediate ski ability
• Previous laboratory certifications such as WHMIS
• Valid first aid
Training will be provided where desired skills are not met.

Wage: $20 to $25/hr depending on experience. 35hrs per week.
Term: Sept 12, 2022 to March 31, 2023. Possibility of extension depending on funding availability.

Closing date: August 10, 2022.

Please send a cover letter and resume to and