Seasonal Shorebird Technician

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The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas towards a future where birds thrive because Audubon is a powerful, diverse, and ever-growing force for conservation. Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the hemisphere and more than 1.5 million active supporters.

North America has lost three billion birds since 1970, and more than 500 bird species are at risk of extinction across Latin America and the Caribbean. Birds act as early warning systems about the health of our environment, and they tell us that birds – and our planet – are in crisis. Together as one Audubon, we are working to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss. We do this by implementing on-the-ground conservation, partnering with local communities, influencing public and corporate policy, and building community.

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 brings new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.

Position Summary:
We are currently hiring two Seasonal Shorebird Field Technicians to work with our New York Coast program on Long Island, NY for the 2024 field season (late March– early August). The field technicians will work closely with other Audubon staff to reduce threats to priority coastal birds like the Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Least Tern. This position will focus on conducting beach-nesting bird productivity surveys, stewarding nesting areas, surveying migrating shorebirds, and assessing the impact of human disturbance on shorebirds.

Work may include, but is not limited to: locating and monitoring Piping Plover, American Oystercatcher, and Least Tern nests and chicks to determine reproductive success; putting up and maintaining string fencing and signage around nesting areas; installing predator exclosures around Piping Plover nests; closely coordinating field work and schedules with partners and volunteers; interacting with beach-goers regarding coastal birds; documenting and reporting human disturbance and other issues to land managers and law enforcement officials; collecting human disturbance data for a region-wide shorebird disturbance study; assist Coastal Program Manager in disturbance management and event coordination; entering and managing survey data; and, assisting with outreach and volunteer events.

The technician will be required to walk long distances (up to 7 miles) on sandy and rocky beaches, carry and use equipment (i.e. binoculars, post pounders, fence posts), work independently without supervision, and talk to beach-goers about beach-nesting bird conservation. The candidates chosen will be expected to work 5 days per week (usually 35 hours). Some weekend and holiday work will be required.

The technician will be required to use their personal vehicle to access field sites that are located across Long Island. Travel will be reimbursed. Housing maybe provided.

$17.00 / hour
Essential Functions:
  • Assist the Coast Program Manager in monitoring and protecting shorebirds and seabirds including Piping Plovers, Least Terns, and American Oystercatcher, disturbance management and nesting site protection.
  • Participate in nest searching and monitoring of reproductive success.
  • Monitor and record behavior of nesting birds.
  • Use binoculars and/or a spotting scope to locate, identify, and count Piping Plovers, Least Terns, American Oystercatchers, and migratory shorebirds.
  • Set up and maintain protective fencing and signs at nesting areas and assist in erecting predator exclosures at Piping Plover nests.
  • Conduct focal behavior surveys of shorebirds and record human disturbance.
  • Record and enter data into Excel and monitor database.
  • Document updates from the field.
  • Coordinate and work with other staff, partners, land managers and volunteers
  • Talk to beachgoers about beach-nesting bird when necessary.
  • Write an end-of-season report.
Qualifications and Experience:
  • Working to or currently have a bachelor’s degree in biology, Ecology, Conservation, Natural sciences, or related field preferred, or multiple years of experience carrying out similar field work.
  • Prior field experience is required and experience with shorebirds is preferred.
  • Strong work ethic with comfort working in an independent environment.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Willingness to work outdoors for long periods of time in adverse conditions (i.e. hot, humid)
  • Ability to walk long distances (up to 7 miles), transport and carry heavy equipment (tents, tables, post pounders, fence posts), and drive to beaches in eastern and western Long Island, NY
  • Experience with Microsoft Office software, specifically Excel.
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license and have access to a personal vehicle.
EEO Statement:
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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