Spatial Ecologist


Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 43 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 46 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Position Summary:

The Spatial Ecologist is responsible for helping to conceive and execute analyses that help the Conservation Science group fulfill its core responsibilities, which include: describing patterns of bird distribution and abundance throughout the annual cycle; characterizing the processes that shape those patterns; identifying conservation targets and prioritizing conservation efforts from biological and sociological perspectives; and providing scientific justification, study design, and analyses for projects that engage the public in science. S/he will be an integral member of Audubon’s National Science Program and will report to the Director of Conservation Science.

Essential Functions:
  • Collaborate on analyses to describe changes in bird populations through space and time
  • Prioritize conservation efforts in a spatial context
  • Curate diverse spatial data
  • Assist with design and spatial analysis of Citizen Science projects
  • Contribute to peer-reviewed publications and grant-writing in support of projects
  • Provide cartographic support for projects

Qualifications and Experience:
  • Ph.D. in spatial ecology, ecology, evolution, natural resources, or conservation-related field (or M.S. with equivalent research or work experience) required
  • Ability to clearly frame research questions, design studies, and implement analyses
  • Demonstrated ability to manipulate data and script analyses in R, Bugs, and/or Python
  • 3-5 years of experience prioritizing conservation efforts using Zonation, Marxan, or other conservation prioritization software
  • Ability to work independently and in a group
  • Ability to think creatively about connections between birds, places, and people
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, as well as interpersonal skills
  • Meticulous approach to reviewing and interpreting data and metadata
  • Strong preference for: candidates with expertise in ornithology, especially birds of North America; experience developing web-based cartographic tools; knowledge of the birding community; past participation in Christmas Bird Count or Breeding Bird Survey; and/or experience in Important Bird Areas process or site conservation.
San Francisco, California
National Audubon Society
Human Resources