Title: Gulf Coast Avian Ecologist
Supervisor: Gulf Coastal Program Director
Location: Houston, TX
Salary: $55,000 per year, depending on experience
Submission Deadline: October 20, 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).
ABC is looking for a motivated, self-starting, and detail-oriented avian ecologist. This is a full-time position that will work with the Gulf Coastal Program Director and partners on projects to protect and monitor solitary and colonial nesting sites (e.g. Least Tern, Wilson’s and Snowy Plover, Black Skimmer) for shorebirds and seabirds, monitor migrating and wintering shorebirds (e.g. Piping Plover and Red Knot) along the Gulf Coast, and work with coastal communities to develop bird conservation practices and policies.
ABC’s Gulf Conservation Program provides protection and conservation of birds including those that have been adversely impacted by the BP oil spill and other persistent year-round anthropogenic threats. We work closely with a variety of partners to proactively implement conservation measures for birds that rely on coastal and near coastal habitats.
- Work with partners to implement protective measures at breeding sites, conduct surveys of priority species, monitor nest success and productivity, and reduce bird disturbance through public outreach.
- Represent ABC’s Gulf Conservation Program in Texas through interactions with stakeholders to implement projects, engage local communities, and generate funds for conservation work in Texas.
- Regularly interact with stakeholders outside the organization, through person to person interactions with people at important beach habitats, public presentations, meetings, telephone calls and conferences, and through e-mail and other correspondence (i.e. partnership building and ongoing networking).
- Integrate an understanding of ABC’s mission and a thorough knowledge of beach-nesting bird, shorebird, and waterbird biology to work with regional and local partners to implement on-the-ground conservation in Texas.
- Interview, hire, and manage seasonal subcontractors to complete site-specific project work in Texas.
- Manage and assist seasonal subcontractors in: identifying, posting, and maintaining nesting and foraging habitat; conducting avian surveys tracking nest fates, reproductive output, migration counts, disturbance occurrences, and wintering counts; and conducting public outreach through community events and on-site activities. Implement specific survey and data collection protocols for all survey efforts in collaboration with partners.
- Work with partners and sub-contractors to recruit and coordinate volunteer efforts that support avian conservation efforts year-round.
- Frequently work with local stakeholders; including local governments, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Houston Audubon, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, Audubon Texas, and other agencies and organizations.
- Maintain all seasonal (spring and fall migration, summer, winter) field data electronically and work with Gulf Conservation Program Director to improve electronic data platform for the state of Texas.
- Prepare and distribute technical and scientific reports on Texas projects to funding sources, partners, and other program stakeholders year-round.
- Present Texas program results at local and regional scientific and natural resource management meetings and to non-technical audiences year-round.
- Work with stakeholders and partners in other Gulf states to identify locations where habitat protection and reproductive monitoring is needed.
- Work with local communities to participate in Bird City Texas and/or adopt bird friendly practices such as landscaping with native plants, lights out during major migration periods, and keeping cats indoors. Assist in identifying other locations to promote and start up the Bird City program in other Gulf states.
- Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Natural Resources, Wildlife Sciences, or a related discipline is required; a Master’s degree is preferred.
- Working knowledge in avian research, management, and conservation.
- Extensive field experience with shorebird identification and various survey protocols.
- Field experience with breeding beach-nesting birds, including locating nests, following broods and re-sighting birds; Experience with endangered and threatened species such as Piping Plover and Red Knot preferred.
- Experience with trapping and banding shorebirds and seabirds (permit holder or sub-permitted preferred).
- Must be comfortable communicating and working with recreational beach users, volunteers, community members, and staff of multiple partner organizations.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills are a must and will include conflict resolution.
- Personal knowledge and experience working with avian stakeholders including researchers, agency staff and managers, non-profit organizations, and the community; Texas experience is a plus.
- Intermediate to advanced skill in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Access skills.
- Proven data management and analysis skills.
- Proven report writing skills and ability to assist in proposal preparations.
- Must have valid driver's license and reliable personal vehicle for travel between work sites (mileage reimbursed).
- Travel will be required primarily throughout the Texas coast, but occasionally in other Gulf States as well.
- Travel may also include ABC Headquarters in Virginia and Washington DC or locations selected for ABC staff retreats.
- Highly committed to conservation and to ABC’s conservation mission (see www.abcbirds.org).
- Background screening required
- Position open to U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents
- 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.
- Field 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 online at Paylocity.
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.