Seasonal Field Biologist

Job Locations
Seasonal, Full-Time
Job Category


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

The Seasonal Field Biologist will be an integral part of one or more field efforts supporting the Working Lands Initiative including landbird use of cover crops on rice fields, tricolored blackbird surveys on crop fields and wetlands, and waterbird use of wetlands in spring. This position will report to a Working Lands Conservation Project Manager and will work in close coordination with the Working Lands Team at Audubon CA and the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership that includes Audubon California, The Nature Conservancy, and Point Blue Conservation Science as well as other partners. 


This is a full-time, temporary, grant-funded position scheduled for 40 hours/week. The position is expected to last 4 months (mid-March through mid-July). The position can be based outside of the Central Valley however the job duties require a daily presence in the Valley. Housing may be available but is not yet guaranteed. All local and regional COVID-19 guidelines will be followed.

Essential Functions

  • Set up fields for monitoring- may include wading into flooded areas in chest waders and pounding in depth stakes.
  • Conduct visual surveys of birds often requiring flock estimation. Focal birds include western waterbirds (including shorebirds), tricolored blackbirds and western upland birds.
  • Conduct visual surveys of pertinent habitat features of survey areas.
  • Communicate regularly in varying formats (e.g. text, phone call) with rural landowners and/or farm managers and other survey crew and staff members.
  • Collect data using datasheets in the field then enter data into digital database -or- with an iPad, and proof.
  • Digitize field boundaries, survey locations, and survey areas in Google Earth.
  • Conduct preliminary data summaries.
  • Possible overnight travel to other field sites in California.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Associate’s degree in natural resources, environmental studies, or similar subject, and/or 2+ years of applicable experience.
  • Ability to identify and estimate numbers of western waterbirds (including shorebirds) by sight using binoculars and a spotting scope; tricolored blackbirds by sight and sound, western upland bird species by sight and sound.
  • Skill at driving a 4WD vehicle on narrow roads and in variable conditions, i.e. mud, wet and fog.
  • Able to manage and prioritize tasks from multiple sources and strong attention to detail.
  • Experience working on field projects in agricultural and natural settings, and interactions with private landowners a plus.
  • Excellent communication skills; frequent communication with survey team members and private landowners will be necessary.
  • Possession of a driver’s license valid in California.
  • The ability to work both self-guided and as part of a team.
  • Technically savvy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite applications, internet browsers, Google Earth, iPad and related data entry apps; GIS experience a plus but not required.
  • Flexible with scheduling and ability to anticipate upcoming needs; careful time management and punctuality; willingness to work extended hours and/or travel as needed to accommodate unexpected issues, workload.

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 This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

COVID 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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