Position Profile


Job Title:  Flood Risk Specialist

Work Unit:  Strategy, Watershed Resilience and Mitigation Branch, Resilience Strategy

Ministry:   Alberta Environment and Parks

Competition Number:  1043077

Date:  June 2017
 

Purpose

 

The recent flood events in Alberta have highlighted the need for a risk based, scientific approach to provincial flood management. Reporting to the Senior Manager of Resilience Strategy, and working directly with the River Engineering Technical Services Team, the Flood Risk Specialist is responsible for the development and delivery of flood risk assessment based programs and products. The Flood Risk Specialist is the Ministry authority on provincial flood risk assessment technology, programs and products.

This position plays a critical role in the development and implementation of emerging provincial flood risk products that will directly support the goal of increased future flood resilience within the province. Working closely with a supporting team of technical engineers and technologists, the Flood Risk Specialist provides the strategic and technical expertise necessary to ensure leading edge design and implementation of Alberta’s flood related risk assessment programs and products. This position also provides key technical input and related strategic oversight toward the development of holistic provincial flood management strategies and activities.

By acting as the flood risk assessment subject area expert for emergency management personnel at the provincial or departmental level, this position supports provincial emergency operations during crucial periods.

Responsibilities and Activities

 

Critical benefits to the organization can be realized through the Flood Risk Specialist’s key involvement in the creation, development and implementation of provincial flood risk assessment programs and products. Additionally, expert technical advice to internal and external clients on behalf of the department and province is expected.

Flood Risk Assessment Program

Options and expected outcomes

  • A variety of different flood risk mapping product options exist for future inclusion in the flood risk assessment program. This position will advise and ensure development of program options including implementation strategies that best align with desired provincial flood risk management outcomes. Key relationships with federal and municipal colleagues will ensure alignment of strategic intent as well as exploration of potential program and product collaboration options.

Design and development

  • Advise and ensure development of program parameters including product standards. This includes program framework and program technical guideline documentation. Specifics include definition of intent, scope, partners, roles and responsibilities, technical standards, and implementation details.

Implementation

  • Advise and ensure appropriate resourcing and subsequent delivery of the program in coordination with the Senior Manager, River Engineering Technical Services Team lead. Program implementation oversight and operational coordination is expected for the long term.

Communication

  • As technical subject area expert for the flood risk assessment program, lead the communication of the strategic development and implementation of the programs to internal and external partners, stakeholders and the public.

Innovation

  • Continual program re-assessment and advice regarding strategic program adaptation is expected from this position as the leading technical subject area expert for the flood risk assessment program.

Expert Technical Advice

Flood Risk Assessment Program

  • Expert advice and oversight is critical to program strategy, design, development, implementation, communication and future innovation.

Team

  • The River Engineering Technical Services Team has a pool of technical engineers and technologists that assist with multiple, concurrent functional responsibilities. Team functions include provincial Flood Hazard Identification Program management, flood risk assessment program management, flood inundation mapping program management, fluvial assessment program management, advisory river hydraulics, river engineering and river processes counsel as well as collection and documentation of flood field data. As an expert in flood risk assessment and mapping technology, programs and products, it is expected that this position provides strategic insight and recommendations related to innovative future process and delivery options for all current functional areas of the Team.

Department and Province

  • Expert advice and involvement is expected on relevant departmental and provincial committees or groups. With the requisite expertise in the field of flood risk assessments, this position is well positioned to provide expert technical advice as well as strategic insight into provincial flood risk management.

Municipal and Federal

  • All levels of government need to work together to ensure coordinated and effective flood management initiatives that enhance long term flood resilience in Alberta. This position is responsible for fostering critical relationships with municipal and federal colleagues to ensure provincial flood risk programs and products align with federal and municipal expectations.

Expert Technical Representation

Internal

  • As leading technical provincial expert in the field of flood risk mapping, it is expected that this position represent provincial flood risk assessment and mapping technology, programs and products in a variety of internal forums related to flood management. Examples include internal flood risk mapping and assessment educational workshops, meetings, cross-department committees, departmental and provincial emergency management support.

External

  • As leading technical provincial expert in the field flood risk assessments, it is expected that this position represent the department or province in a variety of external forums related to flood risk management. Examples include flood risk mapping and assessment program education forums, technical conferences, committees, municipal councils, public meetings, emergency management support.

Scope

 

This position provides the technical oversight, operational design and coordination for the emerging Flood Risk Assessment program. As such, this position directly contributes to the strategic goal of ensuring a flood resilient Alberta. Flood resilience involves increased personal safety and reduced flood related damages through an integrated approach that considers structural and non-structural strategies. This position will work closely with the River Forecasting section as well as the Watershed Resilience and Mitigation Branch to ensure alignment with all resilience policies for Alberta.

Flood risk mapping and related assessments ensure that information on the flood risk of an area exists in a variety of forms including geospatially. Flood risk mapping and associated assessments inform provincial staff, municipal staff, the insurance industry, and the public by providing a comprehensive understanding of the many risk factors related to multiple flood scenarios. Flood risk mapping and related assessments have the ability to revolutionize flood management strategies and resulting actions taken by municipal governments and their affected residents. The flood risk assessment program will drive future policy and integration of provincial flood management due to the holistic nature of the risk information created under the program. This program will directly contribute to increased flood resilience in Alberta. This position is responsible for flood risk assessment program oversight, design, development, implementation, communication and future innovation.

The Flood Risk Specialist is the Ministry authority on provincial flood risk assessment and mapping technology, programs and products. The expertise and influence this position can bring to departmental and provincial flood management initiatives will help ensure a scientific, risk based flood management approach is developed that utilizes the critical flood risk products developed under this position. Being the provincial subject area expert, this position has considerable influence with federal, municipal and academic counterparts to ensure Alberta's flood risk programs and products lead the way nationally and internationally.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

 

Knowledge

Expert knowledge of associated methodology and application of current/emerging flood risk mapping programs, products, and processes. Product examples include flood depth/ damage/ vulnerability/ consequence/ risk mapping and associated flood risk assessments that consider economic/life loss calculations, multivariate spatial statistics, etc.

  • Knowledge of flood risk assessment programs, processes and related legislation from other jurisdictions is an asset; jurisdictions such as other provinces, the federal government and/or international local/provincial/state/federal governments or regulatory authorities. Examples include Canadian National Disaster Mitigation Strategy (NDMS), APEGBC Guidelines for Legislated Flood Assessments in a Changing Climate, US RiskMAP, US HAZUS-MH, US Disaster Mitigation Act and associated US Code of Federal Regulations 44 CFR Part 201, US Community Rating System (CRS), US (FEMA) Levee Certification, US (USGS) Flood Inundation Mapper, EU Flood Risk Assessment and Management protocols such as EU Floods Directive 2007/60/EC.
  • Knowledge of Alberta's current flood programs, processes, and related legislation is an asset. Examples include the provincial Flood Hazard Identification Program (Flood Frequency Mapping and Flood Hazard Mapping) and related components of the provincial Water Act, Municipal Government Act, and Emergency Management Act, the provincial land-use framework and associated basin planning initiatives.
  • Knowledge of fluvial hydraulics and geomorphological programs, processes and related legislation from other jurisdictions is an asset; jurisdictions such as other provinces, the federal government and/or international local/provincial/state/federal governments or regulatory authorities. Examples include US Washington State's Framework for Delineating Channel Migration Zones, US King County Channel Migration Areas Rules and Regulations Chapter 21A-24, US Vermont's River Management Program including Technical Guidance for determining Floodway Limits pursuant to Act 250 Criterion 1(D), US FEMA's Riverine Erosion Hazard Areas: Mapping Feasibility Study.

Technical Skills

  • Skill with associated methodology and application of current/emerging 1D/2D river hydraulic models. Examples include HEC-RAS, HEC-2, River-2D, MIKE11, MIKE Flood, XP-SWMM/2D, FLO-2D, TABS RMA2, TUFLOW.
  • Skill with associated methodology and application of current/emerging geomatics related systems and technology relevant to flood risk mapping and flood management. Examples include geographic information systems (ARC-GIS), remote sensing (LiDAR), photogrammetry, global navigation satellite systems, paleo flood analysis, natural and man-made dam outbreak flood analysis, land/river surveying.
  • Skill with associated methodology and application of current/emerging hydrological models relevant to flood hazard mapping and flood management, Examples include HSPF, HEC-HMS, MIKE11, XP-SWMM, GSSHA.

Other Qualifications

  • Masters’ degree in Engineering/Science or related discipline required. Related doctorate or post-doctoral degree an asset.
  • Minimum ten years of progressively responsible and related work experience from the public/private sectors and/or academia required.
  • Eligibility for membership in Alberta's Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists (APEGA) required.
  • Valid driver's licence is required as occasional travel, primarily within Alberta is expected.
  • Ability to work occasional extended hours to advise emergency managers during flood events
  • Ability to work in Canada
  • Certification in a related discipline from a recognized subject area authority/organization is an asset.
  • Membership in related associations is an asset
  • Authorship of technical papers related to flood hazard assessment or flood risk management is an asset.
  • Project management experience required
  • Supervisory experience required
  • Excellent interpersonal skills required
  • Excellent communication skills required. For example, the ability to communicate technical knowledge to both technical (conferences, workshops, etc.) and non-technical (managers, emergency response personnel, media and the general public) levels by representing the department/province in public venues and forums is required.

Contacts

 

On a daily basis, this position communicates with technical members of the River Engineering Technical Services Team responsible for delivery of the Flood Risk Assessment Mapping Program for the purposes of providing subject area expertise/mentoring as well as program coordination. Significant interaction with internal flood hazard and fluvial hydraulics/geomorphology specialists will ensure strategic alignment of all concurrent Team initiatives contributing to desired holistic flood and river management outcomes. Communication with management (Senior Manager, Resilience Strategy, Senior Manager, River Engineering Technical Services Team, and higher) for the purposes of providing strategic insight and aligning shared Team resources to address any emerging priorities is expected. Significant contact is expected with local government decision makers involved in risk product and inundation product implementation at the local level. Significant contact is expected with relevant departmental and provincial committees or groups as well as external subject area experts around the world.

Supervision Exercised

 

In order to resource the management and implementation of the Flood Risk Assessment Program, it is expected that upwards of ten current technical staff will contribute in some manner to this program. However, the responsibilities and activities of the Flood Risk Specialist ensure that the influence and effectiveness of this position's day-to-day actions provide maximum benefit to the organization by providing expert technical advice and requisite program coordination. Hence, this position is expected to advise and coordinate technical staff involved in the risk and inundation programs, with formal management and administration of staff remaining a responsibility of the Senior Manager of the River Engineering Technical Services Team.


 

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