Over the past 45 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 ecological 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 devoted Board Members. You will play a critical role in research and on-the-ground conservation work. ICF offers a competitive salary, plus a nice benefits package. The position is located in Rockport, Texas.

Position Summary:

The Whooping Crane Biologist supports the mission of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) by conducting crane behavior, habitat use, habitat management, and wetland research. The Biologist will also work on analyzing data and publishing research. The incumbent will work with volunteers to help collect or enter data. The incumbent will work collaboratively with many partners on research/monitoring and advocating for land use policies and practices that jointly benefit people and wildlife, namely cranes. This work will advance our goals of achieving a resilient ecosystem and sustainable future for Whooping Cranes, other biodiversity, and all who depend on a healthy Texas coast environment today and in the future.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Expand the research and monitoring program in Texas

  • Design, develop, and conduct research on Whooping Crane behavior, movement, and habitat use.
  • Communicate the results of research to partners, landowners, donors through various outlets.
  • Coordinates with University, Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and US Geological Survey research staff on collaborative research, monitoring, and conservation actions to address priority Whooping Crane recovery needs in the wintering range.
  • Directs and participates in field monitoring of whooping cranes on the wintering range in Texas; trains volunteers to serve as citizen scientists and supervises their involvement in field research activities aligned with the Texas Program work plan; conducts data analyses and produces site portfolios, reports, and manuscripts for publication.
  • Studies the effects of freshwater inflows into salt marsh communities on Whooping Crane condition, behavior, habitat function, and resource availability.

Protect and manage coastal land to ensure a growing, sustainable population of Whooping Cranes

  • Assist partners and landowners with habitat management work such as prescribed fire implementation, well installation, brush management as needed.
  • Maintain regular contact with federal and state agency leads to set priorities for Whooping Crane habitat conservation.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

  • Work with the Wetland/Rangeland Ecologist to collect wetland, habitat, and vegetation data.
  • Work with the Grants Officer and Development staff to raise funds for the Gulf Coast Programs.
  • Help maintain our GIS Database on habitat work across the Coastal Bend of Texas
  • Assist in Education/Outreach as needed.
Core Competencies:
  • Exceptional communication skills—verbal, written and interpersonal.
  • Strong collaborator committed to working cooperatively across departments and programs, making valuable contributions to shared projects and assisting with outputs of others.
  • Strong communicator with excellent verbal and written communication skills, including demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with lay-audiences, professional peers, and organizational leadership.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office 365 Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, and Power Point) and Adobe Acrobat; good understanding of ArcPro GIS project development and reporting organization. Experience with statistical software programs (R, STATA, SAS, SPSS, Python) is appreciated but not necessary.
  • Experience writing successful grants to fund species and conservation projects.
  • Experience with prescribed fire is a plus.
Qualifications Required:
  • A Bachelor’s Degree (Master’s Degree preferred) in Conservation Biology, Wildlife Science, Ornithology, or related field with at least 1 year (3 plus years preferred) in the Natural Resources profession (avian experience preferred).
  • Experience conducting research and supporting study design and publication efforts.
  • Strong knowledge of Whooping Crane, waterbird, or avian ecology and behavior.
  • Experience conducting behavioral, physiological, or habitat research related to avian species.
  • Understanding of major legal/policy frameworks affecting Whooping Crane, Sandhill Crane, and waterbird conservation efforts (ESA, MBTA, etc.).
  • Valid state driver’s license and acceptable driving record.
Physical Abilities and Work Environment:

The physical abilities and work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this position. Reasonable accommodations may be available to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to handle all-terrain vehicles over rough terrain in remote locations.
  • Ability to drive a motorized boat and safely navigate the Texas coastal bays and estuaries.
  • Ability to use hands and fingers to type.
  • Ability to communicate with fellow staff donors and stakeholders. Communication will include both one to one communication and small and large group communication.
  • Ability to travel throughout the Texas coast, and occasionally out of state, including to International Crane Foundation headquarters in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
  • Ability to reach, balance, crouch and kneel.
  • Ability to sit, stand for reasonable periods of time.
  • Ability to work in remote field locations.
  • Ability to occasionally lift 50 pounds.
  • Ability to work in the field (with abundant mosquitos, venomous snakes, and in hot humid conditions).

To apply send resume and cover letter to ICFjobs@savingcranes.org. Please put Whooping Crane Biologist – Texas 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.