South Louisiana is a popular destination for tourists, fishermen, and beachgoers. Birds including Least Terns, Wilson's Plovers, and Common Nighthawks nest on these beaches, creating the potential for disturbance by recreational users of private and public lands.
In partnership with other organizations, the Seasonal Coastal Bird Technician will help buffer beach-nesting bird sites against the threats of human disturbance, and work with community members to provide protection efforts and offer outreach and education opportunities to visitors. The program will have a strong bird-monitoring component, which will involve tracking nests, chicks, and their fates, to understand the impacts of human disturbance, predation, and other environmental stresses on breeding productivity.
Supervised by the Coastal Stewardship Manager, the Seasonal Coastal Bird Technician will demonstrate and gain skills in outreach and education (virtual and/or in-person), as well as have opportunities to intimately monitor and protect charismatic beach-nesting bird species.
We will hire one full-time seasonal position based in Grand Isle and two full-time seasonal positions based in Cameron Parish. The position will start in 1 April and terminate in early August (~20 weeks).
The Seasonal Coastal Bird Technician will work with full-time Audubon staff, volunteers, and partners to help protect and monitor the breeding of Least Terns, Wilson’s Plovers, and Common Nighthawks on Grand Isle and Elmer’s Island in southeastern Louisiana, or in Cameron Parish in southwestern Louisiana. Duties will include:
• Posting and fencing nesting sites, monitoring disturbance rates, colony size, nest and chick fates, and fledging rates to determine productivity.
• Resighting banded adults and chicks to determine territory ownership and to confirm fledge success.
•Deploying game cameras on active nests and maintaining and organizing photos throughout the season.
• Working with full-time staff to engage local communities, organizing volunteer events, and using social media to increase awareness around the protection of sensitive beach-nesting birds.
• Providing virtual/in-person educational programs for visiting beachgoers and local communities.
• Entering data daily and maintaining order and quality to all existing datasets.
Exact combinations of responsibilities may vary among positions but will require working during early mornings and sometimes evenings, on weekends and holidays, and in the Louisiana summer heat. Working on Memorial Day and 4th of July holiday weekends is required. Work weeks will average 40 hours per week across the term of employment but may vary and be unpredictable each week, depending on program needs.
Qualifications and Experience
• Must have completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources, Environmental Education, or a related field.
• At least one season of work experience in avian ecology or coastal ecosystems; experience banding birds without supervision is a plus.
• Excellent interpersonal as well as written and oral communication skills.
• Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, humid, biting insects) and to live in group field housing (provided).
• Must be comfortable interacting with the public and staff of multiple partner organizations.
• Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office programs such as Excel, Word and PowerPoint required.
• Valid driver’s license and reliable personal vehicle are required for travel between housing and nearby work sites; travel will be reimbursed at the current federal rate.
• Must be willing to live on Grand Isle, LA or coastal Cameron Parish, LA in provided housing.
• Must properly maintain field equipment and keep supplies and materials organized.
Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references in a single PDF document to apply for the position by 14 February 2023.