Project Leader-Coastal Solutions Fellowship Program

Project Leader-Coastal Solutions Fellowship Program

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a 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.

The Cornell Lab is seeking a Project Leader to lead the creation and launching of an exciting new program: the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program. The main goal of this initiative is to provide training, funding, and support to catalyze a collaborative community where developers, planners, and scientists can design and implement site-based solutions to pressing coastal challenges. The Program is designed to foster motivated, early-career professionals in Latin America who are passionate about leading efforts to balance habitat conservation and economic development in coastal ecosystems. By working across sectors, the Program strives to break down the barriers between different disciplines and foster new types of collaborations in partnership with the private sector, NGOs, universities, and governments.

The Program Director will have the unique opportunity to play an early and influential role in the Coastal Solutions Fellows Program, which will have a lasting positive impact on coastal ecosystems in Latin America. The Project leader will oversee, coordinate, and administer all aspects of the Program, including strategic planning, interacting with fellows and an advisory board, and managing all program activities. The Project Leader will supervise a full-time Project Assistant, who will provide direct support in all Program-related activities.


Project Leader-Coastal Solutions Fellows Program

Extension Associate

Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cornell University

The Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a motivated, interdisciplinary science professional to fulfill the role of Project Leader.  Specific duties include:

  • Maintain an understanding of the latest science, coastal development, environmental challenges, solutions, and community of practitioners related to the Pacific Americas Flyway.
  • Communicate effectively across sectors (e.g., science, planning, development), recruit fellows, engage with partners, plan and execute the Program’s annual activities, and develop strategies to secure the long-term funding of the Program.
  • Build, train, mentor, and support a collaborative network of young scientists, developers, and planners who will design and implement new evidenced-based solutions to coastal environmental challenges in Latin America.
  • Build and maintain a network of Program partners across academia, NGOs, government, and the private sector.
  • The Project Leader will be encouraged to pursue research and publish findings related to shorebird and/or coastal conservation.
  • The Project Leader will work in collaboration with others to  fundraise for additional  Program support.

The position will be based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (Ithaca, NY). This is a full-time 2-year appointment, with conditional reappointment dependent on satisfactory performance and available funding.


  • Master Degree or equivalent (required) or higher in a discipline related to environmental sciences, planning, architecture, or related fields.
  • 2– 4 years of experience in managing personnel and project budgets.
  • Fluent in English and Spanish with excellent writing and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to organize and clearly present project and research information in written and oral form.
  • Experienced in fundraising and grant writing.
  • Must be a science minded individual who has a strong interest in running and creating a multidisciplinary conservation project.
  • Outstanding leadership and organizational skills.
  • Ability to work well with others while creating a high quality and respectful work environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate, mentor, and lead a broad range of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences.
  • Demonstrated abilities to organize and oversee complex projects, complete tasks in a timely and effective manner, and negotiate partnerships with advisors, clients, and stakeholders.
  • Willingness and ability to travel both nationally and internationally as necessary to perform tasks.
  • A solid understanding of shorebird ecology and wetland conservation along the Pacific Americas Flyway is desirable.
  • A solid understanding of coastal ecosystems, development and planning in Latin America is desirable.
  • A proven track record in past work related to program management and mentorship is desirable.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  Please send a single pdf file containing a letter of application outlining qualifications and experience for the position, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details for three references.  Email to or in hard copy to Sue Taggart, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, 291A Johnson Center for Birds & Biodiversity, Ithaca, NY  14850.  Inquiries about position specifics can be directed to Viviana Ruiz Gutierrez at   Review of applicants will continue until the position is filled.


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