About Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch:
Perched high above Interstate 684 rests an unlikely aerie—a platform for counting and identifying thousands of migrating raptors. Each autumn, Bedford Audubon collects scientific data on raptor migration at the Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch, located on an east-facing ridge at The Nature Conservancy’s 350-acre Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary in Bedford Corners, New York.
The HawkWatch is nestled in the southern foothills of the Taconic Mountains, just 12 miles north of Long Island Sound. It offers spectacular views of the hills of Putnam County (New York) to the north; the towns of Bedford, Pound Ridge, and North Castle (New York) to the east; and Greenwich (Connecticut) and Long Island Sound to the south. The Sound acts as an invisible wall, forcing the migrating raptors into an inland bottleneck and directly over the Chestnut Ridge HawkWatch. The raptors observed here migrate from their northern breeding grounds of Quebec, the Canadian Maritimes, and northern New England to their wintering grounds in the southern United States, and Central and South America.
Required Skills & Qualities:
The ideal candidate for the Lead Counter should:
· Possess keen raptor identification abilities, especially at a distance.
· Be an enthusiastic individual with a passion for environmental conservation, field biology, and raptors.
· Possess basic computer literacy, word processing, and spreadsheet literacy along with excellent written and verbal skills. Attention to detail is a must.
· Be comfortable with cheerfully communicating with the public at large, including seniors, students, and families.
· Be self-motivated and able to work successfully independently and in a supportive team atmosphere outdoors as well as in a casual yet professional office setting.
Essential functions of the position require hiking, standing outdoors for long periods at a time, and carrying 20 pounds of gear (optics, first aid kit, etc.). This is a long count, and not for the faint of heart!
The Lead Counter should hold a valid driver’s license and have personal transportation. Mileage is not reimbursed.
The Lead Counter will take high-level direction from the Naturalist-in-Residence.
Education & Prior Work Experience:
· Previous experience identifying and counting raptors during migration is essential; and experience with HMANA count protocols and HawkCount submission is preferred, but not essential.
· A degree in Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management, Natural Resources, or equivalent related experience is preferred.
· Experience with nature interpretation and education is desired.
· Prepare and maintain the HawkWatch platform for the season.
· Lead the Count approximately five to six days a week, following HMANA count protocols.
· Enter data into HawkCount on a daily basis.
· Provide nature interpretation to the visiting public.
· Work with the Bedford Audubon team during to provide nature interpretation during public and school programs.
· Assist Interpreter/Spotter with sharpening raptor ID skills where needed
· Prepare a full written report of the season’s observations.
· Additional opportunities for research and activity (e.g., communications, workshops, etc.) are available, depending on the candidate’s experience and personal goals for the Lead Counter Opportunity.
· Assist in the smooth operation of Bedford Audubon.
HawkWatch Lead Counter Opportunity Summary:
Dates: August 25 – November 25, 2019
Time Commitment: Approximately 9am-5pm, 5-6 days/week with some longer days and weeks during peak migration
Pay: Regular rate is $12/hour, overtime rate (more than 40 hours/week) is $18/hour
Housing Credit: We are pleased to offer a voluntary housing credit that includes lodging and utilities at our historic Bylane Farm. The housing credit will be applied to your hourly rate. Please inquire for details.
Location: Bylane Farm (35 Todd Road, Katonah, New York)
· Email your cover letter describing your interest and personal goals for this position, résumé or curriculum vitae, and contact information for two references to Tait Johansson, Naturalist-in-Residence, at firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than Monday, July 22, 2019.
· Please include “2019 HawkWatch Lead Counter Opportunity” as the email subject line.