Audubon Dakota

Range Ecologist

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Posted On: Sunday, 29th October 2017
Category: Skilled Labor
Location: Fargo, ND
118 Broadway N. Ste. 716 Fargo, ND 58102
Job Type:
Full Time

Job Description:


Position Summary

The conservation ranching program range ecologist will work closely with local ranchers to facilitate the development of “bird- friendly” grazing regimes which comply with the program protocols to benefit both birds and the ranching operation. The range ecologist will be responsible for developing the habitat management plan, an integral conservation tool which will be referenced by both the ecologist and the rancher to determine management goals and confirm protocol compliance annually. Habitat management plans rely on the designation of target grassland bird species for each ranch, therefore, the range ecologist needs to be familiar with grassland and waterfowl bird ranges and their habitat associations. Through monitoring grassland use and identifying goals, the range ecologist ensures that ranchers are compliant with the conservation ranching program and are enhancing their grasslands for the benefit of grassland birds. Additionally, the range ecologist will be responsible for identifying, developing, and implementing research needs at Audubon Dakota Wildlife Ranches and partner land. This may include vegetative, avian, and mammal surveys related to climate change, energy development, land development, etc. The range ecologist will work under the direction of Audubon Dakota’s Conservation Programs Manager in the Dakotas to meet program goals and benchmarks.



Serve as an on-the-ground grassland bird conservation specialist for Audubon’s Conservation Ranching program to enhance grassland wetland habitat for a target region’s priority bird species. This will include:

Landowner Liaison

  • Provide technical assistance to enrolling landowners
  • Establish and maintain working relationships with ranchers and landowners participating in the Conservation Ranching program.
  • Communicate program goals and work with rancher/landowner to develop site specific farm habitat conservation plans for each assigned ranch.
  • Initiate relationships to recruit new program participants.
  • Assist with supply-chain coordination to benefit program enrollment 

Monitoring Coordination

  • Implement essential bird/grassland monitoring practices and/or coordinate monitoring with responsible contractors.
  • Maintain an effective working relationship with partners and Audubon state office staff.

Habitat Management/Research

  • Using ecoregion specific bird-friendly grazing standards, assist program ranchers with implementing an adaptive grazing plan that meets Audubon’s Conservation Ranching requirements, and provide essential habitat needs for one or more target bird species.
  • Identifying research needs regarding avian, vegetation, and mammalian changes, and having the ability to develop and implement research techniques to address projects related to energy production, climate change, and surrounding land development.


Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in range management, ecology, natural resources in management or related field, preferred
  • 1+ years’ experience with similar work within the target area
  • Experience working with local agencies and organizations to help ranchers secure cost-share and incentive program funding to implement improved rangeland management practices
  • Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills and be able to work effectively with producers and a variety of partners
  • Must possess an advanced ArcGIS, GPS, or other GIS technology aptitude
  • Experience with grassland plant identification and management
  • Experience with avian identification and management
  • Familiarity with common grazing systems in the northern Great Plains
  • Must be comfortable with extensive travel with multiple overnight trips per month within the target area.


Please apply via the link below

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