Title: Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Coordinator
Reports to: Great Lakes Private Lands Director
Location(s): TBD - Must be located in NE Illinois or SE Wisconsin Project Area
Term: Renewed Annually
Submission Deadline: April 21, 2023
The mission of American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is to conserve birds and their habitats – the places birds need to thrive – across the Americas. We are a growing group of 125+ dedicated staff, located across the United States and with a network of partners from Canada to Chile. Each year, we grow in budget and staff, and we deliver more results aimed at preventing bird species extinctions and reversing declines that are reducing populations of nearly all bird groups. Our work is guided by our principles, which include a commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).
The Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Coordinator (Coordinator) will primarily work with private landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and other local partners in the region to implement best management practices (BMPs) on non-industrial private lands for focal bird species and, in partnership with the Great Lakes Private Lands Director and the Vice President of US & Canada Operations (VP US & Canada) to coordinate ABC’s NRCS Oak Ecosystem Regional Conservation Partnership Program in NE Illinois and SE Wisconsin and help expand oak ecosystem management initiatives within the Great Lakes Region.
The Coordinator will lead ABC’s Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Private Lands Program to design and implement habitat management prescriptions for target focal species by working directly with NRCS and other collaborative partners. The Coordinator will also assist ABC in developing and coordinating additional bird conservation initiatives to expand ABC’s presence in the region for both private and public lands. This will include, but is not limited to identifying, planning and coordinating landscape-scale private and public land programs, building partnerships, promoting ABC and its various programs, and assisting with grant preparation and reporting.
The Coordinator’s main duties will be targeted within the identified focal areas of the NRCS Oak Ecosystem RCPP Project Area (see attached map). Specific duties include:
• Lead and supervise a team of partner biologists to manage and implement the ABC NRCS Oak Ecosystem RCPP Project. The team will include two additional partner biologists located within the project area.
• Identify and communicate with landowners and natural resource managers within designated focal regions to implement bird conservation activities.
• Conduct field visits on private lands to evaluate property for possible treatment using focal species BMPs.
• Identify and delineate project areas for non-commercial oak management treatments. Identify and communicate with contractors capable of completing these treatments to continue developing a growing referral list for landowners.
• Provide technical assistance to private landowners to facilitate the NRCS cost-share application and contracting process and develop site-specific conservation plans in accordance with NRCS practice standards and focal species BMPs.
• Certify project completion via site visits, GPS tracking, and photo documentation to provide NRCS District Conservationists with GIS shapefiles and visual evidence to complete contracts and cost-share.
• Provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to private landowners; technical service providers (TSP’s); and local, state and federal agency staff on habitat BMPs through workshops, trainings, meetings, etc.
• Monitor and track project and programmatic activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and assist with focal species monitoring pre- and post- treatment.
• Communicate with partners about advancements on private lands objectives and to track activities conducted on private and public lands.
• Develop strong relationships with non-profit, agency, local government, and industry partners to expand collaborative conservation opportunities that advance bird conservation strategies.
• Develop annual work plans for private land projects.
• Track program deliverables while working with ABC Finance and Development staff to prepare and submit grant reports.
• Assist ABC Development staff with preparing and reviewing fundraising proposals and assist with preparation of new funding/grant agreements and sub-awards.
• Support ongoing research and monitoring activities including, but not limited to, obtaining landowner permission to conduct site surveys, conducting vegetation and bird surveys, placing and retrieving monitoring equipment (i.e., acoustic recording units), managing data, and coordinating monitoring activities with researchers.
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, wildlife biology, or natural resources management is required. An advanced understanding of oak ecosystem improvement and management, wildlife management, the use of prescribed fire for natural community restoration, and a working knowledge of U.S. Department of Agricultural farm bill private lands incentive programs are essential.
• Professional knowledge and skills to assess, devise, and apply silvicultural strategies for oak management to meet desired wildlife habitat and conservation objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific management plans/practices and the ability to utilize forest inventory tools and protocols.
• Applicant must be prepared to travel within the project area with occasional travel outside the region. ABC will reimburse travel expenses.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (NRCS, DNR, USFWS, etc.), with knowledge of landowner incentive programs, including NRCS landowner cost-share programs, especially EQIP and RCPP.
• A general knowledge of environment laws, regulations, and policies to ensure legal standards are met during habitat project development and implementation activities.
• Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results, and meet project and program deadlines. Proven ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and solve problems.
• Ability to use programs such as ArcGIS, Avenza, OnX, and/or similar to identify and delineate project boundaries, as well as Microsoft Excel and other database management tools to organize project and program information.
• Networking and communication skills, including project management experience and leadership skills. Applicant should be a team player and also work well independently.
• Willing and able to work in physically challenging outdoor environments on occasion, during all seasons and with varied weather conditions or insect presence.
• Coordinator may be required to participate in specific NRCS training programs in order to use partner facilities, vehicles, and equipment.
• Demonstrated written and oral communication skills and the ability to adapt messages to a diverse audience that includes habitat managers, conservation practitioners, academia, and the general public.
• Proficiency with computers and software, especially Microsoft Office products. Experience and working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and ArcGIS also preferred.
• Ability to obtain USDA Security Clearance and NRCS Conservation Planning certification.
• This position requires an unrestricted driver's license with a clear driving record.
• Background screening required.
• Benefits include medical, dental, flexible spending accounts, and supplemental health insurance policies; including vision.
• Paid vacation days, holidays (10+), sick leave, retirement savings with employer match, life insurance, parental leave, and Verizon cell service discount.
• Forestry equipment/office expenses covered.
• Pre-approved professional training and workshop expenses covered.
• Lodging and meals covered for work related travel.
• Rental vehicle or personal mileage reimbursement, if partner vehicles are unavailable.
Please apply on Bamboo HR
If you have trouble submitting an application, please send your cover letter and resume as one document to HR@abcbirds.org
At American Bird Conservancy, we believe that a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills makes us more effective. We are committed to creating a respectful and inclusive work environment for all of our employees.
As an equal opportunity employer, ABC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants for employment have equal opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor unrelated to the requirements of the position.
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