Coastal Bird Field Technician

  • National Audubon Society
  • Baton Rouge, LA, United States
  • Jan 14, 2018
Seasonal Biology - Ecology Conservation/ Natural Resources Wildlife - Endangered Species - Biodiversity

Job Description


Position Summary

South Louisiana is a popular destination for tourists, fishermen, and beachgoers. Birds including Least Terns and Wilson's Plovers 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 Field 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. Two full-time seasonal positions based in Grand Isle are available, as well as and 1-2 full-time seasonal positions based in Cameron Parish. The position will start in early April and terminate in early August (~20 weeks). 

Candidates should also submit a cover letter and a list of three references when applying to the position, which will close on January 29, 2018.

Essential Functions

The Coastal Bird Technician will work with Audubon Louisiana staff, volunteers, and partners to help protect and monitor the breeding of Least Terns and Wilson’s Plovers on Grand Isle and Elmer’s Island in southeastern Louisiana, or in Cameron Parish in southwestern Louisiana. Duties will include:

  • 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 beachgoers.
  • 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. Work weeks will average 40 hours per week across the term of employment, but may be more or less and unpredictable each week, depending on program needs.

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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