Director of Conservation and Science
The Director of Conservation and Science works in close collaboration with the Executive Director and is a member of the NYC Audubon team to provide leadership on science and conservation issues in NYC. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Conservation Science will play a crucial role in developing priorities, executing strategies, maintaining relationships with diverse partners and funders, contributing to funding proposals and general communications, and ensuring alignment with NYC Audubon’s mission and strategic plan and will work closely with and have direct access to NYC Audubon’s members, Board of Directors, Advisory Council, and staff.
Founded in 1979, NYC Audubon is a grassroots, membership-based organization recognized as an affiliated urban chapter of the National Audubon Society. NYC Audubon’s mission is to protect wild birds and habitats in the five boroughs of New York City, and, in so doing, to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. NYC Audubon’s conservation and science activities, education and public programs, and advocacy efforts on behalf of urban and migrating birds and wildlife are more critical than ever, due to climate change effects and the devastating, steady loss of the natural environment in the City over the last 40 years. A tight-knit team of eight full-time and four part-time staff, along with over 700 volunteers, serves a diverse community of nearly 10,000 members and followers as well as the people who live and work in America’s largest urban center.
The Director of Conservation & Science is a senior-level manager responsible for executing the vision, development, and implementation of New York City Audubon’s Strategic Plan for Conservation and Science. The Director oversees all aspects of the conservation and science program: identifying research needs and opportunities, designing projects, ensuring that data is collected and analyzed in a timely fashion, and communicating those results. The Director oversees a diverse team of highly skilled full and part-time employees who manage main programmatic areas including: Conservation Biologist; Field Biologist; Green Roof Ecologist; Advocacy and Outreach Manager; Program Manager. The Director provides logistical and content support for the Conservation Committee of the Board of Directors.
The Director pursues the integration of the science programs, conservation initiatives, and environmental advocacy with partner organizations in the New York Metropolitan area including Audubon NY and National Audubon, American Bird Conservancy, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, New Jersey Audubon, among many others. The Director oversees consortia managed by NYC Audubon including the Green Roof Researchers Alliance and the Grasslands and Harbor Herons Working Groups, among others. The Director disseminates information and findings to NYC Audubon members via printed and electronic newsletters, website, and an annual membership meeting.
This position is available following the retirement in December 2019 of Dr. Susan Elbin, creator of the role in 2008. Dr. Elbin remains available for support through the transition as Scientist Emeritus.
The Ideal Candidate:
• Has a collaborative management style with strong supervisory experience; demonstrated ability to organize, support, mobilize, and motivate staff and volunteers
• Provides the vision and leadership to integrate observational science/data collection with applications in natural resources management
• Promotes and integrates our observational data and research into regional and global study
• Embraces the ethic of equity, diversity, and inclusion
• Strategically initiates, develops and positions partnerships between NYC Audubon and other key research and resource management institutions to leverage the collaborative and financial strength of these partnerships to the benefit of NYC Audubon’s mission
• Demonstrated communication skills with the ability to effectively act as spokesperson for NYCA on science and conservation issues to the media
• Facilitate the use of science in structuring NYC Audubon’s policy and advocacy efforts
• Has demonstrated success in pursuing funding opportunities to advance Conservation Science programs
• Has published in peer-reviewed journals
• Maintains membership in professional science or conservation organizations
• Implement the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan for Conservation and Science
• Identify emerging conservation issues, priority landscapes, and at-risk habitats NYC and wildlife populations and design strategies to address these issues
• Support and manage science and conservation staff and contractors Participate in fundraising and budget development and review
• Create and manage Conservation and Science program budget
• Participate in scientific grant writing
• Collect, review, analyze, and summarize biological data, conservation policies
• In coordination with the Communication Manager, be available to speak with the media about NYC Audubon’s conservation work
• Pursue the integration of the science programs with partner organizations in the NY Metropolitan area including but not limited to:
o New York City Parks and Recreation
o New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
o National Park Service
o Universities within NYC
o Non-profit conservation organizations (TNC, WCS, AMNH, etc.)
o National Audubon and Audubon NY and NYS Audubon Chapter Council
• Contribute to NYC Audubon’s media outreach: The Urban Audubon, our Annual Report, website, blog, and social media pages
• Maintain status in professional (scientific) organizations
• Represent NYC Audubon at meetings of scientists including committees/groups, agency officials, conservation NGOs, and at public functions related to NYC Audubon conservation science and policy initiatives
• PhD in biology, ecology, natural resources, or closely related field required
• At least five years leadership experience in field studies, operation of a biological field station or similar natural area research program, including departmental management, preparation of budgets, personnel management, etc.
• Exemplary communication abilities including written, oral, and presentation skills; ability to give enthusiastic public programs and presentations to diverse audiences
• Superior computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Office and Outlook or similar e-mail application, strong Internet skills. Knowledge of statistics, geographic information systems (GIS) and relational databases is preferred.
• Help communicate science and conservation issues to the general public, decision-makers, funders, or news media through presentations, testimony to governmental bodies, interviews, or by leading field trips
• Must be well versed in conservation, biology, and identification of local and regional birds and other wildlife and current conservation and policy issues throughout NYC
• Knowledge and appreciation of the people, values, Supervision experience, excellent leadership and collaborative ethics, as demonstrated in previous work. Must possess strong interpersonal and social skills, a positive attitude and collaborative team approach, and appreciation of others and their values.
• Proven fundraising experience to include writing and implementing grant deliverables, cultivating and managing relationships with foundations and other public agencies
• Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences
• Must be self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment
• Willingness to work occasional irregular hours, including weekends or evenings
• Ability and willingness to travel locally and out-of-state as the job demands
• Valid driver's license is necessary
• Experience handling birds is preferred. A banding permit is desired.
• Ability to work outdoors, in all weather conditions and on varying terrain, with or without accommodation; must be able to carry field equipment at times, with or without accommodation
Commensurate with experience.
Excellent work environment with benefits including health, vision, dental, life, disability insurance, retirement plan. Health, dental, vision, short-term disability, long-term disability, accidental death and dismemberment, term life insurances, SEP retirement benefit plan, paid annual leave, sick leave, and public holidays.
Send resume, writing sample, and references with a cover letter of inquiry to Kathryn Heintz, Executive Director, by email to email@example.com, or by mail to New York City Audubon, 71 West 23rd Street, Suite 1523, New York, NY 10010.
No phone calls please.
January 31, 2020, unless extended.
For more information about NYC Audubon, including the Strategic Plan 2020-2025, please visit our website: www.nycaudubon.org. NYC Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer.