Director of Gulf Ecology

Website National Audubon Society

Overview:

For more than a century, Audubon has championed the protection of birds and their habitat.  Audubon’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats, for the benefit of humanity and the Earth’s biological diversity.  With nearly 700 staff, 22 state programs, 463 local chapters, 41 centers and sanctuaries, and close to half a million members throughout the United States, Audubon achieves its mission by engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education, and on-the-ground conservation action.

In the spring of 2016, Audubon launched a new strategic plan to renew the organization’s focus on the biggest and most important opportunities for addressing critical threats to birds and their habitat.  At the core of this plan is a focus on flyways: each year, more than 10 billion birds use major flyways to travel up and down the continent and to points beyond.  Underneath these flyways are migratory rest stops and the homes for non-migratory birds that are critical to birds’ survival.  By mobilizing and aligning Audubon’s unparalleled network of chapters, centers, state programs, and Important Bird Area (IBA) programs to focus on the four major migratory flyways in the Americas (Atlantic, Mississippi, Central, and Pacific), the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  As part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in more than 100 countries working to protect a network of IBAs around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.

Our 2016 strategic plan builds on the strong foundation established by our 2011 plan. It creates a roadmap for the next five years, guided by two ideas:  By focusing on the needs of bird species, the scale and ambition of our conservation work can match the complexity of 21st century demands; and to do so, Audubon needs to become the most effective conservation network in America.  We are setting our sights on large-scale conservation goals and taking the needed steps to ensure that Audubon has the strong partnerships and capacity to achieve them. We will focus on five cross-cutting conservation strategies including climate, coasts, working lands, water, and bird friendly communities. We are building durable public will for conservation by broadening and deepening our support base, with a clear-eyed understanding of the benefits of diversity. We are investing in the skills and capacity of our unparalleled distributed network. Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Our 2016 strategic plan builds on the strong foundation established by our 2011 plan. It creates a roadmap for the next five years, guided by two ideas:  By focusing on the needs of bird species, the scale and ambition of our conservation work can match the complexity of 21st century demands; and to do so, Audubon needs to become the most effective conservation network in America.  We are setting our sights on large-scale conservation goals and taking the needed steps to ensure that Audubon has the strong partnerships and capacity to achieve them. We will focus on five cross-cutting conservation strategies including climate, coasts, working lands, water, and bird friendly communities. We are building durable public will for conservation by broadening and deepening our support base, with a clear-eyed understanding of the benefits of diversity. We are investing in the skills and capacity of our unparalleled distributed network. The 2010 Gulf oil spill crisis put the Gulf States in the national spotlight. The silver lining in this tragic event in the Gulf is that the Gulf States and their unique and valuable coastal resources and the challenges that face them are receiving needed national attention and billions of dollars that will help to restore these natural resources. Audubon’s Gulf staff, national science and policy staff, and Gulf chapters working to restore these natural resources and working hard to ensure these funds are used efficiently and effectively to benefit birds and coastal resilience.

Position Summary:

The Director of Gulf Ecology (Director) will work as part of a team to develop and implement Audubon’s conservation plan and on-the-ground restoration for the Gulf of Mexico.  This person will play a leadership role in helping Audubon identify and prioritize sites for restoration and conservation along the coast, coordinate multi-state and Gulf-wide funding for restoration of these sites, and serve as Audubon’s science lead, in coordination with the national science team and field-based scientists, for Gulf Coast efforts.

The Director leads Audubon’s work to enhance Gulf bird habitat restoration and conservation on coastal sites through developing and applying regional and Gulf-wide habitat restoration and management plans, and coordinating Gulf funding efforts with Audubon State Offices and Gulf chapters on federal and state funding resulting from the BP Oil Spill (i.e., National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Natural Resources Damage Assessment Funds, and the RESTORE Act), Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, and other federal, state, foundation and corporate funding opportunities.  This position will work closely with federal and state natural resource and wildlife agencies, civic organizations such as coastal conservation partners, and individual landowners to meet these goals. The geographic focus is the entire Gulf of Mexico, including Mexico, in coordination with the International Alliances Program.

The ideal candidate for this position will have applied ecology and on-the-ground coastal restoration experience in terms of planning, design, construction and monitoring of coastal restoration projects.  The candidate should have wildlife conservation experience, proven ability to work with a variety of partners, ability to direct complex projects, skills to communicate and work with private landowners, and a passion for science-based coastal conservation and restoration. 

This position may either be located in one of our Gulf offices or remotely in the following states: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama or Texas.

Essential Functions:

  • Under the supervision of the Vice President for the Gulf Coast and Mississippi Flyway in close coordination with the Vice President for Gulf Coast Policy, direct efforts to identify, prioritize, apply and implement resources and strategies to strengthen region-specific bird-friendly coastal restoration and conservation programs and delivery, and both grant and contract management to achieve these goals.
  • Working with Audubon’s coastal leadership staff and Gulf Coast State Offices, Centers, and chapters, and the Vice President for Gulf Coast Policy, in particular, identify key strategies including RESTORE Act, NFWF, and NRDA-related funding that will increase the science capacity to further goals of Gulf Coast restoration and conservation and full life-cycle conservation of resident and migratory Gulf Coast birds and other wildlife.
  • Using region specific bird-friendly restoration and other habitat protocols, develop and implement regional habitat management plans that provide essential habitat needs for targeted Gulf Coast bird species.
  • Work with scientists, partners and Audubon staff Gulf State offices, centers, national science and policy teams, and the Audubon network (e.g., chapters) to achieve research goals and communicate results widely to appropriate audiences including: monitoring of bird populations, coastal habitats, vegetation, and other natural resources.
  • Apply the best available science to further the acquisition of knowledge to inform restoration strategies for habitats including, but not limited to, barrier islands, shorelines, coastal marshes and forests, and open ocean habitats. Provide scientific input to the research efforts within Audubon’s overall Coastal Program.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with partners, including but not limited to the U.S. Departments of Interior, Commerce, Agriculture; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Environmental Protection Agency, staff of the RESTORE Council and NRDA trustees, the Water Institute of the Gulf, and relevant state agencies.
  • Serve as Audubon’s scientific representative on the Gulf Renewal Program in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and the Ocean Conservancy.
  • With the support and direction of the Director of Communications, Mississippi River Delta Program, raise brand awareness about Audubon’s Gulf Coast Restoration and Conservation Program to targeted audiences through printed, spoken, and electronic media outreach channels.
  • Host workshops with agency, NGO, and landowners to both gather and disseminate information.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in applied coastal ecology, environmental science, natural resource management, or related field, Master’s preferred, and 5+ years’ experience of program management.
  • Familiarity with coastal systems and environments and their interaction with birds or other wildlife.  Bird life-cycle knowledge desired.
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the people, values, and current restoration, coastal resilience, and conservation.
  • Experience applying the best available science and other information to achieve conservation outcomes.
  • Ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information for a non-technical audience, with effective communication skills reaching both scientific audiences as well as the general public.
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills with experience in grant writing and working with the press preferred.
  • Effective interpersonal skills—ability to motivate people to action.
  • Demonstrated skills applying a range of field data collection techniques and experience with research, data management, and basic statistical analysis are desired.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify birds by sight and sound preferred.
  • A working knowledge of ArcView/ArcInfo or other GIS technology preferred.
  • Ability to operate Windows-based computers.
  • Willing to conduct Gulf-wide travel, occasional out-of-state travel and be comfortable with working evenings and weekends as job responsibilities demand.
  • Valid driver’s license is necessary.
  • Demonstrated interest in and a commitment to coastal restoration and conservation advocacy.

 

To apply for this job please visit the following URL: https://careers-audubon.icims.com/jobs/3271/director-of-gulf-ecology/job →

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