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In much of Florida, Least Terns (and in some cases American Oystercatchers, Gull-billed Terns and Black Skimmers) nest on flat, gravel rooftops for lack of undisturbed beach-nesting habitat. Audubon, in partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), has pioneered techniques to improve the productivity of these roofs, working to “chick proof” them prior to the nesting season, and to create volunteer support groups to return fallen chicks to their rooftop nests.
The Rooftop Technician will be responsible for: surveying the Panhandle’s historic rooftop nesting sites to determine whether they are active during the nesting season, working to “chick proof” rooftops prior to the nesting season, create volunteer support groups to monitor sites and return fallen chicks to their rooftop nests, educate building managers and rooftop-affiliated businesses in regards to rooftop nesting birds and coordinate with FWC to manage emergency rooftop repairs during the breeding season.
This is a full-time, grant funded position through December 31, 2020 with possibility of extension with subsequent grants. This position will be remotely based in the region between Panama City and Pensacola, Florida.
- Determine active/inactive status of historic rooftop nesting sites in the Florida Panhandle during nesting season.
- Conduct outreach to building managers and where feasible assist building managers with chick-proofing rooftops including installation of fencing material or drain covers on rooftops.
- Comfortably and safely work on rooftops at various building heights.
- Recruit, train, schedule and manage volunteer “chick checkers” to support rooftop colonies.
- Plan and conduct community outreach efforts such as public presentations and tabling events to educate the public about Florida’s focal shore/seabird species.
- Collaborate with Audubon Communications Manager to raise the profile of rooftop-nesting bird conservation through traditional and new media.
- Recognize building owners and managers for good stewardship of rooftop colonies.
- Manage and enter data into Audubon records system and Florida Shorebird Database.
- Conduct non-breeding shorebird surveys as directed by supervisor from September through April on regional beaches.
- May have opportunities to be involved with local banding of shorebirds and seabirds.
- Assist with other shorebird conservation and survey efforts and other duties as assigned.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor’s degree in Biology or related field required; Master’s degree a plus.
- 1-3 year’s demonstrated expertise in shorebird and seabird identification and performing surveys a must; Least Tern management experience preferred.
- Experience recruiting, training, and managing volunteers or comparable environmental education experience required.
- Comfortable working outdoors in various weather conditions, climbing ladders, and the willingness to work on rooftops at varying heights is required.
- Superior communication skills and demonstrated ability to work independently and with multiple stakeholder groups.
- Experience with banding and handling shorebirds and seabirds preferred.
- Familiarity with coastal conservation lands of the Florida Panhandle a plus.
- Experience with setting up and operating cameras including mobile (GoPro type), game cameras and outdoor surveillance systems preferred.
- Proficient in Microsoft Office applications.
- Must possess a clean driving record, be able to lift up to 35lbs, and be able to walk 2-4 miles on beach carrying spotting scope, binoculars, and daypack.
- Demonstrated commitment to conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society.