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  • Head of Bird Observatory Operations

    • Employer: Third Millennium Alliance
      Location: Jama-Coaque Reserve
      Country: Ecuador
      Last Date to Apply: 06/04/2018
      Open Until Filled: No

    Position details:

    Employer: Third Millennium Alliance, Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque

    Position Title: Head of Bird Observatory Operations.

    Duration: Permanent, full-time position.

    Schedule: 7-14 days/month in Reserva Jama-Coaque, Manabí, Ecuador. Remaining days in Quito.

    Start-date: July 2018.



    Third Millennium Alliance’s (TMA’s) mission is to conserve the last remnants of Pacific Equatorial Forests in Ecuador and to empower local communities to restore what has been lost. We achieve these goals through a conservation framework of science, education, partnerships, and communication at local, regional, national, and international levels. In December 2017, TMA established El Observatorio de Aves Jama-Coaque as their flagship research program to help fulfill its mission. The role of the Head of Bird Observatory Operations (HBOO) is split into three components:

    33% Overseeing field operations (banding work, capacity-building/education, community outreach, infrastructure and reserve maintenance/operations).

    33% Organizational development (developing new projects, forging partnerships with other businesses and non-profits, government relations, grant-writing, fundraising, etc.)

    33% Science (data collection and management, analyses, publication, presentations)

    Major responsibilities and duties


    One of TMA’s long-term goals is to turn the Jama-Coaque Reserve (JCR) into a center for tropical research. The HBOO will help achieve this objective by conducting high-quality, in-house research and promoting OAJC’s work. The HBOO assists the Director of Research (D.R.) to ensure each phase of all TMA and OAJC studies, from design to publication, is conducted at a level worthy of international recognition. Essential functions include writing manuscripts and grant applications, designing study protocols, data analyses, overseeing field work, etc.


    Since its founding, TMA has acquired a good deal of its unrestricted funding through an internship program geared towards international students who work and learn at JCR. The HBOO is responsible for working with the D.R. to ensure all science-based internships are rewarding and worthwhile for both participants and TMA. This can entail, but is not limited to, designing interesting and meaningful projects for interns to work on, establishing a welcoming and comfortable living environment, and facilitating intern learning/research in JCR. Beginning in August 2018, these programs and duties will be extended to include Ecuadorian nationals.


    Group educational experiences offered by TMA or by visiting institutions provide TMA with unrestricted funding and an opportunity to get more people involved in the organization. The HBOO may at times be asked assist in attracting these classes to the reserve, teach lessons, and otherwise facilitate student learning.

    Workshops and Outreach

    National and community-level educational events are a core component of TMA’s conservation framework. The HBOO is responsible for organizing such events conducted under the OAJC umbrella with other OAJC and TMA staff.

    Team Management

    The HBOO, along with the D.R., is responsible for ensuring OAJC staff are productive, responsible representatives of TMA. The HBOO will assist with staff hiring/training and ensure OAJC offers the highest-caliber educational and research experiences to its visitors.

    Operations Management

    The HBOO will oversee day-to-day operations and logistics of OAJC and ensure research and education programs are properly implemented by staff on the ground. The HBOO will collaborate with the D.R. to ensure logistics and operations are well-designed and running smoothly.


    Scientific and educational programming/curricula, especially that pertaining to OAJC, are written/organized by the D.R. and the HBOO. Primary foci include bander training, workshop, and outreach materials.


    • MSc. or PhD in avian ecology, conservation, or related field.
    • Fluent in both Spanish and English.
    • Highly experienced bird bander/ringer. Certified trainers will be given preference.
    • Experience using GIS and R.
    • Able to hike long distances in steep, muddy, tropical conditions while carrying equipment.
    • Significant management and teaching experience.
    • Positive attitude and excellent interpersonal skills.
    • Passionate about avian studies, conservation, and field work.


    The selected candidate will be salaried on the Ecuadorian pay scale and receive government-provided health insurance. All food/lodging and transportation costs in the reserve are covered by TMA.


    Interested candidates should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references as a single PDF to Mike Ellis (mike[at]tmallinace.org) by June 4th, 2018. Additional information about TMA and OAJC can be found on our website – tmalliance.org.

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