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Program Manager, Sarasota Bay Listening Network

Chicago Zoological Society
Sarasota County, Florida, US
Closing date
Aug 7, 2022

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Nonprofit, Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Informatics / GIS
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Job Function and Responsibilities

The Sarasota Bay Listening Network monitors the soundscape of Sarasota Bay, recording the underwater sounds of the long-term resident dolphins as well as manatees, fish, and invertebrates. It also provides an index of human activity from boat noise. Passive acoustic listening stations (PALS) provide this acoustic window into the coastal ecosystem, providing a means of documenting and monitoring changes to the ecosystem and its inhabitants. The Program Manager of the Sarasota Bay Listening Network ("SBLN") will have expertise in the operation, construction, repair, and maintenance of bioacoustics equipment and analysis ensuring high quality acoustic data can be collected, managed, shared and analyzed and will oversee the operations of the SBLN to continue this important work.

The Program Manager, Sarasota Bay Listening Network contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by continuing research efforts of the SDRP, developing research proposals, managing funded research projects, training graduate students, undergraduate interns, and foreign colleagues to support the Society's overall goal of innovations and excellence in animal welfare.

Primary duties and responsibilities:
Construct, install and maintain passive acoustic listening stations as part of the established Sarasota Bay Listening Network (SBLN) in consultation with the Sarasota-based listening station manufacturer, Loggerhead Instruments, Inc.

Coordinate data processing, storage and sharing among SBLN partners (Chicago Zoological Society's Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, New College of Florida, Eckerd College, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and other collaborators.

Coordinate/facilitate opportunities for community engagement/citizen science and expanding stakeholder participation with the SBLN.

Coordinate meetings of SBLN partners and produce semi-annual newsletter for stakeholders (e.g., partners, collaborators, site-owners).

Prepare research grant proposals and implement and manage funded research projects including supervising teams of research assistants, graduate students, undergraduate interns and foreign trainees.

Analyze data and prepare scientific manuscripts and presentations and present findings to further the long-term research of the program.

Remain current with technological and analytical advances in marine bioacoustics, including recordings and analyses and dolphin, fish, and manatee acoustics.

Curate/prepare SBLN data for education, training, community engagement and outreach.

Assist with training staff and students for conducting acoustic analyses.

Assist with field and laboratory research activities of the SDRP as requested, including photographic identification, abundance estimations, tagging and tracking, behavioral observations, biopsy darting, dolphin health assessments, and purse-seining.

Other related duties as assigned.

Position Requirements and Specifications

The requirements for this position include:
  • M.Sc. or Ph.D. degree in biology, animal behavior, marine bioacoustics, or related field required.
  • Three years of experience with marine bioacoustics monitoring and analyses required, including ability to build, troubleshoot, and repair electronic equipment associated with acoustic monitoring.
  • Experience with signal processing and programming using MATLAB, Python, and/or R required.
  • Experience or ability to learn machine learning applications for detection and classification of dolphin signature whistles using TensorFlow or other ML framework required.
  • Experience or ability to learn cloud computing for data storage and analysis of large datasets required.
  • Computer skills in Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, ArcView/ArcGIS, R, statistical software required.
  • Proficient swimmer required.
  • Full professional proficiency in English required.
  • Cultural proficiency; experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience.
  • A valid driver's license is required at time of hire. Florida residents must possess a valid Florida driver's license at the time of hire or must obtain one within 30 days of hire. A valid out-of-state driver's license required at time of hire for out-of-state residents.

Preferred qualifications:
  • Three years of experience operating and maintaining boats (up to 28 ft) and associated equipment, including trailering desired.
  • USCGA Safe Boating certificate or equivalent desired.
  • Wildlife photographic experience desired.
  • Ability to lead photographic identification surveys desired.
  • Experience with DTAG deployment, tracking, and analyses desired.
  • Experience with managing teams of research assistants desired.
  • Current certifications in CPR and First Aid preferred.
  • Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus, but not required.

Additional Information: This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform.

Additional Information

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Workplace safety is the Chicago Zoological Society's top priority. We require all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 unless they request and receive a religious or medical exemption. New hires must have at least received their first vaccine dose prior to their start date and must test weekly until fully vaccinated. If fully vaccinated, new hires must receive the booster, if due, prior to their start date.

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