Wildlife Biologist, Private Lands

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Published: March 24, 2021
Location
Alamosa, CO
Job Type
Full-time
Categories
Natural Resources/ Restoration / Scientific /

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Description

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through science, education and land stewardship. Our organization employs people who are passionate about our mission and vision. Whether you are a scientist, an administrator or an educator, at Bird Conservancy, you help connect people, birds and land.
 
Position Overview
 
We are hiring a Wildlife Biologist to deliver habitat conservation projects on private lands in the San Luis Valley (SLV), Colorado to help reverse the decline of at-risk wetland and riparian species. This position is a partnership between the US Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and Bird Conservancy of the Rockies. The biologist will help agricultural producers improve wildlife habitat and achieve their management objectives.
 
The biologist will develop comprehensive conservation plans, including resource assessments, habitat treatments, and coordination of their implementation (e.g. fencing riparian buffers to exclude cattle, improving water-control structures to optimize flood irrigation, stabilizing eroding streambank, grazing plans, etc.). The biologist will work with federal, state, and local natural resource professionals, and will use voluntary, incentive-based funding opportunities (e.g. Farm Bill, CPW funds).
 
The position will be based in the Alamosa NRCS field office, jointly supervised by Bird Conservancy and NRCS, and will require travel throughout the region using a provided vehicle. While COVID-19 safety precautions limit NRCS office capacity and travel, the PLWB will have the flexibility to telework from home; when in the federal offices, the PLWB will be required adhere to all safety protocols, including wearing a facial mask. Preference will be given to applicants fluent in Spanish and able to demonstrate existing community ties to the San Luis Valley.
 
Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities
 
  • Provide technical and programmatic support, including identifying priority conservation landscapes and recommending management prescriptions for wildlife conservation to NRCS and landowners. Ability to guide landowners through application and implementation process for USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs (WRP, EQIP, WLFW, CSP, etc.) and other programs
  • Enroll privately owned lands into the USDA Farm Bill Conservation Programs by using partnership efforts with CPW, USFWS Partners Program, landowners and others, with special emphasis on underserved communities in the SLV
  • Develop and sustain cooperative working relationships with landowners, conservation groups, local and regional conservation agencies such as CPW, and other resource professionals (e.g., local Conservation Districts, local working groups/collaboratives, etc.)
  • Identify, develop and provide formal trainings and informational products to landowners and stakeholders, including industry professionals
  • Provided targeted service and assistance to the underserved communities of the San Luis Valley

Other Duties:

  • Collaborate across BCR programmatic teams
  • Use critical thinking to develop and implement conservation projects and habitat enhancement efforts targeting priority landscapes as outlined in various conservation efforts
  • Develop technical proficiency in conservation planning and agency business tools
  • Manage existing restoration projects by conducting monitoring and prescribing management activities
  • Assist partner agency and other collaborators in conducting biological assessments
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

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

  • Bachelor’s degree (M.S. preferred) in a conservation related field (e.g. wildlife biology, ecology, human dimensions of natural resources, wetland/riparian management, etc.) or equivalent experience
  • Working knowledge of Farm Bill Conservation Programs (preference given to these candidates)
  • Ability and desire to work with a diversity of people including state, federal, and non-governmental resource professionals, agricultural producers, industry professionals, rural Hispanic communities, and other community representatives
  • Fluent in Spanish (preferred)
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively (use active listening to build trust and establish rapport) with a variety of landowners and partners
  • Motivated self-starter who is comfortable working independently under remote supervision and highly organized with the ability to manage multiple deadlines
  • Practical understanding of habitat restoration, ecology and land management, with special emphasis on wetland/riparian systems
  • Knowledge of Colorado flora and fauna, particularly wetland/riparian communities
  • Strong written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office; experience with ESRI ArcMap is desirable

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.

  • Able work in a standard office setting, with considerable sitting, standing and viewing of computer
  • Mid-level stress
  • Requires reaching continually throughout the workday (mouse, keyboard, telephone).
  • May include lifting up to thirty (30) pounds of project gear on a frequent basis. Proper lifting techniques required
  • Able to stand, walk and hike for extended periods of time outside in all weather
  • Able to work independently in remote locations where hazardous wildlife and conditions may be present
  • Ability to troubleshoot when working solo (flat tires, cattle gates, etc.)
  • Requires valid state driver’s license and ability to travel throughout the landscape on a regular basis, often to remote locations in inclement weather or adverse conditions

Material and Equipment Directly Used:

  • Various habitat restoration and enhancement materials
  • Standard office equipment (e.g. laptop, printers)
  • Navigate to field sites and record data using GPS, smartphones, tablets, or other technology
  • Operate federal vehicles, including cars, trucks, All Terrain Vehicles or Utility Task Vehicles

About the Area: 

Alamosa is a rural town of ~9,500 people nestled in the San Luis Valley, bordered by the 14,000-ft peaks of the San Juan and Sangre del Cristo mountains. Opportunities for recreation and wildlife viewing are abundant, with easy access to public land managed by USFWS, USFS, NPS, and BLM. The valley is a vital area for riparian- and wetland-dependent birds in Colorado, such as sandhill cranes which migrate through each spring by the thousands.

The wetlands and riparian zones along the Rio Grande, Conejos River, and their many smaller tributaries are important to over 75% of the area’s wildlife species, including 13 state and federal threatened, endangered, and species of special concern, as well as over 160 species of birds. While the SLV consists of a mix of land uses and ownership, private lands comprise almost 70% of the valley. Thus, landowners play a critical role in wetland conservation and healthy watersheds in the SLV.

Compensation

  • Salary Details $42,000 - $45,000 DOE with promotion potential plus benefits, including medical, dental, vision, paid time off and a retirement plan. 

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" below to email your cover letter, resume and contact information for three references in ONE document, with “SLV-PLWB_YourLastName_YourFirstName” in the subject line and document file name. Microsoft Word or PDF files only. 
  • Please include how you learned of the job posting.
  • Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
  • Preference will be given to those applications submitted by 11:59 pm MST, Friday, April 2, 2021.

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is an equal opportunity employer committed to creating a diverse work environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. 

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