Job Title: San Joaquin Valley Avian Conservation Scientist
Employment Length: One year position beginning fall 2010, with potential to extend
Hours/Benefits: Full time with competitive benefits
Application deadline: 08/06/2010 or until filled
PRBO Conservation Science (PRBO) is a non-profit research organization that advances conservation through avian ecology and ecosystem research. For over 40 years, PRBO has built expertise in avian ecology, population biology, spatial ecology, ecosystem science, conservation applications and education and outreach. PRBO's mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through innovative scientific research and outreach. PRBO leads national and international efforts to address critical conservation issues with bird and ecosystem science. For additional information, see www.prbo.org.
Background and Position Summary:
In the San Joaquin Valley, over 95% of the historic riparian areas and wetlands have been lost. Yet with implementation of a restoration settlement pressing and the commitment of a multitude of resource agencies, conservation organizations and individuals, there exists great promise to restore some of the region's ecological integrity, while also sustaining the regions vital agricultural economy. To guide restoration activities for maximum benefit to migratory bird populations and to better understand how to improve management actions and conservation strategies for aquatic and riparian birds in the San Joaquin region, priority research, monitoring, and ecological modeling projects identified through PRBO, the Central Valley Joint Venture, and the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership need to be advanced.
PRBO's San Joaquin Valley Avian Conservation Scientist (hereafter Conservation Scientist) will provide scientific leadership in the restoration of the San Joaquin River and associated habitats for migratory and resident birds. The Conservation Scientist will be one of PRBO's primary representatives for research, monitoring, and collaborative conservation efforts in the region. Responsibilities of this position include: 1) collaborating with PRBO and partner organizations to determine priority conservation needs for resident and migratory birds in the San Joaquin, 2) designing and implementing monitoring and research projects to inform migratory bird conservation, and 3) ensuring that PRBO science is shared with other researchers, conservation stakeholders, and are integrated into conservation planning and implementation efforts.
The successful candidate must be able to take independent initiative to build and maintain a strong research and conservation program while also facilitating highly effective collaborative relationships with key partners. She/he must have a strong background in avian ecology, including quantitative skills and field experience with birds. PhD or MS preferred, but BS with a highly impressive foundation of applicable work experience will also be considered.
Building a collaborative conservation program - The Conservation Scientist will be responsible for maintaining and building solid, trusted working relationships and collaborations with key partners throughout the region. This position is supported through the Migratory Bird Conservation Partnership (MBCP) in which PRBO is working closely with The Nature Conservancy and Audubon California to pursue a shared ten-year vision to protect, restore, and enhance priority conservation areas for migratory birds in California. Close coordination with MBCP staff in those organizations will be essential. Other priority partners and partnerships to actively engage include the San Joaquin River Partnership, US Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, River Partners, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Grasslands Water District, Tulare Basin Wildlife Partners, the Central Valley Joint Venture, local universities, and others. The Conserv!
ation Scientist will be expected to live in the San Joaquin Valley and travel to represent PRBO at meetings with partners throughout the region (e.g., Sacramento, Davis, Chico, Fresno, and Petaluma).
Project design, management and coordination - The Conservation Scientist will help identify and initiate research and monitoring projects relevant to conservation of migratory birds primarily in the San Joaquin Basin of the Central Valley of California. For those projects, this position will help lead project design (site selection, sampling, determination of appropriate metrics), implementation (set-up and data collection), management (people and data), and coordination (within PRBO and with partners).
Data management, analysis, synthesis, and publication - The Conservation Scientist will help ensure that project and program level data (PRBO has been collecting data in the San Joaquin for over 10 years) are centralized, synthesized, and communicated in the most effective ways of conservation problem-solving. She/he will also help ensure that program related data are integrated into broader scale monitoring and modeling projects by PRBO and partners. The Conservation Scientist will be expected to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals. For examples of recent PRBO publications see: http://www.prbo.org/cms/553.
Training, outreach, and development - The Conservation Scientist will be responsible for training other researchers and citizen scientists in bird identification and data collection techniques, as necessary. She/he will present results of research, monitoring, and conservation efforts at various forums, including scientific conferences, technical committees, and conservation group meetings. The Conservation Scientist may often interact with private landowners (e.g., farmers, ranchers, duck club owners, and hunters) in order to promote private land conservation and obtain access to properties for monitoring and research. Finally, the Conservation Scientist will work with a team of collaborators (internal and external) to help raise funds for high priority research and monitoring activities.
* PhD or M.S. with significant experience in ornithology, ecology, natural resource sciences, conservation biology, wildlife biology and management, or ecological restoration. BS with a highly impressive foundation of applicable work experience will also be considered.
* Avian research and ecological monitoring experience with demonstrated skills in field data collection techniques, identification of Western birds by sight and sound, data management, sampling design, and statistical analyses.
* Knowledge of wetland and riparian habitat management and conservation challenges - experience studying or addressing these challenges in the San Joaquin Valley desirable but not necessary.
* Extensive experience working closely with partners including government agencies, NGOs, and private landowner groups.
* Experience organizing and leading meetings including logistics, agenda development, facilitation, and follow-up.
* Solid writing skills (scientific, popular, and grant-writing).
* Outstanding communication (including presentations and training), coordination, and leadership skills.
Applicants must be in good physical condition, as long hours in field, under very hot and sometime very cold conditions, will be required and some hiking will be involved to access sites. Ability to work independently and coordinate with a team is necessary. Applicants should have a good attitude toward working closely with the agricultural and duck hunting communities and other private land owners.
Benefits, Working Conditions, and Funding
PRBO offers 100% health care coverage, full dental care, and partial coverage of dependents including domestic partners, per the conditions stated in PRBO's Personnel Manual. PRBO headquarters are in Petaluma, California, but the Avian Conservation Scientist will be expected to live in the San Joaquin Basin of the Central Valley. This position requires a good deal of travel to field sites and meetings, and involves working some evenings and weekends. Funding is secured for at least one year - longer term employment is possible through this position and will be based on continuation of funding and employee's performance.
E-mail (1) cover letter describing qualifications for this position and interest in PRBO, (2) complete CV/resume, (3) writing example, and (4) contact information (including phone numbers and e-mail addresses) for 3 references to Catherine Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tom Gardali (email@example.com) with "San Joaquin Valley Avian Conservation Scientist" in the subject line. Applicants may be subject to background checks. Application deadline is August 6, 2010, though position will remain open until a successful candidate has been identified. PRBO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Associate Director, Terrestrial Ecology Division
PRBO Conservation Science
Palomarin Field Station
P.O. Box 1157
Bolinas, CA 94924