Background: The International Crane Foundation is a leader in conserving the world’s 15 crane species and is dedicated to providing experience, knowledge and inspiration to involve people in resolving threats to cranes and the ecosystems vital to their long-term survival. The foundation’s world headquarters is located just outside Baraboo, Wisconsin, one hour north of Madison. The International Crane Foundation is open to the public every day from May 1 to October 31 and has the only collection of all 15 species of cranes.
Duration and Salary: March 1, 2023 – February 28, 2024; $1,500/month plus housing at our International Guest House.
Description: The North America Program at the International Crane Foundation is currently involved in research and outreach focused on Greater Sandhill Cranes and re-introduced Whooping Cranes in the upper Midwest. Fellows will assist in studying the foraging ecology, movements, habitat use and social behavior of these breeding and non-breeding cranes throughout central Wisconsin. Whooping Crane research will focus on nesting and colt survival, as well as the movements and behaviors of juveniles and adults, particularly associated with the release of captive-reared chicks into the wild. Sandhill Crane research will focus on the habitat use and behavior of these cranes within an agricultural landscape, chick survival and productivity for color-banded breeding pairs, and this population’s overall recruitment rate in central Wisconsin.
This position also involves engaging individuals and conservation partners willing to assist with the awareness and protection of cranes. The Fellow will form appropriate partnerships that include involving hunters, landowners and other citizens in monitoring and keeping “watch” over the Whooping Cranes in their areas. Fellows will develop an awareness of Sandhill and Whooping Cranes and the ecosystems they depend on and a commitment to safeguarding their future.
In addition, fellows will assist with various landscape restoration activities at our headquarters including prescribed burning and invasive species management. Opportunities may also be available for volunteering with the conservation education and aviculture staff at the International Crane Foundation. Fellowship positions provide an opportunity for professional growth through participation in applied conservation efforts.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Radio tracking of free-ranging Whooping Cranes mainly in the central/southeastern part of Wisconsin; however, travel into other states may also be necessary.
- Deploying and maintaining trail cameras to monitor potential predators of crane chicks and incubating cranes. Also processing photographic data with guidance.
- Support virtual and in-person outreach programming to a broad array of audiences.
- Further develop writing skills and contribute written articles to pertinent media sources.
- Developing and presenting an independent research project with the guidance of staff
- Support ecosystem restoration efforts and learn relevant techniques (including prescribed fire and invasive species control) on the foundation’s lands
- Gain experience in and contribute to crane research efforts. Including assisting with capturing adult and juvenile Whooping Cranes and Sandhill Cranes for banding and sampling of environmental contaminants. Observing color-banded cranes within a wild population to assess productivity, habitat use and breeding pair dynamics. Entering data into online platforms.
- Maintain partnerships with hunters, landowners and other citizens who monitor or keep watch over the cranes in their areas.
- 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.
- B.S. or B.A. in biology or a related field.
- Tolerance is needed for working in difficult conditions and long field days (before sunrise to after sunset), often spent in vehicles.
- Excellent oral communication skills, including communicating conservation messages to various audiences, from individuals to lecture halls, and across online platforms.
- 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.
- Attention to detail regarding the quality of their own and others’ work, ensuring the accuracy and effectiveness of large and small projects and products.
- Manage multiple concurrent and competing priorities in a fast-paced workplace, using appropriate manual and electronic resources to ensure timely completion.
- Very strong interpersonal skills and ability to build relationships with key stakeholders. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity for others; inspire trust; and work with integrity.
- Demonstrate ability to work independently, including experience independently leading projects, providing metrics of milestones and meeting deadlines.
- Individuals seeking graduate training are encouraged to apply.
- A valid driver’s license (USA or International) and an acceptable driving record are required.
- All applicants must be eligible to work in the United States when they apply.
Preferred experience and knowledge:
- Background relating to wildlife conservation, education or biology preferred.
- Previous fieldwork experience including radio telemetry, behavioral observation and trail camera deployment.
- Previous outreach experience.
- Proficiency with basic Microsoft Office programs, including Word, Excel, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and PowerPoint.
- Experience working with volunteers to achieve desired results; train and encourage skill development; access and provide feedback on individual performance.
- Exceptional public speaking skills and the ability to teach diverse audiences in a non-formal setting.
- Demonstrated a strong interest/background in the fields of interpretation, science communication, environmental education, conservation biology, ornithology, education, film/documentary production graphic design or other related fields.
- 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.
If selected, fellows must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or request religious or reasonable accommodation.
To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume and contact information for three references to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “Crane Conservation Fellowship” in the subject line.
The International Crane Foundation is committed to cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity and inclusion.
The International Crane Foundation is an equal-opportunity employer.