Job Opportunity

Program Lead, Great Lakes Communities Monitoring Initiative

Position Type: Full-time position through to March 2022
Location: Downtown Toronto
Start Date: ASAP

The Great Lakes Communities Recreational Waters Monitoring Initiative is a four-year demonstration project to engage underserved communities in water quality monitoring, data-sharing, and stewardship. The purposes of the Initiative are (i) to invent a scalable, sustainable model for ongoing water quality monitoring that addresses both western science and traditional knowledge needs; (ii) to hone best practices for communicating water quality results to the community quickly and reliably; and, (iii) to identify the communications technology infrastructure required to sustain these activities across the Great Lakes region, including in First Nations communities. In so doing, we can help to ensure that all Great Lakes waters are protected for generations to come and that waterborne illnesses become a thing of the past.

The Initiative will establish and support recreational water quality monitoring programs in 6 pilot communities, including 3 First Nations communities. Here’s how it works: The Initiative will develop a recreational water quality monitoring program that can be implemented in any community (north, south, urban, rural, Indigenous, etc.). The Initiative will launch water quality monitoring programs where existing monitoring programs do not meet community needs. Pilot communities’ work will identify and document the needs for a suite of web-based tools and data-sharing systems that Swim Drink Fish will build to empower more Great Lakes communities to monitor, enjoy, and protect their waters than ever before.

About the position

The Program Lead is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day project, including managing staff, financial monitoring and reporting, performance monitoring, and impact reporting. They will oversee the development of core program development activities in the first years.

The Program Lead will work with Swim Guide Program Manager to identify hub locations, set up monitoring hubs, support conduct of Environmental Health and Safety Surveys, train hub coordinators, oversee project milestones to ensure they are completed on time, on budget, with transparency and accountability, and that the funding model is developed to sustain the project in the long-term. Travel will be part of this position.


  • Supervise hub coordinators in their execution of a community-based water quality monitoring programs in the six hub locations in accordance with established program timelines and strategies:

  • Assist in the recruiting of hub coordinators and seasonal staff.

  • Train and oversee coordinators in the monitoring program, with particular attention to following standard operating procedures

  • Supervise in-house microbiological laboratory using an IDEXX Colilert system for testing E. coli levels in water

  • Oversee the development of site-specific water monitoring protocols and supporting materials for hub labs and monitoring sites.

  • Supervise coordinators in fieldwork and water sample collection including scheduling and transportation logistics

  • Oversee record-keeping, data-entry, and all paperwork associated with the operation of water quality monitoring activities

  • Oversee data collection, analysis, and data sharing on Swim Guide (

  • Work with the curriculum lead to develop program materials and standard operational procedures.

  • Verify Swim Drink Fish water quality monitoring activities use and comply with curriculum and standard operational procedures.

  • Support and oversee the coordinators in volunteer recruitment and management.

  • Supervise and support the coordinators in planning and execution of youth/community engagement in monitoring activities including sample collection, field reports, sample processing, and event support.

  • Supervise and support development and dissemination of ongoing public communications via social media, the Swim Guide platform, print, other SDF platforms. The Indigenous Community Monitoring Program Manager will work with the program`s in-house communications team to maintain an active and engaging social media presence that shares the ongoing activities of Swim Guide Program with a growing online community.

  • Compilation of a final report of sample results, volunteer engagement, field reports, and Environmental Health and Safety survey.

  • Oversee program budget.


  • Candidates will have a combination of management skills, technical skills and community engagement skills that meet the demands of community-based monitoring activities. Candidates must have strong leadership skills. We expect the program lead to have at least 3 years of experience in a program management position.

  • The candidate must demonstrate a strong background in Great Lakes water quality and/or recreational water quality monitoring.

  • The candidate must have a demonstrated knowledge of Indigenous culture and identity. Demonstrated experience working with/in Indigenous communities is preferred.

  • Exceptional organizational and planning skills are paramount. A passion for water stewardship together with interest and experience in a variety of water recreation activities is desired.

  • The candidate must have strong problem-solving, written and oral communication skills including proven proficiency in writing and proofreading.

  • Additionally, candidates must hold a valid driver’s license, be available to work flexible hours including evening and weekend community engagement activities. The candidate must we willing and able to travel to hub sites as part of this position.

  • Bilingual candidates are preferred.

  • Suitable candidates may hold a bachelor’s or Master’s degree in a related field, including environmental science, public health, and water science. Comparable qualifications or work experience are equally considered.

Indigenous candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


Email the following information to with the subject “GLCMI: Program Lead - Your Name”:

  1. A letter that describes why you would make a the ideal program lead. Ensure you refer to the desired qualifications section.

  2. Your resumé, including a list of management roles/projects and/or links to your portfolio.

  3. Names and contact information for two references.

Swim Drink Fish Canada is committed to having a skilled, diversified workforce reflective of the Toronto community, and to the equitable representation of women, Indigenous peoples, and members of a visible minority group.

Sorry, but we can only respond to those candidates selected for an interview.



SWIM DRINK FISH CANADA is a growing charity working for a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. Our programs bring together law, science, culture, and digital media in order to connect and empower people to restore polluted places, protect human health, and promote thriving natural spaces.