Director, Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch

US-AZ-Elgin
Type
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Program/Project Management
ID
2017-3303
Elgin
AZ

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).

 

 

Position Summary

National Audubon Society (NAS) is committed to protecting birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. The Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch (AWRR) contributes to the science and conservation programs of NAS, including, in particular, the grassland, climate, and water programs – all of which support birds and their habitats. The Research Ranch is an ecological field station and sanctuary for native biota in southeastern Arizona, USA. The mission of the AWRR is to be a living laboratory to determine and demonstrate methods to safeguard and rehabilitate grasslands and related ecosystems, and to assist policy makers and other citizens in the care and protection of our native ecosystems, natural resources, and quality of life. The Research Ranch is a cooperative partnership among NAS, U. S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, The Research Ranch Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and Swift Current Land and Cattle Co. The facility was established in 1969, when cattle were first excluded from the land by the Appleton Family, and has been managed by Audubon since 1980. The Research Ranch is located 65 miles southeast of Tucson, AZ.

 

The Director of the AWRR is required to live on-site in housing provided by Audubon. S/he will lead all aspects of the research, conservation, and education programs of this unique Audubon field station. The Director will be the visible leader of the AWRR to the community, and will guide the integration of the AWRR into the programs and strategies of the National Audubon Society. He or she will oversee a staff of two and work with volunteers, agencies, researchers, and community leaders to ensure the long-term viability of the AWRR as a center for grassland and bird research and conservation in the Southwestern US. The Director is responsible for all aspects of planning, operating, managing, and fundraising for the AWRR, and for advancing the missions of the AWRR, Audubon Arizona and National Audubon Society (NAS)

 

The director will report to Audubon Arizona Executive Director and work closely with Audubon Arizona Conservation and Development Staff, NAS staff, and senior leadership.

Essential Functions

Conservation and Land Management

  • Supervise management of the 8,000-acre semi-arid grassland and oak savannah sanctuary to support a broad diversity of native plants and animals and to provide an environment for non-disruptive research.
  • Update and implement AWRR’s Coordinated Resource Management Plan including maintaining fences, updating and implementing wildfire prevention and response plans, and preventing spread of invasive species.
  • Work closely with Audubon Arizona to position the AWRR as a key partner in regional efforts to develop and implement conservation activities that conserve and restore semi-arid grasslands and bird habitat in southeastern Arizona.

Research

  • Promote AWRR as an outstanding site for non-destructive ecological research.
  • Coordinate with the NAS science team and Audubon Arizona conservation staff to identify and recruit research projects and researchers that support Audubon’s science and conservation priorities, particularly those associated with the grassland, climate, and water programs.
  • Supervise ongoing monitoring efforts and promote efforts that are consistent with AWRR’s mission and with contractual agreements with partners.
  • Evaluate research proposals based on established research guidelines. Facilitate and supervise research projects to ensure compliance with approved proposals.

Outreach

  • Develop and maintain effective relationships with numerous local, state and federal agencies, universities, specialists in ecology and other sciences, conservation NGO’s, private landowners, ranchers, volunteers, donors/supporters (individual, corporate, foundation, and state or federal agencies), community leaders and Audubon chapters in southeastern Arizona.
  • Build and maintain a close working relationship with the national network of Audubon scientists to communicate, integrate, and leverage grassland and bird conservation research and stewardship activities throughout the country.
  • Expand and implement a program of community engagement opportunities to position the AWRR as a key conservation partner in broad conservation and scientific initiatives in Southeastern Arizona.
  • Oversee AWRR’s website and Facebook page, host appropriate field trips and give presentations related to AWRR.

Budget and Fundraising

  • Manage and fundraise for the AWRR operating budget, including collaborative fundraising efforts with regional conservation partners, as appropriate.
  • A significant portion of the operating budget is funded through an endowment. However, additional fundraising through grant writing and individual appeals is required for land management activities, capital improvements, and a portion of the annual operating expenses.
  • Assure AWRR is managed in a financially responsible and accurate manner using Audubon’s standard procedures and policies.

Administration

  • Oversee all operational aspects of the AWRR facilities, budgets and programs including hiring and supervising staff (currently 2 FTEs) and volunteers.
  • Seek input from staff to develop measurable goals and action plans, as well as a process for monitoring and assessing progress.
  • Cultivate and manage a local advisory committee of community leaders, agency and NGO partners, and Audubon Arizona staff and board members to guide the direction of the AWRR and to extend its reach into the community.
  • Complete other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced degree in biology, plant or wildlife ecology, or related fields and 10+ years of relevant professional experience
  • PhD in a related field is preferred, and expertise in ornithology is a plus
  • Excellent organizational, budget management, speaking, writing, editing, and statistical analysis skills are required
  • Ability to identify the biota of the Southwest and associated habitat requirements a plus
  • Knowledge of conservation issues specific to arid or semi-arid ecosystems
  • Passion for conservation and natural resources
  • Demonstrated fundraising ability, including grant writing and administration, is mandatory
  • Ability to handle emergency maintenance on indoor and outdoor facilities, including emergency road and building maintenance
  • Familiarity with use of field equipment (including chainsaws, hand tools, and light power tools) and herbicides
  • Possess collaborative and team-oriented mentality
  • Can-do attitude and friendly personality with a great sense of humor
  • The individual must be able to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple tasks, meet deadlines, and live and work in a rural environment
  • Flexible schedule and willingness to work long hours and occasional out-of-town travel
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and direct and inspire staff and volunteers
  • Must be comfortable working outdoors in rugged conditions
  • Ability to lift and transport up to 30 pounds
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Must live onsite

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