• Migration Ecologist

    Job Locations US
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • 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

    Audubon protects birds and the places they need throughout their full lifecycle. The science of avian migration serves as the foundation of this vision: It not only tells us where we should invest our limited time, resources and energies, but it also communicates the story of migration to engage more people in conservation action. Working at the nexus of science, communication, and policy, Audubon is uniquely positioned to translate the miracle of migration into conservation action across the Americas. Audubon seeks to build a stronger migration science program that combines the many sources of migration science from academics and forge them into compelling visual narratives that drives policy and inspires our network to conservation action.

    As a member of the Conservation Science Team, the Migration Ecologist will provide critical information that will serve as the foundation for Audubon’s migration work within coasts, working lands, and water strategies. Reporting to the Director of Conservation Science, the Ecologist will build partnerships with academic scientists, fundraise for collaborative migration projects for new research, collect all available migration data for priority bird species, and provide outputs (visualizations and briefs) to support Audubon's conservation and policy work.

    Essential Functions

    • Contribute to and curate data hub for migration science for priority bird species;
    • Communicate powerful migration stories to the public and policy makers in new and compelling ways;
    • Use migration data and others datasets (e.g. threats and protected status) to target our conservation priorities across the Americas on the places that matter most to birds;
    • Design and implement spatial analyses to describe changes in migratory bird populations through space and time;
    • Lead or contribute to peer-reviewed publications and grant-writing in support of projects;
    • Provide leadership for emerging projects, such as leading conference calls and coordinating team-member contributions, and
    • Support migratory spatial analysis needs across the Division as required.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Ph.D. in ecology, geography, spatial ecology or conservation-related field required; 2-3 years' applied experience also preferred.
    • Research experience in bird migration required; a mix of field and applied experience preferred.
    • Demonstrated skills in communicating science content to a diverse audience.
    • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with other scientists and stakeholders in co-produced analyses, reports/publication, and visualizations.
    • A self-starter, one who can think creatively about connections between birds, places, and people.
    • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, as well as excellent GIS skills, particularly with ArcGIS products.
    • Demonstrated ability to: manipulate data and script analyses in R, and/or Python; clearly frame research questions, design studies, and implement analyses.
    • Demonstrated experience dealing with data, metadata, and support documentation.
    • Preferred qualifications include:
      • Expertise in ornithology, especially birds of North America and the Western Hemisphere more broadly.
      • Familiarity with the birding community.
      • Experience in Important Bird Areas process or other site-based conservation prioritization methods.
      • Proficiency in species distribution and climate change modeling.
      • Experience automating cartographic production.


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