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From April through September, the Seasonal Three Rooker Island Shorebird Monitoring Stewardship Coordinator is primarily responsible for assisting Florida Park Service staff with beach-nesting bird monitoring and stewardship work at sites in Pinellas County, Florida. Waterbird species surveyed include but are not limited to Black Skimmers, Royal Terns, Laughing Gull, Snowy Plovers, and American Oystercatchers. Stewardship activities will be conducted on Three Rooker Island, located within Anclote Key Preserve State Park. Surveys and monitoring will be conducted on all islands within Anclote Key Preserve State Park (Three Rooker Island, Anclote Key, and Anclote Bar) and within Honeymoon Island State Park and Caladesi Island State Park. At these sites, the coordinator is responsible for assisting Park staff with:
- Posting symbolic fencing and signage around beach-nesting bird sites and maintaining said posting.
- Monitoring and surveying nest sites weekly for evidence of disturbance or predation.
- Performing formal nesting bird surveys weekly including during five formal, one-week time windows (including color band resighting).
- Non-breeding shorebird surveys and band resightings, especially focused on state and federally listed species.
- Data entry, recordkeeping, and reporting as directed by supervisor and by Park staff.
- Helping protect sites from disturbance through stewardship activities requiring motorboat transportation to and from Three Rooker Island; organize and work closely with volunteers to chaperon beach-nesting bird colonies during busy warm-weather weekends and major holidays; educating beachgoers about these species; encouraging compliance with posted areas; and engaging in outreach to user groups as directed by supervisor.
This position performs coastal bird surveys for breeding and non-breeding waterbirds and resighting color-banded birds (including piping plovers and red knots), assists with posting and maintaining symbolic fencing, assists with volunteer recruitment and management, training, and appreciation, operates an Audubon motorboat to provide transportation for bird stewards to and from Three Rooker Island on weekend days and major holidays, and helps conduct outreach to key user groups impacting coastal birds.
This is a full-time seasonal position with a start date of April 18, 2022 and ending in mid-September of 2022, determined in consultation with supervisor and Park staff. This seasonal position is funded through Fall 2023 with future funding possible. The Stewardship Coordinator will be based out of their home in the Tampa Bay area. This is an exciting seasonal position for a professional biologist with shorebirds/seabird survey skills, as well as experience with solo operation of small vessels in nearshore marine waters subject to tides, strong currents, and inclement weather. Wet landings are required to disembark passengers at several islands.
With direction from the Shorebird Project Manager and designated Florida Park staff, the Coordinator will ensure:
- All sites are surveyed weekly, including during the monthly state-prescribed beach-nesting bird survey windows.
- All sites are posted with symbolic fencing and signage by posting deadlines.
- All sites are monitored weekly for signs of disturbance and changes in nesting status.
- All sites are stewarded to the terms of Audubon’s contract.
- Survey data and band resights are entered into the Florida Shorebird Database and Access or Excel databases as directed by the supervisor or Park staff within one week following the survey date.
- Summaries of survey and stewardship data required for grant report submissions.
- Contribution of photographs and short stories about birds and bird stewardship for use on Audubon website and in social media.
- Periodic cleaning and maintenance of program vehicles, trailers, and boats as needed.
- Mentorship and management volunteers engaged in monitoring and stewardship activities.
- Engagement of the public around coastal bird conservation through outreach at beach sites and through presentations to user groups.
- This position is required to work independently and in partnership with designated Florida Park Service staff or with another full-time staff, as part of a team of bird stewards on weekends and holidays, and will be responsible for solo operation of boats to access offshore barrier island sites for survey work, posting, and stewardship.
Qualifications and Experience
- Bachelor's degree in biology, wildlife ecology or related field required.
- Demonstrated experience in solo operation of a motorboat in nearshore marine waters with wet landings required.
- Demonstrated experience with performing field work in challenging coastal marine conditions required.
- 1-2 years' demonstrated experience performing bird surveys required; experience in shorebird and seabird identification and performing waterbird surveys strongly preferred.
- Strong verbal communication and problem-solving skills; excellent judgment and decision-making skills.
- Demonstrated ability to work independently with minimal supervision and to maintain accountability for work products.
- Demonstrated experience working with partners and volunteers, as well as operating and maintaining equipment including boats, trucks and trailers.
- Must have a valid driver's license and a personal vehicle suited for transportation to complete assigned tasks.
- Bilingual preferred, but not required.
- Familiarity with coastal conservation lands of the Pinellas County Gulf coast a plus.
- Must be able to lift and carry 30 lbs., walk up to 4 miles on beach sand carrying spotting scope and day pack, work long days and weekends, as needed, in Florida summer field conditions.
- Interest in conservation and passion for the mission of the National Audubon Society a must.
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.
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