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  • Restoration Ecologist - Audubon's Strawberry Plains Sanctuary, Holly Springs, MS

    Shubham Datta
    • Employer: Audubon Delta/National Audubon Society
      Location: Holly Springs, MS - Memphis, TN
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 02/19/2023
      Open Until Filled: Yes


    The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.


    Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.


    Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

    Position Summary

    Reporting to Audubon Delta’s Senior Director of Conservation, the Restoration Ecologist is an applied conservationist working to preserve, enhance and manage habitats for birds and other wildlife in the Coldwater River Watershed, including Strawberry Plains Sanctuary. Of utmost priority will be developing and implementing a comprehensive restoration and management plan for the property with the goal of restoring the majority of the property to native prairie while maintaining existing stands of bottomland hardwood and short leaf pine forests. In pursuit of restoration and management plans, the Strawberry Plain’s Restoration Ecologist will identify partners and opportunities to implement and scale up restoration efforts and apply cutting-edge ecological restoration techniques to projects in represented habitats across the sanctuary. This includes building and maintaining relationships with partners such as watershed landowners and other stakeholders and coordinating community support and engagement. They will also identify, prepare and manage large public grants and contracts to support and advance Audubon Delta’s conservation vision for the watershed.



    $60,000 / year

    Essential Functions

    In collaboration with Audubon Delta’s conservation team and regional partners, create a restoration and management plan for the represented bird and other wildlife habitats at SPAC with a primary goal of restoring the majority of the property to native prairie.

    Write and manage large public grants and contracts, including developing restoration concept plans and reviewing engineered plans, scopes of work, requests for proposals, and budgets.

    Negotiate, contract, and oversee vendors conducting restoration and management work.

    Develop and perform ecological assessments to track progress of restoration efforts and guide management decisions.

    Identify, and assist in creating, opportunities for land-use research with academic partners.

    Help create and implement capacity building opportunities through land and water restoration demonstrations for the region’s communities and stakeholders.

    Serve as the lead contact for the public and conservation agencies on issues of habitat restoration, management, conservation and biodiversity.

    Facilitate and coordinate efforts with and among landowners and other partners to improve the land ethic, use and practice within the Coldwater River Watershed to achieve sustainability.

    Assist with environmental programming and technical consultations with a special emphasis on land restoration, management and sustainability in the watershed.

    Assist with the development of informational materials (e.g., newsletters, reports, fundraising) and marketing pieces on land and water restoration and conservation goals and achievements in the watershed.

    Assist with the preparation of multi-year budgets for restoration and management efforts.

    Serve as a public representative of Audubon Delta, and SPAC specifically, which may include presentations, public speaking, meeting participation and/or other interactions with agencies, NGOs, Audubon chapters, and landowners to both gather and disseminate information.

    Partner with Audubon staff to incorporate equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging into SPAC’s restoration programming.

    Contribute to a spirit of teamwork while assisting with sanctuary operations and programs.

    Qualifications and Experience

    Bachelor’s degree in ecology, biology, natural resource management or related field; Master’s degree preferred.

    Minimum 5 years’ experience in ecological restoration, forestry or related field; an equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.

    Experience restoring and managing successful prairie habitat; restoration and management of bottomland, upland forest, wetland, stream habitats a plus.

    Experience in current trends and practices in conservation, land management, and natural resource preservation.

    Demonstrated experience overseeing complex or multiple projects through to success, including meeting financial goals and project deadlines, managing third-party contracts, conducting required reporting and tracking, and coordinating the work of key staff and partners.

    Proficiency developing and implementing monitoring protocols to evaluate project performance and success criteria.

    Experience in conservation planning and applying best available science to inform decisions and achieve conservation outcomes.

    Demonstrated understanding of ecological processes influencing prairie, forest and wetland, ecosystems in the Mississippi delta a plus.

    Experience with grant writing and preparing scopes of work for land and water restoration.

    Experience with contract preparation and management, contractor oversight, budget management, and permitting processes.

    Experience with habitat/land/plant management, habitat assessments, and restoration design.

    Strong interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills that can be adapted to reach a wide range of individuals and used to build consensus. Ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences.

    Strong technical writing skills and the ability to write scientific papers and reports a plus.

    Experience working with multigenerational audiences and diverse cultural communities and a commitment to increasing equity, diversity, inclusion and justice as a core component of our work.

    Proficiency with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other key Microsoft Office and web-based products.

    Working knowledge of ArcGIS, GPS and other GIS technologies strongly preferred.

    Must be self-motivated and able to initiate and lead in a dynamic team environment with limited direct supervision.

    Willingness to perform routine office work and to work in a wide range of outdoor terrains, often in extreme weather conditions, with or without accommodation.

    Ability to operate office, shop and farm equipment required.

    Willingness to work during some weekends, evenings, and early mornings as required.

    Must have valid driver's license and be willing to travel in the Delta region.

    EEO Statement

    The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

    Accessibility Statement

    The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact Accommodations@audubon.org. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

    COVID Policy

    All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.

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