Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).
Within Audubon Nebraska, there are two centers. The first is the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center (SCP) which focuses on grassland bird conservation by restoring and maintaining the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. The second is the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary (Rowe) which focuses on conservation of the Platte River ecosystem and the birds that rely on it. Sustainable conservation is dependent on an environmentally literate and engaged community at each Center, so the Audubon Nebraska education team is expanding local education and engagement opportunities in the communities surrounding each Center with emphasis on the cities of Lincoln, Denton, Crete, Kearney, and Gibbon.
Education programming spans from elementary to adult age groups and strives to engage new and underserved audiences. Audubon Nebraska seeks to hire a Conservation Education Young Leader that will work primarily at SCP but will also spend time working at Rowe. This is a full time opportunity that will span 1 year. The Conservation Education Young Leader will assist in education and outreach programming as well as volunteer coordination and community science projects. This individual will also be responsible for building community connections and partnerships to increase the use of native plants through Audubon’s Native Plant PRO program that includes community proclamations, community resolutions and ordinances that favor native plant use.
By the end of the twelve months, the Conservation Education Young Leader will have introduced many new people to prairie and riverine ecosystems, local trails, and education centers; and provided steps they can take to improve habitat. This individual will also receive training in ecosystem restoration techniques such as invasive species removal, prescribed burns, and grazing. Hands on experience is a cornerstone of this opportunity and this individual will also spend one week at an Audubon Center in another state to expand their experiences and network.
Audubon Nebraska is dedicated to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color and women.
The Conservation Education Young Leader will participate in and lead education and outreach programming as well as volunteer coordination and community science projects at both Audubon Centers.
- Help implement education & outreach plans.
- Work closely with education & outreach leads, state and Center staff, and volunteers.
- Assist with creating and facilitating public programs, as well as off-site outreach programming, focused around Audubon’s strategic priorities and initiatives: Bird-friendly Communities; Water; Climate; Working Lands; Plants for Birds; Community Science; and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
- Meet with community officials regarding native plant use within local communities.
- Identify opportunities for additional native plant use in local cities and towns.
- Work with volunteers to increase awareness of native plant benefits for birds locally.
- Meet with local plant nurseries to increase available native plants for landscaping.
- Assist with creating and facilitating school field trip education programs.
- Assist with leading summer camp programming and activities for overnight and day camps.
- Assist with updating and enhancing education curriculum guides, focusing on summer programs and pre-K programs.
- Work with all staff and volunteers to participate in community science projects like monarch monitoring, Climate Watch, bird surveys, etc.
- Assist with visitor center operations ranging from welcoming visitors and general maintenance to the creation of program signage and outreach materials.
- Assist with creating and facilitating public outreach activities about the Prairie Corridor on the Haines Branch project and the Kearney Outdoor Learning Area project.
- Assist with volunteer coordination including volunteer data management, volunteer recruitment, and retention and training events.
- Receive on-the-job and/or formal training opportunities in environmental education; curriculum development; outdoor safety; equity, diversity, & inclusion practices; wildlife management, etc.
- Project leadership opportunities available for individuals with advanced experience in using social media platforms; software design; and iNaturalist, eBird, and other community sciences applications.
- Opportunity to develop and complete an independent project or public program focused on Audubon priorities.
Qualifications and Experience
- Degree preferred. Experience or training in science, environmental education or natural sciences will be considered in lieu of education.
- High school diploma and 1-2 years of training or education in a science-related field, environmental education, natural sciences, or related field.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills; superior interpersonal skills with a demonstrated commitment to cultural diversity also necessary.
- Must be people-oriented, have a team-focused attitude, and the ability to professionally represent Audubon Nebraska and the network to the public.
- A positive attitude and a good sense of humor, as well as comfort working independently as a leader and part of a team, when needed.
- Must be self-motivated and willing to work in a flexible, non-structured environment.
- Some/Occassional evening and weekend hours required.
- Must have access to a reliable vehicle and current valid driver’s license with ability to provide for own transportation to Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, Nebraska, when necessary. Ability to work for extended multiple days at Rowe Sanctuary. Travel between centers will be compensated.
- Ability to follow instructions from colleagues with a willingness to work alone or with volunteers, with little supervision, and at irregular hours.
- Ability to perform physical work, sometimes under adverse conditions or in inclement weather.
- Fluency in Spanish not required, but strongly preferred.
- Enthusiasm for living and working in a rural environment strongly preferred.