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.
The Avian Biologist will be responsible for the oversight and implementation of projects focused on increasing the scope and scale of bird-friendly land management practices and habitat restoration on private and public lands in New Mexico. Working with Audubon Southwest’s (ASW) Director of Freshwater Conservation and other Audubon staff, provide programmatic support for Audubon’s Conservation Ranching Program (ACR), the coordination of the Isleta Reach Stewardship Association, implementation of the ASW drone-based riparian habitat monitoring program, and other conservation design/delivery/monitoring projects.
The Avian Biologist will provide field, analytic and outreach support aimed at improving habitat conditions for birds on lands used predominantly for agriculture, livestock or timber production. They will work directly with landowners, producers, agency professionals and other stakeholders to advance projects and programs that improve habitat conditions on public and private lands in riparian, grassland, and woodland ecosystems for identified species of greatest conservation need. Work will include identifying potential projects, developing restoration plans, enrolling landowners in relevant programs, monitoring outcomes of conservation projects, and working with partners through various collaborative groups to achieve large-scale conservation outcomes.
This is a full-time role reporting to the Director of Freshwater Conservation.
• Liaise with landowners and provide excellent technical service to those participating in Audubon’s working lands conservation programs. Specifically,
o Facilitate demand for Audubon conservation programs through partnerships with local agencies and organizations.
o Connect with local conservation professionals and organizations to deliver programs and recruit new program participants.
o Establish and maintain professional relationships with ranchers and landowners participating in Audubon’s working lands programs.
o Communicate program goals and work with producer/landowner to develop site-specific habitat conservation plans for each assigned site or project.
o Execute agreements and plan projects for landowners participating in financial assistance conservation programs.
o Facilitate enrollment process and assist Audubon project budget tracking.
o Provide outreach and education to landowners and producers on grassland bird habitat needs.
o Coordinate bird monitoring, audits and other compliance activities for enrolled properties.
• Advocate for science-supported habitat management on partner lands. Establish habitat management plans using SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time sensitive) goals on all enrolled program ranches.
• Coordinate conservation planning and project implementation as part of collaborative efforts related to the Isleta Reach Stewardship Association partnership.
• Support ASW staff in development of drone-based bird habitat monitoring protocols to be used for monitoring conservation outcomes on working lands.
• Implement a variety of bird monitoring techniques on conservation priority areas including point and transect counts, nest searching, mist-netting, and radio telemetry and input bird data into databases.
• In collaboration with the Associate Director of Freshwater Conservation and others, analyze data and report conclusions to advance ASW conservation priorities; 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, other non-governmental organizations, and community and government leaders.
• Provide outreach to the public on the importance of habitats that working lands provide and the efforts being made to conserve them.
Other duties as assigned.
• Bachelor’s degree in biology, ornithology, ecology, or a related field required, Master's Degree preferred. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
• 3 - 5 years of applied field experience is required; understanding and respect of the scientific method is paramount.
• Computer skills including GIS (ESRI products) and Microsoft Office, specifically Excel, required. Database and statistical programming skills desired.
• Experience with working with government conservation programs required; experience with NRCS Farm Bill Programs highly desired.
• Experience with habitat restoration on working lands (riparian, grassland, or woodland).
• Experience or interest in using drones and associated imagery for monitoring habitat sites. Willingness to acquire drone license and use the technology as part of job duties.
• Knowledge in the identification and ecology of a variety of songbirds, waterbirds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and marsh birds, as well as 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.).
• Working knowledge of New Mexico’s diversity of habitats, especially riparian and wetland habitats.
• Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking, public presentation, and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences
• Strong project management skills, including but not limited to setting and implementing effective goals and objectives, problem-solving, time management, contract and grant management, creating and maintaining collaborations with other organizations, developing public awareness activities, preparing reports, etc.
• Ability to build consensus among a wide range of individuals (e.g. conservation partners, private landowners and ranchers, volunteers, and local community members).
• Excellent work ethic, a team-focused attitude, and the ability to work well independently in the field.
• Willingness to work long hours in field settings. Ability to traverse long distances (at least two miles) while carrying field equipment (e.g., tripod and spotting scope) and/or other materials with or without accommodation.
• Ability to lift and carry, over short distances, at least 40 pounds, with or without accommodation.
• Must be willing to regularly travel within the state of the New Mexico to field sites, often for several days at a time. Some work on weekends is necessary.
• Valid driver’s license required.
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.
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