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ejohnson@audubon.org

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  • Location
    Baton Rouge, LA, USA
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    United States
  1. Justification/Reason The Marshbird Biological Assistant will support Audubon Louisiana’s Black and Yellow Rail research program in coastal Louisiana. The goals of the program are 1) to determine the population status of Black Rails across coastal Louisiana, 2) to understand important habitat and vegetation characteristics on which they depend, and 3) to understand how this habitat can be maintained through prescribed fire, and the birds’ responses. Funded through the NOAA RESTORE Science Act Grant program as a Gulf-wide collaborative research project, this research is particularly timely as the Eastern Black Rail subspecies has been recently proposed to be listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Position Summary A lack of understanding of the temporal and spatial distribution of the Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis) and Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) in Louisiana has resulted in an inability to (1) study basic aspects of their biology in this part of the range and (2) implement effective conservation measures to benefit this species. Without knowing when and where the Black an Yellow Rails occur in the state, restoration and management efforts will be unable to account for the habitat needs of these rare and declining species. This project seeks to build upon two-years of research to locate Black and Yellow Rails in coastal Louisiana, describe important habitat on which they depend, and understand their responses to fire management. Supervised by the Director of Bird Conservation, the Marshbird Biological Assistant will work closely with Audubon Louisiana’s Marshbird Biologist to conduct point-count and drag-line surveys. By assisting with this project, the Marshbird Biological Assistant will gain experience and learn from experts in the field of conservation and avian ecology, while gaining practical skills in ornithological research, monitoring techniques, and volunteer coordination. This position is expected to work 40 hours per week for five months between February and June 2020. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and a list of three references with your application by December 15, 2020 to: https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/4247/marshbird-biological-assistant/job Essential Functions The Marshbird Biological Assistant will: Conduct point count and vegetation surveys at remote sites across south Louisiana. Most point count surveys will begin one hour before sunrise or one-two hours before sunset and last 2-3 hours, preceded or followed by vegetation surveys. Assist in rail banding efforts 1-2 nights per week, up to 6 times per month, beginning 30 minutes after sundown and lasting +/- four hours. Most rail banding will occur on weekend evenings. Assist in data entry as needed. Be expected to travel 3-5 days per week, often staying in hotels, camp grounds, shared bunk houses, and other similar facilities to conduct field work. Qualifications and Experience Must have completed a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biology, Ecology, Natural Resources, Agricultural Sciences, or a related field; Must be willing to work long hours outside under physically demanding conditions (hot, cold, biting insects, etc.); Must be able to walk over a mile through various wet and dry marsh habitats. This includes tall & dense grass oftentimes with uneven footing, shallow pools, and scrubby vegetation; Must have strong organizational skills and great attention to detail; Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills; Experience driving ATVs and/or operating outboard motorboats are a plus; Valid driver’s license and reliable personal vehicle (mileage will be reimbursed at the current Federal rate); Must live in, or be willing to temporarily move, to south Louisiana.
  2. Please submit a cover letter, résumé, and contact information for three references to apply for the position by 31 January 2018. All materials must be submitted through Audubon's career portal, found here: https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/3879/coastal-bird-technician/job Position Summary South Louisiana is a popular destination for tourists, fishermen, and beach-goers. 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 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 Director of Bird Conservation, the Coastal Bird Technician will demonstrate and gain skills in outreach and education, as well as have opportunities to intimately study and protect charismatic beach-nesting bird species. We will hire two full-time seasonal positions based in Grand Isle and one (possibly two) full-time seasonal positions based in Cameron Parish. The position will start in early April and terminate in early August (20 weeks). Work weeks will average 40 hours across the term of employment, but may be more or less unpredictable each week, depending on program needs. Essential Functions • Posting and fencing nesting sites, monitoring disturbance rates, colony size, nest and chick fates, and fledging rates to determine productivity. • Engaging local communities, organizing volunteer events, and using social media to increase awareness around the protection of sensitive beach-nesting birds. • Conducting educational programs for visiting beach-goers. • Conducting public awareness surveys of beach users. • Entering data and supporting the preparation of interim reports. Exact combinations of responsibilities may vary among positions, but will require working during early mornings and late evenings, on weekends and holidays, and in the Louisiana summer heat. Qualifications and Experience • Must have completed a Bachelor’s 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.
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