Seasonal Avian Technician
New Orleans, LA, United States
30+ days ago
Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.
Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
South Louisiana is rich with bird life, but also faces one of the highest rates of coastal land loss in the country. Audubon is committed to advancing restoration and management strategies to benefit birds and people that depend on this landscape, and monitoring birds is core to this mission. Supervised by the Director of Conservation Science, the Avian Technician will demonstrate and gain skills in field survey methods, data collection and entry protocols, outreach and education, and have opportunities to intimately study and protect charismatic bird species. Training will be provided in field survey and data entry protocols, and the position will periodically work with other staff and partners where additional exposure and training, including with bird banding, will be provided.
In partnership with other organizations, the seasonal Avian Technician will conduct standardized point counts at three sites around New Orleans, support beach-nesting bird monitoring efforts on Grand Isle, and work with volunteers to monitor nest boxes that host Prothonotary Warblers in the Baton Rouge or Lafayette area. The position will be largely field-based, and a demonstrated knowledge of learning to identify birds by sight and sound is expected. Field surveys will also require the entry of data into digital platforms (primarily Microsoft Excel spreadsheets). Organization skills are necessary to balance the rigors and challenges of conducting field work with entering and proofing data, and to coordinate with partners (e.g., boat captains, volunteers, and other Audubon staff) to ensure that surveys are conducted in a timely and proficient manner.
The position will work approximately 32-45 hours per week, starting in early May and terminating in late July (~12 weeks). Housing and a vehicle are not provided, but all expenses associated with field work will be reimbursed. Travel to and from field sites using a personal vehicle will be reimbursed at the federal rate (currently $0.585/mile), and candidates without a personal vehicle will have the option to rent a car for traveling to and from field sites.
The Coastal Bird Technician will work with Audubon staff, volunteers, and partners to help monitor secretive marshbirds at restoration and control sites in southeastern Louisiana, which is expected to require 6 days of field work per month (in May and June). One 4-day stay in the Grand Isle area to support beach-nesting bird (primarily Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers) monitoring will be expected once in May. Prothonotary Warbler nest box monitoring in either the Lafayette or Baton Rouge area will take place once or twice a week (except when conflicting with other field work) through early July. Data entry will also be a key component of the position.
The exact combination of field work and data entry is expected to be about 50:50, and will likely vary across the season. Field work will often require conducting surveys during early mornings or late evenings, occasionally on weekends, and in the Louisiana summer heat. Work weeks will average 40 hours per week across the term of employment, but may be more or less predictable each week due to weather.Qualifications and Experience:
- To apply, please submit a resume by May 6, 2022.
- Must have demonstrated experience to learn birds by sight and sound.
- 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).
- 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 and Word is required.
- Valid driver’s license and reliable personal vehicle or ability to rent a car are required for travel between housing and nearby work sites. Travel will be reimbursed at the current federal rate for personal vehicles; rental car fees and fuel are reimbursable for rental car use.
- Must be willing to occasionally stay overnight, sometimes for multiple nights in a row in provided housing and/or hotels.
- Must properly maintain field equipment and keep supplies and materials organized.