Associate, Working Lands

Job Post Information* : Posted Date 2 months ago(10/5/2023 9:31 AM)
Job Locations
US-CA-Sacramento | US-CA
Regular, Full-Time
Job Category
Additional Location : State/Province


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 towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters.

North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community.

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 brings new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary

Audubon seeks a motivated, dynamic individual to support its Working Lands Program in California. The Associate, Working Lands will support habitat incentive projects tricolored blackbird conservation efforts, participate in natural resource management planning, conduct science and monitoring following established protocols, and support program staff to coordinate advocacy and projects to advance National Audubon Society’s (NAS) conservation priorities in the Central Valley. This position reports to the Working Lands Program Director and works closely with the Working Lands team, as well as a broad range of external partners, including farmers, wetland managers, local, state, and federal agencies, NAS chapters, community members, and other conservation organizations. Audubon California’s Working Lands program works throughout the Central Valley to advance policies and projects to improve farms for the benefit of birds, enhance managed wetlands, ensure adequate flooded and upland habitat for migratory birds, and improve the climate resilience of wildlife in the Central Valley.


This is an on-site position based in Audubon, California Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley.



$21.63 – $25.48 / hour

Essential Functions

  • Support Working Lands staff to implement, track, and report on habitat enhancement projects on Central Valley wetlands, rice, Tricolored Blackbirds, hedgerows, groundwater recharge, and land repurposing projects.
  • In close collaboration with the Working Lands team, support tracking project budgets, reporting requirements, and third-party contracts.
  • Work with NAS, The Nature Conservancy, and Point Blue Conservation Science staff to assess the value of alternative wetland and farm management practices and achieve research goals.
  • Conduct bird and other habitat monitoring at research sites and prepare preliminary data results.
  • Set up fields for monitoring. It 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 landbirds.
  • Conduct visual surveys of pertinent habitat features of survey areas.
  • Collect data using datasheets in the field, enter data into a digital database, and proof.
  • Digitize field boundaries, survey locations, and survey areas in Google Earth.
  • Navigate sensitive landowner relationships at private lands enhancement or research sites and communicate regularly in varying formats (e.g., text, phone call) with rural landowners and/or farm managers and other survey crew and staff members.
  • In collaboration with the Working Lands team, engage landowners, agencies, and NAS chapters to build partnerships for restoration and enhancement projects and advocacy for Central Valley habitat.
  • Serve as a public representative of NAS and the Working Lands team, including presentations, public speaking, meeting participation, and/or other interactions with agencies, NGOs, Audubon chapters, and landowners to gather and disseminate information.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, natural resources management, or related field. An equivalent combination of education and experience is also considered.
  • 1-2 years experience in avian research, field methods and data collection, conservation planning, and/or project coordination.
  • Ability to manage field project duties with a variety of partners.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills, including public speaking and presentation, and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Ability to identify and estimate numbers of western waterbirds by sight using binoculars and spotting scope; tricolored blackbirds by sight and sound; western upland bird species by sight and sound.
  • Skilled 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, meeting deadlines with strong attention to detail.
  • Experience working with a diverse group of people. Previous work with the farming community is a plus
  • Experience working on field projects in agricultural and natural settings. Interactions with private landowners are a plus.
  • Ability to build consensus among individuals (e.g., conservation partners, private landowners, farmers, volunteers, and local community members).
  • Demonstrated experience writing scientific reports or papers and writing for a general, non-science audience.
  • Strong project management skills, including but not limited to setting and implementing practical goals and objectives, problem-solving, time management, coordinating fieldwork, creating and maintaining collaborations with other organizations, developing public awareness activities, preparing reports, etc.
  • Self-starter with a strong collaborative work ethic and ability to work independently.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the people, values, and current conservation issues of agricultural landscapes and managed wetlands.
  • A working knowledge of ArcGIS, comfort using a GPS unit, and a mapping system through ArcGIS Collector on an iPad preferred. Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required.
  • A flexible approach to work and willingness to take on new projects or tasks as needed.
  • Ability to engage in strenuous outdoor activity, carry field equipment and endure outdoor field conditions, including cold and wet winter weather and extreme heat with or without accommodation
  • Willingness to conduct in-state travel and work evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
  • Valid driver's license required.

This position is represented by the Communication Workers of America (CWA).

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.


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