Apalachicola Shorebird Biologist

Job Locations
US-FL-Apalachicola
Type
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Science
ID
2021-4816
City
Apalachicola
State/Province
FL

Overview

The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.

 

Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.

 

Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary

Audubon Florida seeks a Shorebird Biologist to support beach-nesting season and nonbreeding season bird conservation work in the Eastern Florida Panhandle.  The Shorebird Biologist will work remotely in the Apalachicola region of southern Franklin County and travel to complete the majority of work on and around beaches and islands including: Little St. George Island, Dog Island, Flag Island Critical Wildlife Area, St. George Island Causeway Critical Wildlife Area and other sites as assigned.

 

From February to August, or later if nesting activity continues (“breeding season”), the Shorebird Biologist will be responsible for performing independent beach-nesting bird monitoring and protection work primarily in Franklin County, Florida. Responsibilities include the following, in addition to other as-needed duties:

  • Posting symbolic fencing around beach-nesting bird sites and maintaining said posting;
  • Monitoring nest sites weekly, at minimum, for evidence of disturbance or predation;
  • Documenting nonbreeding Piping, Snowy, and Wilson’s plovers, and Red Knots, and other focal species;
  • Performing weekly bird surveys to collect demographic data according to specified protocol, and banded bird resightings as directed; and
  • Protecting sites from disturbance through predation management and game camera monitoring in cooperation with site managers and partner agencies, educating beachgoers about coastal bird species while encouraging compliance with posted areas, and engaging in outreach to user groups through presentations at organizational meetings.

From mid-August through mid-February (“non-breeding season”), they will be responsible for completing biweekly winter coastal bird surveys and banded bird resightings focusing on Red Knot, Piping Plover, and Snowy Plover, primarily in Franklin County, Florida, and elsewhere in the Florida Panhandle as needed; assisting with volunteer recruitment, management, and training; carrying out equipment maintenance; and giving public presentations and beach walks as outreach to key user groups that may impact conservation of coastal birds in the Florida Panhandle.

 

This is a full-time, grant-funded opportunity through December 31, 2023.

Essential Functions

  • In communication with the Panhandle Shorebird Project Manager and close collaboration with Carrabelle Shorebird Biologist, complete all site surveys.
  • Post symbolic fencing as required or immediately when new nest sites are located.
  • Conduct weekly, at a minimum, monitoring for nesting progress, predation, and disturbance according to the terms of Audubon’s contractual requirements.
  • Survey assigned sites weekly, at minimum, to collect avian demographic data and enter data into the Florida Shorebird Database or other database as required and in a timely manner.
  • Plan and conduct community outreach efforts such as public presentations, tabling events, and beach walks while educating and engaging the public about Florida’s focal shore/seabird species.
  • Actively participate in regional working groups and partner workshops including delivering periodic technical presentations.
  • Assist with other shorebird conservation and survey efforts.
  • Determine and implement decision that minimize disturbance through predation management, data collection use of game cameras or other technology, alteration of posted nest-site boundaries, removal of posting materials and field equipment in advance of severe storm warnings, manage and report on bird mortalities, and implement disturbance minimization methods at nesting sites or migratory bird congregation sites.
  • Review and conduct appropriate analysis of georeferenced data in Google Earth or ArcGIS Online software to provide quality control prior to submittal.
  • Contribute to technical report writing as needed and submitting content for program-related publications in a variety of media.
  • Oversee the maintenance needs of assigned program vehicles, trailers, boats and ATV/UTVs.
  • Mentor and manage volunteers in monitoring, surveying and stewardship activities.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree in biology, wildlife ecology or related field required; Master's degree substitutes for one year professional experience.
  • 3 years/seasons demonstrated expertise in bird identification and performing demographic bird surveys using rigorous protocols is required. At least two years of experience in shorebird or seabird identification and rigorous surveys is required.
  • Demonstrated experience operating and maintaining motorboats with trailer launch in challenging nearshore marine conditions or equivalent experience in freshwater environments is required.
  • Kayak paddling experience in nearshore marine or open-water conditions is a plus.
  • Demonstrated success with accurate recording of field-collected data and data entry using MS Excel, MS Access, or online web portal data entry is required.
  • Must have strong organizational and analytical skills and great attention to detail.
  • Superior communication skills and demonstrated ability to work independently and with multiple stakeholder groups. Comfort presenting in a group setting a must. 
  • Excellent judgment, problem-solving skills, and decision-making skills, one who possesses a high degree of integrity in all deliverables.
  • Demonstrated experience working with external partners and volunteers, as well as operating and maintaining equipment including boats, ATV/UTVs, trucks and trailers.
  • Must be able to lift up to 35 lbs, and ability to traverse up to 5 miles on beach carrying spotting scope, binoculars, and daypack with or without accommodation.
  • Demonstrated experience with performing field work in challenging coastal conditions year-round.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively, while managing multiple tasks, meeting deadlines and operating in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Familiarity with coastal conservation lands of the Florida Panhandle a plus.
  • Experience with setting up and operating cameras including mobile (GoPro type), game cameras and remote detection technologies preferred.
  • Familiarity with Florida coastal bird management and coastal conservation lands of the Florida Panhandle a plus.
  • Must be able to work long days, weekends, and holidays as needed, in Florida summer field conditions.
  • Ability to effectively manage time and complete tasks independently with minimal oversight.
  • A genuine passion for conservation and for the mission of the National Audubon Society a must.

EEO Statement

The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

Accessibility Statement

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact Accommodations@audubon.org. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID Policy

All staff must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than January 31, 2022, unless they are approved by Human Resources for a qualified exemption. Those unvaccinated after January 31st will be required to follow a weekly testing protocol.

 

All unvaccinated staff are required to wear masks or other approved facial coverings while working indoors at all times or outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained. Further, effective December 13th, any unvaccinated staff person entering an Audubon building must submit a negative Covid-19 test that has been taken within 72 hours. 

 

This policy is effective through February 27th and may be changed due to changes in the law and/or changes to Audubon policies such as the Return to Work/Hybrid Work policy.

 

All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.

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