Jason Dietrich on creating a career around people

As someone who’s always been curious about what’s under the water, Ecometrix’s Director of Environmental Monitoring and Technology brings over 25 years of experience in aquatic ecology to his work.

Jason (Jay) discovered his love of the aquatic environment fishing with his dad and uncle on creeks and rivers around Ontario. Catching the fish was fun, but he wanted to know more about what these creatures did under the water’s surface.

Jason Dietrich, Director of Environmental Monitoring and Technology

Jay reaffirmed his love for water and the natural environment when he was 16. He was selected for Ontario’s Junior Ranger program, and spent many days in a canoe as part of a crew in Killarney Provincial Park. He described it as an eye-opening experience that opened a path he’s continued following since.

After completing an undergraduate degree in biology, a friend asked if he wanted to live in Newfoundland for four months and work as his assistant while completing a PhD. “This was a pivotal time for me because I lived and breathed the Newfoundland culture but also got a crash course on what it means to be a marine biologist,” Jay says.

“I spent every day on the ocean in a small inflatable boat, scuba diving, researching Atlantic cod and Atlantic salmon and becoming immersed in the science and politics of declining fish stocks that was extremely important to a province and country.”

From there, he worked for the Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and as a sole proprietor, collaborating on several notable projects and diving deeper into his specialism.

You work towards a common goal but also by definition, as humans, we work for each other. At Ecometrix, we’ve found a group of people that want to work to better not just every client’s experience, but each other’s.

It was all these elements that put Jay in a prime position to learn about fisheries, ecological management, and science.

With the title of Director of Environmental Monitoring and Technology, Jay is the first to admit it’s an interesting role. Given his previous experiences and projects, he was poised to enter a leadership role and embraced that fully.

“The group here is made up of highly proficient aquatic ecologists, statisticians, GIS technicians, toxicologists, and molecular biologists,” he continues. “I’m tasked with trying to lead that group towards success.”

As part of that role, he leans into being what he calls “a facilitator of connection,” finding the process rewarding and conducive to client success. “I might not be the person who stays in the picture, but I’m often the catalyst that brings the right people together and empowers them to do great things.”

What initially attracted Jay to Ecometrix was the opportunity for growth from a personal perspective and receiving the resources, time, and support to evolve as a leader. It was also the idea of contributing to challenging assignments that were outside the norm.

“You work towards a common goal but also by definition, as humans, we work for each other,” Jay says. “At Ecometrix, we’ve found a group of people that want to work to better not just every client’s experience, but each other’s.”

Because of this, he’s been instrumental in several projects, including environmental assessments and developing mining resources responsibly.

“A lot of companies market the idea of providing an open road to explore your career goals, but I believe the innovative growth mindset combined with the support provided at Ecometrix is truly designed to provide professionals a chance to design their specific rewarding future,” Jay says.

“There’s obviously a strategic plan, but if there’s an exciting opportunity, we work hard to cultivate an entrepreneurial collaboration with staff to help towards manifesting the success of that opportunity. I think this is unique and empowers young staff members to think big.”

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