Director of Conservation, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary- Audubon Florida

Naples, Florida
Jul 15, 2019
Sep 13, 2019
Job Level
Senior level
Employment Type
Full time
Salary Type

Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, 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.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Essential Functions:

Land Management

  • Update and maintain a Land Management Plan that reflects contemporary needs, opportunities and challenges for management of the ≈13,000 acre Audubon sanctuary;
  • Lead land management staff in land management activities aimed at maintaining and/or restoring native plant and wildlife communities, including prescribed fire and management of invasive non-native and native plants and animals;
  • Lead Panther Island Mitigation Bank activities;
  • Coordinate and communicate land management activities and best management practices with neighboring property owners and regional conservation partners.


  • Work with program staff and strategic partners to protect and restore freshwater wetlands. Promote best practices in regional land use planning and development that support sustainable wildlife populations in the Western Everglades. Improve the habitat values within Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Work closely with Corkscrew’s Research Director to increase Audubon’s understanding of the threats facing the local ecosystem through scientific research and monitoring. Specifically:
    • Develop and execute a sustainable restoration plan for Corkscrew and its larger watershed. Enlist buy-in from key partners and supporters.
    • Design, implement, and direct measures of success focused on birds and habitat for the CSS restoration program. Coordinate these efforts with relevant activities and staff in Audubon Florida and across the organization, where appropriate.
    • Leverage Corkscrew's marsh and prairie program to influence regional and statewide practices.
    • Grow Audubon's capacity to monitor and analyze restoration success on CSS and regional restoration projects.

Conservation Policy

  • Safeguard regional watershed health as a subject matter expert for the Audubon Florida policy team;
  • Work with Audubon Policy staff to identify advocacy opportunities affecting the hydrology of Corkscrew and engage advocates on Corkscrew's behalf;
  • Train an advocacy corps with a series of field trips, restoration volunteer opportunities and lectures to grow their sophistication and engagement in Corkscrew, and willingness to get involved in policy.

Other Essential Functions

  • Budget Management: Plan budgets and manage expenses for land management, restoration, and conservation policy activities;
  • Fundraising: Work with the Sanctuary Director and Assistant Director, Development staff and key program staff to increase Corkscrew's revenue for land stewardship and restoration by helping cultivate donors and obtaining grants and foundation funding;
  • Communications and Marketing: Closely collaborate with the CSS Sanctuary Director and communications staff to develop materials promoting Corkscrew's watershed restoration vision for traditional and social media;
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Avian Ecology, Conservation Biology or closely related field (Master’s degree strongly preferred) and 7-10 years of experience in natural resources management, biology, or related environmental or conservation work required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered;
  • Skillful in the application of ArcGIS;
  • Must be well versed with principles of wetland restoration and watershed function and how those concepts directly and indirectly effect local and regional birds and other wildlife;
  • Strong understanding of the value and previous experience supporting community science (citizen science), especially in the realm of adaptive management;
  • Knowledge and appreciation of the people, values and current conservation and policy issues throughout Florida. Demonstrated understanding of conservation issues in Florida is a must;
  • A strategic influencer, with leadership and collaborative ethics, as demonstrated in previous work. Must possess strong interpersonal and social skills, strong staff management skills, a positive attitude and good sense of humor;
  • Proven fundraising experience to include writing and overseeing grants, cultivating and managing individual donors, as well as, foundations and other public agencies;
  • Must be self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills and the ability to synthesize and communicate technical and complex information to both technical and non-technical audiences. Tech-savvy, with demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office, as well as skill with GIS technologies (e.g., ArcGIS);
  • Ability and willingness to travel locally and/or across the state (as needed) and be comfortable with working evenings and weekends, as job demands;
  • Ability to work outdoors, in all weather conditions and on varying terrain, with or without accommodation; must be able to carry field equipment at times, with or without accommodation;
  • Demonstrated interest in conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society a must.