Job Opportunity: Communications Specialist, Athabasca Watershed Council

Communications Specialist
Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Salary: $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 /year
Reporting: Reporting to the Executive Director of Athabasca Water Council

About Athabasca Watershed Council (AWC-WPAC) was established in 2009, the Athabasca Watershed Council (AWC-WPAC) is a designated Watershed Planning and Advisory Council (WPAC) that works in partnership with the Government of Alberta to achieve the goals outlined in the Provincial Government’s Water for Life strategy:

  • Safe, secure drinking water
  • Healthy aquatic ecosystems
  • Reliable, quality water supplies for a sustainable economy.

The mandate of the Athabasca Watershed Council is: “To promotes, fosters respect, and plans for an ecologically healthy watershed by demonstrating leadership and facilitating informed decision-making to ensure environmental, economic, and social sustainability”.

The AWC-WPAC has identified three long-term goals:

Goal 1: Stakeholders throughout the Athabasca River watershed understand basic watershed science, are knowledgeable about the condition of the watershed, and are engaged in managing the watershed in a sustainable way.

Goal 2: The Athabasca River watershed is managed in a way that enables environmental, social, and economic sustainability through an Integrated Watershed Management Plan (IWMP).

Goal 3: The AWC-WPAC is a functional and sustainable organization.

The above three goals are presented in a way that demonstrates the direction and priorities of the AWC-WPAC in the next three years.

Summary of the job

The Communications Specialist is self-motivated with experience handling both internal and external organizational communication. The ideal candidate will be eager to tackle the challenges of developing content that helps build brand recognition, generate buzz about existing and new activities, build communications that assist in fundraising efforts and help our council expand rapidly. Top candidates will be skilled at creating content that both engages the board members, staff, stakeholders and the public. The ability to communicate effectively in written and oral communications is a must. The AWC-WPAC recognizes that communication, education, and outreach today is foundational to successful watershed management tomorrow. By building trust and earning respect from stakeholders throughout the watershed, the AWC-WPAC will lay the groundwork for future successes in terms of providing educational opportunities and engaging stakeholders for working towards a collaborative and consensus-based Integrated Watershed Management Plan and for generating revenue from a diverse number of sources.

The overall objectives of communications are as follows, but not limited:

  • Create, manage and maintain the communications plan for the AWC
  • To build awareness, understanding, and support for the AWC-WPAC and its activities.
  • To share knowledge and promote understanding of the watershed and its health.
  • To increase cross-promotional opportunities with member organizations.
  • To create interest and action in watershed stewardship and management.
  • To organize, create and distribute information to our intended audience and ensure its continued availability to future users (e.g., State of the Watershed (SOW) reports, member reports, brochures, info sheets, interactive atlas).
  • To manage and maintain the website and other social media for the AWC

The primary role of the communications specialist is to lead and implement the communications plan of the AWC. The position reports to the executive director and utilizes advanced-level knowledge of effective communication tools, social media, and the development of publications for public participation, community and youth education, awareness initiatives, stakeholder and Indigenous people’s relations, fundraising efforts to advance the vision of AWC.

In addition to developing and implementing AWC-WPAC’s communication plan, the primary duties for this position include:

  • Building Partnerships – Establish and foster mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships with all stakeholders, environmental stewardship groups, governments and indigenous communities
  • Develop Community Outreach Communications and Press releases – to promote the vision and the mission of AWC-WPAC, engage residents and all stakeholders and work to build strong community relations and positive public image of the AWC-WPAC.
  • Youth Engagement and Education Program Communications – Develop youth engagement communications materials for use in both schools and field programs to raise awareness among youth on watershed and stewardship through social media tools, organizing and participating field events
  • Communication Program – Develop, coordinate and implement communication and marketing material for diverse audiences within the watershed which promotes understanding and personal action for responsible use and management of water and related natural resources, manage release dates for recurring publications
  • Building Effective Communication tools – Responsible for preparing communication materials, media releases, briefing notes, speaking notes, newsletters, correspondence, engagement documents, website contents and other materials as required.
  • Projects – assist with projects and ensure content is publication-ready and in by the deadline
  • Planning & Delivering – In collaboration with the executive director, identify communication and engagement needs for AWC projects and prepare annual work plans and budget to support communication and engagement tasks

Secondary or other duties

  • Assist with grant proposal writing and grant management as needed
  • Prepare annual reports, assist in organizing and planning the AGM meeting
  • Assist occasionally with administrative functions and other office duties as necessary.
  • Assist in preparing briefing materials for the board meetings
  • Perform other duties assigned by the executive director
  • Assist in fundraising efforts.

Knowledge, Ability & Skills Knowledge and Ability

  • Strong background in a wide range of communication and engagement activities including work with communities, governments, industry stakeholders, indigenous communities and youth.
  • Ability to learn and translate the technical aspects of watershed science to diverse audiences through expert verbal and written communications.
  • Knowledge of community and stakeholder’s relations, public participation, environmental education programs and practices.
  • Advanced marketing skills and ability to build and maintain collaborative relationships with stakeholders and other partners


  • Excellent interpersonal skills to influence, negotiate, mediate and build a consensus in a collaborative environment
  • Excellent written and oral communication and presentation skills
  • Advanced facilitation skills and public speaking proficiency
  • Strong organizational skills and proven time management and the ability to manage a diverse workload
  • Self-motivated with the drive and perseverance to work independently and as well as working within a team environment.
  • Excellent skills in communication tools and social media platforms
  • Strong digital information management and technology skills.
  • Ability to work outside of regular working hours
  • Valid Class 5 Alberta driver’s license.


A post-secondary degree or diploma in a related field (education, communications, public engagement, social and environmental studies, public relations) is required. Related experience and education may be accepted as equivalent.

Knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Mailchimp, Adobe InDesign and Photoshop as well as GIS software will be considered an asset.


Please email cover letter and resume to [email protected] before August 7, 2018