Conservation Ecologist - Motus

Tracy Aviary Conservation Science Program
Tracy Aviary, Salt Lake City, UT

Job Summary: Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program helps conserve birds and their habitats through community science. Focusing on key local habitats and pressing regional conservation issues, our goals are to gather novel information about local avian ecology, inform habitat restoration and stewardship, and engage a diverse community in scientific data collection. Tracy Aviary’s Conservation Science Program is seeking a Conservation Ecologist who will help expand our bird conservation efforts by leading a Motus tagging program focused on birds that rely on Great Salt Lake and its surrounding habitats.

Utah’s riparian corridors, wetlands, and the Great Salt Lake provide critical habitat to millions of migratory birds, and these habitats are increasingly threatened as water is diverted away from the lake while the region suffers an ongoing drought. While conditions worsen, we are faced with limited information about these birds, where they are moving and traveling throughout their entire lifecycle, how their populations are being impacted, and how we can best conserve them. With a network of Motus stations that will soon be built throughout Utah, and the existing stations throughout the Pacific flyway and beyond, we have a unique ability to gather essential fine-scale and large-scale information to help conserve birds that are especially threatened by changing climate conditions.

Tracy Aviary (www.tracyaviary.org) is an AZA-accredited institution located on eight acres in the heart of Salt Lake City, UT. In early 2020, we opened Tracy Aviary’s second campus, the Jordan River Nature Center (https://www.jordanrivernaturecenter.org), which furthers our mission to inspire curiosity and caring for birds and nature through education and conservation. The Conservation Ecologist will split his/her/their office time between workstations at Tracy Aviary and the Jordan River Nature Center, and conduct fieldwork at local study sites.

Primary Duties: 

  • Develop and lead collaborative Motus tagging projects focused on bird species of conservation concern in the region
  • Coordinate the Utah Motus Working Group in partnership with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Lead installation and maintenance for Motus receiver stations at Tracy Aviary’s Jordan River Nature Center, assist in Motus receiver station installations by partner organizations
  • Lead regular banding efforts at the Jordan River Nature Center and other project locations, and provide outreach opportunities for members of the public
  • Assist in grant writing and fundraising to support Motus program
  • Assist in ongoing conservation projects as needed

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree or higher in conservation science, wildlife biology, ecology, environmental education, or related field
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to coordinate groups and engage with diverse audiences
  • Experience with mist netting and bird banding including extraction, set up and take down of nets, safe handling, ageing/sexing, and collecting morphological measurements
  • Ability to obtain Federal Banding Permit
  • Ability to identify birds of the region by sight and sound, and experience conducting field research
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Willingness to work irregular hours, including early mornings, evenings, and weekends
  • Outgoing personality; comfortable speaking with members of the public
  • Strong work ethic and ability to accomplish tasks independently

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree (MS or PhD) in conservation science, wildlife biology, ecology, environmental education, or related field
  • Experience with Motus or projects related to deploying small radio transmitters or tracking wildlife
  • Grant-writing experience
  • Data management and analysis experience
  • Experience producing research reports and writing manuscripts to be published in peer-reviewed science journals

Salary: $42,000-$47,000

Job Status: Salaried, Full Time 

Start Date: January 2023 (Flexible)

Reporting Relationship: Supervised and managed by the Director of Conservation

Disclaimer: This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by an employee within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of an employee assigned to this job.

To apply: Send a cover letter describing relevant experience and skills, a resume, and contact information for three references to Cooper Farr (). Applications will be reviewed as they are received.