Field Conservationist / Golden-winged Warbler Project Specialist

US-NY
Type
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Science
ID
2017-3295
NY

Overview

Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

 

 

As one of Audubon’s leading state programs with a leadership role in the Atlantic Flyway, an annual budget of over $3 million and a staff of 35, Audubon New York (ANY) is poised to fulfill significant elements of National Audubon Society’s new strategic plan to conserve birds and habitats at scale. The work of ANY is grounded in science, education, policy, and on-the-ground conservation. We have 50,000 members, twenty-seven Chapters, and seven Audubon Centers and Sanctuaries in New York.

Audubon New York works with private landowners and public land stewards in the Eastern Forest of the Adirondacks and Catskills to undertake forest management practices to enhance the habitat for song birds. The Long Island Bird Conservation Program includes monitoring and protecting shorebird beach nesting sites on Long Island, and the groundbreaking “Be A Good Egg” program informs beach-goers about shorebird priority species and their habitat with the involvement of school children. Audubon New York recruits farmers and other grassland owners to participate in conservation and habitat enhancement management programs to reverse the decline of grassland and shrubland bird species, including the bobolink. The state program also teaches the next generation of environmental stewards throughout the State through the highly successful For the Birds! program. Audubon New York leads a coalition of labor, business, and environmental organizations in advocating for funding and sound public policy, and annually celebrates the significant contribution of women to creating a healthier and more protected environment for people and birds. We work from backyards to the halls of government. We are bold, passionate, audacious, and ambitious in our goals to conserve and restore natural ecosystems for birds and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.

Position Summary

The Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA) is a globally threatened, non-federally listed songbird that breeds in eastern North America. The development and implementation of management prescriptions that create or maintain GWWA breeding habitat is a conservation priority. The Field Conservationist will collaborate with state and federal agency staff and other partners to enhance efforts to recover GWWA in northern New York by facilitating implementation of Best Management Practices for the restoration of GWWA breeding habitat on private lands. The Field Conservationist will be an employee of, and supervised by, Audubon New York, with frequent close collaboration and occasional guidance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).The Golden-winged Warbler (GWWA) is a globally threatened, non-federally listed songbird that breeds in eastern North America. The development and implementation of management prescriptions that create or maintain GWWA breeding habitat is a conservation priority. The Field Conservationist will collaborate with state and federal agency staff and other partners to enhance efforts to recover GWWA in northern New York by facilitating implementation of Best Management Practices for the restoration of GWWA breeding habitat on private lands. The Field Conservationist will be an employee of, and supervised by, Audubon New York, with frequent close collaboration and occasional guidance from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

 

This position will be based out of the NRCS office in Watertown, New York; however, field visits will be required depending on landowner demand/interest in the program.

 

 

 

Essential Functions

  • Collaborate with NRCS and other partners to promote private landowner participation in financial assistance programs to implement conservation management activities.
  • Plan private land field visits (i.e. reviewing orthophotos, and topographic maps and working within NRCS systems to track project progress).
  • Conduct field visits to discuss potential project details with landowners and for conservation planning (i.e. mapping habitat management areas, utilizing habitat assessment and resource concern assessment tools).
  • Develop and prepare conservation plans for young forest habitat for NRCS private landowner contracts (including working in NRCS’ Customer Service Toolkit to develop Conservation Plans, maps, and contracts).
  • Provide technical assistance to private landowners with contracts for implementation of habitat management practices.
  • Coordinate and lead outreach activities, such as public workshops, and one-on-one meetings with landowners to promote the program.
  • Prepare necessary documents to execute contracts between landowners and NRCS.
  • Complete other project-related activities deemed necessary by Audubon New York
  • Maintain daily time and activity records and prepare quarterly reports for grant purposes detailing among other things:
    • The number of landowners contacted.
    • Total acres evaluated.
    • Total acres contracted.
    • Total acres implemented by habitat contractors.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in environmental science, ecosystems management, conservation, wildlife or forestry.
  • 3-5 years' demonstrated experience overseeing or helping to manage outreach, conservation or similar engagement programs.
  • Must have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Previous field experience with forestry and/or forest wildlife habitat management techniques strongly desired.
  • Must have personal vehicle/provide own transportation (mileage will be reimbursed), as well as be capable of traversing uneven and steep terrain in inclement weather.
  • Must be able to obtain USDA federal security clearance.
  • Experience working with USDA Farm Bill programs (EQIP) is preferred.
  • Experience with bird identification and survey methods; ability to seasonally monitor habitat use by Golden-winged Warblers and other species associated with young forest habitat at project sites.
  • Strong knowledge of GIS and its application in the conservation field a must.
  • A results-oriented approach to work; success will ultimately be evaluated by acres of habitat created or restored.
  • Individual must be a self-motivated, independent, progress-driven person who is capable of interacting extensively with private landowners and conservation partners.

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