• Program Associate, MI Birds

    Job Locations
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
    Program/Project Management
  • 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

    The Program Associate, MI Birds is a position established in 2016 through a partnership between National Audubon Society and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with the goal of increasing and deepening the number of Michigan residents engaged in the understanding, care, and stewardship of public lands that are important for birds and for communities.

    The Program Associate will communicate the bird conservation actions, policies, and priorities of Audubon, Michigan DNR and those formed collaboratively as part of the MI Birds Steering Committee to the public and specific stakeholder groups through presentations, meetings, events, and social media/e-communication tools. S/he will develop and manage partnerships that engage a broad diversity of Michigan residents in both urban and rural communities through a set of strategic communications, programs, events, and other activities. The Prgroam Associate will work closely with Audubon members and chapters and additional organizational members of the MI Birds Steering Committee, while also reaching new audiences for bird conservation and land stewardship.


    This is a "remote worker position" and may be located in or around Lansing, Michigan.

    Essential Functions

    • Develop, implement, review and regularly adjust a communications strategy that coordinates, crafts and deploys messages about bird conservation and recreation in Michigan using a variety of media and outreach tools.
      • Lead and arrange creative and engaging programs (bird walks, presentations, etc.) and coordinate/host information tables at relevant events, festivals, and activities that promote Audubon, Michigan DNR, and Michigan’s dedication to bird conservation.    
      • Manage social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
      • Contribute to Michigan DNR and Audubon’s regular communication and outreach activities in Michigan.
      • Develop creative programs and initiatives that build cooperation between Michigan DNR, Audubon, and other MiBird partners that increase the public value of bird conservation and Michigan’s natural areas by demonstrating tangible benefit to local communities
    • Heighten awareness of bird conservation issues, management needs, and key actions within the general public, with a special focus on state-owned/managed lands and Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
      • Recruit and train volunteers to assist in the evaluation, monitoring, and stewardship of IBAs and other state-owned/managed lands that are important for birds.
    • Engage and build the capacity within the birding and bird conservation community to promote Michigan’s and Audubon’s conservation initiatives.
      • Promote key messages from Audubon’s Great Lakes Initiative that seeks to restore coastal wetlands and riparian buffers while improving water quality and increasing community resiliency in a changing climate.
      • Develop communication and outreach materials around priority species such as Black Terns, Piping Plover, and Kirtland’s Warbler.
    • Develop additional partnerships and funding opportunities that will help further the mutually beneficial cooperation between Michigan DNR, National Audubon, and MiBird partnersin order to increase bird conservation and engagement in Michigan.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ornithology, wildlife, environmental studies, natural resource management, communication, education, or similar, plus at least two years of work experience in conservation, land management, and/or nature education/communication. Equivalent experience may be considered in lieu of education.
    • At least two years of experience crafting and deploying conservation messages to a wide range of constituents through events and electronic communications; experience working with the media is a plus.
    • At least two years of experience working with conservation volunteers.
    • Deep understanding of Michigan’s landscape and conservation issues required, and a strong understanding of Michigan birds and bird conservation issues.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with an emphasis on public speaking.
    • Demonstrated experience coordinating multiple partners to achieve collaborative programs and initiatives.
    • Ability to work easily and effectively with a wide range of people, build relationships, be diplomatic and exhibit sensitivity to and understanding of the dynamics of a complex organization.
    • General knowledge of scientific concepts and environmental issues.
    • Must possess a valid driver’s license and be willing to travel.
    • Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including weekends and evenings, as the job demands.
    • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
    • Self-starter, ambitious, and able to solve problems as they arise.


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