Coastal Biologist; Audubon

Job Title: 
Coastal Biologist
Job Location: 
Tampa, Florida
Full-Time - Permanent

Position Summary

The Coastal Biologist will be responsible for assisting the Sanctuary Manager with management of colonial wading bird colonies along the central Gulf Coast of Florida, interacting with the boating and recreating public to prevent disturbance to nesting birds, monitoring breakwater construction progress, organizing annual monofilament cleanups, and with data collection, management, and analysis. This is a full-time position that will begin approximately April 1, 2020.

Essential Functions

The person in this position is expected to perform a spectrum of independent, bird-nesting island conservation tasks requiring on-site decision-making and responsibilities that include: 

  • Post sanctuary signs around bird island nesting sites and maintain said posting;
  • Conduct surveys of nesting and migratory birds and habitat condition in the region;
  • Patrol and surveillance of nesting islands for evidence of disturbance or predation;
  • Data entry, data management and data analysis as directed by supervisor;
  • Protect sites from disturbance through stewardship activities, to include: training and managing Audubon Colony Watch volunteers, educating the boating public about the nesting species, and encouraging compliance with posted areas and Critical Wildlife Area boundaries;
  • Assist with or manage restoration projects on the coastal sanctuary islands including non-native vegetation removal, native plantings, and monitoring engineering design and construction phases of erosion control projects;
  • Manage or assist with cleanups of the rookery islands to remove discarded fishing gear and other entangling debris;
  • Interact with boaters to avoid trespass on or closely approaching nesting islands and posted Critical Wildlife Area boundaries;
  • Remove predators from nesting islands;
  • Apply for and manage grant funding opportunities and other fund-raising activities;
  • Monitor nesting birds, conduct or assist with counts of nesting pelicans, cormorants, herons, egrets, spoonbills, storks, oystercatchers, terns and other species, estimate breeding productivity of species in colonies where possible;
  • Monitor colonies for signs of disturbance or predation, manage predation or report to FWC;
  • Engage the boating public about the need for bird protection and conservation and trespass restrictions inside Critical Wildlife Areas;
  • Interact and educate others in a professional manner, and appropriately intervene in the event of an active disturbance event;
  • Operate and occasionally perform or secure maintenance on vehicles, boats, trailers, and field equipment;
  • Participate in or manage, additional activities with Audubon's partners, including shoreline cleanups, habitat enhancement projects, and oyster restoration projects;
  • Enter survey data and band resights into the Florida Shorebird Database or Access database, manage and analyze data as directed by supervisor;
  • Contribute survey and management summaries required for grant report submissions;
  • Prepare grant proposals as directed by supervisor;
  • Contribute photographs and short stories about birds for use on the Audubon website and in social media;
  • Give talks or presentations about Sanctuary activities to interested groups;
  • Train and manage volunteer participation through Project Colony Watch and other activities;
  • Participate in and assist with organizing fund-raising activities and events;
  • Work with the public, agency staff, and others to improve conservation of birds, other wildlife, and habitats.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor of Science with a background in wildlife biology, avian ecology or natural resources management required; M.S. with thesis research in wildlife biology, avian ecology or natural resources management strongly preferred;
  • 3 years of demonstrated experience and expertise in shorebird, seabird, and wading bird identification and research or professional experience in performing waterbird surveys required;
  • Excellent work ethic, a team-focused attitude, and the ability to work well independently in the field and with others, including staff and volunteers is required;
  • 1 year of professional experience with recruiting, training, and managing volunteers in a conservation program is required;
  • Valid driver’s license required; experience trailering and operating small boats and trailers strongly preferred;
  • Ability to perform routine maintenance on mechanical equipment such as trucks and boats highly desirable;
  • Comfort with public speaking about wildlife ecology topics and the importance of protecting bird colonies is strongly preferred;
  • Must be able to work weekends and holidays as directed by supervisor;
  • Must be physically able to lift and carry 30 lbs for transport via boat and navigate muddy mangrove island conditions with the load;
  • Walk up to 4 miles carrying spotting scope and day pack in Florida summer field conditions;
  • Proficiency in use of social media and MS Office applications is required;
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills are required.
Please note that all jobs are automatically removed once the application deadline passes. Jobs without a deadline are automatically removed after 30 days.