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Monterey Program Coastal Ecologist

Location: Monterey Bay Area, California

Duration: Full-time beginning February 2022

Project Description: Point Blue Conservation Science’s Monterey Program is centered on conservation of western snowy plovers and the sandy beach and dune ecosystem along the central California coast. Working closely with the United States Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Parks & Recreation, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and other partners, Point Blue biologists gather data on snowy plover breeding success, shorebird occurrence, and beach and dune ecology which are used to formulate conservation actions designed to sustain the snowy plover population and to protect and enhance the coastal ecosystem. Learn more about our shorelines work here. 

Point Blue: Point Blue Conservation Science advances conservation of birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. Our highest priority is to reduce the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, and other threats on wildlife and people, while developing climate-smart, nature-based solutions. Because of the collaborative climate-smart conservation work we do today, we believe healthy ecosystems will continue to sustain thriving wildlife and human communities well into the future. Increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion at Point Blue is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy.

About the Position: Under the supervision of the Monterey Program Lead Ecologist, the Coastal Ecologist performs a central role on the snowy plover monitoring project. Primary duties include snowy plover field surveys, reading color bands, nest searching, brood monitoring, banding chicks and adults, monitoring predator activity, assisting and advising partner agencies in snowy plover habitat protection, and entering and managing field data. The Coastal Ecologist also acts as liaison with partner agencies involved in planning and implementation of predator and habitat management efforts and may train and supervise seasonal field staff and oversee collaborating agency biologists. The Coastal Ecologist assists in managing large data sets, data summary and analysis, writing management assessment reports, grant proposals, and scientific papers, and reviewing and commenting on strategic planning or other environmental documents and works with Point Blue project leaders and other staff and external collaborators to develop and deliver science-based recommendations for specific coastal climate adaptation efforts and related activities. The Coastal Ecologist also performs other field work related to monitoring and management of the sandy beach and dune ecosystem.

Qualifications:

  • Must have a passion for nature and conservation.
  • Undergraduate degree in conservation biology, ecology, environmental sciences, environmental policy and planning, or related field is required. Graduate degree or equivalent experience is highly desirable.
  • Minimum 4 years of experience collecting and managing avian field data.
  • Highly self-motivated with the ability to work long hours in the field alone and walk several miles per day in soft sand.
  • Demonstrated experience with nest searching, bird handling, and banding. Experience with shorebirds is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with partner groups/agencies toward common conservation goals.
  • Excellent inter-personal communication skills and the ability to work in a team toward common goals.
  • Excellent critical thinking and writing skills.
  • Knowledge of climate change impacts to wildlife and human communities.
  • Highly desirable skills include database management, quantitative and spatial analytical skills, and grant and technical writing skills.

Work Environment and Physical Requirements: Job duties are approximately 50% fieldwork and 50% office work. The six-month snowy plover field season involves routinely walking long distances (averaging 5-7 miles per day) for up to 5 days per week in soft sand and in inclement (cold and windy) conditions at remote locations, engaging in fence installation and maintenance that requires heavy lifting (up to 25lbs), and operating an ATV. The majority of time spent in the office involves sitting at a desk and operating a computer and performing other routine office tasks.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary is competitive, reflecting qualifications and experience. Point Blue offers 100% medical and dental premium coverage, partial coverage of dependents including domestic partners, long term care insurance, optional vision, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance coverage, as well as generous leave time and 401(k) Plan, per conditions outlined in Point Blue’s personnel manual. Mileage during field season reimbursed at current federal rate. This position will require occasional travel and will involve working some weekends and evenings.

To Apply:  E-mail: (1) cover letter describing qualifications and reasons for interest in this position and Point Blue, (2) complete CV/resume, and (3) contact information (including phone numbers and e-mail addresses) for 3 references to kneuman@pointblue.org with “Coastal Ecologist 2022” in the subject line. Applicants may be subject to background checks. Successful applicants will need a valid U.S. driver’s license, at least two years of driving experience, and may be asked to provide information to verify their good driving record. Covid-19 precautions: We expect all staff to follow Point Blue safety protocols, including any local and state mandates to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The position will remain open until Dec 31st, 2021.

Point Blue is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community. Point Blue is proud to be an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in a uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.