Ocean Career: Director of Waterbird Programs at San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is a regional not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds by conducting scientific research, avian population monitoring, habitat restoration, and connecting people to nature. We conduct this work in support of bird and habitat conservation.

We are looking for someone to join our team as Director of Waterbird Programs, able to start as soon as possible. The Director is responsible for leading existing scientific projects and developing new ones, managing relationships with collaborators, funders, and landowners, applying for and managing grants to support these projects, and managing and training staff and volunteers. SFBBO is based out of Milpitas, CA with field sites throughout South San Francisco Bay. The Director would perform a combination of field-based and office-based days, with options for office-based work to be done remotely. The Director of Waterbird Programs reports to the Executive Director.

Science Duties:

  • Develop, implement, and evaluate SFBBO’s Waterbird Program plan in conjunction with other senior staff
  • Ensure all data is secure, accurate, well organized, accessible, and shared with appropriate collaborators, funders, or landowners
  • Participate in data collection when appropriate (see Fieldwork, below)
  • Supervise data analysis, report writing, and publication of journal articles

Project Management Duties:

  • Manage, supervise, and participate in existing projects
  • Identify new projects, write grants and form partnerships
  • Create an annual departmental work plan and corresponding budget
  • Manage projects to ensure that we are compliant with(in) that budget
  • Ensure we perform contracted tasks and are timely with deliverables
  • Maintain appropriate permits
  • Generate and update documentation for projects in an organized manner
  • Coordinate schedules and shared resources to support field operations

Staff Management Duties:

  • Supervise, recruit, review and train staff and interns
  • Coordinate volunteer recruitment and training in conjunction with other staff
  • Ensure timely communications with other staff and collaborators
  • Update and enforce field safety practices and protocols on a regular basis
  • Establish open communications with staff and ensure that direct reports feel comfortable providing feedback
  • Participate in outreach, fundraising, and administrative tasks as needed or assigned
  • Review and assess projects to identify barriers to inclusion, equity and access.
  • Participate in organization-level policy-making and best practices discussions as part of staff leadership team

Fieldwork Duties:

  • Spend 2-3 days per week conducting and supervising field activities, including:
    • Waterbird surveys and water quality sampling at South Bay ponds
    • Surveys in gull colonies
    • Gull counts and behavioral surveys at local landfills
    • Boat and driving surveys to monitor for avian disease outbreaks
  • Assist with equipment and vehicle upkeep and maintenance as appropriate

Required Background, Skills, and Qualifications:

  • 2+ years experience managing a team
  • A graduate degree in a biology, conservation, or ecology (or related) field, or relevant/comparable experience
  • Experience in carrying out field and/or scientific research
  • Experience with grant writing
  • Experience coding for scientific analysis and figure generation
  • Experience with identifying and mitigating workplace barriers to diversity, equity, and inclusion or willingness to learn about best practices
  • A strong leadership presence and ability to build and manage relationships
  • Professional in communicating by email, phone and in person
  • A self-motivated team player, with strong interpersonal, organizational, and communication skills
  • Flexibility: the ability to adapt to shifting priorities to meet deadlines and goals
  • Reliable, organized, and detail-oriented
  • Ability to act with discretion regarding confidential matters
  • Valid driver’s license, clean driving record, and reliable personal vehicle
  • A passion for conservation, science, and birds

Preferred Background, Skills, and Qualifications:

  • Experience and competency with R and statistical modeling
  • Experience with GIS software and modeling
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Access
  • Experience publishing scientific papers
  • Familiarity with waterfowl, shorebirds, and gulls of the San Francisco South Bay

This role has the following physical or scheduling requirements:

  • The ability to traverse uneven, rough, or inclined terrain while in the field in order to carry out field surveys. The individual will be exposed to outdoor elements (mud, sun, dust, salt spray) while conducting field surveys
  • The ability to tolerate long field days in remote locations (up to 8 hours)
  • The ability to drive company vehicles off-road to remote field locations (SFBBO truck provided for off-road driving)
  • Irregular hours on field survey days, including early mornings, evenings, and occasional weekends
  • The person in this role will sometimes need to move or transfer materials weighing up to 20 pounds.
  • Using a computer and office software, applications, and equipment on a regular basis, and sometimes in the field. Requires regular and accurate communication with others using telephone and video technology, and ability to interact effectively with digital and printed materials.
  • Reasonable accommodations will be made to allow individuals to perform the essential functions of this position.

Our Commitment to Diversity

SFBBO actively engages individuals from all backgrounds. We are committed to embracing diversity within our organization because we firmly believe that diverse employee teams help us to achieve our best organizational outcomes and provide the most effective support to the communities we serve. We are deeply dedicated to creating and maintaining an inclusive, equitable and supportive work environment. We strongly encourage people from underrepresented groups to apply. SFBBO believes in growth and supporting our employees as best we can so they can become their best selves in and outside of work. We believe that a healthy work environment means building an inclusive culture where people can thrive together and feel supported and empowered. We believe in stretch versus constraint.

In your cover letter, please feel free to note which pronouns you use (for example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs, etc.).

We strongly encourage people of all backgrounds and identities, including but not limited to people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, transgender and non-binary people, veterans, parents, and individuals with disabilities to apply. SFBBO is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know.

Research has shown that women and people from marginalized communities apply to roles when they meet 100% of the job requirements, whereas people without marginalized identities apply if they meet an average of 60% of the requirements. If you think that your skills are transferable and can add value to this role, please apply so that we can determine whether it’s a good fit.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position will be $50,112 per year, divided up into 24 pay periods (i.e. bimonthly).Benefits include:

  • Full health, dental, and vision benefits
  • Personal Time Off (PTO) accumulation at a rate of 6.67 hours per pay period or 160 hours a year
  • Access to a state-run retirement program
  • $40 per month phone and Internet stipend
  • Options for remote work and flexible hours on non-field days

To Apply

Complete our online application form, including a CV/resume and a cover letter telling us why you are a great match for our role here.

You will need to sign into a Google account to complete the form. If you do not have a Google account to use or have questions about this opening, you may reach out to Gabbie Burns, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. ​

The position will be open until filled, but we anticipate making a first review of applications during the week of August 15th.

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