Position profile: Oil Sands Monitoring Science Product Developer (3 Year Temporary)

Learn more about the position in the job posting.

  • Job Title: Oil Sands Monitoring Science Product Developer (3 Year Temporary)
  • Work Unit: EMSD
  • Ministry: Alberta Environment and Parks
  • Competition Number: 1053847


Since February 2012, the Government of Alberta represented by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), and the Government of Canada represented by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) have worked as partners to implement an environmental monitoring program for the oil sands that integrates air, water, land and biodiversity. The program strives to improve characterization of the state of the environment and enhance understanding of the cumulative effects of oil sands development activities in the oil sands area.

The Science Extension Product Developer (SEPD) is responsible for translating and distilling technical scientific OSM products into plain language products to make information readily available to a variety of audiences including the public as well as decision makers and stakeholders.

This position directly supports the OSM program through the coordination of subject matter experts and the production of high-quality knowledge translation products. The position requires unique and proven writing, editing, script writing and publishing skills and expertise, as well as the ability to identify the appropriate tools to deliver information to a target audience.

The position reports to the OSM Program Office Executive Director, IEAP and works with OSM executives and staff within the Secretariat and across the program to achieve expected outcomes. This program will transition to the OSM Program Office once established.

Responsibilities and Activities

The Science Extension Product Developer (SEPD) will be responsible for:

  • Translating technical science products (peer-reviewed journal articles, reports, etc.) generated within the OSM program into high quality products for a variety of audiences. The result is to support the timely reporting function of the OSM program. This includes:
    • Leading the translation of scientific products on environmental media (air, water, biodiversity, and combinations thereof) in the oil sands region for reporting to a variety of audiences including the public, decision makers, and stakeholders.
    • Ensuring that translation products preserve the scientific integrity of OSM publications while presenting findings in plain language appropriate to the target audience.
    • Working in a dynamic environment to plan, write, edit, and produce public-facing products that are high quality, concise, accurate, and comprehensive.
    • Proofreading all products to ensure accuracy and consistency.
    • Conducting edits for grammar, style, and tone to ensure consistent and effective communication and knowledge translation.
    • Independent structural and stylistic editing.
    • Producing deliverables that conform to Government of Alberta’s and ECCC policies and standards.
    • Facilitate information sharing and briefings to relevant personnel within EMSD and ECCC.
    • Evaluating work upon completion to ensure that objectives and timelines are met.
  • Consult and collaboratively work with subject matter experts and staff members within EMSD and ECCC on a regular basis to ensure deadlines are met. The result is to ensure and preserve the scientific credibility of all science products that are translated and published in a timely manner. This includes:
    • Building and maintaining positive working relationships throughout the OSM program.
    • Encouraging positive team relationships and information sharing to achieve a common goal.
    • Coordinating with subject matter experts across the OSM program to ensure scientific credibility is preserved in the translation of technical scientific products (reports, peer-reviewed publications, conference proceedings, etc.) into a variety of products targeting less technical audiences.
    • Integrating diverse types (i.e. air, water, and biodiversity) of scientific content to support the production of multi-disciplinary products.
    • Ability to understand and comprehend scientific terms, methods, and concepts, and translate into plain language appropriate for the target audience.
  • Support the creation of detailed products for the OSM program within annual and multi-year cycles. This includes:
    • Providing support and writing advice to other staff within the OSM program.
    • Ensuring consistency in writing style, clarity, and comprehensibility throughout documents, which have multiple contributors and different writing styles.
    • Structural and stylistic editing to ensure appropriate organization and consistent tone are employed in producing high-quality documents to meet reporting objectives of the OSM program.
    • Generating and updating content (audio, visual, animated) for the OSM program’s public facing website
    • Creating audience appropriate material for visual presentation of OSM information


  • Responsible for contributing high quality content towards the creation of public-facing and policy-facing products from the OSM program. The deliverables/output of this position directly impact the credibility of the governments of Canada and Alberta. As a result, the SEPD must have extensive and unique experience in areas of portraying science and knowledge translation in order to work confidently and independently in a dynamic environment.
  • Interacts with internal EMSD staff in various locations including Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray; with other levels of government (e.g. Environment Canada and Climate Change); and with external partners (e.g., ABMI, WBEA, LICA, PRAMP, etc.).
  • Works with Communications staff within the governments of Alberta and Canada to ensure adherence to communications guidelines governing reporting products.
  • Stays well informed on current environmental issues, policies, and programs relevant to the OSM program to develop products that address stakeholder interests.
  • Position must be able to understand the technical scientific information that is being synthesized to effectively communicate its meaning and significance to the public and to decision makers.
  • Position must have knowledge translation skills.
  • Position must demonstrate strong creative and innovative skills in order to produce reports that are engaging, relevant, and meaningful to stakeholders.
  • Position needs to apply critically thinking in contextualizing complex or nuanced scientific results and accurately communicate its significance to a lay audience.
  • Position must think analytically, and be able to independently seek relevant external materials to better understand the scientific products being produced.
  • Position must exercise a high degree of interpersonal and collaborative skills to establish effective working relationships, internally and externally.
  • Position will work independently and be required to balance multiple projects, schedule and prioritize project work, engage with EMSD and ECCC staff as required, manage project timelines and workflows to meet deadlines and deliverables.
  • Position will require conflict resolution skills when dealing with various stakeholders.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Academic requirements (diplomas/degrees), specific training, occupation certification/registration:

  • Completion of a Master’s degree in a related field (e.g. English, Technical Writing, Journalism, Film/Video, Environmental Science) plus a minimum of 5 years of progressive experience directly relevant to the responsibilities of this position.
  • Equivalency: Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in a related field plus a minimum of 10 years of related and progressive experience directly relevant to the responsibilities of this position.

Skills Abilities and Experience (includes knowledge factors, practical procedures, administrative, technical or professional techniques, technical, scientific or program relation processes):

The ideal candidate will have unique experience in areas of science translation in order to work confidently and independently in a dynamic environment. Critical skills and experience are:

  • Outstanding understanding of knowledge mobilization strategies, scientific communication, information development, and writing and AV production principles and standards.
  • Superior writing skills including a proven aptitude for understanding and explaining technical information.
  • Ability to summarize detailed technical scientific writing (journal articles, reports, etc.) into plain language products for a non-technical audience.
  • Innovative and creative thinking required to produce high quality, written, audio and visual products describing activities of the OSM program.
  • Excellent written communication skills, including an understanding of how language and tone impacts knowledge translation and messaging.
  • Strong structural and stylistic editing skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Proven proofreading skills.
  • Proven experience using and following a style guide
  • Excellent time-management and organizational skills, and ability to track and meet deadlines on multiple concurrent projects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to manage projects independently, and to communicate and work effectively with leaders and peers.
  • Experience working with cross-functional project teams.
  • Experience working with and maintaining favourable relationships with various stakeholders (i.e. Scientists, Technologists, Indigenous knowledge holders, etc.)
  • Experience using multiple tools to write, produce audio and visual files, format, manage, and publish high-quality content.
  • Proficient in MS Office.
  • Experience using software for formatting product layouts.
  • Familiarity with online content creation and website content management.
  • Graphic editing skills are an asset.



  • OSM Program Office Executive Director
    • Obtain general direction and guidance and provide analysis and recommendations on operational work.
    • Report on progress
    • Support administrative functions
    • Address urgent issues
    • Provide updates and briefings, as required
  • Science Co-Lead and Executive Director, IEAP, EMSD ( weekly contact)
    • Exchange information.
    • Incorporation of Divisional strategy and planning information.
  • OSM Project Leads, Staff and Scientists (daily to weekly contact)
    • Exchange information.
    • Work with Authors to ensure translation is accurate
    • Schedule reviews and information release activities.
  • Communications Branch (weekly contact)
    • Coordinate the release of completed science reporting products


  • OSM Scientific Co-Lead, Environment Canada and Climate Change (daily to weekly contact)
    • Exchange information.
    • Report on progress.
    • Schedule reviews of information release activities.
    • Address urgent issues.
  • Stakeholders and partners, e.g., University-based researchers, Institutions, Research Groups, Citizen Science Groups, etc. (contact as required; variable) Governance Committee members
    • Discover needs and desires of target audience
    • Dissemination of products
    • Exchange information
    • Schedule reviews and information release activities (where an external collaborator is involved)

Supervision Exercised

  • No direct reports.

The Government of Alberta is committed to a diverse and inclusive public service that reflects the population we serve to best meet the needs of Albertans. Consider joining a team where diversity, inclusion and innovation are valued and supported. For more information on diversity and inclusion, please visit the Diversity and Inclusion Policy.