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From February to August, the Panhandle Florida Field Technician is the coastal bird biologist primarily responsible for beach-nesting bird monitoring and protection work at sites in Florida's Franklin and Gulf counties including: Little St. George Island, Dog Island, Lanark Reef, Phipps Preserve and other sites as assigned. At these sites, the field technician is responsible for:
- Posting symbolic fencing around beach-nesting bird sites and maintaining said posting;
- Monitoring nest sites weekly for evidence of disturbance or predation;
- Performing formal nesting bird surveys weekly including during seven, formal, one-week time windows (including color band resighting);
- Non-breeding season shore/seabird surveys and band resightings; and
Helping protect sites from disturbance through stewardship activities, to include working closely with volunteers to chaperone beach-nesting bird colonies during busy warm-weather weekends, educating beachgoers about these species and encouraging compliance with posted areas, and engaging in outreach to user groups through presentations at organizational meetings.
From September through February, this position performs winter coastal bird surveys and resights color-banded birds, especially snowy plovers, piping plovers and red knots, assists with volunteer recruitment and management, training and appreciation, assists with the creation of educational signage about coastal birds, and helps conduct outreach to key user groups impacting coastal birds in the Florida Panhandle.
This position is funded as full-time permanent for four years (through December 2020) with extension possible contingent on a secure funding source. The Field Technician will be based out of their home in coastal Franklin County. This is an exciting position for a professional biologist with shorebirds/seabird survey skills, as well as experience kayaking and boating in nearshore marine waters and use of ATV/UTVs.
With direction from the Eastern Panhandle Monitoring and Stewardship Program Coordinator, the technician will ensure all sites are:
- Surveyed weekly, including during the monthly state-prescribed beach-nesting bird survey windows;
- Posted with symbolic fencing and signage by posting deadlines;
- Monitored weekly for signs of disturbance and changes in nesting status;
- Stewarded to the terms of Audubon’s contract.
- Additional functions include the following:
- Entering survey data and band resights into the Florida Shorebird Database or Access database or as directed by the supervisor within two weeks following the survey date;
- Contribute to report writing and submittal for program contract;
- Responsible for maintenance of program vehicles, trailers, boats, and ATV/UTVs as needed;
- Mentor volunteers in monitoring, surveying, and stewardship activities;
- Engage the public around coastal bird conservation through outreach at beach sites and through presentations to key constituencies.
This position is required to work independently or with another full-time staff and may be responsible for solo operation of boats to access large, remote offshore sites for survey work and posting.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor's degree in biology, wildlife ecology or related field required.
- 2-3 years' demonstrated expertise in shorebird and seabird identification and performing surveys a must.
- Strong communication skills and demonstrated ability to work independently.
- Experience working with partners and volunteers, as well as operating and maintaining equipment including boats, ATV/UTVs, trucks and trailers.
- Demonstrated experience with performing field work in challenging coastal conditions.
- Familiarity with coastal conservation lands of the Florida Panhandle a plus.
- Must be able to work long days and weekends, as needed, in Florida summer field conditions.
Edited by aruhl