Senior Bird Conservation Specialist, Palmyra Atoll

The Nature Conservancy

Honolulu, Hawaii

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Competitive


Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

This position will be based on at a field station at Palmyra Atoll for 3 - 4 month periods, with approximately 1 month periods between field stints. During these 1 month periods, the Specialist will be based in Honolulu (or another location of the employee's choosing).


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Grounded in science, we develop innovative solutions to the world’s toughest environmental challenges so that people and nature can thrive. Our work is guided by our values, which include a commitment to diversity; respect for people, communities, and cultures; and a collaborative, bipartisan approach. Thanks to more than 1 million members, over 400 scientists, and the dedicated efforts of our staff and partners, we impact conservation around the world.

Established in 1980, TNC’s Hawai‘i program has forged partnerships to manage over 2 million acres of natural lands and has grown to include Palmyra Atoll. We currently manage 14 preserves and other sites in Hawai‘i and Palmyra Atoll. In Hawai‘i, we work with government agencies, private landowners, businesses, community partners and local stakeholders to protect and restore Hawai‘i’s native watershed forests, coral reefs, and nearshore fisheries for both their ecological value and the many benefits they provide to people. At Palmyra Atoll, a National Wildlife Refuge 1,000 miles south of Hawai‘i, we facilitate research in this living laboratory to better understand and address global questions around sustainable fisheries and resilience to climate change.

This is an exceptional career opportunity for a highly motivated individual interested in joining the world’s leading conservation organization!


The Senior Bird Conservation Specialist will be based at Palmyra Atoll for most of their employment period. Accommodation is provided at a remote but well-equipped field station run by The Nature Conservancy. The Senior Bird Conservation Specialist is expected to work 6 days per week during 3–4-month periods at Palmyra Atoll. Transportation between Palmyra Atoll and Honolulu, Hawaii, will be provided for extended time off the atoll (approx. 1-month periods between field stints). This position will be employed by The Nature Conservancy in affiliation with the Zoological Society of London and will work in close coordination with various non-profit, government, and academic partners. The appointment will be for five years, with annual renewal contingent on performance and funding.

The Senior Bird Conservation Specialist will be responsible for leading on-the-ground monitoring and management of sihek (Guam kingfisher, Todiramphus cinnamominus) released to Palmyra Atoll, including daily behavioral observations; regular health evaluations; population surveys; monitoring and management of breeding; biological sample collection; ecological assessments including invertebrate sampling and classification; and regular and rigorous data entry, management, and reporting. They will work closely in the field with another Bird Conservation Specialist but will also be expected to work independently and autonomously on a regular basis. As the field team is expected to grow, the Senior Bird Conservation Specialist will train and manage daily tasks of other field specialists, field assistants, and volunteers. They will also draw on their scientific skillset to take a leading role in data management and reporting. Additional duties may include supporting the care of captive birds prior to release, providing supportive management (e.g. supplemental feeding) to released birds, contributing to data analysis and manuscript preparation, and attending stakeholder workshops.


Want to help a species recover from the brink of extinction? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that people and nature can thrive together.  

We’re looking for someone who is a passionate, motivated problem-solver, who excels in remote fieldwork scenarios, and who has experience handling, studying, and caring for birds. To support this innovative conservation program, a specialized skillset and strong passion for avian monitoring, management, and research is key. The Island Resilience Strategy Team in California is committed to protecting and restoring island ecosystems and the species that depend on them. As the Senior Bird Conservation Specialist based at Palmyra Atoll, you will work closely with TNC’s Palmyra Program team, and all our partners focused on the recovery of the charismatic sihek. You will play an important role in the conservation introduction of sihek to Palmyra Atoll, caring for the birds while they are in temporary aviaries and monitoring their behavior and status following release into Palmyra’s forest ecosystem. You will work closely with project leadership, including team members with the Zoological Society of London, the Guam Department of Agriculture Division of Aquatic & Wildlife Resources (DAWR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  


  • Bachelor’s Degree in science related field and 2 years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Extensive field experience monitoring bird populations and behaviors including radio telemetry, recording data, and writing project reports.
  • Experience with bird capture with mist-nets, bird handling, and bird banding/ringing.
  • Basic bird husbandry and care experience.
  • Experience supervising staff and/or volunteers.
  • Experience living and/or working in remote environments or small communities.
  • Experience performing work that requires physical mobility in a hot, humid, wet, and salty environment, and ability to lift 50 pounds.


Each person who works at TNC contributes to our goal of protecting nature for future generations. Another one of TNC’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees around the globe feel that their unique contributions are valued. To quote a popular saying at TNC, “You’ll join for the mission, and you’ll stay for the people.” To learn more, head to YouTube to hear stories from staff or visit Glassdoor.  

We’re proud to support the health and wellbeing of the people we employ. We offer a competitive, comprehensive benefits package that includes healthcare coverage, flexible spending accounts, 401(k) plan with an 8% employer match, parental leave, accrued paid time off, life insurance, disability coverage, employee assistance program, and other benefits that support work-life balance.

If you’re interested in working with us, please apply—we’d love to hear from you.


The starting pay this position is generally within the range of $60,580 – $63,820 annually. This range only applies to candidates whose country of employment is the USA. Where a successful candidate’s actual pay will fall within this range will be based on a variety of factors, including location, qualifications, skills, and experience. Countries outside the USA would have a different pay range in the local currency based on the local labor market, and not tied to USA pay or ranges. Your geographic location will be confirmed during the recruitment.


To apply for job ID 54913, submit your materials (resume and cover letter) online by using the Apply Now button at https://careers.nature.org/ . This position is open until filled, and early applications are strongly encouraged. If this posting is live on our applicant portal, we are still accepting applications.

Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.

Do you have military experience? Visit our U.S. Military Skills Translator to match your military experience with our current job openings!

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to applyhelp@tnc.org with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people with diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority, and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of The Nature Conservancy's background screening process.

Category Ecology , Land Trust , Wildlife
Tags Ornithology