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Title

Associate Conservation Scientist for the Bison Program

Posted
Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Location
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Company Name Wildlife Conservation Society
Contact Name Recruitment - Global
Telephone 718-220-5886
Website Further Details / Applications
Wildlife Conservation Society logo
Directory Entry : The Wildlife Conservation Society, founded in 1895, has the clear mission to save wildlife and wild places across the globe.
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Description


The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) works around the world to save wildlife and wild places. As a science-based conservation NGO, WCS’s mission is to save wildlife and wild places through worldwide science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature. WCS was established as the New York Zoological Society in 1895 and has a long history of conservation in North America. The WCS North America Program is one of five regional programs that comprise the WCS Global Conservation Program, with conservation activities in 64 counties.

The WCS America’s Program, spanning North and South America, works to conserve a strategic set of wildlife and wild places and to address the crosscutting conservation challenges of biodiversity conservation, ecological connectivity, natural resource extraction and climate change. With long term conservation programs and field sites across the United States and Canada, our work in the Americas employs over 30 research and conservation staff and has an annual budget of $22 million.

WCS identified bison as a Recovery Species in 2010. Bison are considered a Recovery Species because they are biologically important, have a broad geographic range, and are important to humans, and because WCS is very well-positioned to take a leadership role in securing the species’ future. To do so, WCS has been engaging our expertise in Zoological Institutions, North America Program (NAP), and Species Program toward the recovery of bison on priority landscapes. WCS also serves as the parent organization for the American Bison Society and Keith Aune, Director of the WCS Bison Program, serves as the Chair of the IUCN North American Bison Species Specialist Group.

Since 2009, WCS has worked closely with NPS for bison conservation, and recently signed a Task Agreement to continue this long-standing collaboration. This position will work alongside the Bison Program Director and bison conservation scientist to perform specific tasks outlined in that agreement.

The outcomes of this work under the WCS-NPS Task Agreement will directly contribute to a durable management strategy with specific monitoring protocols for the future science-based management for the National Park Service. This new approach and robust management model launched on the 100 year anniversary of NPS (2016) will serve as inspiration for other bison managers helping to assure the future of bison conservation in North America.

Position Objectives and Tasks

This associate conservation scientist will develop a federal bison database for 19 DOI bison herds in the U.S., support WCS/NPS bison outreach and communications effort, and prepare maps illustrating the current distribution of conservation bison in North America. The associate conservation scientist will help the Director of the Bison program and Bison Conservation Scientist produce technical reports and peer reviewed publications. This position will work under the direction of the WCS Bison Program Director and be located in the Bozeman, MT office. The fundamental purpose of this position is to ensure that WCS provides deliverables defined in a cooperative agreement with NPS signed by the parties in August, 2016. The term of this position is about one year starting from the time of hire until December 31, 2017 (end of Federal fiscal year). This is the second year of a multi-year cooperative agreement with NPS and may be renewed through additional federal funding.

This position will perform the following tasks.
•    Work with Federal bison biologist to develop a standardized bison data base and begin populating this new database with the latest information from 19 federal bison herds. The objective of this task is to develop a database that can be utilized by all DOI bison parks and refuges for efficient, accurate, and standardize data collection during bison capture operations. The data file structure will meet federal data standards and enable coordinated access by all federal bison managers or biologists at DOI bison units.
o    The Associate Conservation Scientist will be responsible for developing and maintaining effective relationships and regular communication amongst participating NPS and USFWS bison scientists and other collaborators while developing the standardized data structure and coordinating data input and management.
•    The Associate Conservation Scientist will analyze existing bison data from Wind Cave (WICA), Badlands (BADL) and Theodore Roosevelt (THRO) NP’s to determine park specific survival rates and capture probabilities for males and females by age classes. Specific age classes will be determined by available data from each park in consultation with the Midwest Region of NPS.
o    WICA, BADL, and THRO have been conducting bison captures for numerous years and recording capture information within a database structure. Using PROGRAM MARK (or similar approach), park specific survival and capture probabilities could be generated. This information would be beneficial for park management for determining population growth rates and bison availability for population conservation and management operations.
•    The Associated Conservation Scientist will produce updated distribution maps of existing conservation bison herds identified in the recent IUCN assessment and produce individual and collective herd maps. The Associated Conservation Scientist will provide this essential spatial data for the ongoing DOI Population Viability Analysis being conducted by the bison team. These maps will be used to calculate the current occupied range and conduct other relevant spatial analyses to determine the conservation status of bison in North America. This task is partially completed at this time.
•    The Associate Conservation Scientist will work with the WCS bison program and DOI collaborators to develop and implement a coordinated public outreach plan and communication strategy to inform internal and external audiences about bison conservation efforts. Cooperative education and outreach efforts will provide a great opportunity to profile U.S. Department of Interior bison conservation projects in North America. Specific communications efforts will include:
o    Building content and science material as requested for ongoing cooperative efforts between DOI and WCS.
o    Enhancing the existing WCS Bison Story Map that allows internet users to explore the history and status of bison conservation across North America.
o    updating the WCS website with new bison content
o    updating the American Bison Society Fact Sheet  APPLY HERE

 

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