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Regional Shorebird Biologist - Southwest Florida
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking to hire a Regional Shorebird Biologist (Biological Scientist IV) for the southwest region of the state. This is one of several new positions in the agency associated with the inception of a statewide Shorebird Program. This individual will have the opportunity to shape and influence shorebird conservation in this large, biologically rich state. The agency is seeking candidates with a strong science background working with seabirds/shorebirds and professional experience designing and managing projects. Candidates with at least a Master’s degree will be given preference. The position requires someone who has strong people skills and an innate sense of diplomacy, but who is also intrepid and skilled in the field and in working with data. The position is grant funded, with current funding committed through 2020. However, we fully anticipate funding to continue beyond that timeframe. The position is OPS, meaning employees will have access to healthcare under the state system but there are no retirement benefits or paid leave. However, the work schedule and pay rate has been structured to account for holidays and some additional leave time. The rate of pay is $22/hour. The position is located in the Lakeland Regional Office.
Description of duties: Seeking a dedicated biologist with a strong background in shorebird and seabird (shorebird) conservation to serve as a Regional Shorebird Biologist for a 12-county region of southwest Florida. The primary responsibility of this position is implementing shorebird conservation actions locally, regionally, and in some cases, statewide:
• Work with local governments, landowners, and resource managers to improve conservation of shorebirds (habitat management, habitat creation, predator management, posting) through outreach, technical assistance, recognition, etc.;
• Work with partners to ensure high-priority sites are posted; Fill in monitoring gaps as needed.
• Monitor the Florida Shorebird Database during nesting season and communicate issues/deficiencies to the Partner Data Quality Manager;
• Work with partners to problem-solve controversial regional issues, especially those with potential regulatory consequences (fireworks, beach driving, local landowners protesting posting of nesting areas);
• Improve the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts by developing and delivering annual training to law enforcement staff;
• Engage in coastal engineering permitting issues, permit reviews, developing guidelines & conditions, improving permit compliance, and participating in relevant environmental commenting;
• Oversee the implementation of regional predation management including prioritization and contracting predator control agents;
• Provide scientific support and aid in implementation of statewide conservation initiatives such as the Florida Beaches Habitat Conservation Plan;
• Assist with the development of Biological Status Reviews and otherwise assist with the imperiled species listing process;
• Implement habitat management, creation, and restoration projects;
• Assist with shorebird research and survey projects;
• Be an active participant in regional partnership meetings and, where there is a leadership gap, serve as lead or co-lead.
• Participate in regional/national conservation efforts, partnerships, flyway-wide efforts.
Knowledge/Skills/Abilities: B.S. degree in wildlife or related natural resource management (M.S. preferred); a minimum of 3 years professional experience in similar field; shorebird/seabird conservation expertise; strong data management skills; strong communication skills; people-oriented, outgoing personality, highly diplomatic, enjoys engaging with partners and stakeholders; independent and self-directed; prefer candidates proficient in boating, trailer hauling, and ATV operation.
How to apply: Interested individuals should submit an application and cover letter through the State of Florida job listings - search on position number 77902490 in Polk County. (Note that the position is listed as a Bio. Sci. III pending reclassification to a IV.) Questions may be directed to Nancy.Douglass@myfwc.com.