Shorebird/Western Snowy Plover Biologist

Point Blue Conservation Science

Lompoc, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $26.25-$32.00 per hour

Start Date: 15 November 2023 (start date may be flexible, depending on experience)

Deadline to Apply: Open until filled.

Position Type: Full Time Coastal Program Biologist (Scientist I/II)

Compensation and Benefits:

The CPB will earn $26.25-$32.00 per hour, depending on experience. Point Blue provides a comprehensive benefit package including employer paid medical and dental for staff and 75% for dependents including domestic partners.  Other benefits include long term care insurance, optional vision, life insurance, short term and long-term disability, flexible spending account, and a 401k plan with an employer discretionary match. 

Work vehicles are available, but use of a personal vehicle will be necessary at times. Any use of personal vehicles for field work will be reimbursed at the current federal mileage rate. Housing is not provided.

Position Description:

Point Blue Conservation Science is a growing and internationally renowned non-profit with over 160 staff and scientists based in Petaluma, California. Founded in 1965 as Point Reyes Bird Observatory, our mission and programs have evolved over time to include a broad range of conservation activity, from restoration to environmental education to innovative work in the field of regenerative agriculture.  We have a proven track record of scientific excellence.

We recognize that increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion factors at Point Blue and in our partnerships is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. We are actively engaging in a process to create lasting organizational change. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community.

We are seeking a Coastal Program Biologist (CPB) to conduct shorebird surveys on migratory and overwintering populations and breeding population monitoring of western snowy plovers at Vandenberg Space Force Base and other locations in central California. The CPB work weeks vary from 5-6 days and are typically 40-60 hours. Specific duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct coastal surveys for migratory and overwintering shorebird populations.
  • Conduct sandy beach geomorphology measurements.
  • Conduct beach ecosystem monitoring from March-September within western snowy plover breeding habitat, including but not limited to: conducting nest surveys, following broods, identifying banded individuals, erecting symbolic fencing and rope exclosures, and predator identification
  • Assist with analysis of photo and video files from cameras deployed on active nests. Data are collected using field data entry apps in addition to notebooks
  • Participate in data management including data entry and QA/QC of entered data.
  • Participate in data analyses, report writing, and manuscript writing.
  • May participate in the following activities: censuses of coastal breeding seabird populations, seabird nest monitoring, California least tern breeding colony monitoring, community science website development.


This position requires the following qualifications:

  • Equivalent to a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in ecology, biology, zoology, ornithology, or a closely related field
  • Minimum of two years’ experience conducting field surveys with shorebird populations
  • Minimum of two years’ experience conducting field surveys within western snowy plover (or similar threatened species) breeding habitat; banding experience desired, but not required.
  • Possession of, or qualifications to be added to, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service section 10(a) (1)(A) Recovery Permit to independently locate and monitor western snowy plover nests and chicks and conduct surveys within western snowy plover nesting habitat.
  • Possession of a valid U.S. driver’s license, preferably a Real ID or the ability to obtain one. Point Blue will conduct a motor vehicle report for insurance purposes after hiring.
  • Ability to identify shorebirds and seabirds of central California, and their potential predators.
  • Ability to spend long hours in the field collecting data 5-6 days/week, willingness to work in inclement weather conditions, and the ability to work well independently and in a group situation
  • Ability to traverse or hike uneven terrain, including sand dunes, 10- miles per day.

Other Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with statistical software such as Stata and R
  • Familiarity with ArcGIS for map making and spatial analyses
  • Familiarity with website development including the use of Python to create data visualizations 

Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.


To Apply: Please visit this application form or copy and paste https://forms.gle/cb8KYPLUsbgyNLF59  into browser. Please contact DAN ROBINETTE  (drobinette@pointblue.org) if you experience issues applying.  

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

Category Ecology, Marine Biology, Wildlife
Tags GIS, Ornithology