Job Opportunities

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers many opportunities for students, professionals, and volunteers.

Job Openings at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's leading resource for conservation, research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where twelve world-class, mission-driven programs are directed by full-time faculty and other renowned professionals. Lab staff teach undergraduate courses, advise graduate students, collect and disseminate world-famous digital resources on biodiversity, and engage with partner organizations and citizens around the world to conduct scientific research and conservation actions. Our management and staff are committed to the highest standards of ethics and excellence in all areas of our work, and our Board leadership includes faculty from Cornell and other universities, successful entrepreneurs and managers from the business and non-profit sectors, and conservation-minded citizens from the United States and beyond.

To apply for the positions below, please refer to the Jobs at Cornell website unless otherwise specified. For more information on the positions listed below, please contact Sue Taggart; (607) 254-2470.

For more jobs in ornithology, see listings from the Ornithological Societies of North America.

Android App Developer

The Information Science Program designs, develops, and maintains applications and services for citizen-science and education projects. These projects engage the public to collect, archive, analyze and disseminate information about birds and their environments. Additionally, the program maintains the supporting web, application, database servers, and associated storage devices, which support a number of the Lab's web applications.

The Information Science Program at the Lab of Ornithology is seeking an Android App Developer. Duties include:

  • Develop and maintain Android applications and related services for the eBird and Merlin projects. eBird, a real-time, online bird checklist program, is the world's largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resource, collecting millions of bird observations from the general public. Merlin is a bird identification system using eBird data, along with photos and recordings, to help novices identify birds.
  • Upcoming projects include an 'in the field' data entry app for submitting bird observations to eBird, closely integrating native phone capabilities, including calendar, GPS, camera, and voice memos, and extending the Merlin Android app to add image-recognition functionality for identifying birds from a 'just taken' photo.
  • Work closely with a dynamic team of biologists, UI designers, application developers, database administrators, and computer scientists within a collaborative development environment.
  • Help guide overall Android development strategy and recommend best solutions for project requirements.
  • Utilize Android software development tools, team code repositories, and open source libraries and is expected to stay current with Android practices and processes (Java for Android, Android SDK, ADT, test distributions, Google Play submission, and analytics).
Annual term appointment with possible renewal based on performance and available funding. Applicants to provide cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 references. Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree with 3-5 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
  • A thorough understanding of object-oriented programming and web applications.
  • Proven experience in java programming and Android application development.
  • Experience using Android device features such as location, camera, and internet access.
  • Experience integrating with APIs and web services.
  • Demonstrable skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and written and verbal communication.
  • Proven experience in documenting and testing code.
  • Ability to learn technical material quickly.
  • Must be able to work independently and function effectively as part of a larger team.
  • Ability to establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule. Proven experience in providing support to multiple areas.
  • Must be able to use sound judgment in decision making and in accomplishing tasks that are urgent or of a sensitive or confidential nature, balance conflicting priorities, and make decisions from a range of choices.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • 5 years of experience in computer or information science preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience working on substantial computer software and collaborating with a team of programmers on software projects is desired.
  • Experience designing and implementing responsive Android UI interfaces that accommodate multiple screen sizes, and degrade gracefully.
  • Experience with CBTs such as Titanium and PhoneGap.
  • Experience implementing rich internet applications.
  • Experience with relational database table design, SQL programming and performance testing.
  • Prior use and understanding of the eBird system.
  • An interest in birds, nature, biology, science, and/or conservation helpful.

Bilingual Outreach Specialist

The Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a Bilingual Outreach Specialist. Duties include:

  • Serve as the Bilingual Outreach Specialist for Celebrate Urban Birds (CUBs) and BirdSleuth at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  • Develop, pilot test, and produce project materials in both hard copy and online formats.
  • Develop and implement workshops for group leaders, informal educators, youth and partner organizations, in both English and Spanish.
  • Support curriculum development and teacher professional development.
  • Initiate, cultivate and maintain collaborations with partner organizations in the United States and Latin America.
  • Represent Cornell Lab of Ornithology by working directly with partner organizations; this will entail travel to remote international locations.
  • Collaborate in planning mass media efforts and represent to the media the science, education and outreach objectives of the project.
  • Communicate with organization leaders and participants.
  • Report on project status, progress, and issues to the CUBs Project Leader and Manager of K-12 Programs.
  • Write for online and print newsletters, blogs, social media, as well as publications outside the Lab.
  • Collaborate with evaluation staff to develop appropriate evaluations for measuring project outcomes.
  • Identify program needs.
  • Initiate, coordinate, and develop presentations, and present at conferences and other public speaking engagements.
  • Translate, supervise translations, and edit Spanish text for print and web materials in a culturally sensitive manner.
  • Handle high volume of work, independently carry out project assignments, coordinate multiple tasks, and meet competing deadlines.
  • Coordinate detail of projects and prioritize workflow to ensure successful completion.
Annual term with possibility of renewal based upon performance and available funding. Applicants to provide cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 references.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in education, biology, natural resources, or related field.
  • More than 2 to 3 years' experience or equivalent.
  • Proven skills in project management and coordination are essential.
  • Excellent communication skills, including writing and public speaking in both English and Spanish.
  • Demonstrated experience and/or commitment to working with underserved audiences.
  • Solid understanding of methods used in formal and informal science education and environmental education.
  • Must be personable, flexible and possess excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with a broad range of people is essential.
  • Must have the ability to multi-task and prioritize.
  • Ability to work well with others and supervise staff while creating a high-quality and respectful work environment.
  • Establish effective working relationships with a wide variety of faculty, staff, and students as well as outside participants.
  • Able to work quickly, effectively under pressure, use judgment in accomplishing tasks that are urgent, balance conflicting priorities, and make decisions that require creativity and innovation.
  • Must be comfortable working in an environment where change in process is the norm.
  • Ability to work independently is required.
  • Travel is essential for the project; must obtain and maintain valid passport.
  • Interest and knowledge of birds required.
  • Demonstrated fluency in English and Spanish.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Advanced degree.
  • Experience with inner-city environment highly preferred.
  • Experience in science education, research methodology, field and inquiry-based instruction.

Interactive Web Designer

Citizen science engages the public in professional scientific research through the web. Current web properties and projects in the Citizen Science program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Lab) include celebrateurbanbirds.org, feederwatch.org, nestwatch.org and yardmap.org. Project goals involve varying blends of research and education/outreach. Audiences range from youth to adults, families, and groups underrepresented in the sciences. These sites collectively engage tens of thousands of users annually with page views in the millions.

The Citizen Science Program at the Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking an Interactive Web Designer. Duties include:

  • Design all web/mobile properties in the Citizen Science program at the Lab.
  • Design the user experience and the visual presentation of Citizen Science web and mobile properties including web sites, mobile apps, games, quizzes, data entry applications, data visualizations, interactive features, and community engagement tools.
  • Propose and implement new design approaches for engaging the public and creating communities via web/mobile channels.
  • Collaborate with Citizen Science staff and obtain guidelines for integrating the scientific, educational, and marketing goals for new and existing web/mobile properties.
  • Collaborate with Citizen Science staff and evaluators to determine user requirements and ensure the most effective design of our web properties for creating large, inclusive science and conservation communities.
  • Collaborate with project teams and back-end developers to integrate educational tools, scientific data entry interfaces, databases, and data graphing and visualization tools into web and mobile properties.
  • Conduct usability testing of prototypes and existing designs.
  • Collaborate with staff in the Lab's Communications and Marketing programs to ensure that web/mobile branding of citizen science projects is integrated with other projects at the Lab.
Annual term appointment with possible renewal based on performance and available funding. Applicants to provide cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 references.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree with 3-5 years' experience in commercial or academic web design projects, preferably working with a web/mobile production team.
  • Commanding knowledge of WordPress, CSS, jQuery or other JavaScript framework, AJAX, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop.
  • Experience with design and development of data-driven web visualizations.
  • Fluency in best practices for web-based information architecture and design, as well as strong knowledge of usability principles and techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience with building user interfaces across a range of platforms including desktop and mobile.
  • Must have a thorough understanding of user interface design considering cross-platform browser issues, responsive design, and interactive web-based applications.
  • Demonstrable skills in problem solving and critical thinking.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with the ability to convey design information in "laymen's terms."
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team while meeting tight deadlines.
  • Ability to organize the workflow for projects, help establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule.
  • Must demonstrate experience writing project requirements and soliciting feedback from collaborators.
  • Experience working in a collaborative team and working directly with software development engineers for implementation of designs.
  • Excellent customer service skills and demonstrated ability to communicate with a broad range of people is essential.
  • Must be comfortable working in a dynamic environment where change in process is the norm.
  • Ability to exercise leadership at meetings about web design.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Experience with additional JavaScript frameworks and tools such as Angular, Backbone, D3, Node, less, grunt.
  • Experience working in both Mac and Windows operating system environments.
  • Well-developed illustration and artistic skills.
  • Experience in typographic layout and design.
  • Experience with vector and CSS animations.
  • Experience in project coordination highly desirable.
  • An interest in birds, nature, biology, science, and/or conservation helpful.

iOS App Developer

The Information Science Program designs, develops, and maintains applications and services for citizen-science and education projects. These projects engage the public to collect, archive, analyze and disseminate information about birds and their environments. Additionally, the program maintains the supporting web, application, database servers, and associated storage devices, which support a number of the Lab's web applications.

The Information Science Program at the Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking an iOS App Developer. Duties include:

  • Develop and maintain iOS applications and related services for the eBird and Merlin projects. eBird, a real-time, online bird checklist program, is the world's largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resource, collecting millions of bird observations from the general public. Merlin is a bird identification system using eBird data, along with photos and recordings, to help novices identify birds.
  • Upcoming projects include an 'in the field' data entry app for submitting bird observations to eBird, closely integrating native phone capabilities, including calendar, GPS, camera, and voice memos, and extending the Merlin iOS app to add image-recognition functionality for identifying birds from a 'just taken' photo.
  • Work closely with a dynamic team of biologists, UI designers, application developers, database administrators, and computer scientists within a collaborative development environment.
  • Help guide overall iOS development strategy and recommend best solutions for project requirements.
  • Utilize iOS software development tools, team code repositories, and open source libraries and is expected to stay current with iOS practices and processes (iOS SDK, Xcode, test distributions, App Store submission, and analytics).
Annual term appointment with possible renewal based on performance and available funding. Applicants to provide cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 references. Required Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree with 3-5 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
  • A thorough understanding of object-oriented programming and web applications.
  • Proven experience in native iOS programming and mobile application development.
  • Experience using iOS device features such as location, camera, and internet access.
  • Experience designing and implementing native iOS UI interfaces and integrating with APIs and web services.
  • Demonstrable skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and written and verbal communication.
  • Proven experience documenting and testing code.
  • Ability to learn technical material quickly.
  • Must be able to work independently and function effectively as part of a larger team.
  • Ability to establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule.
  • Proven experience in providing support to multiple areas.
  • Must be able to use sound judgment in decision making and in accomplishing tasks that are urgent or of a sensitive or confidential nature, balance conflicting priorities, and make decisions from a range of choices.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • 5 years of experience in computer or information science preferred.
  • 3-5 years of experience working on substantial computer software and collaborating with a team of programmers on software projects is desired.
  • Experience with CBTs such as Titanium and PhoneGap.
  • Experience implementing rich internet applications.
  • Experience with relational database table design, SQL programming and performance testing.
  • Prior use and understanding of the eBird system.
  • An interest in birds, nature, biology, science, and/or conservation helpful.

iOS Application Developer

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology designs, develops, and maintains applications and services for citizen-science and education projects. These projects engage the public to collect, archive, analyze and disseminate information about birds and their environments. Additionally, the Lab maintains the supporting web, application, database servers, and associated storage devices, which support a number of the Lab's web applications.

The Citizen Science Program at the Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking an iOS Application Developer. Duties include:

  • Develop and maintain iOS applications and related services for the Lab's Citizen Science projects. These projects include Celebrate Urban Birds (celebrateurbanbirds.org), NestWatch (nestwatch.org), Project FeederWatch (feederwatch.org) and YardMap (yardmap.org), which collectively engage > 100,000 people / year in interacting with, observing, and reporting on birds and the natural environment.
  • Our goal is to move through these projects systematically to develop iOS apps that integrate multiple tablet/phone capabilities, including calendar, GPS, and camera/sound recording.
  • Work closely with a dynamic team of biologists, educators, UI designers, application developers, database administrators, and computer scientists within a collaborative environment.
  • Collaborate with existing app developers who are responsible for coordinating overall iOS development strategies and recommend best solutions for project requirements.
  • The work will include developing "in the field" data entry applications for such tasks as mapping habitat and objects in habitat, and associating locations with data on birds, habitat, and practices undertaken to protect birds, as well as associating photos, video, and sounds with a location.
  • Utilize iOS software development tools, team code repositories, and open source libraries and is expected to stay current with iOS practices and processes (iOS SDK, Xcode, Swift, test distributions, App Store submission, and analytics).
Annual term appointment with possible renewal based on performance and available funding. Applicants to provide cover letter, resume, contact information for 3 references.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree with 3-5 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
  • A thorough understanding of object-oriented programming and web applications.
  • Proven experience in native iOS programming and mobile application development.
  • Experience using iOS device features such as location, camera, and internet access.
  • Experience designing and implementing native iOS UI interfaces and integrating with APIs and web services.
  • Demonstrable skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and written and verbal communication.
  • Proven experience documenting and testing code.
  • Ability to learn technical material quickly.
  • Must be able to work independently and function effectively as part of a larger team.
  • Ability to establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule.
  • Interest in birds, nature, biology, science, and/or conservation.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • 3 years of experience in computer or information science preferred.
  • 3 years' experience working on substantial computer software and collaborating with a team of programmers on software projects is desired.
  • Experience with xCode, Swift and CBTs such as Titanium and PhoneGap.
  • Experience implementing rich internet applications.
  • Familiarity with relational database table design, SQL programming and performance testing.
  • Prior use and understanding of citizen science platforms.
  • Interest in birds, nature, biology and conservation.

Internships

To apply for an internship, send a cover letter and resume to the contact person listed. Most internships are unpaid but hours are flexible and course credit is possible. Minimum commitment is generally six hours per week. Cornell undergraduates are eligible to be considered for a limited number of paid internships each year. The Nancy Horton Bartels ‘48 Scholars gift supports Cornell undergraduate interns at the Lab during the summer. The Kristen Rupert and John Foote Undergraduate Research Fund supports the engagement of Cornell undergraduates at the Lab, with preference given to students involved in interdisciplinary projects with other colleges, departments, and units at Cornell.

Bartels Science Illustration Internships

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology will offer at least one paid Bartels Science Illustration Internship each year, lasting from three to six months, 39 hours per week. Recipients will work on a project illustrating birds, wildlife, and/or plants for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's print publications, outreach materials, and web sites. We are seeking students (artists just starting their career) at least 18 years old who have previous experience and exceptional talent in illustration, painting, or drawing who are interested in advancing their skills in ornithological art. Interns will work on projects that help the Lab achieve its mission, and these projects often result in publication of the intern's work. For more information, please download this file. You may also contact Diane Tessaglia-Hymes, design director, by email at dianeth@cornell.edu, or call 607-254-2417 (work) or 607-342-4811 (cell).

Scholarships

The Francis M. Peacock Scholarship for Native Bird Habitat provides financial aid to a college senior or graduate student to study areas in the United States that provide winter or summer habitat for our threatened or endangered native birds. The award is given by the Garden Club of America and is administered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For more information about this scholarship and how to apply, see the proposal guidelines. If you wish to apply, you will also need to submit a personal information form.

The Walter E. Benning Fund provides scholarship assistance to a Cornell University graduate student studying ornithology and its relevance to conservation. The annual award is about $500. Apply by January 15 of every year by submitting a short (two page maximum) proposal describing your research, relevance to conservation, schedule of completion, and funding. Mail to Irby Lovette, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Volunteers

Interested in leading bird walks in Sapsucker Woods, helping in the visitors’ center at the Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, or becoming a docent? For more information, please contact us at 254-2473 or (800) 843-2473.

Student Jobs

Working just a few hours a week provides you with a multitude of benefits. You will meet new people and adapt more quickly to your new environment. You will develop new skills and improve existing skills while building a network of contacts and good references that will ultimately increase your marketability for summer and post-Cornell jobs. Working part-time also helps improve your time-management skills. Not to mention you'll earn money to help cover some of your Cornell expenses!

To apply for the positions below, please send a cover letter and resume to the contact person listed. Full-time registered Cornell students are eligible to be considered for these positions.

BirdSleuth Student Assistant, K-12 Education Program

BirdSleuth is a K-12 science curriculum program with resources developed and distributed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's education department. The BirdSleuth program aims to engage K-12 students in their own scientific research, encourage student participation in Citizen Science, and lead educator professional development. The student assistant will work both independently and as part of the team to complete a variety of tasks and projects including; drafting sales and marketing messages, preparing materials for workshops and teacher trainings, packing materials for shipment, organizing supplies and maintaining inventory. This position will provide opportunities to work with educators and explore ways to communicate environmental issues to K-12 students.

This is a paid position 8-10 hours per week for the 2015-2016 school year. We offer a flexible work schedule but generally Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. There is an on-demand bus route that serves the Lab (TCAT route 41). Free parking is available.

Required Qualifications

  • The candidate must be a current Cornell undergraduate student, Federal Work Study preferred.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Self-motivated, strong work ethic
  • Attention to detail
  • Dependable
  • Collaborative spirit
Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with Survey Monkey and WordPress
  • Experience with social media writing
  • Prior work in educational settings and/or youth outreach programs
  • Knowledge and interest in citizen science, birds, and the environment
Interested applicants should send a letter describing their interest and qualifications for the position along with a resume and contact information for at least two references to Lindsay Glasner, BirdSleuth Project Assistant, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850, lig27@cornell.edu. Please visit www.birdsleuth.org to learn more about the K-12 program and www.birds.cornell.edu to learn more about the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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