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Re-advertisement - Student Opportunity: SMART Conservation and the Production of Nature 3.0 Research Assistant

Re-advertisement - Student Opportunity: SMART Conservation and the Production of Nature 3.0 Research Assistant


Published on July 22, 2021

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Job ID: 31381

Application Deadline: Friday, September 3, 2021 @11:59pm

Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are only accepted through the Career Centre. Go to and search for the posting with the Job ID (listed above).

Hourly Wage: $16.25 per hour

Weekly Hours: 6.5 hours per week

Start Date: September 13, 2021

End Date: April 29, 2022

Job Description

Under the supervision of Dr. James Stinson and Dr. Mary Wiktorowicz, the SMART Conservation RAY student will:

  • Support the development of a research agenda analyzing linkages between Planetary Health and emerging smart technologies in the context of biodiversity conservation.
  • Support Dr. Stinson’s SSHRC funded research project “Smart Conservation and the Production of Nature 3.0 in Belize" Over the past decade, a new regime of biodiversity conservation has emerged at the intersection of two global phenomenon: the global crisis of biodiversity loss and species extinction on one hand, and the development of “smart” technologies, characterized by artificial intelligence and machine learning, on the other. In the context of conservation, smart sensors, cameras, and other monitoring technologies are already widely deployed as an environmental parallel to the “smart home” and/or “smart city." These new “smart” parks and protected areas are rendering nature visible in new ways through unprecedented flows of real­time data, facilitating new forms of algorithmic and militarized environmental governance. Framed through the interdisciplinary lens of political ecology, this project will provide a discursive and ethnographic examination of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART), and its use in terrestrial and marine protected areas in Belize. SMART is a software application for mobile devices that makes it possible for park rangers to collect, store, share and analyze data on poaching, wildlife observations, and arrests in real­time. Since its initial deployment in 2011, SMART has quickly become the global standard for environmental monitoring, and is used in over 800 parks and protected areas in more than 60 countries.
  • Attend and actively participate in a weekly transdisciplinary seminar series on planetary health and environmental research
  • Any other duties as assigned

Specific research activities the student(s) will be engaged in:

  • Create a structured and annotated bibliographic review of existing literature;
  • Create a digital research archive of PDFs of identified papers;
  • Mobilize research results for public audiences via social media
  • Create draft PowerPoint presentations that capture the core conceptual content.

Type of research experience the student(s) will receive:

  • Critical thinking
  • Conducting literature review
  • Knowledge mobilization for public audiences
  • Preparing presentations and written outputs of research; Editing and formatting drafts

Type of training and support that will be provided to the student(s) in carrying out these research activities:

  • Methodological training on data analysis
  • Subject matter training on Planetary Health, Smart Conservation, Latin America, biodiversity protection, green militarization, community-based conservation.
  • Training in the use of reference management software
  • Day-to-day supervision by DIGHR Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Regular status meetings with your supervising Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. James Stinson


  • Current undergraduate York student (we encourage applicants from diverse programs of study)
  • Demonstrated interest in biodiversity conservation, smart technology, Indigenous Peoples, Environmentalism, Latin America, and/or Planetary Health
  • Demonstrated skills, experience, and familiarity with conducting literature reviews
  • Experience working with people from a variety of backgrounds/cultures
  • Excellent communication skills: professional email/phone correspondence, public speaking, and presentation proficiency
  • Excellent computer skills (word processing, email, database management, spreadsheets)
  • Demonstrates an eagerness to learn and take on initiative
  • Demonstrates organizational and time management skills
  • Ability and willingness to work both independently and as part of a team with researchers, students, and staff

List of applications materials:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample


Planetary Health



Related Work





Mary E. Wiktorowicz, Associate Director Active
James Stinson, Postdoctoral Fellow, Planetary Health & Education Active

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