Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) is a multi-campus university renowned for its extraordinary learning environment and highly personalized educational experience. As a comprehensive university with more than 19,000 students, Laurier has grown rapidly in research intensity while at the same time preserving our well-earned reputation for excellent undergraduate teaching and learning. With a multi-campus and multi-community culture, Laurier offers students an exceptional range of more than 100 academic programs. As a leader in higher education for more than a century, Laurier has offered students a transformative experience, an ethos that is reflected in Laurier’s intention to inspire lives of leadership and purpose.
Laurier is taking a step toward Indigenization and reconciliation and equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) by hiring six new Indigenous faculty members and six new Black faculty members. The initiative is part of Laurier’s broader Faculty Rejuvenation efforts to advance strategic academic and research goals, enhance academic excellence and student experience, and strengthen collaborative and interdisciplinary initiatives.
Laurier’s campuses and locations are on the Haldimand Tract, within the traditional territories of the Neutral, Anishnaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples, within a short 2.5-hour drive of 18 First Nations communities, including the Six Nations of the Grand River— the most populous First Nation in Canada — and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. Kitchener-Waterloo and Brantford both have large urban Indigenous populations. There are 12 Métis councils within a 3-hour radius. We recognize the unique heritages of Indigenous peoples and support their right to preserve and express their distinctive Indigenous cultures, histories, and knowledge through academic programming, research, and co-curricular activities. Laurier honours Indigenous knowledge through diverse ongoing initiatives, programs, funding events, and positions, including the university’s Indigenous Student Centres, its Centre for Indigegogy, the Indigenous Knowledge Fund, Indigenous Education Week and the annual Indigenous Research Symposium. Laurier welcomes a regular stream of Visiting Elders and has an Indigenous Curriculum Specialist, not to mention a growing number of Indigenous faculty, students, and staff.
Nestled around one city block, Laurier’s Waterloo campus is home to more than 15,500 students in undergraduate and graduate studies. Known for its small community feel, the campus is a welcoming environment for students and staff. The Waterloo Region, consisting of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge, as well as the townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot and Woolwich, is home to Canada’s fastest-growing technology sector and is part of the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor. Neighbouring Laurier's Waterloo and Kitchener campuses are The Healing of the Seven Generations, White Owl Native Ancestry Association and the Grand River Metis Council. Located approximately one- hour west of Toronto, the Waterloo Region offers a unique blend of modern, energetic urban centres and scenic, rural landscapes, and is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Waterloo Region is renowned for higher education and research. Internationally recognized research organizations also make their home in Waterloo: the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, the Institute for Quantum Computing, the Balsillie School for International Governance Innovation.
Faculty and department/area: Faculty of Science, Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Geography & Environmental Studies
Position location: Waterloo
Area of specializations: NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR-eligible research interests in contaminants or impacts of climate change from a biophysical/chemical/biochemical perspective, relevant to Northern communities.
Rank/s of the position: Open
Type of position: Tenure track
Faculty/departement/program description: The Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Geography & Environmental Studies are dynamic subunits within the Faculty of Science, with leading researchers in many fields and a commitment to building collaborative interdisciplinary research partnerships to address complex and diverse issues. There are strong ties between numerous Faculty members in these Departments and the Government of the Northwest Territories (NWT). We seek a jointly appointed Indigenous scholar.
The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies offers a BA degree in Environmental Studies as well as degrees in Geography and Environmental Science. The Environmental Studies BA prepares students to establish themselves in a variety of stimulating careers ranging from environmental management and consulting to teaching, from land-use planning to intelligence work, and from public administration to development work in Canada's Indigenous communities and globally. Because of their considerable breadth of theoretical and applied knowledge, Environmental Studies graduates are frequently part of multidisciplinary teams working in the natural sciences, business and industry, and public services. Environmental Studies students are exposed to a variety of different perspectives and concepts from different fields, including (but not limited to) geography, biology, anthropology, Indigenous studies, and political science. Moreover, students learn how to think holistically about the interactions between the environmental, social, and economic considerations that underlie all environmental management decisions.
With a focus on Environmental and Resource Management, including courses that examine Indigenous land stewardship, national parks and protected areas, environmental migration, and sustainable food systems, the Environmental Studies program allows students to advance their studies through participation in labs and field work with our internationally respected faculty. For example, the department plays a leadership role in the Cold Regions Research Centre, an internationally recognized centre for arctic and mountain research, including northern and paleohydrology.
The department, together with the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo, offers a joint program leading to MA, MES and PhD degrees. Graduate students are expected to acquire critical understanding of issues and insights in all main areas of Geography or Environmental Studies, as well as an in-depth knowledge of one area of specialization. This objective is achieved through advanced coursework, seminars and substantive research (i.e., thesis or research paper) which emphasize independent knowledge generation and current research methodologies.
The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry offers degrees with emphasis on the traditional divisions of chemistry such as Analytical, Inorganic, Organic, Physical and Environmental Biochemistry as well as the newer fields of Materials Chemistry and Nanochemistry. With flagship undergraduate BSc programs in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Biotechnology, both accredited by the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Department also embraces multidisciplinary initiatives, offering joint undergraduate BSc programs with the Departments of Biology, Mathematics and Physics & Computer Science. The Department also offers an MSc in Chemistry degree and, jointly with the Department of Biology, a PhD Degree in Biological and Chemical Sciences. Our 14 tenured faculty members have received substantial research funding from national and international agencies, as well as several provincial and national awards for excellence in research and teaching. The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry has existing strengths in environmental chemistry including atmospheric research and aquatic environmental science. This research is supported by state-of-the-art analytical and toxicity testing facilities and collaborations available through the Centre for Cold Regions Research (CRRC) and the Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS).
Position summary: The goal of the Departments is to build on existing strengths and to prioritize research in areas of the most significant environmental issues in Canada and globally. An obvious priority is to characterize and mitigate anthropogenic impacts in Canada’s warming North. We envision the cross-appointment of an Indigenous scholar who has NSERC/SSHRC/CIHR-eligible research interests in contaminants or impacts of climate change from a chemistry/biochemistry perspective, relevant to Northern communities. To have an Indigenous perspective in research about the biophysical/chemical/biochemical impacts of contamination and climate change in the North would be invaluable given the two key messages that have been communicated in meetings with the NWT: (1) there is a desire in the North to build solutions for the North in the North (e.g., “A northern solution for community adaptation” https://fcm.ca/en/resources/mcip/northern-solution-community-adaptation) and (2) the importance of traditional knowledge (TK) in design of studies, and interpretations of results and implications. Although Laurier has close ties to the NWT, the successful applicant could work anywhere in the north, including other provinces/territories, and possibly even other countries.
Qualifications: A strong scholar with a promising research record in northern environments focussing on contaminants and/or climate change impacts. A doctoral degree in Geography, Environmental Science, Chemistry or Biochemistry is expected but applicants currently pursuing a PhD degree in one of these areas or who possess complementary experience that qualifies them for the position are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to teach courses that are of interest to undergraduate and graduate students in both departments, and may also contribute to the Applied Water Science program. This flexibility will help expand teaching expertise in the Faculty of Science.
The following is a list of the steps we anticipate in the recruitment process for this position. We would also like to bring to your attention several key issues we would recommend you consider as you navigate the search process.
Candidates who identify as Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, Inuit) are encouraged to apply by including the following in their application. Please note that additional materials may be requested through the review process as required by the home department.
Applications can be addressed to Mike Young, Executive Search Associate and submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will continue to be collected and evaluated until all of the Inclusive Excellence cohort positions are filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply once interested as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to employment equity and values diversity. Laurier welcomes applications from qualified members of the equity-seeking groups. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, as per Canadian immigration laws, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. To comply with the Government of Canada’s reporting requirements, the University is obligated to gather information about applicants’ status as either Permanent Residents of Canada or Canadian citizens. Applicants need not identify their country of origin or current citizenships; however, all applicants must include one of the following statements in their cover letter:
Applicants are encouraged to address any career interruptions or special circumstances that may have affected their record of research and teaching, in accordance with Tri-Council definitions and guidelines.
Laurier strives to make our application process accessible and provides accommodations for both applicants and employees as outlined in Policy 8.7. https://www.wlu.ca/about/governance/assets/resources/8.7-employment-accommodation-policy.html. If you require assistance applying for this position, to obtain a copy of this job description in an accessible format, or would like to discuss accessibility and accommodations during the recruitment process please email email@example.com.
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