Position Profile

Job Title:  Wildlife Referral Biologist

Work Unit:  Operations, Resource Management / Wildlife, Red Deer

Ministry:   Alberta Environment and Parks

Competition Number:  1041003

Date:  March 2017



Reporting to the senior wildlife biologist in Red Deer, this full working-level wildlife biologist is accountable for performing a wide range of professional program activities related to the management of provincial wildlife populations in relation to Renewable Energy Development. The position functions as a key member of an integrated team of professional and technical staff responsible for the management of wildlife resources in the Red Deer North Saskatchewan Region. Key functions include data collection and analysis, conducting reviews of proposed renewable energy developments, assessing mitigation effectiveness of resource development approvals, development of mitigation tools to support the review process, interaction with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) and development of Renewable Energy Referral Reports.

The position provides ongoing support/input with other divisional staff within the region, and provincially, on Renewable Energy Development. This extends, as required, through all divisions within the department at both the regional.

Responsibilities and Activities


Participates in key land management decision making processes to mitigate habitat loss as a result of industrial impacts and/or to enhance area habitat needs to ensure long term viability of wildlife resources in the area.

  • Function as the lead department contact for proposed renewable energy development in the Red Deer North Saskatchewan Region.
  • Participates in inter-department and intra-department environmental management decision-making processes to mitigate the impact of industrial impacts on wildlife and wildlife habitat, specifically renewable energy development.
  • Participates in providing input to the development of department and inter-agency standards, guidelines, practices, objectives and programs that will ensure habitat protection (e.g., Codes of Practice, Forestry Ground Rules, Integrated Standards and Guidelines, etc.).
  • Participates in long-term landscape management planning activities (e.g., development of solar directives, renewable risk mapping projects, etc.).
  • Provides advice to others on development of mitigation plans, construction plans, post-construction monitoring and reclamation/restoration (e.g. EPEA, AUC, industry, etc.).

Identifies wildlife management research needs related to renewable energy development and prepares for review by the Renewable Energy Committee, research business case and design plan to address data or knowledge gaps.

  • Identifies research needs to address scientific data or knowledge gaps and develops business case and terms of reference for identified research areas. This may be department led, joint department initiatives or joint government-industry research projects.
  • Leads or participates on regional, provincial, inter-agency, education institution and industry partnered wildlife related approved research projects.
  • Prepares scientific reports, conducts peer reviews and presents research findings to others.
  • Reviews proposals submitted to and by the research institutes, industry to provide recommendations on approval or otherwise.

Provides input to the development of area and regional budget preparation and administers allocated budget in accordance with financial administration guidelines.

  • Ensures all budget transactions are conducted within established financial policy and procedures by maintaining accurate and up to date records, meeting quarterly budget reporting and forecasting targets.
  • Procures equipment to do the job, maintains accurate inventory, maintains assigned equipment according to established standards, and ensures it is operated safely.
  • Responsible for OH&S within assigned work unit as per Act, regulations, established standards and protocols.

Participates in public/stakeholder engagement related to development of policy and directives to obtain input on renewable energy and wildlife issues as well as participates on assigned committees and work teams.

  • Works with the Renewable Energy Committee to deliver appropriate stakeholder engagement on renewable energy development tools.
  • Evaluates stakeholder input for the resolution of issues and develops strategy/ recommendations for review of the Renewable Energy Committee.
  • Participates on various regional or provincial Divisional, intra-departmental or inter-departmental committees or task teams to develop policies, guidelines, review projects or develop strategies related to renewable energy development.


  • Completes review of all renewable energy projects proposed in the Red Deer North Saskatchewan Region, providing a final draft of the Renewable Energy Referral Report to the appropriate AEP signing authority.
  • Consulting with regional staff on referral reviews in their work areas, as identified in the Red Deer North Saskatchewan Region Land Use Referral Wildlife Contacts map.
  • Direct communication with the Alberta Utilities Commission on individual renewable energy project applications as required to complete referrals.
  • Under the supervision of the senior wildlife biologist in Red Deer, this position has considerable independence in planning, organizing and carrying out all aspects of their work.
  • Stakeholders impacted will be the wind and solar energy industries, Powerline Construction companies, agricultural producers, the Alberta Utilities Commission, as well as the public in general.
  • Provides input to development of directives, guidelines and procedures for mitigation of the impacts to wildlife and wildlife habitat related to renewable energy development.
  • Participates in development of stakeholder engagement into resource management planning related to renewable energy development.
  • Evaluating effectiveness of mitigation based on post-construction monitoring results.
  • Evaluating effectiveness of referral tools (i.e., implementation of directives).
  • Using adaptive management techniques to improve business processes related to renewable energy development.
  • Reporting on results of post-construction monitoring, referral process effectiveness, implementation of mitigation strategies.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Considerable knowledge of the practice of biology which has been obtained through a Bachelor of Science in Biology which has provided for working knowledge of data collection and analysis, population and habitat inventory monitoring, population and habitat goal setting and resource management strategies.
  • A minimum of four years related practical experience in wildlife management, with a focus on the grasslands, boreal and foothill ecoregions from which to apply formal scientific knowledge and establish an advanced professional level knowledge base.
  • A working knowledge of provincial landuse policies, directives and guidelines.
  • A working knowledge of issues and challenges related to mitigating resource development impacts on wildlife.
  • A working knowledge of issues and challenges related to management of wildlife and wildlife habitat on public and private lands.
  • Experience in conducting wildlife resource risk assessments for industrial development.
  • Working knowledge of pertinent acts, regulations, policies and procedures: Alberta Wildlife Act and Regulations, Public Lands Act, Water Act, Forest Act, Federal Species at Risk Act, Migratory Birds Act, Environmental Protection Enhancement Act.
  • Knowledge of OH&S legislation, policy and procedures.
  • Good administrative skills on organizing work, establishing priorities, project management, performance measurement financial management and reporting.
  • Very good verbal and written communication skills, including writing scientific reports, making presentations, leading team sessions and providing advice and information to others.
  • Good computer skills in data analysis, modeling, use of specialized programs and data base management.
  • Ability to resolve complex resource management problems and utilize persuasion skills that result in effective negotiation and influence to achieve win-win solutions.
  • Ability to operate specialized equipment (e.g., 4x4, quads, ski-doo, radio telemetry equipment, call playback, gps units, firearms, etc.).


  • Frequent direct interaction with regional wildlife staff during review of proposed renewable energy developments.
  • Frequent direct interaction with industrial proponents during the development and review of proposed renewable energy developments.
  • Direct contact with the Alberta Utilities Commission during review of proposed renewable energy developments.
  • Involvement in stakeholder engagement processes regarding resource management mitigation strategies and regulation/program delivery issues.
  • Acts as scientific program advisor on matters relating to environment impact on wildlife as a result of proposed renewable energy developments in the area.

Supervision Exercised

  • There are no positions reporting directly to this position.


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