Seabird Research Assistant – Bempton Cliffs
Reference: NOV20225318
Location: Bempton Cliffs
Salary: £21,622 – £23,987 Per Annum
Duration: 6 months
Benefits: Pension, Life Assurance, 26 days annual leave

About RSPB Bempton

RSPB Bempton Cliffs is at the heart of the Flamborough and Filey Coast Special Protection Area (SPA), the UK’s largest mainland seabird colony. The towering chalk cliffs support eight breeding seabird species and up to 400,000 birds at the height of the summer and includes important migratory species such as Kittiwake, Gannet, Guillemot and Razorbill. Each year, the RSPB undertakes a comprehensive programme of seabird monitoring along this spectacular stretch of the Yorkshire coast and this data reports on the health of the colony and informs the condition of the SPA and underpinning SSSIs.

What the role is about

Are you passionate about seabird conservation? We are looking for a Seabird Research Assistant to help deliver our annual programme of seabird monitoring, with a primary focus on productivity. You will play a key role in co-ordinating and delivering this work, as well as supporting, training and leading a team of monitoring volunteers and a full-time seasonal residential volunteer. You will be responsible for the line management of the residential volunteer which includes their training in the appropriate monitoring techniques.

Previous relevant fieldwork experience is essential, as is data analysis, report writing and ability and willingness to work with and lead volunteers as well as engaging with, and presenting to, the general public. Long hours outdoors in all weathers will be required. This is a 6-month post starting in April to prepare for the busy season ahead which includes ensuring adequate volunteer coverage and preparing the fieldwork kit and taking all of the monitoring plot photographs, and finishes at the end of September allowing for analysis of the data and the production of the annual monitoring report. The cliff tops here are often described as bracing, so if you enjoy windswept cliffs and stunning coastal scenery, this is definitely the place for you. Shared accommodation is provided within our residential volunteer premises (RSPB rental rates apply) which is situated in Bempton village, one mile from the reserve.

In addition to your core role, you will also assist the Reserve Warden with tasks such as supporting a Kittiwake Retrapping Adults for Survival project and the reserves Tree Sparrow Nest Record Scheme, as well as other management tasks where appropriate. There is also the opportunity to be involved with bird ringing as part of routine mist netting operations and assist in public ringing demonstrations. For the right candidate there is a lot to be involved in and makes for a fantastic summer filled with seabirds and more!

Essential criteria

  • Able to demonstrate previous experience of seabird monitoring and survey techniques
  • Ability to undertake demanding fieldwork in poor weather, long hours in the field, early starts and late finishes
  • Self-motivated; able to work safely under own initiative with limited supervision
  • Experience of managing, training and supporting volunteers
  • Accurate record keeping and legible data collection in the field, all to a high standard
  • Maintaining quality control throughout all stages of data collection and analysis, as well as ensuing your team adheres to these same standards
  • Able to identify British seabirds by sight and some knowledge of the taxonomic group
  • Experience of maintaining good working relationships with internal and external colleagues
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; examples of report writing and presenting to groups
  • Experience of planning and prioritising workloads with the ability to adapt to factors outside of your control such as weather conditions
  • Computer literate to include Microsoft Office, electronic record keeping and data management
  • Sound knowledge of health and safety relevant to the role and working environments
  • Team player; able to live and work alongside staff and volunteers and support each other as one team
  • Full drivers licence which is valid for use in the UK

Desirable criteria

  • Relevant degree
  • Familiar with the Seabird Monitoring Handbook and the relevant monitoring techniques
  • Comfortable being on small boats which carrying out surveys of cliff nesting seabirds
  • Some knowledge of seabird ecology and the conservation issues related to them
  • Own vehicle which can be used to travel between field sites
  • BTO c-permit ringing licence with/or seabird endorsement

Closing Date: 23:59, Fri, 27th Jan 2023


If you would like to find out more, please click the apply button. You will be directed to our website to complete your application for this position.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

No agencies please.