Mexican Spotted Owl Biologist

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies


Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 55,000/year
Deadline Nov 30, 2023
Required Experience 2 - 6 years
  • FLSA Status:                Full-Time Employee / Exempt / Salaried
  • Reports to:                   Senior Avian Ecologist
  • Salary:                         $55K annually
  • Benefits:                       This is a full-time position with a comprehensive benefits package (paid time off, 403b retirement plan, health, dental, and vision insurance)
  • Start Date:                    January 1st, 2024

About the Organization:

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit headquartered at the Environmental Learning Center at Barr Lake State Park with a satellite office in Fort Collins, CO. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through an integrated approach of Science, Education, and Stewardship. Our work radiates from the Rockies to the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. 

Position Overview:

Bird Conservancy is seeking an avian ecologist to oversee and implement an established Mexican Spotted Owl monitoring program in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. The position will assist Bird Conservancy’s Mexican Spotted Owl Coordinator and collaborate with federal agency partners to collect and report data on Mexican Spotted Owls in National Forests. These data contribute crucial information on population trend estimates which assist federal partners to assess the success of recovery efforts. The biologist will work closely with the Coordinator to (1) hire, train and supervise field crews, (2) coordinate pre-field season preparations, (3) communications and coordination with federal partners, and (4) conducting owl surveys, managing data entry and proofing, and producing of project-related deliverables. Applicants must have a strong background in avian research techniques (including broadcast surveys) as well as extensive experience conducting field work in remote and rugged terrain. Qualified applicants will have two or more years of experience managing field crews in the backcountry, and must demonstrate strong interpersonal communication and leadership skills. Candidates currently federally-permitted to implement the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Mexican Spotted Owl Survey Protocol are highly preferred. This position will be part of our integrative science program (14 scientists and ecologists) and will be directly supervised by a Senior Avian Ecologist under the oversight of the Research Director. The Avian Ecologist will be based in Bird Conservancy’s Fort Collins office; however, field work will require frequent and extended travel to the southwestern US (2+ weeks per trip, multiple trips per year).

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Assist with oversight of the Mexican Spotted Owl monitoring programs located in Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, including study design and implementation, as well as hiring and supervision of seasonal staff
  • Assist with implementing field work duties, traveling to remote locations to broadcast for owls at night
  • Develop and maintain good working relationships with federal partners and other collaborating organizations to further implementation goals and conservation delivery
  • Cooperate with colleagues within the Science Team to develop, design, review, and implement new monitoring projects.
  • Contribute to future program growth through collaborative development of agreements, contracts, and grants as directed by the Senior Avian Ecologist

Other Duties: Other duties and special projects as assigned

Supervisory Responsibilities: Seasonal field personnel (12-20 individuals)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience required (unless otherwise noted):

  • BSc in the Natural Sciences (Biology, Ecology, etc.) or commensurate professional experience
  • Currently permitted to implement the USFWS Mexican Spotted Owl Protocol (Preferred)
  • Extensive experience (>2 years) coordinating avian field projects and supervising seasonal staff
  • Experience using field equipment, including GPS units, satellite communication devices, paper maps and compass, digital maps (e.g, CalTopo, Gaia) and experience training others to use field gear
  • Experience using ArcGIS or alternate GIS software to design sampling regimes and produce maps
  • Exceptional organizational skills, and ability to manage field logistics and crew schedules. Strong communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills.
  • Physically able to hike and backpack long distances at night in steep terrain (8+ miles/day), comfortable with off-trail navigation, basic first aid and wilderness trainings preferred
  • Experience presenting technical and non-technical information to a wide variety of audiences; effective written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Proficiency in use of computer software including R, Excel, Access, Word, PowerPoint and the ability to quickly learn new software
  • Must possess a valid Driver’s License

Physical Demands / Work Environment:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The ability to work odd hours independently and in remote locations when appropriate, with extend periods of regional travel (2+ weeks).
  • Requires hiking extended distances on and off trail (8+ miles), sometimes in inclement weather conditions, carrying up to thirty (30) pounds of project gear on a frequent basis. Proper lifting techniques required.
  • Ability to navigate in remote and rugged wilderness areas, where bison, mountain lions, black and brown bears, rattlesnakes and other hazardous wildlife and conditions are likely to be encountered.
  • Ability to work in standard office setting, with considerable sitting, standing, and viewing of computer. Requires reaching continually throughout the workday (mouse, keyboard, telephone).

Equal Opportunity Employer:

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is a bias-conscious employer. We ask that you please avoid the use of photos when submitting a resume and/or an application for employment. You will receive an email acknowledgment when you have successfully applied. Your completed application will be forwarded to the hiring manager. You will be notified if you are selected for further testing or interviews. Post-offer background check required.

Studies have shown that underrepresented groups, including women and people of color, are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they can perform every job description task. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job from diverse backgrounds and with attention to lived experience. Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will consider an equivalent combination of knowledge, skills, education, and experience to meet minimum qualifications. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and skill set for the role.

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Applicants are considered for positions for which they have applied without regard to gender identity or gender expression, race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, pregnancy or other characteristics protected by law. For the purpose of Bird Conservancy’s policy, “sexual orientation” means a person’s actual or perceived orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality.

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will make special communication arrangements for persons with disabilities.  Please call (303) 659-4348 for assistance.


To Apply:

Please submit your cover letter, resume and contacts for three references in ONE document to applicants@birdconservancy.org  with “Mexican Spotted Owl Biologist” in the subject line.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Preference will be given to those applications that are submitted before November 30th, 2023.

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

Category Wildlife
Tags GIS, Ornithology