Director of Conservation Research

Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Inc.

Job Description

GCBO, founded in September 1997 is a growing and internationally renowned avian conservation organization. GCBO is dedicated to the study and conservation of birds and their habitat in and around the Gulf of Mexico, and in Latin America. Our goal is to conserve migratory (and resident) bird species and their habitats through cooperative partnerships, scientific training and research projects that span the entire range of migratory birds and their habitats.


GCBO’s Conservation Research Director is GCBO’s top avian research position, and must be a dynamic, people-oriented, scientifically-trained team player who will fulfill a key role in GCBO’s conservation program. 


Working with the Executive Director and current scientific staff the Conservation Research Director coordinates all of GCBO’s conservation research programs and projects, including (but not limited to) American Oystercatcher Stewardship, Beach Nesting Birds, Non-breeding Shorebirds, Motus Tower Network, Loggerhead Shrike Research, Black Skimmer Conservation, and the Smith Point Hawk Watch. And the Conservation Research Director supports other projects, subject to funding availability and GCBO priorities including formulating a set of future research projects with a focus on matching the needs of the birds with the funding desires of key donor organizations.


This position conducts standardized avian monitoring, manages field staff and their projects, carries out research on bird populations, compiles and manages data, maintains and repairs field equipment including Motus towers, bay boat, trucks, ATV’s etc, captures and bands birds, writes popular articles and scientific reports, provides technical guidance to volunteers and field staff, supports GCBO outreach events, identifies regional bird conservation priorities, coordinates research partnerships with other organizations, develops grant proposals and other funding mechanisms, manages grants including tracking of expenses and match, reports to grant funders, and works with our grant writer to determine funding priorities and secure the future of our avian research programs. 



  • A Master’s degree in wildlife biology, environmental science, or a related natural history discipline is required, and a PHD is strongly preferred. 
  • Proven project management skills to include use of effective planning and execution tools
  • 5-10 years experience with terrestrial avian field monitoring.
  • 5-10 years experience monitoring waterbirds and shorebirds. Previous experience monitoring nesting shorebirds and banding shorebirds is preferred.
  • Experience trapping, handling, and banding birds
  • Must hold a master banding permit or the ability to acquire one with minimal training.
  • Experience managing biological field staff and volunteers.
  • Experience writing grant proposals and managing grants including budgeting and tracking expenses and match.
  • Strong commitment to conservation through science.
  • Demonstrated strong interpersonal and leadership skills; ability to work easily and effectively with a wide range of people from different backgrounds and at different levels of understanding and expertise.
  • Proven public speaker and presenter of programs and research results. 
  • Successful publication history highly recommended.
  • Ability to communicate clearly on the phone, electronically, and in person.
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Proven PC computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet, PowerPoint, database and statistical packages.
  • Must effectively use Google Earth and photo and video editing software
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment while still delivering on project goals.
  • Ability to meet deadlines under pressure.
  • Excellent attention to detail, accuracy and quality.
  • Ability to coordinate with co-workers, funders, and agency personnel to build and keep good partnerships.
  • Ability to exercise initiative and work both independently as well as a team member.
  • Ability to safely work outside in hot, sunny, windy, cold, or wet conditions with biting insects and venomous snakes.
  • A self-starter with a can-do attitude is a must.
  • A good sense of humor!
  • Willingness to travel with company or personal vehicle (mileage reimbursed).
  • A valid driver’s license and background check is required.
  • Boat operations, trailering and handling skills. USFWS boat training preferred.
  • A proficient and passionate birder with experience of all Texas bird species is much preferred.
  • Bilingual with Spanish skills is preferred, but not required.
  • Must possess or be able/willing to obtain a Texas Drivers License.





SUPERVISOR:                          Executive Director, GCBO


LOCATION:                             GCBO Headquarters – 299 Hwy 332 West, Lake Jackson, TX 77566


SALARLY RANGE:                   $4,166 – $4,583 per month (Salaried Employee)


SALARY TYPE:                        Full time, permanent salaried employee


HOURS Of WORK:                  Monday-Friday 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM (40 hours)

However, hours often are much earlier for field work, and can/will include much longer days, and weekends. 


APPLICATION DEADLINE:       February 15, 2023


POSITION START DATE:          May 15, 2023


BENEFITS:                               Health insurance is offered (75% by GCBO - 25% by employee)

                                               Paid vacation

                                               Paid sick leave




Send resume, cover letter, and 3 references to:


Martin Hagne, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, 299 Hwy 332 West, Lake Jackson, TX 77566

or via email to [email protected]


Posted 1 year ago
Lake Jackson, Texas
Education Requirement
Master's Degree
Experience Requirement
10-15 years