Job Title:   Research Coordinator/ California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover Field Research Program - San Diego Zoo Institute For Conservation Research
San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
With Benefits


                                           THIS EMPLOYER
                                   PARTICIPATES IN E-VERIFY

Deadline to apply: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Applications must be submitted online by 9:30pm Pacific Standard Time

(2 Exempt Position #903504)  Salary Commensurate With Experience         With benefits.

** San Diego Zoo Global is a smoke-free workplace**

Job Requirements:

                                   "Put Your Passion For Wildlife to Work"


The Research Coordinator is responsible for supervising the team of research technicians and assistants who monitor the resident and breeding populations of Western Snowy Plover and California Least Tern at coastal sites in San Diego County.  Study sites include Naval Base Coronado and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
The Research Coordinator will be required to communicate directly with the Program Manager on a daily basis in order to assist with all day-to-day project operations.  Responsibilities include: the management of the field teams’ daily activities and associated resources; training and supervision of field staff; design and implementation of research and monitoring protocols; record-keeping, data management and analysis; preparation of reports, memos and policy statements; participation in working groups and other conservation partnership activities; and all related administrative tasks, as needed. 

The Research Coordinator will be responsible for tern and plover nest and productivity monitoring, behavioral observations, disturbance and predation assessment and documentation, survey and crew scheduling, and reporting any issues or needs immediately to the Program Manager. 

Duties include, but may not be limited to, data collection, photo documentation of project work, maintaining fencing and signage on site following contractual requirements, use of and maintenance of hand-held GPS units and 4x4 vehicles, data entry and word processing, and daily verbal communication with predator control personnel. 

The Research Coordinator will also be responsible for managing and training survey crews in the field as well as ensuring that all project protocols are followed throughout the season.  He/she will ensure that all required data sheets and equipment are prepared and that all data is complete on a daily basis.  The Research Coordinatorwill also assist in the implementation of all research and guidelines set by the Program Manager. 
Qualifications include Bachelor's degree in biological sciences or related field, or equivalent specialized training; experience with shorebird research and monitoring; registered banding permittee or sub-permittee; proven leadership abilities; excellent coordination and communication skills; record-keeping skills; ability to use and maintain research equipment; ability to use word processing, database, spreadsheet, and graphics systems; ability to collect biological samples; and ability to prepare and make presentations.  Applicants must have a strong background in field research working with shorebirds, particularly least terns and snowy plovers, have banding experience for both or similar species, and be proficient at identifying local avian species and predators by sight or sign.  Successful applicants will be self-motivated, organized, in good physical condition, enjoy walking many miles per day in soft sand, and will possess strong leadership, communication, time management, and problem-solving skills.  
Scheduled hours will be approximately a minimum of 40hours/wk. 

All newly hired animal care staff and educators with responsibility for regularly caring for collection animals are REQUIRED to complete and pass (4) on-line prerequisite classes  prior to reporting to their department.   Human Resources will schedule this training as part of the on-boarding program.  For current employees transferring into an animal care department, these classes MUST be completed  and passed prior to the transfer.
Pre-requisite courses include:

  • Zoonotic Disease Prevention and Bio-Security      
  • Working Safely With Dangerous Animals
  • Government Regulations and Compliance (USDA/OSHA)
  • The Fundamentals of Animal Learning
 **Passing grade for classes is 90%

This position offers an excellent benefits package including medical, dental, prescription drugs, vision, life insurance, annual leave, sick leave, retirement, as well as other optional insurance.  Start date for this position is February 10, 2014 (negotiable).
One of the essential functions of this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle.  If you are offered employment in this position, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice Program.  Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report from you.  In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving record.  You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative .  (Post 11/25/2013) (Extended Closing date to 12/12/2013) (Extended Closing to 12/15/2013)


The Research Coordinator performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that reflects San Diego Zoo Global’s mission and vision of connecting people to wildlife and conservation and pursues green/conservation practices when feasible. The Research Coordinator conducts assigned research activities and oversees research operations in a specialized area of biological science.  This position reports to the Senior Research Coordinator.
  • Oversees research collections of animals, plants, or biological samples
  • May provide lead guidance to assigned staff
  • Assists in the development of research plans
  • Reviews applicable literature
  • Develops, updates, and conducts research procedures
  • Oversees assigned laboratory, field, diagnostic, or research collection operations andfacilities
  • Develops, updates, and implements related procedures
  • Selects, processes, and maintains filing systems
  • Oversees maintenance and organization of research equipment
  •  Maintains records, inventories supplies, and prepares necessary purchase requisitions
  • Documents, summarizes, and analyzes data
  • Oversees, trains, and instructs volunteers, students, and others in facility operations, animal care, and research procedures
  • Maintains a variety of contacts in order to respond to inquiries and requests
  • Effectively coordinate activities
  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards


  • Carries out laboratory, diagnostic, or field research projects
  • Documents and interprets research results and revises procedures as necessary to achieve desired results
  • May assist in the preparation of grant applications and the administering of grants
  • May prepare technical reports and papers for publication
  • Make presentations to professional groups
  • May assist in developing, administering, and monitoring budgets
  • May consult/correspond with outside research collaborators
  • May serve on committees
  • May serve as a media contact for related research activities

Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.
Examples of representative qualifications include a Bachelor's degree in biology, zoology, botany, or a related field or equivalent specialized training; considerable laboratory, diagnostic, animal care, or field experience; some assignments require certification and/or licensure; may require valid California driver license.
Knowledge of:
  • Assigned research operations
  • Recordkeeping
Ability to:
  • Communicate effectively (written and oral)
  • Use and maintain research equipment
  • Prepare materials for publication
  • Assist in the preparation and administration of grants is desirable
  • Use word processing, spreadsheet, database, graphics, and desktop publishing systems
  • Work effectively with others
  • Competently perform the representative duties outlined above
  • Perform each essential job function at a high level


Possible exposure to radiation, zoonotic diseases, potentially hazardous chemicals, and biohazardous materials; may work outdoors with wild animals in varying weather conditions; some assignments are located in the field.


May be required to move moderately heavy objects approximately 25-35 pounds; involves working with sharp instruments; may require travel.
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