• Coastal Resilience Associate - CT

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    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

    Reporting to Director of Bird Conservation and based at Stratford Point in Stratford, CT, the Coastal Resilience Associate will be part of Audubon’s Conservation Department and lead efforts to identify opportunities at, restore or enhance, and manage priority coastal habitats for the benefit of salt marsh dependent bird species and to increase coastal resilience.

    Essential Functions

    • As part of Audubon’s Coast Program, launch a new salt marsh and coastal resilience initiative in Connecticut.
    • Identify and plan new salt marsh restoration projects as well as land acquisition opportunities to protect priority salt marsh and facilitate marsh migration.
      • Provide guidance to contractor assessing priority salt marshes in Connecticut and participate in stakeholder meetings.
      • Following completion of assessment, oversee permitting and design for salt marsh restoration or enhancement project(s).
      • Lead implementation and monitoring of salt marsh restoration/enhancement project(s).
      • Work with land trusts and other agencies to protect marsh migration corridors.
    • Provide expertise on restoration or enhancement of other coastal habitat types (beaches and islands) and management of Audubon Connecticut’s Salt Meadow Sanctuary in Guilford, CT and Oneida Sanctuary in Greenwich, CT.
    • Co-lead a working group that includes conservation partners and land managers (e.g., landowners, academics, and representatives from state and federal wildlife agencies, non-profit organizations, and Audubon chapters) to foster communication among practitioners, inform best management practices, improve understanding around permitting, and promote implementation of and help secure funding for future projects.
    • Work with Director of Policy to advocate for the protection of coastal habitats, natural solutions to coastal flooding and erosion, and for FEMA funding.
    • Comment on management plans relating to coastal resilience and sea level rise.
    • Effectively communicate coastal resilience issues (including sea level rise as a threat to priority bird species, the importance of salt marsh conservation effort, negative impacts of shoreline hardening, and natural solutions to shoreline stabilization) to elected and municipal officials, partners, and the public.
    • Assist in identifying funding sources, engaging donors and foundations, and securing and administrating grants to support the projects and overall program.
    • Contribute to press releases, articles, outreach materials, and content for social media.
    • Represent Audubon and create and deliver effective presentations at conferences, regional councils, and working groups meetings.
    • Work regularly and closely with other Audubon staff in Connecticut and New York, especially policy and conservation staff, as well as Audubon Chapter leaders and National Audubon Society staff to support policy, communications, and network priorities related to coastal resilience.
    • Participate fully and productively in staff meetings, planning efforts, and other shared staff duties.
    • Other duties may be assigned.


    Qualifications and Experience


    • Bachelor's Degree in a conservation, wildlife, or natural resources field or equivalent plus three years of relevant work experience.
    • Familiarity with coastal resilience and adaptation issues and natural coastal processes.
    • Expertise in restoration of coastal habitats and experience managing habitat restoration or enhancement projects, including fiscal management, managing project deliverables, reporting on progress, and writing grant reports.
    • Familiarity with and experience securing governmental permits for habitat or other related projects in the state of Connecticut. 
    • Candidate must be a self-motivated, organized, reliable, and independent individual.
    • Ability to manage multiple projects and prioritize is key.
    • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with other staff, partners, and various stakeholders, however candidate must also to be comfortable working alone at times (small staff at Stratford Point).
    • Willingness to occasionally work on weekends and evenings.
    • A valid driver's license and willingness to travel to other locations within New York and Connecticut as well as occasionally to other states. 
    • Ability to walk far distances on uneven terrain while carrying a heavy daypack and equipment with or without accommodation.
    • Proficiency in ArcGIS software and ability to use handheld GPS devices.
    • Computer skills and proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


    • Ability to identify coastal birds.
    • Familiarity with Saltmarsh Sparrow habitat needs and conservation issues.
    • Experience surveying marsh birds and vegetation.
    • Experience working with or familiarity with CT and NY coastal habitats and conservation stakeholders
    • Experience managing a salt marsh restoration or enhancement project (highly preferred).
    • Experience with or interest in working with local and state elected officials and partners to advance conservation policy initiatives (highly preferred).
    • Grant writing experience preferred.


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