American Bird Conservancy
Northern Great Plains Conservation Specialist
Title: Northern Plains Conservation Specialist
Supervisor: ABC’s Northern Plains Conservation Coordinator
Location: Buffalo, South Dakota
Submission Deadline: January 25, 2019
This position is responsible for delivering technical assistance and developing conservation plans for ranches on private lands that emphasize sustainable use and management of grasslands. The position will assist landowners in a four county area in northwest South Dakota. The focus is on enhancing management at scales that facilitate persistent long-term behavioral changes that benefit grasslands, birds, and other focal species. The position will be responsible for recruiting landowners willing to participate in ranch bird survey programs designed to quantify the benefits of ranching for grassland birds (all data confidential to the landowner). The ranch bird survey programs have been in place since 2015.
This position is part of a collaborative effort among American Bird Conservancy (ABC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks (SDGFP), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). This position will be an employee of ABC, supervised by ABC’s Northern Plains Conservation Coordinator, and with daily instruction and leadership provided by the NRCS District Conservationist. The position will be based in the Buffalo, SD NRCS office.
• A general qualification guideline for this position is a Bachelor of Science Degree in Range and/or Wildlife Management, Wildlife Ecology, or closely related field in Natural Resource Management.
• Any combination of education, training and/or experience that will enable the applicant to possess the required knowledge, skills and abilities. If substituting education for relevant experience, academic transcripts reflecting coursework and degree conferred will be required.
• Knowledge of USDA Farm Bill programs and other partner landowner incentive programs or ability and willingness to learn. Experience with of NRCS’s 9-Step Conservation Planning Process beneficial.
• Demonstrate understanding of ecological and environmental principles required for management of natural resources for multiple-uses, including (but not limited to) wildlife habitat, livestock, water management, ecosystem services. For example, knowledge or experience in range science, grazing systems, agricultural landscapes, wildlife ecology, wetland and grassland management including the ability to utilize various habitat management tools in the development of management plans.
• Knowledge of grassland birds and ecology as relevant to the Northern Great Plains, especially South Dakota, or ability and willingness to learn.
• Experience working with private landowners as well as partners (NRCS, state wildlife agencies, Conservation Districts, NGOs, etc.).
• Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate (both written and orally) with both scientific and non-scientific audiences.
• Proficient computer skills are required and applicant should have experience with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
• Ability to identify or have the ability/willingness to learn to identify South Dakota flora and fauna, including grassland birds.
• Demonstrate an understanding of the professional and ethical responsibility that is imperative when collaborating with landowners and partners.
• Ability to work with diverse clientele as a team member and independently with little supervision.
• Ability to use a GPS and GIS mapping software. Experience in ArcMap and Toolkit would be beneficial.
• Able to obtain USDA Federal Security Clearance.
• Valid driver’s license. Occasional use of personal vehicle required (mileage reimbursement provided).
• Willing and able to travel on a regular basis, year round, and occasionally overnight.
• Willing and able to conduct bird surveys which typically start before sunrise. Personal vehicle use required. Position will need to provide their own binoculars.
• Willing and able to work a varying schedule to accommodate landowner meetings, outreach events, partner meetings, etc. Most of the work will be during standard work hours but some nights and weekends will be necessary as well.
• Willing and able to perform administrative work in a controlled environment/office setting for a seven- to eight- hour workday.
• Physical ability to: stand and walk for extended periods of time over rough terrain; lift and move material weighing up to 50 pounds; work in all types of weather conditions in remote locations and associated wildlands hazards and often alone.
Salary and Term of Employment:
• 11-month position (February 2018 – December 2019) with a possibility of extension
• Commensurate with experience, up to $41,000 plus benefits
• Benefits include medical, dental, and 403(b) plan.
• Paid vacation days (15), holidays (10+), and sick leave.