• Coastal Biologist

    Job Locations
    US-TX-Texas City
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
    Texas City
  • 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

    With a 92-year presence on the Texas Gulf Coast, Audubon Texas manages a system of more than 179 island sanctuaries on which the majority of Texas’s waterbirds depend for their survival. This position offers an exciting opportunity for a qualified biologist to engage in on-the-ground conservation and further coastal bird conservation efforts in Texas. Audubon Texas is recruiting a Coastal Biologist to assist with colonial waterbird surveys, Black Rail population assessments, bird habitat management, Audubon’s Conservation Ranching program and overall science support to the Coastal Conservation Program. This is a full-time position that will be located in the mid-to upper Texas Coast with responsibilities relating to conservation of coastal birds along the entire Texas coast. Duties will include coordinating study design and sampling protocols for various avian guilds and coastal plant communities, managing and analyzing data, writing reports and publications, project management, developing partnerships, speaking on behalf of Audubon’s conservation initiatives, and communicating scientific findings to a broad audience. This position will collaborate with local and federal agencies and non-profit organizations on specific projects and surveys as assigned. There will also be a focus on working with private land owners and managers.


    The ideal candidate should have a strong educational background in coastal ecology, avian biology, or a related natural sciences field. They should have knowledge of Texas coastal habitats; experience with habitat mapping of coastal and wetland ecosystems; experience conducting bird surveys and experience with habitat management (e.g., planting, applying herbicide, and manually removing plants). Additionally, the ideal candidate should demonstrate the ability to implement multiple project tasks simultaneously and the ability to work effectively with others.


    **Candidates selected for interviews will be asked to provide a writing sample. 

    Essential Functions

    • Collect and analyze data on birds to support conservation projects through a variety of techniques, including point and transect counts, nest searching, mist-netting, and radio telemetry; input bird data into databases.
    • Provide fieldwork and logistical support for avian monitoring and habitat management. Should be knowledgeable in the identification of a variety of waterbirds, shorebirds, songbirds, and marsh birds. 
    • Lead annual Colonial Waterbird Surveys at Audubon Texas’ designated sites.
    • Analyze bird population data to determine best island management practices and island restoration.
    • Assist with the development of adaptive management plans, conceptual models and designs of restoration and management strategies.
    • Work closely with Audubon’s Coastal Wardens and volunteers to manage rookery islands in order to provide suitable nesting habitat for ground, grass, and shrub/tree nesters.
    • In collaboration with the Coastal Program Manager and others, lead and assist in the writing of technical reports and scientific manuscripts.
    • Cultivate and maintain productive working relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including other Audubon offices and chapters, state and federal agencies, and other non-governmental organizations.
    • Ability to analyze, interpret and communicate scientific information both to a scientific and a general audience.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited four-year college or university in biology, ecology, marine science, coastal management, geology, environmental science, wildlife management/biology, or a related field required.  A Master’s degree from an accredited four-year college or university in biology, ecology, marine science, coastal management, geology, environmental science, wildlife management/biology, or a related field highly preferred.
    • Minimum 3 years of applied field science experience is required, with demonstrated success with bird monitoring including point and transect counts; 3 years’ experience managing staff and/or volunteers.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Office.
    • Be comfortable operating and maintaining a boat and all assigned field gear.
    • Ability to walk long distances (at least two miles) while carrying field equipment (e.g. tripod and spotting scope) and/or other materials. Ability to lift and carry over short distances at least 40 pounds, with or without accommodation.
    • Willingness to work long hours in sub-tropical wetland, coastal, and forest environments exposed to harsh Texas field conditions (sun, heat, biting insects, alligators, venomous snakes, wading in water or mud), sometimes alone.             
    • Regularly travel within the state of Texas to field sites, often for several days at a time. Some weekend work will be necessary.
    • Proven experience using statistical techniques for analyzing bird data (e.g., distance sampling, capture-mark-recapture, other demographic modeling approaches, spatial and movement analyses, etc.).
    • Experience and deep skillset in experimental design and implementation, statistical analyses, synthesizing, interpreting, and communicating scientific information; strong knowledge of statistical software applications.
    • Experience with GPS field surveys ; knowledge and experience using ArcGIS software and differential GPS equipment is desirable.
    • Working knowledge of coastal Texas flora and fauna; accepted restoration practices and techniques; resource monitoring procedures; and basic scientific principles.
    • Experience working and communicating with both scientific and non-scientific audiences, especially though for reports, publications, and presentations. 


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