Position Title: Coastal Bird Habitat Coordinator
Supervisor: Roman Jesien, Science Coordinator
Office/Work Location: Berlin, Maryland
Organization: Maryland Coastal Bays Program (www.mdcoastalbays.org)
Expected Start: Late March 2022
The Maryland Coastal Bays Program is pleased to announce that we will be hiring a Coastal Bird Conservation Coordinator. This position will work closely with partner organizations Audubon Mid-Atlantic and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to coordinate conservation projects with the goal of restoring habitats and populations of the Coastal Bay’s declining bird species. This is a full-time position for 2 years with the possibility of future funding.
Please submit one pdf of your cover letter and resume to Dr. Roman Jesien at firstname.lastname@example.org. Application deadline is February 25, 2022.
Across Mid-Atlantic coastlines, rising sea levels, stronger storms, island loss, and human development are squeezing priority coastal habitats. Human disturbance also threatens the reproductive success of island-nesting tidal marsh birds that depend on our coast to survive. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, (MDNR), Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) and Audubon Mid-Atlantic (AMA) are working to build resilient, healthy coastal ecosystems which restore and enhance wildlife habitat and protect our coastal communities.
MCBP works with its partners to preserve and restore Maryland’s Coastal Bay area which is designated by Congress as an Estuary of National Significance under the EPA National Estuary Program. The Coastal Bays ecosystem is largely rural but also includes Maryland’s largest seasonal tourism hub at Ocean City. The Coastal Bays have historically supported approximately half of Maryland’s colonial nesting waterbirds and other island- and beach-nesting birds, but populations of these birds are rapidly declining due to erosion and loss of nesting islands, human disturbance and other factors. Some species such as Royal Tern and Black Skimmer, listed by the state as endangered, are facing extirpation in Maryland and are in urgent need of conservation action. Resilient, healthy coastal ecosystems not only benefit birds, they also serve as the first line of defense for coastal communities facing stronger storms, more frequent flooding, and sea-level rise.
The Coastal Bird Habitat Coordinator will be instrumental in advancing bird conservation efforts on Maryland’s Atlantic Coast and will work closely with MDNR and AMA. The Coordinator will focus on conservation of coastal birds and their habitats by adding to ongoing collaborative efforts between MDNR Wildlife and Heritage Service’s existing non-game bird conservation efforts, AMA’s coastal stewardship efforts, and initiatives led by the MCBP. Primary activities include conservation, habitat restoration (Including beneficial use of dredge material), stewardship, outreach and advocacy to benefit priority coastal birds and their habitats, with an emphasis on terns, skimmers, shorebirds and other beach-nesting birds. The Coordinator may also work with salt marsh birds, waterfowl and other coastal birds. The position will be based in the Maryland Coastal Bays region with the main office located at the MCBP office in Berlin, MD.
- Implementing MDNR’s, MCBP’s and AMA’s action items that reduce threats to the region’s priority coastal birds. Priority species that are the focus of this position include Black Skimmer, Common Tern, Royal Tern, Least Tern, American Oystercatcher, Piping Plover, Red Knot, and Semipalmated Sandpiper. Other priority species include Saltmarsh Sparrow, Seaside Sparrow and Clapper Rail.
- Assist with the implementation of a coastal resilience strategy for beach and island-nesting birds in the Maryland Coastal Bays, with a focus on beneficial use of dredge material, rebuilding nesting islands, enhancing degraded tidal wetlands and maintaining an array of artificial nesting islands.
- Work with the partners to manage nature-based restoration and resiliency projects in the Maryland Coastal Bays region.
- Protect, manage, and monitor island-nesting and beach-nesting birds and migratory shorebirds through stewardship actions including but not limited to placing artificial floating nesting platforms, managing human disturbance, managing predation, and productivity monitoring.
- Assist with the coordination and implementation of Maryland’s Colonial Nesting Waterbird Survey in the Coastal Bays, completed every 5 years.
- Oversee data management and reporting, including an annual report on the status and reproductive success of colonial nesting waterbirds in the Coastal Bays.
- Recruit, train, and supervise seasonal technicians and assist with the coordination of volunteers to monitor and protect island-nesting and beach-nesting birds.
- Create and deliver effective presentations and other communication materials and assist with press releases, articles, and social media pieces as needed.
- Participate fully and productively in staff meetings, planning efforts, and other shared staff duties.
Qualifications and Experience:
- Master’s Degree or equivalent experience in a conservation, wildlife, or natural resources field.
- Ability to identify coastal birds, familiarity with their conservation issues, and experience working on coastal conservation issues.
- Must have strong customer service skills to engage, communicate with, and work effectively with colleagues, partners, volunteers, and landowners to coordinate conservation activities and increase impact.
- Excellent writing and public speaking skills.
- Knowledge of coastal bird biology and ecology. Experience with Mid-Atlantic coastal ecosystems preferred.
- Experience with project management, managing project deliverables, and reporting on progress.
- Candidate must be a self-motivated, independent, progress-driven individual.
- Experience implementing projects that improve coastal resilience and understanding state resilience planning and implementation processes a plus.
- Travel will be necessary as will occasionally work on weekends, holidays, and evenings. Applicant must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to spend occasional (2-3 times/year) nights away from home. Use of your own personal vehicle will be necessary at times. Travel costs will be reimbursed.
- Small outboard boat and trailering experience.
- Must be able to effectively operate computers and printers (PC), telephone, computer projector, and related software (including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Access and PowerPoint).
- Skills with GIS and GPS a plus.
- Must be willing to work in an outdoor setting in variable conditions; must be able to spend long days in the field walking on uneven terrain, and lift/carry 35 pounds with or without accommodation.