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Monitoring Officer - Orkney Native Wildlife Project – RSPB Kirkwall Office

Reference: MAY20227651
Expiry date: 2022-06-19 22:59:00.000
Location: Orkney Native Wildlife Project – Kirkwall Office
Salary: £26,180.00 - £29,043.00 Per Annum
Benefits: Pension, Annual Leave, Life Assurance
Duration:29 months
Attachments: CandidateGuidanceNotes2021.pdf

The Orkney Native Wildlife Project aims to safeguard the unique and internationally important native wildlife of Orkney and the benefits it provides for local people and the economy by addressing the threat it faces from an invasive non-native predator: the stoat. Stoats threaten the Orkney vole, and many birds including hen harriers, short-eared owls, red-throated divers, waders and seabirds. It is therefore essential to remove stoats from Orkney to prevent significant and long-term negative impacts on Orkney’s native wildlife.

Native wildlife monitoring is an integral part of the project and a comprehensive monitoring programme is carried out each breeding season.  We are looking for an enthusiastic person, with skills and experience in fieldwork, managing a team, data handling and preparing reports.

The project is a partnership between RSPB Scotland, NatureScot and Orkney Islands Council, and beside partner contributions, is generously funded by NLHF and EU Life.

What's the role about?

We are looking for a Monitoring Officer to lead our work in monitoring native wildlife to understand the impact that invasive non-native stoats are having to Orkney’s unique ecology.  You will be responsible for working with a suite of native species including breeding wading birds, raptors, moorland passerines and the endemic Orkney vole.  Monitoring sites are spread throughout Orkney Mainland and the outer isles.  You will be based in the ONWP Kirkwall office, managing a team of volunteers and a team of seasonal staff in 2024.  Maintaining good relationships with local landowners on whose land you will be surveying is paramount, as well as being able to train and enthuse volunteers.

You will be responsible for organising the collation and long-term storage of data at the end of each season, and production of an annual monitoring report, working closely with the RSPB Conservation Data Management Unit and Conservation Science team to analyse and showcase results.  You should be skilled in handling large complex datasets, and be familiar with GIS mapping programmes.

Key activities will include:

•    Project development & delivery: Assists in undertaking projects, following an agreed programme of data collection and collation, and may be involved in method development, to contribute to underpinning ONWP objectives. 
•    Management & development of staff and volunteers: Manage, and recruit staff on short contracts to ensure the ONWP Monitoring programme is delivered. 
•    Building effective relationships: Build and maintain effective relationships with landowners and the public; to ensure effective project delivery. 
•    Production of written materials: Analysis of data and production of reports as required to determine the impact of ONWP and stoats on native wildlife. 
•     Building effective internal relationships: Builds effective internal relationships across departments, regions and countries. Through discussions and joint-working with appropriate colleagues, to ensure effective project delivery, acting as a source of informed scientific advice to colleagues across the organisation as required. 
•    Communication to key audiences: Communicates both directly, and indirectly via the Communications team, to key audiences, in order to ensure our conservation science inspires, informs and builds support among key audiences, e.g. through local talks and blog-writing.

What we need from you


•    Expected to have a degree in relevant subject or equivalent experience 
•    Knowledge of key legal and practical requirements for ensuring the health and safety of staff and volunteers in the field. 
•    Knowledge of licensing and regulations surrounding fieldwork, for instance on protected species in protected habitats or when surveying people. 
•    Demonstrable practical field skills relevant to the species included in the monitoring programme of the project
•    Ability to use own initiative to solve day-to-day problems and work to a defined work plan. 
•    Ability to work in extreme conditions, sometimes for prolonged periods in the field
•    Practical scientific skills of a standard that provides the highest quality data with an ability to collate and analyse data sets.
•    Experience of managing or supporting staff and/or volunteers
•    Ability to collate and manipulate data and write technical and popular reports to communicate results to funders, members of the public and other audiences. 
•    Verbal communication skills to develop and maintain good relations with landowners and members of the public. 
•    Skilled use of Microsoft office and ArcGIS, with experience of using GIS packages such as Merlin.

Additional Information

This is a Fixed-Term/Full-Time role for 37.5 hours per week. 

The RSPB reserves the right to extend or make this role permanent without further advertising dependent on business needs at the end of the contract term.

For further information please contact

As part of this application process, you will be asked to complete an application form including evidence on how you meet the skills, knowledge, and experience listed above.

Before applying for this role we would recommend reading through the candidate guidance notes attached to the top of this advert.

The RSPB is an equal opportunities employer. This role is covered by/exempt from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.