Conservation Coordinator: Birds – Global Center for Species Survival at the Indianapolis Zoo

Posted: 23 July 2021   |   Full-Time   | Indianapolis Zoo, United States | Deadline to apply: 22 August 2021


The Indianapolis Zoo is a national leader of animal conservation and is an AZA accredited institution. Located on a 64-acre campus in the heart of vibrant downtown Indianapolis, the State’s capitol, the Indianapolis Zoo is one of the largest privately funded zoos in the United States. Known as “The Crossroads of America”, Indianapolis is in close proximity to Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville.

The Indianapolis Zoo and the IUCN Species Survival Commission have partnered to create the Global Center for Species Survival, operated from within the Indianapolis Zoo. The Global Center for Species Survival houses a multicultural team of full-time staff employed by the Indianapolis Zoo who are dedicated to support the missions of the Indianapolis Zoo and the SSC. Work will be primarily performed on-site at the Indianapolis Zoo Global Center for Species Survival office, but travel may be required.

The Global Center for Species Survival Staff Team provides critical training, capacity and coordination support to further mobilize the species conservation efforts of IUCN SSC Network of experts alongside wider partner and key stakeholder communities. Seven Conservation Coordinators (each assigned to a specific taxon or realm) comprise part of the Global Center for Species Survival Staff Team.

We are currently seeking a Conservation Coordinator: Birds to complete our team. This position is open and available to all candidates worldwide. International candidates must be able to acquire a work visa. Fluency in English a requirement of all positions. Fluency in other languages is desired.

The Role

The Conservation Birds Coordinator will focus on assessing, planning and mobilizing policy and action for birds conservation around the world.

Responsibilities of this position include:

Supporting Coordination of SSC Bird Specialist Groups

  • Maintain and continue to build high quality relationships with each of the SSC Bird Groups to assist with the delivery of their key objectives and identification of priority opportunities for bird conservation.
  • Encourage and motivate SSC Bird Groups to advance global species conservation efforts around the SSC Species Conservation Cycle (Assess-Plan-Act-Network-Communicate), with a specific focus on the “Plan” and “Act”.
  • Gather and integrate knowledge and expertise into creating strategic proposals for approval, launching projects/initiatives, developing calls for action on specific species issues, coordinating behavior change campaigns (in collaboration with the Behavior Change Coordinator), and assisting in species-specific IUCN Resolutions and Recommendations.
  • Contribute to and review formal, programmatic and communication documents as required, including periodic outcome and planning reporting to the SSC for the annual SSC Data process.
  • Ensure good communication and foster collaboration and coordination between SSC Bird Groups, the GCSS and wider Indianapolis Zoo, the SSC Chair’s Office, the IUCN Global Species Program and key partners to ensure a cohesive and collegial approach in relation to all species related work.
  • Bolster collaboration across the SSC network and the constituent parts of IUCN, governments, non-profit conservation organizations, accredited zoo and aquarium communities and the wider conservation community to maximize the relevance and conservation impact of activities and joint projects for bird conservation.
  • Provide programmatic support to the Chair’s office team with regard to organizing meetings and supporting regular engagement with SG Chairs.
  • Attend, and where possible help coordinate, SSC Group meetings.
  • Engage with conservation campaigns targeted at species requiring urgent conservation attention, mobilizing relevant experts, appropriate communication and behavior change efforts and, support collaborations with other NGOs and governments to deliver action to prevent imminent extinctions.
  • Act, as appropriate, as a conduit between the SSC disciplinary Groups and the SSC Bird Groups.
  • Encourage and assist the SSC Network to be more action-oriented through promoting the implementation and delivery of action plans, and through supporting the development of partnerships or fundraising efforts to support this implementation.

Strategically expanding, growing and diversifying the SSC network for birds

  • Work with the SSC Network to identify gaps in expertise by taxa and/or region and guide proponents through the formal process for establishing new groups, review drafts, coordinate wider review and final sign-off with the Steering Committee.
  • Identify issues within SSC Groups (or complaints directly received) that require mediation or resolution. Refer such issues to the SSC Chair’s Office.
  • Build relationships with existing training programs, e.g., CLP, EDGE Fellows, Durrell Academy, to encourage emerging talent to integrate into the SSC network.
  • Actively support SSC Group Chairs to improve diversity across SSC network in gender, nationality, ethnicity, age, disciplinary background, profession and other attributes that might enhance those groups’ effectiveness.

Communication and Education

  • Coordinate, implement and evaluate how the GCSS can engage with the public on issues relating to bird conservation, including locally through the zoo and globally through the development of resources, including social media communications, blogs and podcasts, graphics, and other emerging communication techniques.
  • Assist in active and regular content development and acquirement by the GCSS including video, images, audio and other media types. Assist in the organization and management of these assets.

Internal Integration

  • Ensure relevant strategic priorities and opportunities relating to bird conservation are communicated and appropriately integrated into the Indianapolis Zoo’s conservation strategy through consultation with the Zoo’s conservation committee and relating to selection of awardees of annual conservation grants, and, as needed, involvement with the Indianapolis Prize.


Required education, skills, and professional work experience:

  • Minimum Bachelor level degree in biology, ecology, zoology, natural resources management or related field.
  • Broad knowledge of international biodiversity and conservation issues relating to birds.
  • Demonstrated experience and a good understanding of the practical aspects of biodiversity conservation actions, endangered species protections and policy especially relating birds.
  • Well-developed organizational skills included demonstrated experience managing multiple priorities, and ability to work independently to complete tasks within assigned time frames.
  • Working knowledge of the IUCN SSC, and with leaders and stakeholders in bird conservation.
  • Minimum of 5 years related work experience.
  • Strong skills in project management, planning and project implementation.
  • Experience with international projects and supporting new initiatives.
  • Ability to effectively manage teams to deliver results.
  • International stakeholder management experience, multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience desirable.
  • Experience in fundraising and / or demonstrated success in proposal writing.
  •  Excellent people relationship management skills, ability to work as part of a team, with respect for and sensitivity to multi-cultural approaches.
  • Advanced and competent user of standard word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and database software and electronic communication technology (e.g. e-mail, Skype, WhatsApp, conference calls, etc.). Working knowledge of social media and mobile apps.
  • Ability to plan, administer and record results of work-team meetings and activities.
  • Experience with administration including attention to detail and numerical ability

The Physical Demands of this role include:

The Indianapolis Zoo follows all local, state and federal employment laws. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else and guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

The following working conditions are common for this position:

  1. This is a full-time, 40 hours per week, position. Some weekend or evening hours may apply due to position demands and meetings with international agencies.
  2. Repetitive motion and exposure to office computer systems; must have the ability to operate a computer and other office productivity machinery such as but limited to, computer printer, scanner, copy machine, and calculator.
  3. Predominantly indoor environmental conditions, although there is some exposure to outdoor environmental conditions, which include inclement weather, cold and hot temperatures, and humidity.
  4. Must follow Universal Protection Precautions and Blood-borne Pathogens Guidelines. Possible exposure (Category C employee) to human blood-borne pathogens.
  5. Ability to detect, assess, identify, and observe surroundings to make sound judgments, along with the ability to communicate verbally, comprehend and decipher information accurately, using a telephone.
  6. Position requires the ability to move from one area to another frequently.


Employment is contingent upon the successful completion of pre-employment testing including a criminal history and driving record check, and a drug test.

The Indianapolis Zoo offers a competitive benefits package to all eligible (full-time/ 40 hr./ week) employees.  Benefits include Medical, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance; 403(b) Retirement Plan, generous Paid Time Off (PTO), Immediate Paid Holidays, and a complimentary Zoo membership for employees.

To apply:

The Indianapolis Zoo is proud to be a Drug-Free/ Smoke-Free/ Child Safe/ Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE) Work Environment.

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