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  • Research Director

    Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
    • Employer: Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory
      Location: Duluth, MN
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 05/31/2024
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    General Description

    Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory (HRBO), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Duluth, MN. HRBO serves as the management entity of the 365-acre Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, which is the primary field site for bird education and research programs conducted by HRBO. The mission of HRBO is to promote conservation of raptors and other birds in the Western Lake Superior Region through research, education, and stewardship. Hawk Ridge has one of the longest annual records of counting and banding of raptors in North America – at 52 years starting in 1972. Hawk Ridge has one of the highest raptor counts and banding numbers in North America – on average over 60,000 raptors counted per year and over 2,500 raptors banded per year. This 50+ year record is rare and of exceptional value for research. Hawk Ridge engages in programs to improve our understanding of migration, breeding, and wintering of raptors and other birds in the western Great Lakes region including spring migration counts, passerine banding, assessing migratory connectivity, and effects of environmental contaminants. These programs are usually completed with universities or government agencies responsible for advancing knowledge of birds and implementing effective conservation and management actions. Additional information about Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory can be found at hawkridge.org.

    Position Summary

    HRBO seeks a qualified director of research to oversee long-term monitoring, bird banding, and applied ecological research programs. The researcher must be capable of leading and working independently as part of interdisciplinary teams on a variety of externally funded research projects and datasets related to migrating birds in Minnesota. The individual will be expected to develop research ideas and proposals and contribute solutions to advance HRBO’s research program. The Research Director will collaborate with full-time and seasonal staff to develop and oversee project plans and implement research projects in the field to acquire data. They will be expected to manage data from collection to analysis, write reports and prepare manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication, and coordinate and supervise project personnel. The director must be able to work flexible hours (nights, early mornings, and weekends) and be willing to work outdoors in a wide variety of weather conditions and environments. 

    Primary Responsibilities

    • Report to the Executive Director and work with Board of Directors, and collaborate with management staff to ensure research activities align with strategic goals; take lead role of implementing objectives and tasks for research goals
    • Manage day-to-day tasks on multiple projects in collaboration with the Executive Director, Board Members, Research Committee, staff, and interns.  Supervise and delegate tasks to research staff and research volunteers. Provide input on project design, procedures, and logistics
    • Manage, develop, supervise and evaluate research staff and volunteers to ensure high quality project implementation and data collection with proper protocol, procedures, and equipment oversight. Specific responsibilities include field coordination and data collection including field work, managing seasonal field crew of 4-12 people, oversee implementation of research and safety procedures, protocols, and experimental design including data QA/QC
    • Create and oversee Research Department budget, in conjunction with Executive Director; monitor revenue and expenses for research projects
    • Plan, develop and execute compelling research projects for grants, in conjunction with Research Committee and Executive Director; provide project content and budgets for grant proposals; assist with donor cultivation visits and reporting activities 
    • Manage research data collection system for long-term data integrity and provide timely reports, peer-reviewed publications, and popular articles about research projects for organization outreach through various media outlets; serve as key research correspondent (social media, news interviews, scientific publications, conferences, etc.), provide education staff needed background and results of research efforts, so this can be incorporated into all levels of educational programming
    • Maintain a current database of research activities at Hawk Ridge, including collaborations with outside organizations
    • Provide regular updates to the Executive Director and Research Committee on research activities, including budget summaries, project status reports, and publications to be shared
    • Develop, maintain, and expand collaborations with other North American bird observatories

    Required Skills and Qualifications

    • Master's or PhD degree in ecology, biological science, or related environmental science from an accredited college or university and 2 years of related experiences - OR - Bachelor's degree and 4 years of related experience
    • Evidence of field skills and expertise of raptors and passerines in the upper Midwestern United States  
    • Experience analyzing complex data from a variety of environmental sources to assess ecological patterns and processes using a variety of statistical (e.g., R), geographical (e.g., ArcGIS), and organizational (e.g., Microsoft Access, Excel) software
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills in the English language
    • Experience in a staff leadership role with well-developed interpersonal skills to manage personnel and work well as part of a team 
    • Evidence of working independently and managing job responsibilities in an efficient and timely manner  
    • Physical requirements include: 
      • Ability to lift and carry equipment weighing 40-50 pounds
      • Ability to use binoculars
      • Tolerance of bugs and working in inclement weather as needed
      • Dexterity required to handle birds at times
    • Ability to relocate to Duluth, MN by no later than August 1, 2024

    Preferred Skills and Qualifications

    • At least one senior-authored paper published or accepted in a peer-reviewed scientific journal
    • Demonstrated experience with public speaking including presenting scientific results to varied audiences (general public, school groups, scientists, and policymakers)
    • Experience and/or working knowledge of acquiring and managing federal and state bird banding permits and other scientific research permit requirements
    • Demonstrated fundraising skills through grant funding and/or donor cultivation or sponsorships  

    Compensation and Benefits

    • Paid vacation & holidays
    • Paid sick & bereavement leave
    • Flexible work schedule
    • Full-time, salaried position $40,000-$45,000 per year, commensurate with experience

    Application Procedure

    • Complete online application form (CLICK HERE to apply). You will attach cover letter, resume, and 3 references within application form
    • Deadline to apply: Friday, May 31st, 2024 or until filled
    • Questions: Contact Janelle Long, Executive Director,  jlong@hawkridge.org 

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