GC Jobs

Research Assistant – Remote Sensing (Digital Agriculture)

Reference number: AGR23J-020465-001430
Selection process number: 23-AGR-BCAB-EA-STB-29338
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada - Science and Technology Branch
Lethbridge (Alberta)
$70,159 to $88,195

For further information on the organization, please visit Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Closing date: 26 September 2023 - 23:59, Pacific Time

Who can apply: Persons residing in Canada, and Canadian citizens and Permanent residents abroad.

Important messages

We are committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free work environment, starting with the hiring process. If you need to be accommodated during any phase of the evaluation process, please use the Contact information below to request specialized accommodation. All information received in relation to accommodation will be kept confidential.

Assessment accommodation

We want you to succeed! Our objective is to identify qualified candidates by fairly assessing their abilities. Assessment accommodations are intended to remove obstacles without altering the criteria being assessed so that all candidates can showcase their capabilities.

Please help us meet our commitment of providing an inclusive and barrier-free environment by letting us know if you require assessment accommodations, including assistance with the application process. Additional information on the assessment format(s) (for example: exam, interview) will be provided at each assessment stage.

As one of Canada's Best Diversity Employers, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) is proud to celebrate our achievement in creating a diverse, respectful, and positive workplace where all employees are valued and recognized for their unique qualities, ideas, voices and perspectives. We are dedicated to building and promoting a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, representative of all Canadians regardless of race, ethnicity, colour, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socio-economic background or lived experience. By embracing diversity and inclusion, our department ensures broader discussions, better decisions, and a more positive workplace.


We are seeking a research assistant with experience in remote sensing technology for plant assessments and data management. The successful candidate will work closely with the Research Scientist and provide technical support on projects that require digital imaging in field trials by using both ground and aerial imaging sensor platforms. This includes acquisition and management of data as well as the development and implementation of open-source pipelines for data retrieval and analysis.

The job will require assisting in the developing of methods and tools for use in field and controlled environment studies and in maintaining image analysis software and data archives. Design and setup high-throughput automation system for agriculture based experimental trials. Responsibilities will include the collection of remote sensing imagery, performing remote sensing digital image analysis, and assisting in image interpretation. It will also include performing rudimentary statistical analysis, and communicating results to other members of the research team.

It will involve interacting with other researchers and technicians to coordinate remote sensing data collection. It also requires the preparation of technical reports, manuals and contribution to the preparation of scientific publications, presentations, purchase and testing of new equipment. Additional duties may be assigned relevant to remote sensing and phenomics program.

Job responsibilities include:
• Supporting research projects, under the guidance of AAFC Research Scientist, focused on crop imaging, digital phenotyping, and agriculture systems.
• Managing laboratory, greenhouse and field operations related to project activities with limited direction.
• Developing new or modified methods, practices, techniques for model development.
• Contributing to the content of databases, and computer models designed for research activities within specific project objectives and the generation of scientific manuscripts.
• Maintaining quality control and troubleshooting anomalies to ensure accurate results.
• Identifying, learning and adopting new technologies and collaborative approach as available.
• Providing support to develop project reports, research articles, as well as participating on knowledge transfer activities.

Work environment

AAFC is committed to diversity and inclusion. We have several networks dedicated to ensuring that the department continues to grow as an inclusive, accessible, respectful and diverse workplace. All employees are encouraged and welcomed to join the networks and participate in their activities and events.

• The Gender and Sexual Diversity Inclusiveness Network
• The Indigenous Network Circle
• The Managers' Community
• The Persons with Disabilities Network
• The Student Panel of Representatives for Orientation, Unity and Training
• The Visible Minorities Network
• The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Network
• The Young Professional's Network

Intent of the process

Immediate need: 1 full-time temporary position (until March 31, 2024; with possibility of extension for 4 additional years).

A pool of qualified and/or partially qualified candidates may be established and used to fill similar positions on a temporary or permanent basis.

In the event that an employee of the public service is qualified through this process, and there is a temporary need, they may be considered for acting, deployment, assignment or secondment opportunities.

Positions to be filled: 1

Information you must provide

Your résumé.

In order to be considered, your application must clearly explain how you meet the following (essential qualifications)

• Bachelor of Science degree from a recognized post-secondary institution in a natural, physical, engineering or applied science with specialization in remote sensing (digital imaging/geomatics) or a comparable discipline relevant to the duties of the position.

If you were educated outside of Canada, you must have your certificates and/or diplomas assessed against Canadian education standards. Click on the link below to contact the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC).

Degree equivalency

• Experience in the techniques for analyzing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAVs), airborne, and/or ground based digital imagery.
• Experience in the collection of plant imaging and crop parameters to support interpretation of remote sensing data.
• Experience in AI algorithm and model development for analyzing large dataset with high performance computing resources.
• Experience carrying out research projects, developing remote sensing lab and agriculture field based data collection protocols.
• Experience contributing to the production of reports, manuscripts, posters and/or presentations.

If you possess any of the following, your application must also clearly explain how you meet it (other qualifications)

• M.Sc. or doctoral degree from a recognized post-secondary institution with specialization in remote sensing or engineering science and its integration in agriculture system.

Degree equivalency

• Experience working with UAVs/drones and multispectral/hyperspectral sensors in precision agriculture or digital phenotyping.
• Experience using scientific instruments and tools to collect remote sensing data and ground measurements in agronomy and cropping system.
• Experience handling large amounts of data, statistical analysis and AI modelling (preferably with plant growth models).
• Experience partaking in multi-disciplinary collaborative research projects with various stakeholders, research collaborators and/or external partners/clients.

The following will be applied / assessed at a later date (essential for the job)

English essential

Information on language requirements

• Knowledge of application of remote sensing in agriculture system and/or crop science.
• Knowledge of imaging systems, sensors, platforms (i.e. UAVs) and other related technologies.
• Knowledge of the use of image processing software and/or basic programming language (e.g. Python, Matlab, R, OpenCV, others) for analyzing imagery data and interpretation of results.

• Interactive communication
• Writing Skills
• Planning and organizing
• Initiative
• Teamwork

The following may be applied / assessed at a later date (may be needed for the job)

• Knowledge of remote sensing principles, sensor-based systems, imaging platforms, data management and image analysis techniques.
• Knowledge of machine learning algorithm development and/or big data analytics for plant phenotyping applications.

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada recognizes that the diversity of its employee population contributes to its strength and integrity. We are committed to achieving employment equity and developing a highly capable workforce that is representative of Canadian Society. We encourage women (especially in non-traditional occupations), Indigenous peoples (Aboriginal peoples), persons with disabilities, and members of visible minority groups to apply and declare themselves as part of one or more of the Employment Equity groups as selection may be limited to candidates belonging to one or more of the groups.

Information on employment equity

• Ability to handle expensive sensors and related equipment with appropriate safety measures.
• Ability and willingness to work in laboratory, greenhouse and field environments.
• Ability and willingness to work flexible hours including evenings and weekends.
• Ability and willingness to control allergies, through the use of personal protective equipment and/or medication and this must not impinge upon the duties to be performed.

Conditions of employment

Reliability Status security clearance

• Possession of a valid class 5 Alberta driver’s license or other provincial/territorial equivalency.
• Ability and willingness to travel to remote agriculture fields.
• Ability and willingness to work under various environmental and weather conditions.
• Ability and willingness to work in field environments for extended periods at a time.

Other information

The Public Service of Canada is committed to building a skilled and diverse workforce that reflects the Canadians we serve. We promote employment equity and encourage you to indicate if you belong to one of the designated groups when you apply.

Information on employment equity


You must meet all essential qualifications in order to be appointed to the position. Other qualifications may be a deciding factor in choosing the person to be appointed. Some essential and other qualifications will be assessed through your application. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate examples that illustrate how you meet each qualification. Failing to do so could result in your application being rejected.

Various assessment tools may be used, such as, standardized tests, interviews, references, board member knowledge, etc.

All communication relating to this process, including email correspondence may be used in the assessment of qualifications.

A random or top down selection of candidates may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.

Appointment decisions may be based on one or more of the following criteria:
- Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the strengths and weaknesses of the work team.
- Matching of the individual's experience or qualifications to the specific duties of the position being staffed.
- Depth, breadth, type of work-specific experience.
- Level/degree of one or more competencies/qualifications.

A test may be administered.

An interview may be administered.

Reference checks may be sought.

You must provide proof of your education credentials.

Asset qualifications may be used in the determination of those to be given further consideration in the assessment process.


Applications submitted by email will not be accepted. You must apply on-line through www.canada.ca/en/public-service-commission/jobs/services/gc-jobs.html.

Persons with disabilities preventing them from applying on-line are asked to contact the email referenced below under "Contact Information".

Persons are entitled to participate in the appointment process in the official language of their choice. Applicants are asked to indicate their preferred official language in their application.

Communication for this process will be sent via email. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure accurate contact information is provided and updated as required. Candidates who apply to this selection process should include an email address that accepts email from unknown users (some email systems block these types of email).


Preference will be given to veterans first and then to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, with the exception of a job located in Nunavut, where Nunavut Inuit will be appointed first.

Information on the preference to veterans

We thank all those who apply. Only those selected for further consideration will be contacted.

Contact information

Céline Doucet - Human Resources Specialist Advisor
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