The Department of Environment and Resource Studies (ERS:
http://www.environment.uwaterloo.ca/ers) and the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development
(SEED: http://www.seed.uwaterloo.ca/) invite applications for a tenure-track position, at the Assistant or
Associate Professor rank, in the area of social and environmental innovation.
The unifying theme for both ERS and SEED is social-ecological problem solving. Within ERS, we
particularly seek an innovative scholar and teacher to focus on the environment-human society interface
where this may include – but is not limited to – focus on social and environmental justice, environment
and education, sustainability and institutional change, sustainability impact assessment, and the broader
fields of political ecology and environmental sociology. Within SEED, the position would be housed
within the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (WISIR) (http://www.sig.uwaterloo.ca),
where the candidate would join an interdisciplinary team of researchers focused on innovation in
intractable social-ecological problem domains where the interface may include - but is not limited to -
social and technical innovation and its impact on a wide range of problem domains.
Courses and supervisory roles would be commensurate with the fields described above. It is expected
that all roles would be split between ERS and SEED.
ERS offers an undergraduate program that admits over 100 students annually. The department offers
thesis masters and doctoral degrees (combined admission of about 24 students annually). For four
decades, ERS has promoted and advanced trans-disciplinary approaches to human-environment
relations. Three broad conceptual themes guide our teaching, learning, and scholarly inquiry:
• Assessing the theoretical foundations and practical implications of progress toward a sustainable
society, and application of this analysis as a broad context for specific work;
• Understanding socio-ecological interrelations as dynamic complex systems vulnerable to being
over-stressed by human activities; and
• Examining conventional and alternative social arrangements, including institutions and tools of
governance, as means of improving human wellbeing and environmental responsibility.
WISIR is a new center established in SEED in 2010. It is primarily a research institute, with a focus on:
• Analyzing intractable problem domains as complex systems that are best understood by using a
system perspective as well as a resilience framework to illuminate the dynamics of change and
• Understanding the dynamics of social innovation, including the origin of social inventions, how
social inventions are disseminated and how they are scaled up to change the broader institutional
context including the broad social, economic and cultural rules which govern our society; and
• Understanding the roles and skills of social entrepreneurs, institutional entrepreneurs and policy
entrepreneurs and how they interact to catalyze and support the dynamics of social innovation.
Under the auspices of SEED, WISIR offers a graduate diploma (professional) in social innovation,
geared at attracting change agents from private, public and not for profit organizations. WISIR is also in
the process of developing undergraduate courses as part of the programs in Environment and Business
and International Development offered within SEED. The successful candidate would be responsible for
helping in the development of these courses, and therefore would be required to work closely with SEED
faculty outside of the WISIR group. WISIR is also dedicated to application and participates in Social
Innovation Generation, a Canada wide initiative funded by the J.W. McConnell Foundation to build the
capacity for social innovation in Canada. SEED offers comprehensive and highly inter-disciplinary
professional programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, in sustainable business and
development, with degrees in environment and business, international development, local economic
development and social innovation generation. SEED has a current enrolment of approximately 800
students, and is experiencing further growth. In 2011, the School moved to a new 57,000 sq. ft. LEED©
Platinum building with new classrooms, student space and offices.
There are many opportunities for collaboration at the University of Waterloo. ERS and SEED are part of
the Faculty of Environment (http://www.environment.uwaterloo.ca) that also includes: a Department of
Geography and Environmental Management; a School of Planning; and a Centre for Knowledge
Integration. The Faculty is distinguished by its inter-disciplinary commitment to undergraduate and
graduate education, strong research activity and community outreach. ERS and SEED are linked to
Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation, Centre for Ecosystem Resilience and Adaptation and
Centre for Applied Sciences in Ontario Protected Areas, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, the
Water Institute, and the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent; an active, fundable research program relevant to a trans-
disciplinary approach to environmental studies and to social innovation; demonstrated ability in
publishing in relevant peer-reviewed journals, and demonstrated commitment to and quality of teaching
at all levels. The successful candidate will supervise undergraduate and graduate project and thesis
Applicants should submit a letter of application stating career objectives, approach to learning and
teaching, and research goals. Accompanying that letter, applicants must include a current curriculum
vitae and a submission that identifies four referees and their addresses who may be contacted for
references. Please also include an example of research in the form of a scholarly paper or research
Review of applications will begin on May 15 2012. The application package should be sent to:
Director, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development
Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, N2L 3G1
Salary range will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The appointment will be
effective September 1, 2012.
The University of Waterloo encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women,
members of visible minorities, native persons, and individuals with disabilities. All qualified candidates
are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.
Deadline: Monday, May 14, 2012
Areas of Expertise
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