Outreach Biologist Assistant – Indiana

Over the past 50 years, The International Crane Foundation (ICF) has grown from the dream of two college students to a world-renowned conservation effort to save the world’s cranes and the flyways and habitats they frequent. The successful candidate will be a conservation minded individual who will bring their outreach experience to the mission of ICF. If you are not currently a crane enthusiast, do not worry, you will become one fast, in this mission-based organization.

What is it like to work at ICF? Prepare to be surrounded by people who are passionate about our mission, dedicated to the organization, and engaged with their fellow staff and associates. You will find dedication in all levels of the organization from staff and volunteers to our dedicated Board Members. You will play a critical role in promoting and expanding our mission in Indiana. The International Crane Foundation (ICF) is looking for a community-oriented team member in Indiana to contribute to research and lead outreach conservation efforts for the Sandhill Crane and endangered Whooping Crane. This is an employment opportunity lasting one year with possible extension for another year given available funding and exemplary performance. The salary is $17.00 an hour with a basic benefits package.

Position Summary:

The Outreach Biologist Assistant supports the mission of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) by leading outreach programs, forming community-based partnerships, coordinating volunteers, conducting conservation research and monitoring, and reporting on this research in order to preserve and grow Whooping Crane and Sandhill Crane populations.

The incumbent will be supported by the Lead Outreach Biologist and will be in communication and will coordinate projects with the Whooping Crane Project Manager. The Outreach Biologist Assistant will lead community outreach efforts including engaging with hunters, naturalists, K- 12 audiences, and more across western Indiana. They will also lead data collection for a research project investigating the impact of solar energy development on cranes in northwestern Indiana and they will contribute to research and monitoring efforts on the wintering grounds of the reintroduced population of Whooping Cranes, including working with partners, landowners, and volunteers. Field data collection will include using radio telemetry and band-resighting to monitor individual cranes, recording behavioral observations, conducting point-count surveys, and more.

Position Duration: August 2024-August 2025, with possible extension for another year pending funding and performance.

*August 2024 is spent working at the International Crane Foundation headquarters in Baraboo, WI where they will begin onboarding and training. During this time, the outreach assistant will receive free housing. In September, the outreach biologist assistant will move to Indiana for the duration of their position.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The primary duties of the Outreach Biologist Assistant will be to conduct the Whooping Crane awareness program in Indiana areas and contribute to research projects on the wintering grounds of the Eastern Migratory Population of Whooping Cranes and Greater Sandhill Cranes.

  • Provide virtual and in-person outreach programming to K-12 classrooms, civic organizations, hunting groups, gun clubs, birding groups, zoos, and other key organizations near Whooping Crane use areas or in large cities.
  • Form and maintain partnerships with hunters, landowners, volunteers, partners, and other citizens who monitor or keep watch over the Whooping Cranes in their areas.
  • Assist ICF staff with outreach efforts to raise awareness about Whooping Cranes in Indiana, including media interviews, leading naturalist programs, contributing written articles or social media posts, and coordinating the distribution of marketing materials.
  • Lead field data collection efforts for cranes and solar energy research project in northwestern Indiana. Travel to survey sites and collect crane habitat use and displacement data.
  • Use radio telemetry and band re-sighting to conduct Whooping Crane surveys at wintering grounds and contribute to long-term monitoring of the population. Collect crane behavior and habitat use information via visual and behavioral video observations.
  • Work with community partners and volunteers to collect field data for wintering crane research projects and provide training to these groups to help ICF at outreach events.
  • Assist the Whooping Crane Project Manager and partners with preparing for and conducting Whooping Crane captures for transmitter replacement.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work cooperatively with individuals across departments, making valuable contributions to shared projects and assisting with the outputs of others. Commit to the free sharing of information and technical expertise as needed. Communicate clearly and effectively within a team.
  • Work within the department to coordinate equipment distribution and inventory for field data collection. Assist with writing reports and scientific research papers, in accordance with the department’s overall research objectives.
  • Enter data into a shared database in a timely fashion after conducting surveys, completing outreach programs, or collecting other data in the field.
  • Perform other tasks as assigned. Core Competencies:
  • Oral communication: Excellent oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate conservation messages to a wide range of audiences, from individuals to lecture halls.
  • Teamwork and Collaboration: Work cooperatively with individuals across departments, making valuable contributions to shared projects and assisting with outputs of others.
  • Written Communication: Excellent written communication skills, including the ability to effectively proofread and edit reports and correspondence in a clear, concise, logical, and effective manner while utilizing proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence structure.
  • Detail-oriented: Carefully monitors the details and quality of own and others’ work, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness of l projects and products. Setting goals and reaching them.
  • Organization and Time Management: Manage multiple concurrent and competing priorities in a fast-paced workplace, using appropriate manual and electronic resources to ensure timely completion.
  • Customer Service: Very strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with key stakeholders, landowners, volunteers, and partners showing respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity.
  • Project Management: Demonstrated experience independently leading projects, providing metrics of milestones and meeting deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently on project planning and coordinating with external partners.

Qualifications Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology or another relevant field.
  • Valid state driver’s license and acceptable driving record.
  • Experience with public speaking, diverse partnerships, and volunteer management.
  • Experience with field data collection, point count surveys, and band resighting.
  • Access to a vehicle for travel. Your mileage costs will be reimbursed.
  • Tolerance is needed for working in difficult conditions and potentially long field days often spent in vehicles.
  • Work as a constructive member of a team, and commitment to the free sharing of information and technical expert as needed.
  • Experience delivering programs via online platforms.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Background relating to wildlife conservation, education, or biology preferred
  • Proficiency with basic Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and PowerPoint
  • Experience working with volunteers to achieve desired results; delegate work; train and encourage skill development; access and provide feedback on individual performance.
  • Exceptional customer service, proficient public speaking skills and the ability to teach diverse audiences in a non-formal setting.
  • Experience conducting field work including radio telemetry, behavioral observation, and trail camera deployment.
  • Demonstrate a strong interest/background in the fields of interpretation, environmental education, conservation biology, ornithology, education, graphic design, film/documentary production, or other related fields.

Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

  • Ability to operate computers and phones.
  • Ability to communicate with fellow staff and the general public. Communication will include both one-to-one communication, small, and large group communication.
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for five to seven hours a day.
  • Occasionally required to lift and move items up to 20 pounds.
  • Ability to work outdoors in difficult conditions for long periods of time.
  • Ability to travel to Wisconsin and regional program sites in Indiana.
  • Ability to use optics to read bands and gather behavioral information.
  • Ability to work outside in all types of weather.
  • Ability to work in the field including wetlands.

To apply send resume and cover letter as a single document, that includes your available start date to ICFjobs@savingcranes.org Please put Outreach Biologist– Indiana in the subject line.

“ICF is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion. We hire great people regardless of background.”

ICF is an equal opportunity employer.