Saline Lakes Ecologist
The Saline Lakes Ecologist will be a member of the National Audubon Society Western Water Initiative team. The Initiative’s goal is to advance balanced solutions to water use in the West to ensure birds, ecosystems, people and economies thrive. The role is based in the Western United States, with preference for the Salt Lake City, Utah office. The Ecologist will be part of Audubon’s program focused on the Saline Lakes of the Intermountain West. This network of lakes and associated wetlands provides critically important breeding and stopover habitat for millions of migratory birds and supports local and regional economies.
Reporting to the Director of the Saline Lakes Program, this position will help drive conservation outcomes for saline lakes and the birds that depend on them by analyzing, synthesizing, generating or facilitating development of scientific information necessary to inform priorities, management plans, and policy positions. In addition, s/he will be responsible for building and working with a network of scientific and other colleagues in agencies, academic institutions, conservation organizations and other partners to advance scientific understanding of saline lakes and their associated wetland habitats.
- Work collaboratively with scientists and experts within Audubon and in the broader intermountain west region to support and promote science-based saline lakes conservation.
- Design and implement or lead spatial and/or quantitative analyses of biological, hydrologic, chemical, and physical processes that affect birds in saline lakes and associated wetlands ecosystems at Great Salt Lake and throughout the Inter-Mountain West.
- Analyze site-based avian count datasets and related measurements of invertebrates, water levels, habitat, pollutants, or other covariates that explain bird use of saline lake and wetlands habitats.
- Advise and provide assistance to the Director and other conservation leads (including Gillmor Sanctuary, Salton Sea and other locations) on saline lake system ecology and birds.
- Manage consultants and interns as required, to further conservation work in the field or analytical work in the office.
- Lead or contribute to peer-reviewed publications and grant proposals in support of projects.
- Engage with the news media, public, stakeholders and others, as requested, to share scientific information about birds, saline lakes, etc.
Qualifications and Experience:
- Advanced Degree in applied ecology, biology, wildlife or natural or environmental sciences, hydrologic, or other natural resource conservation-related disciplines. Knowledge of birds and ornithology required, including research experience in the ecology of waterfowl, shorebirds, or other waterbirds and their associated habitats.
- 2-3 years' applied professional experience preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to: work with data and script analyses in R, Python, or another statistical software; clearly frame research questions, design studies, and implement analyses.
- Direct experience with habitat restoration and management, or experience collaborating with managers.
- Comfort with and demonstrated experience in communicating science content to the public and writing scientific papers for technical, as well as diverse audiences.
- Clear ability to collaborate with resource managers, scientists and others from government agencies, NGOs, industry and other stakeholders in co-produced analyses, reports/publication, and visualizations.
- A self-starter, one who can think creatively about connections among birds, places, and people.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications, as well as excellent GIS skills, particularly with ArcGIS products is a plus.
- Genuine interest in conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society a must.