Thu. Dec 7th, 2023

Exploring remote forests, in search of rare species. Walking through fields with heavy, hot equipment to eradicate invasive species. Use technology to monitor ecosystems in parks and conservation reserves, and communicate conservation science to Ontario decision makers.

Working as a biologist for Ontario Parks is sometimes action-packed and always rewarding.

Do you dream of spending your days working to protect and improve ecological integrity in protected areas?

Well, here are five top tips from Ontario Parks environmentalists that will help you make your dream a reality:

1. Get hands-on experience

If you haven’t graduated from college yet, enroll in a field course. Alternatively, ask an instructor if you can work or volunteer for their research project.

A hard-working Ontario parks biologist.

You already graduated? Don’t worry! No matter where you live in Ontario, there are conservation organizations looking for volunteers to do field work.

2. Take the initiative

Ontario Parks staff take on many different projects and often work with all types of people. If you can demonstrate your experience working with others, you will stand out.

staff catching butterflies

Completing a Master of Science can be a great way to gain these skills, but it’s not the only way!

3. Be willing to start at the bottom

It’s competitive, but if you have the right skills and are willing to be flexible, new opportunities can appear where you least expect them.

hiking staff

For example, Ontario Parks hires summer students across the province each year. Wherever you start, make the most of it by finding ways to gain new skills and experience, learning from EVERY person you work with, and letting your supervisor know what your career goals are.

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4. Develop good contacts

Whether you’re reaching out to a stranger you found online or a family friend, ask meaningful questions and follow up on their answers.

staff in front of the office

Be genuine in your interest. It’s obvious when someone is just going through their “I need a job” checklist. Remember to thank that person for sharing their time with you!

5. Love nature

We are all motivated by our interest and passion for conservation biology and the natural sciences.

An Ontario Parks ecologist uses a tape measure around the trunk of a tree to measure its circumference.

We have honed our skills and developed our knowledge through time spent outdoors and stay up to date with the latest publications and research.

School is the beginning of a career as a biologist, but the learning never ends.

Wondering about current opportunities?

We are currently hiring for 2023! Apply now to join us for this year’s season.