Audubon Florida supports management of beach-nesting birds at many locations on the Gulf Coast and Northeast Atlantic Coast of Florida by surveying, posting, stewarding and protecting nesting areas from disturbance. To better monitor and protect the nesting shorebirds along beaches and other nest sites, Audubon is hiring a seasonal Beach Anchor Steward to work at beach-nesting bird sites within Pinellas County, Florida. Sites most likely requiring stewardship include Fort De Soto County Park and St. Petersburg Beach. Nesting species may include American Oystercatcher, Wilson’s Plover, Least Tern, and Black Skimmer. The primary responsibility of the Anchor Steward is to organize and train volunteers in order to help monitor nesting birds and to conduct public outreach around the shore/seabird nesting areas.
This is a part-time, 20 hour per week, seasonal position focused on weekend days and holidays, including Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, if nesting persists until the latter holiday. The position is expected to begin on March 11, 2019 and continue through the end of nesting season, to be determined in consultation with the supervisor. Nesting may persist into August or early September but can end early in the event of a catastrophic event or other total loss of nesting activity.
Under the direction of Audubon’s Project Manager for Bird Stewardship, the South Pinellas County Anchor Steward will be responsible for the following tasks:
- Monitor nesting birds and conduct minimum weekly counts of nests, chicks, and fledged young of each nesting species and enter/report data in the Florida Shorebird Database as directed by the supervisor;
- Assist site managers and Audubon staff with installing symbolic fencing around new nest areas as needed.
- Conduct public outreach at nesting beaches on weekends and holidays generally between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Hours may run longer or be changed as needed, and is anticipated on holiday weekends;
- Assist with recruiting volunteers;train and schedule volunteers to chaperon nesting birds and conduct public outreach at nesting beaches on weekends and holidays;
- Work closely with site managers and Audubon staff, external partners, and volunteers in a positive and professional manner at all times.
- Excellent verbal communication skills;
- Experience with record-keeping and summarizing data for grant-required reports;
- Ability to recruit, train, support and schedule volunteers;
- Works well independently and with other staff and volunteers;
- A positive and diplomatic attitude is a must;
- Demonstrated capability of physically active work- such as: walking on sandy beaches carrying field equipment (during Florida summer field conditions);
- Ability to lift 30 lbs;
- Must have a valid driver's license and a personal vehicle suited for transportation to complete assigned tasks;
- Must be willing to work weekends and holidays;
- Familiarity with Pinellas County beaches preferred;
- Previous experience with monitoring and stewardship for one shore/seabird nesting season strongly preferred, but similar experience will be considered;
- Interest in conservation and passion for the mission of the National Audubon Society a must.