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  • 2 Shorebird Conservation Specialists (Three-year positions)


    Autumn-Lynn Harrison
    • Employer: Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
      Location: Washington, D.C.
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 03/14/2021
      Open Until Filled: No

    Come join a team of dedicated staff at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC), part of the National Zoological Park and Conservation Biology Institute of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education and research complex, comprised of 19 museums and galleries, nine research centers, 21 libraries and the National Zoological Park. The Smithsonian is dedicated to its founding mission, "the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center was founded by an act of Congress and is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration.

    The Migratory Bird Center seeks to hire two Shorebird Conservation Specialists who will support a new initiative called the Shorebird Science and Conservation Collective as Knobloch Shorebird Conservation Fellows. These positions will focus on conducting applied conservation science to help reverse the declines of the Western Hemisphere’s shorebirds. The Conservation Specialists will work with another Knobloch Shorebird Conservation Fellow (a Quantitative Ecologist) who will help them answer and define management questions and to produce products and analyses to meet management needs using data shared with the Shorebird Collective by scientific partners. For an introduction to the idea of the Collective, its planned work, and the role of the Knobloch Fellows, a recorded webinar is available here: https://bit.ly/3601F1D.

    Successful candidates will have a collaborative and applied mind-set and will want to contribute to team results. Work will be conducted in partnership with an Advisory Group and a range of scientific and conservation partners. The two Conservation Specialists will have different but complementary roles.

    Regional Shorebird Conservation Specialist: This specialist will have a deep knowledge of shorebird species and the habitats they use within the Midcontinental Flyways of North America and will work at the intersection of quantitative ecology and applied conservation. They will be familiar (or have worked with) land management agencies (e.g., USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service, USFWS – Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, state wildlife planning departments), conservation foundations, and smaller non-governmental organizations who work to implement on-the-ground conservation. They may be a shorebird ecologist who is experienced working with movement and/or survey data for conservation planning, a landscape conservation specialist with an interest in shorebird conservation, and/or an applied conservationist who works with landscape-level partnerships across multiple stakeholder sectors.  

    Local Shorebird Conservation Specialist: This specialist will be talented at working with individual stakeholders within communities that practice on-the ground conservation or manage private lands that may provide shorebird habitat. Working with the Regional Shorebird Conservation Specialist and the Quantitative Ecologist, they will provide scientific information to support 3-5 local conservation projects and be the go-to resource for smaller requests from stakeholders. They will have a strong background in conducting or teaching how to conduct successful conservation practices for migratory birds, and be very comfortable working with landowners on a one-on-one basis. They may be a social scientist, an applied conservation practitioner, or a shorebird ecologist who is experienced working with communities to advance conservation goals.

    Candidates must have the following qualifications

    • A Bachelor’s Degree and at least 5 years of experience in the field of conservation biology, social science, wildlife science, shorebird ecology/conservation/management, or a related field.
    • The ability to make connections between shorebird migration ecology and the land management practices needed to conserve shorebirds.
    • Familiarity with land management agencies, conservation foundations, and smaller non-governmental organizations who work to implement on-the-ground conservation.
    • Experience developing and executing conservation projects in partnership with stakeholders.
    • The ability to work and communicate effectively in a team environment.

    Preferred qualifications include:

    • Excellent scientific communication and outreach skills.
    • Experiencing producing habitat and or animal occurrence maps using either ESRI software or programming approaches.
    • An established network of partners within the Midcontinental Flyways of North America and/or experience working within communities at the local level.
    • Familiarity with shorebird conservation management throughout the Western Hemisphere.
    • Familiarity with shorebird tracking and survey data and their potential utility for on-the-ground conservation applications.

    These positions are funded for three years through a grant from the Knobloch Family Foundation and will work under the direction of Dr. Autumn-Lynn Harrison, Research Ecologist, SMBC. They are not Federal positions but they have similar benefits.

    Duration: Three years conditional on satisfactory, annual performance evaluations.

    Eligibility: U.S. citizenship is not required, however the candidate must either already possess status to work in the U.S. at Smithsonian or must be eligible for Smithsonian sponsorship. Please note that processing time for anyone requiring Smithsonian sponsorship (3-6 months) may preclude selection based on the timing of our grant deliverables.

    The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. To best serve our current and future visitors we strive to maximize the diversity, equity, and inclusiveness of our organization. Therefore, we encourage candidates that represent and embody the diversity found within our community to apply.

    Salary: IS-11 (Smithsonian Trust position equivalent to a GS-11 Federal Pay Scale). Considering the locality pay area of Washington, D.C., the starting salary is $72,750 with the potential for annual pay increases pending successful performance reviews.

    Benefits: Health and retirement benefits will be provided according to those given for Trust employees: Link: https://www.si.edu/ohr/benefits

    Duty Station: To foster a team working culture among the Knobloch Shorebird Conservation Fellows, this position will be based at the Migratory Bird Center, National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C. However, remote telework will be considered, especially initially due to current restrictions for on-site work due to the global pandemic.

    Required Travel: When travel restrictions lift, there will be opportunities for travel (especially for the Local Shorebird Conservation Specialist), and or details to work on-site with external partners and/or within communities to develop local or regional conservation activities. All Knobloch Shorebird Conservation Fellows will be provided the opportunity to attend Western Hemisphere Shorebird Group meetings that occur during the duration of the position. 

    Start date: Spring 2021. We will conduct interviews and select a candidate in March. Following selection and acceptance, the hiring process includes a background check. Anticipated hiring following paperwork processing should be between April and May.  

    To apply: Please submit the following to HarrisonAL@si.edu by March 14, 2021:

    • An email with one or both of the following in the subject line of the email:
    • Application for Regional Shorebird Conservation Specialist
    • Application for Local Shorebird Conservation Specialist
    • A cover letter describing how your qualifications will help achieve the goals of the position and why you are excited about it. 
    • A current C.V./Resume. To fulfill Federal hiring requirements, C.V.s/Resumes must include a description of your paid and non-paid work experience that is related to this job; starting and ending dates of each job (Month and year); and average number of hours worked per week for each job.
    • The names and contact information for three professional references. Letters are not required.

    For any questions or for more detail about this position prior to applying, please email Dr. Harrison.



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