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  • Migration Ecologist

    • Employer: National Audubon Society
      Location: None Specified
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 07/30/2019
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

    Position Summary

    Audubon protects birds and the places they need throughout their full annual cycle. The science of avian migration serves as the foundation of this vision: it not only tells us where we should invest our limited time, resources and energies, but it also communicates the story of migration to engage more people in conservation action. Working at the nexus of science, communication, and policy, Audubon is uniquely positioned to translate the phenomenon of migration into conservation action across the Americas. Audubon is building a Migratory Bird Initiative that translates full annual cycle migration science into compelling visual narratives and resources that drive policy and inspire our network to conservation action. Audubon is working with partners across the Western Hemisphere to integrate and focus scientific results to reveal and drive actionable strategic conservation priorities.

    The Migration Ecologist will join the Migratory Bird Initiative and form part of the National Audubon Society Science Team. S/he will provide critical information that will serve as the foundation for Audubon’s migration work within coasts, working lands, and water strategies. Reporting to the Senior Director of the Migratory Bird Initiative, the Migration Ecologist will build partnerships with academic scientists and conservation organizations, fundraise for collaborative migration projects, collect available migration data for priority bird species, and provide outputs to support Audubon's conservation and policy work.

    *Candidates wishing to be considered for this opportunity must submit a cover letter.

    Essential Functions

    • Build relationships with diverse set of international migratory bird scientists and institutions to synthesize migration data and knowledge.
    • Contribute to data hub for migration science for North American bird species.
    • Design and implement spatial and quantitative analyses to describe patterns in migratory bird populations.
    • Use migration data and other datasets (e.g. threats and protected status) to target conservation priorities across the Americas in the places that matter most to birds.
    • Communicate powerful migration stories to the public and policy makers in new and compelling ways.
    • Lead or contribute to peer-reviewed publications and grant-writing in support of projects.
    • Provide leadership for emerging projects, such as leading conference calls and coordinating team-member contributions.
    • Work as a team with other staff to prioritize data needs and approaches.
    • Write summaries, species accounts, reports, and other communication pieces for outreach around the topic of migratory birds.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Ph.D. in biology, ecology, spatial ecology or conservation-related field required; 2-3 years of experience preferred;
    • Research experience in bird migration; a mix of field and applied experience preferred;
    • Demonstrated ability to: manipulate data and script analyses in R and/or Python; clearly frame research questions, design studies, and implement analyses;
    • Demonstrated ability and strong interest in collaborating with other scientists and stakeholders in co-produced analyses, reports/publication, and visualizations;
    • Proficiency in GIS, particularly with ArcGIS products;
    • Demonstrated skills in communicating science content to a diverse audience; and
    • A self-starter, one who can think creatively about connections between birds, places, and people.


    • Experience with Important Bird Areas process or other site-based conservation prioritization methods;
    • Proficiency in species distribution and climate change modeling;
    • Experience with remote sensing products;
    • Experience with cloud computing and processing big data;
    • Familiarity with threats to migratory birds;
    • Familiarity with bird conservation organizations, agencies and initiatives and the birding community;
    • Demonstrated ability to work well independently and in a group;
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills; and
    • Ability to read and converse in Spanish, Portuguese, and/or French strongly preferred.

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