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  • Waterbird Biologist

    • Employer: San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory
      Location: Milpitas, CA
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 08/12/2019
      Open Until Filled: No



    The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is seeking a full-time Waterbird Biologist to assist with and coordinate waterbird field studies. The Waterbird Biologist position will begin in mid-August. This will be a 16 month appointment with opportunity for extension if funding allows. The position will be based in Milpitas, CA.  The biologist will receive training and mentorship from SFBBO staff and will develop their skills in waterbird survey techniques, data management, and project management. The Biologist will be coordinating and participating in surveys at managed ponds in support of the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (www.southbayrestoration.org), in addition to SFBBO’s California Gull Research and Monitoring, Colonial Waterbird Nest Monitoring, and Avian Disease Prevention programs (https://www.sfbbo.org/avian-science.html). The Biologist will transition from a participant into a coordinator role for multiple waterbird programs following an initial 3-6 month training period with SFBBO staff.


    Key Responsibilities:

    Conduct waterbird surveys and water quality sampling at South Bay managed ponds

    Coordinate pond selection, equipment and staff schedules for pond surveys

    Lead walkthrough censuses of large gull colonies, recruit volunteers and manage data entry and proofing

    Maintain vehicles, boat, and field equipment; track water quality calibration supplies

    Lead driving surveys, conduct boat trips, and coordinate volunteers to collect dead, diseased, and injured birds in South Bay sloughs as part of an effort to prevent avian botulism outbreaks

    Count gulls, conduct behavioral surveys, and prepare reports for Abatement and Landfill Gull project

    Prepare annual report for Avian Disease Prevention Program with Program Director assistance

    Work with SFBBO staff, partner agencies, and volunteers to coordinate field work

    Enter, proof, and manage data collected

    Train and supervise interns and volunteers

    Assist with equipment maintenance, report preparation and other SFBBO projects as assigned

    Participate in outreach and educational activities as needed


    Required Qualifications:

    ·         BA/BS in biology, ecology, or related field

    ·         Familiarity with waterbird species of the San Francisco Bay (including shorebirds, waterfowl and gulls)

    ·         Good physical condition and enthusiasm for long days in the field

    ·         Willingness to tolerate harsh field conditions (mud, sun, dust, salt spray)

    ·         Willingness to work irregular hours including early mornings, evenings and some weekends

    ·         Willingness to operate kayaks and small motorized boats

    ·         Strong work ethic, organizational skills, and attention to detail

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

    ·         Ability to navigate and orient using maps

    ·         Solid computer skills, including working knowledge of MS Access and Excel

    ·         Ability to work independently and as part of a team

    ·         Effective oral and written communication skills


    Preferred Qualifications:

    ·         MA/MS in biology, ecology, or related field

    ·         Excellent waterbird identification skills

    ·         Off-road driving experience (SFBBO truck provided for off-road driving)

    ·         Boating experience (kayaks and small motorized boats)

    ·         Experience conducting field work in the San Francisco Bay

    ·         Experience coordinating field projects and training volunteers


    Compensation:   This is a full-time paid position at an hourly rate of $18-20 depending on experience. The position provides health benefits, generous paid time off, access to a state-run retirement program, and some flexibility in work schedule. An SFBBO vehicle or reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle will be available for pre-approved, work-related travel.  SFBBO will provide most field gear, including a spotting scope.



    Please e-mail the following materials to Dr. Max Tarjan, mtarjan@sfbbo.org:  1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) list of three references (names, email addresses, and phone numbers).  Include all materials in one Word or PDF file, and include your last name in the file name. Include “Waterbird Biologist” in the e-mail subject. Application review will begin August 12th.  SFBBO is an EOE.

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