Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Forester

American Bird Conservancy

Dekalb, Illinois

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Starting Salary: $46,000
Deadline Jun 15, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Title:                  Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Forester

Supervisor:      Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Coordinator

Location:          TBD - Must be located in NE Illinois Project Area (Dekalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, Kendall,

Will, Grundy, or Kankakee Counties)

Term:                 Renewed Annually

Starting Salary: $46,000

Submission Deadline: June 15, 2024

Position Summary:

The mission of American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is to conserve birds and their habitats – the places birds need to thrive – across the Americas. We are a growing group of 140+ dedicated staff, located across the United States and with a network of partners from Canada to Chile. Each year, we grow in budget and staff, and we deliver more results aimed at preventing bird species extinctions and reversing declines that are reducing populations of nearly all bird groups. Our work is guided by our principles, which include a commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).

The Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Forester (Forester) will primarily work with private landowners, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Morton Arboretum, and other local partners in the region to implement best management practices (BMPs) on non-industrial private lands for focal bird species as part of ABC’s NRCS Oak Ecosystem Regional Conservation Partnership Program in NE Illinois and SE Wisconsin.

The Forester will work closely with ABC’s Great Lakes Oak Ecosystem Coordinator to design and implement habitat management prescriptions for target focal species by working directly with NRCS and other collaborative partners. Duties will include, but are not limited to building partnerships, conducting outreach, promoting ABC and its various programs, providing technical forestry assistance for private landowners, and assisting with grant preparation and reporting.

Primary Duties:

The Forester’s main duties will be targeted within the identified focal areas of the NRCS Oak Ecosystem RCPP Project Area. Specific duties include:

  • Work within a team of partner biologists to implement the ABC NRCS Oak Ecosystem RCPP Project. The team will include the Oak Ecosystem Coordinator (lead on the project) and one additional Oak Ecosystem Private Lands Forester located within the project area.
  • Identify and communicate with landowners and natural resource managers within designated focal regions to implement bird conservation activities.
  • Conduct field visits on private lands to evaluate property for possible treatment using focal species BMPs.
  • Identify and delineate project areas for non-commercial oak management treatments. Identify and communicate with contractors capable of completing these treatments to continue developing a growing referral list for landowners.
  • Provide technical assistance to private landowners to facilitate the NRCS cost-share application and contracting process and develop site-specific conservation plans in accordance with NRCS practice standards and focal species BMPs.
  • Certify project completion via site visits, GPS tracking, and photo documentation to provide NRCS District Conservationists with GIS shapefiles and visual evidence to complete contracts and cost-share.
  • Provide outreach, education, and technical assistance to private landowners; technical service providers (TSP’s); and local, state and federal agency staff on habitat BMPs through workshops, trainings, meetings, etc.
  • Monitor and track project activities using an electronic database and GIS to ensure proper reporting for assessing success, and assist with focal species monitoring pre- and post- treatment.
  • Develop strong relationships with non-profit, agency, local government, and industry partners to expand collaborative conservation opportunities that advance bird conservation strategies. Specifically coordinate with Morton Arboretum on shared deliverables and oak ecosystem priorities.
  • Assist ABC Development staff and Oak Ecosystem Coordinator with preparing and reviewing fundraising proposals and assist with preparation of new funding/grant agreements and sub-awards.
  • Support ongoing research and monitoring activities including, but not limited to, obtaining landowner permission to conduct site surveys, conducting vegetation and bird surveys, placing and retrieving monitoring equipment (i.e., acoustic recording units), and managing data.

Position Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in forestry, wildlife biology, or natural resources management is required. An advanced understanding of oak ecosystem improvement and management, wildlife management, the use of prescribed fire for natural community restoration, and a working knowledge of U.S. Department of Agricultural Farm Bill private lands incentive programs are essential.
  • Professional knowledge and skills to assess, devise, and apply silvicultural strategies for oak management to meet desired wildlife habitat and conservation objectives. Experience developing and implementing site-specific management plans/practices and the ability to utilize forest inventory tools and protocols.
  • Applicant must be prepared to travel within the project area with occasional travel outside the region. ABC will reimburse travel expenses.
  • Experience working with private landowners as well as public agencies (NRCS, DNR, USFWS, etc.), with knowledge of landowner incentive programs, including NRCS landowner cost-share programs, especially EQIP and RCPP.
  • A general knowledge of environment laws, regulations, and policies to ensure legal standards are met during habitat project development and implementation activities.
  • Proven ability to manage multiple projects, produce effective results, and meet project and program deadlines. Proven ability to be self-motivated, responsible, and solve problems.
  • Ability to use programs such as ArcGIS, Avenza, OnX, and/or similar to identify and delineate project boundaries, Microsoft Excel and other database management tools to organize project and program information, as well as Forest Metrix to write forest management plans.

To Apply:

Please apply online at Paylocity.

If you have any difficulties uploading your resume and cover letter, then please send them as ONE document to HR@abcbirds.org.

At American Bird Conservancy, we believe that a diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills makes us more effective. We are committed to creating a respectful and inclusive work environment for all of our employees.

As an equal opportunity employer, ABC is committed to ensuring that employees and applicants for employment have equal opportunities regardless of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other factor unrelated to the requirements of the position.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Forestry , General / Stewardship , Land Trust , Wildlife
Tags GIS , Outreach