Wildlife Ambassadors


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Applications to join the Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors will be accepted until 11:59pm MST on Monday April 15, 2024.

Note: There are a limited number of spots available for new Wildlife Ambassadors!

The Volunteer Wildlife Ambassador program is an award-winning community-driven education initiative that promotes responsible land use and wildlife safety ethics in the Bow Valley communities and Kananaskis Country. Our goal is to develop a coordinated approach to education/outreach programs and help aid in increased public safety and enjoyment.

The Wildlife Ambassador Program lays the foundation for grassroot involvement in communicating about human-wildlife interaction, and in making positive behaviour changes to keep wildlife and people safe. Through a multifaceted training program and a philosophy of celebrating the diverse individuals who make up the local community, this program will make wildlife and human safety more than a matter of rules; it will be part of the Bow Valley culture.

This initiative has been running since 2007 and is a partnership between the Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley's WildSmart Program and Alberta Parks.

Duties and Responsibilities

Volunteers present roving or stationary wildlife talks on trails, at trail-heads, day use areas, in parks, at community events and in campgrounds throughout the Bow and Kananaskis Valleys in teams of two or more. With animal artifacts and educational resources, Ambassadors engage people in conversations on smart trail use and increased awareness of wildlife safety and habitat needs. Volunteer Ambassadors do not act in an enforcement capacity. They complement WildSmart and Alberta Parks messaging by educating residents and visitors.

Qualifications

  • No experience is necessary as training will be provided
  • Interests or hobbies related to environmental education, interpretation, ecology, Parks, and natural history are an asset
  • We are committed to diversity among the Volunteer Wildlife Ambassadors and encourage applicants of all backgrounds and ability levels to apply

Requirements

  • Consistent access to a vehicle
  • Standard First Aid CPR/AED Level C certification (Note: First Aid Certification can be obtained after being accepted into the Widllife Ambassador Program at the volunteer's expense).

Time Commitment

All applicants will be interviewed online via Zoom and only accepted applicants will be invited to take part in the required training. There is a question in the application form asking you to specify the time of day you would be available for an interview (Interviews will be up to 30 minutes long).

Required training will consist of an online portion (4 hours) and a mandatory full day in-person training session (8 hours) that will take place at the Canmore Nordic Centre (Date to be determined) in Canmore, AB. (Initial Training will be approx.12 hours). 

In addition to the 12 hours of required initial training, Wildlife Ambassadors are expected to commit to a minimum of one 4-hour shift per month, mostly on a Saturday or Sunday (but weekdays are possible), from May to September. (Minimum of 20 hours over five months).

Due to the resources and time committments involved with training, priority will be given to those applicants who are willing to commit to the program for at least 2 years. We strive to provide a positive experience for volunteers and have found that volunteer satisfaction and effectiveness increase over multiple years, rather that in just one summer. Building relationships is a key part of this role and the more volunteers put into the role, the more they get out of it.

Benefits

Volunteers receive extensive training on living smart with wildlife, communication techniques, and relevant natural history. These training sessions include guest speakers, opportunities to learn and practice interpretation skills, and constructive peer and supervisor feedback. Volunteers will get a chance to meet like-minded individuals and build meaningful relationships with their fellow Ambassadors. Additional Professional Development opportunities will be provided when possible. 

Interested in volunteering with the Wildlife Ambassadors? Fill out the online Wildlife Ambassador Application Form. The black "Fill in an application" link button to the online application form is located in the top part of the right side bar of this page. After clicking on that link button, you will first need to create an account in Myvolunteerpage.com (the online database is called Betterimpact). You will be using this online account regularly if you become an Ambassador in order to sign up for your shifts. 

All applicants will be interviewed and only accepted applicants will be invited to the required training.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on Monday April 15, 2024.

Please note that there are limited spots available for new Wildlife Ambassadors!

If you have any questions, contact Nick de Ruyter (WildSmart Program Director) at: info@wildsmart.ca

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WildSmart Mission Statement

The WildSmart program is a proactive conservation strategy that encourages efforts by communities to reduce negative human - wildlife interactions.

Our goal is to develop a coordinated approach to education/outreach programs and help support direct management activities that will aid in increasing public safety and enjoyment as well as contribute towards sustainable wildlife populations.

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