Join our team! We’re hiring an Administrative Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Title: Administrative Assistant-Full Time (32 hours/week with possible increase)

Term: Permanent Employee 

Closing Date: February 19th, 2021 

About the organization

Living Lakes Canada is a dynamic, fast-paced, and progressive registered charitable Non Governmental Organization whose focus is on collaborative problem solving to address climate change impacts on water and ecosystems. Members of our Team have an interest or knowledge about natural systems, Indigenous reconciliation, water sustainability, community-based monitoring, biodiversity, and climate change. The ideal candidate would share similar values, and take pride in their work knowing they are helping to make a difference. 

Deadline: The deadline to apply is February 19th, 2021 at 5 p.m. PST, preferred start date as soon as possible. 


Although remote work is an option, the ideal candidate would be based out of Nelson, B.C. where Living Lakes Canada currently has office space and the Administrative Director, and Operations Director are located. 

Job Summary: 

Reporting to the Administrative Director, the Administrative Assistant will be responsible for providing administrative support to ensure efficient operation of the office. The position supports managers and employees through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments and travel, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to requests by email/on our website. 

Ability to effectively communicate via phone and email is extremely important ensuring that all Administrative Assistant duties are completed accurately and delivered with high quality and in a timely manner. Experience and sound judgment to plan and accomplish goals and a wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. 

Assists with processing and preparing invoices, expense claims, reviewing timesheets, and other internal processes key to the function of the organization. This position would be directly supporting the Administrative Director, the Executive Director, and/or Operations Director. 

Additional tasks may include; basic office maintenance and organization, preparing board materials, and internal organization filing systems and data management. A strong working knowledge of Google Suite is an asset, additional technological competency in Asana, Highrise, Zoom, QuickBooks, and Microsoft Suite would be considered an asset. 

Salary Range: 

  • $38-45,000 annually. Based on experience and qualifications 

Core Competencies: 

  • Excellent time management skills and ability to multitask and prioritize work 
  • Knowledge and experience working with Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, Asana, Highrise, Zoom, DocuSign, and Quickbooks preferred. Training will be provided 
  • Typing skills 
  • Attention to detail and problem solving skills
  • Communicates effectively, both verbally and in writing. 
  • Adaptable, capable of handling a large amount of complex information 


  • Administrative Assistant Diploma or Certificate 
  • 3-5 years experience working as an Administrative Assistant 
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills 
  • Work experience with an environmental not-for-profit considered an asset 
  • Knowledge and experience working with Google Suite, Microsoft Office Suite, Asana, Highrise, Zoom, and Quickbooks 
  • Preference given to applicants with experience managing multiple social media platforms for organizations. 

To Apply:

To apply or inquire about the Administrative Assistant opportunity with Living Lakes Canada please send an email to with a cover letter and resume..


Explore the Columbia Basin Water Hub: 3-part Webinar Series

Dates: December 15 - 17 2020
Times: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm Pacific Time (PT)
Type: workshop
Location: Online
Phone: 647.622.0166

This event is invite-only. 

Database Manager Santiago Botero will explain how to use the emerging Columbia Basin Water Hub in this 3-part webinar series taking place on December 15th, 16th, and 17th. Each webinar will be 1 hour long and will run from 1-2pm PT/2-3pm MT.

This informal series will serve as an introduction of the Water Hub to interested water monitoring  groups.  The webinar series will provide an overview of the vision and purpose of the datahub as well as provide online training regarding the database features and tools. This introduction webinar series is an opportunity for an interactive, more dynamic database that is better aligned with the needs of communities and groups in the Columbia Basin.  

Bulkley River Watershed Fish Passage Restoration

Author: Kyle Prince, LLC Program Coordinator

In late August/early September, Living Lakes Canada assisted completing fish passage assessments, fish habitat confirmation surveys, and fish sampling on high priority streams in the Bulkley Watershed near Smithers, B.C. This project leverages an incredible amount of work conducted by local groups, regulators, governments and individuals over many years including the Wet’suwet’en and Gitxsan First Nations on whose traditional territory the study area is located. 

These efforts are very important to help identify where fish passage remediation initiatives could restore access to high quality upstream habitat, which has become inaccessible for fish species due to stream crossing developments like closed bottom structures (culverts) on resource roads, highways and railways. Culverts are notorious for restricting fish access due to increased water velocity, turbulence, a vertical drop at the outlet, and/or maintenance issues. The crossing assessment protocol documents the structure, and determines whether it is a “barrier” by using a scored system based on attributes such as embedment, stream width ratio, slope, length, and outlet drop.

The prioritized streams with moderate or higher habitat value are then surveyed downstream approximately 300 metres or to the next confluence, and upstream at least 600 metres. This confirms and further defines the quality of fish habitat present, documents any fish sighted, and ensures there are no other barriers, natural or anthropogenic in close proximity to the crossing that were not identified during the field preparation phase.

Fish sampling is being utilized at some sites to collect biological evidence of impacts from structures that potentially prevent migration. Aerial imagery is sometimes collected by remotely piloted aircrafts when survey conditions are difficult and/or when forest canopy conditions allow. The Bulkley Watershed contains multiple salmon species including coho, chinook, sockeye, steelhead and pink salmon. There are also cutthroat, bull trout, lamprey and numerous other species, and the watershed provides important spawning and rearing habitat, some of which is no longer accessible due to impassable crossings.

The project is currently led by the Society for Ecosystem Restoration in Northern BC (SERNbc) and is a collaboration between New Graph Environment, Hillcrest Geographics, Living Lakes Canada among others. The project was funded by the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund with support from the Provincial Fish Passage Remediation program and the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Contact Program Coordinator Kyle Prince with any questions:


Students learn about leading edge eDNA research in hands-on demonstration

By Kyle Prince, LLC Program Coordinator

On October 30, Living Lakes Canada (LLC) staff Kyle Prince and Santiago Botero provided an Targeted Environmental DNA (eDNA) demonstration to Selkirk College Integrated Environmental Planning (IEP) students, and then teamed up with the students to collect targeted eDNA samples. 

This was completed as part of the Flow H20 project, which is a pilot of the Fresh Water Data Commons (FWDC). FWDC is a collaboration between Carl Data Solutions and its subsidiaries, i4C Innovation and Astra Smart Systems, Teck Resources, Genome BC, Microsoft, University of Victoria, and LLC with support of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

One of the Flow H20 components includes Targeted eDNA research, which is led by the University of Victoria (U of Vic) Dr. Caren Helbing Lab and assisted by LLC. U of Vic provided background information, virtual training, directed project design, and analyzes the samples and reports on results. LLC finds local partnerships in the study area, collects field samples, filters/preserves them, and sends them to the U of Vic Lab for analysis. This latest round of sampling was the second of the year; the first round was collected in July

The search for partnerships and local projects to help gather meaningful information was how LLC first interacted with Selkirk College and planned on sampling in the college’s restoration wetland project. IEP students have a long history of collaboration with Columbia Power on this site. They have worked since 2016 on enhancing the biodiversity and structure of vegetation immediately adjacent to the wetland.

“Columbia Power has been very supportive of experimentation during the project ” said Doris Hausleitner, instructor of the IEP restoration field school. “The collection of eDNA provides an additional tool to monitor the effectiveness of restoration and manage for invasive species”  

LLC staff met the Selkirk College IEP class on site to explain Targeted eDNA, field and filtration protocol, explaining how all animals slough off DNA through skin, mucus, feces, etc. into their immediate environment, and that these eDNA fragments can be captured by properly filtering a water sample, which is then analyzed in a lab. The importance of decontaminating equipment between sites to eliminate eDNA transfer and keep results accurate was also emphasized. LLC demonstrated the field collection protocol, and then students were given a chance to try it out for themselves.

Students volunteered to collect the remaining required samples and provided additional water chemistry data, all of which will be used in the final report. It was a great way for students to gain some knowledge and experience on an emerging environmental survey technology that they will almost certainly encounter in their careers.

“With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, Kyle and Santiago did a wonderful demonstration on site,” said Allison Lutz, Geography/Hydrology Instructor at Selkirk College. They took students through the entire process from sanitation of gear to eDNA sampling, setting up of equipment and filtration. This type of leading edge, hands-on experience is an extremely valuable learning opportunity. Students were engaged and had lots of questions about the future potential of eDNA analysis.”

The following day, LLC staff returned to the area to collect the remaining samples along with completing the filtration/preservation process. Once the samples are analyzed results can be compared to the July collection session, and to any existing historic data from conventional surveys. This knowledge will help inform the local restoration/conservation areas, and develop a greater understanding of eDNA applications, detection rates, applicability.

Pre-restoration monitoring in the Columbia Headwaters

Living Lakes Canada spent time in B.C.’s Columbia Valley (East Kootenay) the first week of October assisting a Shuswap Indian Band project that’s being done in collaboration with the Columbia Wetlands Stewardship Partners (CWSP) thanks to a DFO funding contribution for aquatic species at risk ($1.7 million over four years).

CHARS (Columbia Headwaters Aquatic Restoration Secwépemc Strategy) has determined that the Columbia River and Wetlands have roughly 300 tributaries entering between Canal Flats and Donald. In order to enhance habitat for at-risk fish species, CHARS is prioritizing 20 streams with restoration work planned for five to 10, some having been damaged by extreme sedimentation events and creek blowouts.

“We’re focusing on the east side tributaries , where there is more private land and easier access,” said project lead Jon Bisset. “The west side is primarily affected by logging, with less access.”

Part of the restoration work includes removing agricultural dams that are blocking fish passage. As an example, six dams have been removed from Galena Creek at the north end of the valley and replaced with irrigation pipe systems that can be raised and lowered without affecting fish movement yet still allowing for irrigation to fields. 

LLC staff Raegan Mallinson and Kyle Prince completed the pre-restoration monitoring using CABIN, and collected DNA samples at every site to contribute to the STREAM project.

“We collected traditional samples at the furthest downstream (most affected) site on every creek,” explained Mallinson. “Jon has also asked us to collect archive samples at the most downstream site.” 


A water monitoring framework for the Upper (Canadian) Columbia Basin

Living in a changing climate poses many difficulties. One of the most pressing issues arises around water: its quality, and its availability. Water monitoring within a standardized framework is necessary to collect this data, and there has been a documented need for increased water monitoring in the Canadian Columbia Basin for well over a decade (see “Background” below).

This past June, a University of British Columbia study was published, Detecting the Effects of Sustained Glacier Wastage on Streamflow in Variably Glacierized Catchments, that suggests the glacier-melt contributions to August runoff have already passed peak water in the Canadian Columbia Basin. The analysis indicates that there is a clear declining trend, which can have implications for streamflow forecasting and summer water temperature response during hot, dry weather (see the BC Drought Map that classified the East and West Kootenay basins as Level 2 “dry” this past summer; and currently the East Kootenay as Level 2).

The increased frequency of extreme events and the projected decreases in low flows both suggest some urgency for a more comprehensive  monitoring network be implemented in order to understand the hydrological  and water quality  changes, and  to mitigate and adapt to the growing risks of changes in flow regimes. 

On June 8th 2020, LLC convened and facilitated a hydrology workshop with the purpose of developing recommendations for a phased expansion of the monitoring network for the Upper (Canadian) Columbia Basin (UCB).


The workshop objectives were:

  • to develop criteria for selecting (priority) watersheds to be included in a regional watershed monitoring network;
  • identify monitoring needs related to scientific objectives;
  • to develop a process for ranking monitoring needs in terms of both site locations and measured parameters;
  • and describe a potential phased implementation.

Greg Utzig, PAg, and Dr. Martin Carver, PEng/PGeo, PAg, provided a proposed approach to expanding the UCB monitoring network, and then the workshop participants actively engaged with the proposal, providing feedback on how it might be improved and implemented.


In 2006, the Pacific Impacts Consortium (PCIC) report for Columbia Basin Trust, Preliminary Analysis of Climate Variability and Change in the Canadian Columbia River Basin: Focus on Water Resources, identified the importance of programs required for water data collection to fill important water data gaps allowing for more informed decision making by all levels of government. A follow up report by PCIC in 2013, Climate Extremes in the Canadian Columbia Basin: A Preliminary Assessment, predicted many of the climate change impacts we are currently experiencing in the Columbia Basin.

In 2017, a report released by the Trust identified the current state of knowledge of water quality and quantity in the Columbia Basin. The report, Water Monitoring and Climate in the Upper Columbia Basin, Summary of Current Status and Opportunities, highlights data gaps, a need for a coordinated monitoring effort, and a “streamlined archival and retrieval technologies” for water data. This report prompted Living Lakes Canada to organize and co-convene a conference in late 2017 — An Open Source Data Dialogue Towards a Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Framework — where the need for a water monitoring framework and data hub was agreed upon by the water data experts from around North America who were in attendance.

Working off information from the aforementioned reports and conference proceedings, Living Lakes Canada began to facilitate the coordination of logistics around filling the identified data gaps, involving volunteer and paid steering committee members, various agencies, industry, academia and community organizations. with the participation and collaboration of First Nations. The Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative (Collaborative) and the Columbia Basin Water Hub online database were born.

UCB Water Data Hub

The Columbia Basin Water Hub was created out of the need for a central place to gather and archive past, present, and future water quantity and quality data, as well as other types of water data such as glaciers, wetlands, and groundwater. The Water Hub is an open data “library” that can accommodate any file type where anyone can find a variety of data that refers to water within the Columbia Basin. Through this database we aim to house the data gaps that are identified by the Collaborative. The Water Hub will allow for informed, data-driven decision making with our Basin, offering a holistic approach to water management.

LLC is making progress towards finalizing the Columbia Basin Water Hub as a repository for water quantity and quality data, and other water-related data. Recently, we have managed to solidify different categories of data that are important to monitoring groups within the Columbia Basin. We have also created a user manual that guides database users and we have conducted testing of the database with different people from around the Basin.

Currently we are defining data governance for the database, to ensure its long-term success. This includes ensuring provincial and national metadata standards will be met by user groups. Our original fall launch date was delayed due to a longer testing period, but we are working hard to create an accessible, thorough and quality data portal that meets provincial water data standards in order to empower individuals, communities, and decision making groups.

Direct questions about the Columbia Basin Water Hub to Database Manager Santiago Botero:

Long-term data for water decision making

Submitted by Paul Saso, NKLWMP hydrologist

The North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project (NKLWMP) has recently completed another freshet and summer monitoring season at seven streamflow sites and three climate stations. With some of our stations records now stretching back to 2012, we have over eight years of data at some of our stations.

Thanks to the dedicated efforts of our volunteers, staff, and funders, our data record is becoming more and more useful to researchers and decision makers since longer records provide a more in-depth picture of the hydrology of each basin and can provide essential information for making decisions around water resource management, development, fire safety, ecology and more.

As our data record has grown and our stations are doing well, we are now focusing some of our attention on ensuring that potential data users can easily access our data. To achieve this goal, NKLWMP is developing several partnerships:

  • Firstly, we have joined forces with Living Lakes Canada and are excited to have our data available through their Columbia Basin Water Hub, the online database.
  • We are also refining our data and improving our data processing through a new sponsorship from Aquatic Informatics, the software company that makes Aquarius, which we consider to be one of the best hydrometric data processing software systems. They have been very generous to offer us a free subscription to their software and online database where we will also be showcasing our data.

This year the project received funding from the Kootenay Lake Local Conservation Fund, Regional District Central Kootenay Affected Areas Program (RDCK AAP), and the Community Fund of North Kootenay Lake Society (CFNKLS). We are deeply grateful and  appreciative to our volunteers and advisors who have contributed a significant amount of field work hours.

With winter fast approaching, Paul Saso, NKLWMP’s hydrologist, will be heading out to all our sites to download data from our loggers and prepare all the stations for winter. We are also getting ready for another year of snow surveys at our high elevation sites.

Adapting our programs to the COVID-19 climate

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect our daily lives and routines, the Living Lakes Canada team has been adapting where and when possible. We are maintaining our efforts to protect fresh water sources. The climate crisis will continue to impact water, which in turn will continue to impact communities and biodiversity. 

Adhering strictly to public health recommendations, we’ve been able to deliver several training sessions, we’ve continued to use an online format to replace in-person meetings, and since the nature of field work is to be (mostly) alone and outside, we’ve been able to undertake several exciting projects (see our October 2020 News Stream newsletter for recent updates).

The COVID modifications we’re implementing for each program are listed below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

General Operations

The Living Lakes Canada team is still working diligently to deliver all of our projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team members are all working from home and we stay connected online. All Program Managers have adapted their projects to ensure current physical distancing protocols are adhered to. Our priority always has been, and will continue to be, the protection and stewardship of freshwater in Canada. 

~Executive Director Kat Hartwig:


To minimize the risk of COVID-19 in the communities we work and play, we’ve implemented new protocols which include sanitization, performed task hazard analysis on the existing CABIN protocol steps to ensure participant safety and taken extra precautions including closed courses with smaller course sizes. We have been implementing health tracking for staff which includes recording any symptoms for 2 weeks before hosting any groups or traveling to remote communities. The largest challenge has been planned travel to other provinces. All of our courses in Ontario have been postponed to 2021 including Kenora, Thunder Bay, and Ottawa and our Whitehorse course has been postponed indefinitely. For our upcoming targeted eDNA work in collaboration with Selkirk College, the range and extent of “hands on” collaboration and interaction will be subject to current COVID-19 restrictions, but it will still be an informative event for Selkirk students, and allow LLC to continue collecting critical information on important species in the area. We want to thank all of our project partners for adapting to the new protocols to make training and water monitoring still possible.                                        

~STREAM/CABIN Program Manager Raegan Mallinson:

Kootenay Lake Partnership (KLP)

The Kootenay Lake Partnership has been proceeding with training on the Shoreline Guidance Document, from a distance! COVID-19 will be re-shaping what public engagement looks like as we explore online options to connect with communities to ensure that shoreline regulations meet shared objectives and the needs of our communities. 

~KLP Acting Program Coordinator Kristin Aasen:


Foreshore Integrated Management Planning (FIMP)

The FIMP Program continues to implement various measures and precautions to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19. For example, consultants included physical distancing measures, face masks, and the use of copious amounts of hand sanitizer while completing fieldwork this summer (which had its challenges considering most of this work was done from small boats). In one instance, fieldwork was actually delayed to accommodate a self-quarantine due to a potential exposure to COVID-19. 

~FIMP Acting Program Manager Ryan Cloutier:

Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program

The Groundwater Monitoring Program has been implementing social distancing and safety protocols – both in the office and in the field. The British Columbia Ground Water Association (BCGWA) has compiled COVID-19 information and links that are relevant to BCGWA members and the groundwater community. We have been continuing to follow industry standards and COVID-19 specific guidance for protecting people and our groundwater resources.

~Groundwater Program Manager Carol Luttmer:

Columbia Basin Water Monitoring Collaborative & Water Hub

We are fortunate that most of our work is carried out remotely. However, in order to minimize the risk of exposure and spread of COVID-19, and to protect our team members and database users, we have set up extra precautions. With the release of our database approaching, we anticipated the need to connect with some of our users face to face, so we are setting up online “Office Hours” to minimize contact and still meet with our users. We also adhere to the policies put in place for the Living Lakes office space we work in. Following proper guidelines for hand washing, physical distance, and staying home if sick. We are grateful that we can support the access to important water data through these challenging times.

~ Water Hub Database Manager Santiago Botero:

North Kootenay Lake Water Monitoring Project

Since most of our recording stations are automated and can be serviced by one person, NKLWMP was able continue monitoring streamflow, climate, and snow accumulation around Kootenay Lake during the pandemic without much impact. To protect our volunteers we did decide to miss two of our regular snow course measurements as they require volunteers to stay in remote backcountry cabins that could not be guaranteed to be well-sanitized. We also reduced the amount of volunteer involvement on field visits as a precaution, and continue to be vigilant in our approach to managing the health of ourselves and our volunteers.

~Program Hydrologist Paul Saso:



Long-term groundwater data could inform aquifer response to drought

The summer has been a busy time for the Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program. We established new Volunteer Observation Wells (VOWs), completed ongoing maintenance and monitoring of existing VOWs, trained volunteers in data collection, and collaborated with other organizations and citizens to share data, plan restoration projects and support studies on groundwater contributions to surface waters. 

Since July we have installed water level loggers in five new VOWs in partnerships with the Village of Canal Flats, McDonald Ranch and Lumber (Grasmere), Village of Radium Hot Springs/Kala Geosciences, and with private landowners near Skookumchuk and Silverton. Many of the well owners are using a mobile App to view and download the data in real-time. You can read about the new observation well in Radium here and the other wells here.

There are now 18 wells that are being actively monitored as part of the Living Lakes Canada Columbia Basin Groundwater Monitoring Program. These wells complement the six Provincial Groundwater Observation Wells in the Columbia Basin that are operated by the provincial government.  Monitoring water levels in as many aquifers as possible gives us local site-specific information that can be used to manage and protect groundwater resources.  

We now have several years of data for some of the wells in the program, which allows for seasonal and yearly trends to be assessed. These trends can be used to determine how groundwater systems respond to short and long-term changes in climate, groundwater extraction, and land use. For example, this summer both the East and West Kootenay Basins reached Drought Level 2 “Dry” in late summer and last year both Basins reached Drought Level 3 “Very Dry” by mid-June. Drought information can be found on the British Columbia Drought Information Portal.  Some aquifers may respond quickly to these drought conditions while others may respond over much larger time scales, such as decades. The groundwater level data collected in this program could help us understand how aquifers respond to drought conditions and ensure aquifers are managed and protected so there is sufficient supply for people and nature.

Into the fall we will be downloading, reviewing and sharing the data from the monitoring wells. Stay tuned for more information. If you would like to monitor or learn about groundwater in your area, need assistance accessing data, or you are interested in partnership opportunities contact us at

For more information on the Groundwater Program, check out this brochure.

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