National Audubon Society, Inc

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Restoration Crew Chief

at National Audubon Society, Inc

Posted: 2/21/2019
Job Reference #: 3952

Job Description

  • Job Locations
    Seasonal, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action. By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive. And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level. What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country. The Audubon Great Lakes program is dedicated to building a culturally diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color and women. Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

    Position Summary

    The Restoration Crew Chief will play a critical role in the management and restoration in Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC) and Chicago Park District (CPD) Natural Areas. Under the direction of Audubon's Stewardship Program Associate, the Restoration Crew Chief will lead Restoration Interns in restoring ecological health and integrity of prairie, savanna, woodland, wetland and hemimarsh habitats by removing invasive species at various preserves and natural areas in Cook County. This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience in crew management and land stewardship responsibilities, as well as develop leadership and organizational skills. The Restoration Crew Chief will be expected to work effectively with the Assistant Restoration Crew Chief to balance crew management in the field and administrative duties.

    The commitment is a full-time, 40 hours per week, seasonal paid position that runs from May through October. The 40-hour work week requires commitment to a Monday through Friday schedule with most workdays scheduled 7am-3pm. The Restoration Crew Chief must also be extremely flexible with scheduling as field work is subject to change daily to hourly due to weather, work adjustments and crew needs. They are also expected to be prepared to work occasional weekends throughout the season. The Restoration Crew Chief will report to the Stewardship Program Associate and should commit to the full length of the program. The program is physically rigorous and challenging, but offers an interesting and educational experiences to an energetic and motivated individual. The intern position is offered by under Audubon’s Wings Internship program in partnership with the FPCC and CPD.

    This program offers:

    • Paid position with competitive compensation.
    • Reimbursement of mileage to and from work sites.
    • Uniforms, work vests and personal protective equipment (PPE) provided by Audubon.
    • Certifications, licenses, conference and field seminar experience.

    Essential Functions


    The Restoration Crew Chief will receive on-the-job training and develop skills in a variety of practices related to the management of natural habitats. Responsibilities include:

    • Communicate regularly with Audubon, Forest Preserves and other partner staff and crews regarding weekly scheduling, workdays, mapping of projects, requests for assistance or tools on site and any other necessary updates by phone and email.
    • Work collaboratively with Assistant Restoration Crew Chief to lead Restoration Interns in the implementation of ecological management and restoration of preserves and natural areas, while working with crews as a teammate.
    • Stewardship and land management responsibilities in ecological restoration.
    • Brush and weed management by using a wide variety of tools, including: backpack herbicide sprayers, brushcutters and hand tools.
    • Restoration techniques, including plant identification, planting native plugs, seed collection, processing and dispersal, and when applicable, controlled brushpile burns.
    • Ability to test for and obtain IL Herbicide Applicator License, and obtain certifications in Brushcutter, Brushpile Burns, Group Leadership, Managing Invasives, and other ecology-related field courses.
    • Develop leadership and team-building skills while receiving professional job-skill training.
    • Learn effective collaboration by leading and working alongside Audubon crews and staff, partner restoration staff, volunteers and other conservation partners in the region.
    • Attend educational trainings and events to gain exposure to other conservation organizations and professionals for the purpose of future job placement.
    • Professional and appropriate interaction with members of the public and volunteers carrying out work and visiting the preserves and natural areas.

    Qualifications and Experience


    • Must be 18 years or older.
    • Strong interest in conservation and/or working outdoors.
    • Ability to work Monday-Friday, 40 hours per week, May-October.
    • Willingness to work an extremely flexible schedule that can change daily to hourly, including some weekends, as applicable.
    • Must have access to a car or other means of transportation to get to and from meet sites, designated work sites and training locations.
    • Ability to work in inclement weather conditions, withstanding extreme temperatures, heavy mosquito presence and difficult terrain.
    • Ability to motivate and lead a small team to maintain high level of work and complete assigned work orders, as well as work collaboratively with Assistant Crew Chief and teammates.
    • Previous professional experience in ecological restoration, land management and/or stewardship preferred.
    • Recent graduate of an institution of higher learning preferred.
    • Previous leadership experience or experience leading and managing crews preferred.
    • Previous experience performing administrative tasks, including phone and email correspondence, data entry, record keeping and public speaking preferred.
    • Ability to perform repetitive tasks with attention to detail.
    • Ability to quickly study for and pass the Illinois Herbicide Applicator Exams.
    • Experience with, or ability to quickly learn, safe usage of basic maintenance tools including: hand tools, brushcutters and potentially, chainsaws.
    • Ability to lift, carry and move heavy objects up to 50-75 lbs.
    • Ability to follow instructions and use independent judgment in decisions, as needed.