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  • Lead Waterbird Biologist

    Guest Sirena Lao
    • Employer: San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
      Location: Milpitas, CA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    Description: The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability by engaging communities in avian science, habitat conservation, and education. We are hiring someone to join us as Lead Waterbird Biologist, with a start date as soon as September (negotiable).

    The Lead Biologist will be responsible for training, coordinating, and supervising teams of researchers and volunteers to conduct field research on waterbird populations within San Francisco Bay, as well as assisting in research design, data analysis, and writing scientific documents. They will  work on five research projects:

    •           Understanding how the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, the largest tidal marsh restoration project on the Pacific Coast of the United States, is affecting waterbird populations;

    •           Assessing drivers of decline in two unique hypersaline-specialist species of conservation concern, the Wilson’s Phalarope and the Red-necked Phalarope;

    •           Assessing success of breeding colonies of herons, egrets, terns, cormorants, and other medium-sized shorebirds;

    •           Monitoring avian disease outbreaks, particularly botulism and highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI);

    •           Breeding dynamics, habitat use, and effectiveness of abatement measures of gulls;

    SFBBO is based out of Milpitas, CA with field sites throughout the San Francisco Bay. While duties will vary month to month, the work will generally entail 1-2 days a week of office work and 3-4 days a week of fieldwork surveying waterbird populations and their habitats. Office work has the option to be conducted at SFBBO’s office or remotely. The Lead Biologist will report to Director of Waterbird Science, and work closely with the Director to advance project development, research design, grant writing, writing papers and reports, and data analysis.

    To Apply: Applications will be reviewed beginning August 14th, and review will continue until the position is filled. To apply, please submit a resume/CV, 1-page cover letter describing your qualifications and interest, and three references to Sirena Lao (slao@sfbbo.org).

    Key Job Duties

    •           Preparing survey schedules and day-to-day supervision of teams of biologists and community scientist volunteers in conducting field surveys of wetlands throughout San Francisco Bay;

    •           Training of new hires and volunteers in scientific survey protocols;

    •           Surveying tidal and non-tidal wetlands for multiple waterbird taxa and habitat characteristics;

    •           Working with partner agencies (US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, and other local agencies) to coordinate weekly site access and permitting;

    •           Data analysis including geographic information systems (GIS) and statistical modeling;

    •           Technical scientific writing including reports, scientific papers, and grant applications;

    •           Assist with equipment and vehicle upkeep and maintenance as appropriate;

    •           Assist in the Science Director in new project development.

     Required Skills and Qualifications:

    •           4+ years of work experience conducting avian field research

    •           A graduate degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, or a related field; OR, a commensurate level of work experience that includes field crew leadership (2+ years)

    •           Demonstrated ability to effectively train and supervise teams of field biologists

    •           Basic competency using GIS software (particularly ArcGIS)

    •           Ability to accurately identify birds – surveys require identifying all waterbird taxa, including gulls and other difficult shorebirds at a distance (while we can train to identify local birds, strong identification and birdwatching skills are a must)

    •           Valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and reliable personal vehicle

    •           Strong ability to organize and prioritize tasks when juggling multiple research projects

    •           Able to both work unsupervised independently and collaborate effectively in a team

    •           A passion for conservation, birds, and science

    Desirable Skills and Qualifications

    •           Competency with statistical modeling, especially R, is highly desirable

    •           Familiarity with Microsoft Access

    •           Able to operate boats with outboard motors and kayaks

    •           Experience working with and coordinating volunteers

    •           Experience with technical scientific writing (papers, reports, and grant applications)

    •           Familiarity with the wetland ecosystems of the San Francisco Bay

    Our Commitment to Diversity

    SFBBO is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. We firmly believe that diverse employee teams help us to achieve our best organizational outcomes and provide the most effective support to the equally diverse communities we serve. We are deeply dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive, equitable and supportive work environment. We believe in growth and supporting our employees as best we can so they can become their best selves in and outside of work. A healthy work environment means building an inclusive culture where people can thrive together and feel supported and empowered.

    We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds and identities, including but not limited to people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply. If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your cover letter, please feel free to note which pronouns you use (they/them, she/her, he/him, etc.).

    Compensation and Benefits

    $22.00 - $23.50 / hour starting wages (rate dependent on skills and experience), to be paid every two weeks (est. $45,760 - $48,880 annually at 40 hours/week ). Benefits include:

    •           Full health, dental, and vision benefits

    •           Personal Time Off (PTO) accumulation at a rate of 6.67 hours per pay period (4 weeks/year)

    •           Access to a state-run retirement program

    •           $40 per month phone and Internet stipend

    •           Options for remote work and flexible hours on non-field days

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