Position Description and Scope of Work
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) seeks a coordinator for two major initiatives in 2024 to support diversity and increase equity, inclusion, and belonging within ornithology. In collaboration with two universities and other ornithological societies, and supported by a National Science Foundation BIOLEAPS grant, the AOS will support the design and development of affinity groups to serve and support members of historically marginalized groups and initiate larger cultural changes within this scientific field. As a separate but related initiative, the AOS has also committed to changing the English common names of birds for species named directly after people, to create a more equitable foundation for people to engage in studying and enjoying birds. The AOS seeks a Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator to support the organization and development of these largely volunteer-led efforts. This is an opportunity to work closely with ornithologists, social scientists, experts in diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice (DEIBJ), communications specialists, and ornithological society members from historically excluded groups to lay groundwork for expanding equity in science. We strongly encourage applicants from a variety of backgrounds and identities to apply.
Responsibilities & Scope
- Support the creation of affinity groups within the ornithological community (45%)
- Coordinate and support two workshops (one virtual, one in-person) that foster meaningful engagement with historically excluded communities to consider the needs and goals of each prospective Flock group and identify group logistics and objectives;
- Conduct outreach and build partnerships with external groups that support ornithologists from historically excluded communities, building bridges between ornithological societies and external organizations, including grassroots groups and minority-serving societies and institutions;
- Contribute to the overall planning process of creation, support of, and recruitment into affinity groups.
- Support and coordinate a network of volunteers as they develop and implement a pilot project to rename birds that are named after people (45%)
- Support and organize a largely volunteer Committee that will oversee a new process to change English bird names. This will include providing feedback, perspectives, and guidance on group decisions; tracking actions and overseeing follow-up on actions; and administrative tasks including meeting scheduling and taking and distributing notes;
- Coordinate and participate in partner outreach to engage a diverse array of interested parties in the process of changing names;
- Coordinate with communications partners and contractors to develop messaging for public outreach.
- Support and coordinate additional elements of the English Bird Names pilot project, as needed.
- Serve as active and engaged member of the AOS staff and help coordinate integration of these major initiatives into other AOS programming, such as our Annual Meeting (5–10%)
- Experienced professional that uses diplomacy, empathy, patience, and tact to build and maintain positive relationships with a broad range of people, e.g. fellow employees, volunteers, other interested parties, etc.
- Experience, humility, and grace in discussing sensitive or controversial topics around minoritized groups, barriers to inclusion, and equity with diverse groups of individuals from varied backgrounds, disciplines, and organizations.
- Ability to maintain confidential information.
- Track record of working successfully with DEIBJ-related initiatives or other commitment to DEIBJ
- Strong written and oral communication skills.
- Strong listening and synthesis skills in order to effectively document and communicate different perspectives, follow up, and actions
- Excellent organizational skills, including experience coordinating and tracking projects and deliverables
- Experience working with a diversity of perspectives, individuals, and organizations
- Effective time-management: proactive, efficient, sets priorities and establishes deadlines, handles multiple assignments simultaneously; plans effectively for both short- and long-term projects; meets deadlines.
- Excellent team player, experience working with virtual colleagues and teams.
- Bachelor’s degree plus at least 3 years of professional experience or a Master’s degree with experience in project coordination and working with diverse groups of individuals.
- Some familiarity with associations and/or previous work with volunteers preferred.
- Familiarity with the ornithological or scientific community preferred.
- Prior familiarity/association with a minority-serving institution or society preferred.
- Experience leading projects to diversify STEM fields
Working Conditions, Location, & Status
- The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coordinator is a full-time, term position (1.5 years) with possibility of re-hire for an additional period after initial term, pending funding availability.
- The AOS is a fully virtual organization and we support remote work. Due to legal and registration requirements, we are unable to hire employees in California or New York.
- Periodic travel is required, including travel to participate in workshops, ~1 week onsite for Annual Meeting, 2–3 days for a staff retreat, and periodic travel to attend conferences with minority-serving groups.
- Occasional work during evenings and weekends
- Extensive computer use, including typing and Zoom
This position provides funding for travel to 2 conferences, 2 workshops, and 2 outreach events over a 1.5 year period.
The salary for this position is $60,000 per year. As this salary is linked to secured grant funding, it is non-negotiable. AOS also offers generous benefits including annual paid time off, matching contributions to an employee retirement fund, a home office stipend, and a health insurance stipend.
Submit an application, complete with resume and cover letter here. Please include three references with contact information with your application. We will not contact references without notifying you first. We will begin to review applications at the end of January and will continue to review applications until the position is filled. We anticipate a start date in March 2024.
About the American Ornithological Society
The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is the world’s largest international member-based society for professionals who study birds and individuals whose work intersects with bird science. The AOS supports science that advances the understanding and conservation of birds, promotes broad access to ornithological science, supports ornithologists throughout their career paths, and fosters a welcoming, diverse, supportive, and dynamic ornithological community. AOS annually hosts one of the largest international ornithological conferences, often in collaboration with other ornithological or scientific societies. AOS publishes two international scientific journals—Ornithology and Ornithological Applications. AOS also provides a rich array of grants for students and early-career professionals to support scientific research and participation in AOS’s meeting. For more information, see www.americanornithology.org. The AOS is an equal opportunity employer. We seek and welcome a diverse pool of candidates in this search.