Jobs at eBird

Team eBird is based out of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. We are a passionate team that includes bird-heads, application developers, user interface and design experts, and database gurus who are committed to building tools to deliver high quality data that can be used for science and conservation. We work collaboratively with many other teams at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology including the Macaulay Library, Bird Populations Studies, Conservation, Education, and Communications and positions from those groups that are most directly related to eBird are also included here.

Please see below for the current jobs that are available with eBird (and sometimes with other related projects).

See additional job openings at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Current Job Postings

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iOS Software Engineer

Applications Programmer III – Band F
Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

The iOS Software Engineer will develop and maintain iOS applications and related services for the eBird and Merlin projects. eBird is one of the largest repositories for biodiversity data with over 300,000 active data contributors to eBird who submit almost 100 million observations of birds annually. Merlin is a bird identification system using eBird data, along with photos and recordings, to help novices identify birds and has an audience of more than 1 million users. Data from these projects have been used in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications that are shaping research in a diverse variety of fields including ornithology, ecology, human-computer interaction, computer science and statistics. Collaborations and data use extend to a broad range of entities from research initiatives in Information Science, other Lab of Ornithology programs, other departments at Cornell University, external academic institutions, governmental departments and agencies in the U.S. and abroad, NGOs and private companies.

Work closely with a dynamic team of biologists, UI designers, application developers, database administrators, and computer scientists within a collaborative development environment. The developer will 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).

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with at least 3 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.

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Database Administrator

Database Administrator III – Band F
Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

The Information Science Program at the Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a Database Administrator.  Specific duties include:

  • Collaborate with a team of DBAs to direct and manage all aspects of database administration for all of the Lab of Ornithology’s bird monitoring citizen-science projects.
  • Keep abreast of developing technologies and provide guidance and training to team members including transition to cloud-based system(s) when appropriate.
  • Oversee the planning and tracking of complex projects.
  • Design, configure, monitor, tune, and maintain large-scale, efficient, secure, and reliable complex integrated relational databases for the Lab.
  • Work with applications program developers to design and integrate new databases consistent with, and into, an existing flexible database design.
  • Support program developers, data analysts and researchers by writing efficient and accurate SQL queries to extract data for research, reporting, and website operations.
  • Become proficient at and perform regular backup and recovery operations for all databases.
  • Perform database capacity planning.
  • Design, implement, and manage a database security procedure and adhere to university policies.
  • Evaluate benefits/risks of enhancements and upgrades being considered for deployment.
  • Install and upgrade database software while minimizing impact on lab programs.
  • Troubleshoot and solve database performance and functionality issues.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with 3-5 years’ experience administering large databases in a production environment with Oracle and other SQL and NOSQL databases.
  • Strong understanding of variety of database platforms and advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Working knowledge of the following Oracle programs, concepts and features: Oracle Data Guard, Oracle Recovery Manager, archivelog management, Oracle Enterprise Manager, SQL and system performance tuning, TKProf and extended SQL trace, Partitioning option, database replication, data warehousing and materialized views, PL/SQL.
  • Experience with configuration and management of Oracle Spatial.
  • Familiarity with biological taxonomic concepts.
  • Demonstrated experience in problem solving, critical thinking, and written and oral communication.
  • Must be able to work closely with a team and work independently.
  • Ability to help establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule.
  • Experience writing application requirements, architecting applications, and documenting code.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Must feel comfortable with responsibility and adaptability.

 Preferred Qualifications:

  • Interest and knowledge of birds, birding, conservation and big data science.
  • Experience managing database in the cloud with Amazon Cloud Computing Services, Oracle Managed Cloud Services, and/or Google Cloud Platform.

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Principal Web Service Developer

Applications Programmer III – Band F
Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

The Principal Web Service Developer will help create a robust web-service tier for web and mobile applications for the Information Science and Macaulay Library programs of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This position will collaborate with world-class experts and development teams to advance science and conservation.

Core job responsibilities:

  • Design and implement REST-based web services and transform existing software and systems into a service-focused architecture.
  • Automate deployment, monitoring, and scaling of services, incorporating cloud technologies as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with other team members, including DBAs, DevOps personnel, and system architects, to design and implement an operational infrastructure that supports automated testing, deployment, and scaling. Analyze metrics to improve efficiency.

Key qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, and more than 3 year subsequent programming experience or equivalent combination.
  • At least two years experience with software design and development, preferably with an object-oriented language.
  • At least one year experience writing SQL.
  • Experience integrating multiple system components into a coherent software system.
  • Experience collaborating on and maintaining source code using version control.
  • Able to adapt to changing priorities, situations, and demands.
  • Ability to work with others to solve problems and achieve common goals.
  • Ability to express highly technical terms in everyday language. Experience collaborating with a team of software developers and stakeholders.
  • Adhere to confidentiality practices when necessary.
  • Ability to work weekends or evenings when participating in the 24-7 on call duty rotation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience building web applications or other software utilizing middle-layer services; Experience optimizing SQL; Experience designing and implementing web services using REST or other approaches; Experience designing and implementing software for microservices or SOA architectures; Experience with linux server system administration; Experience installing and configuring open source and commercial enterprise software.
  • Knowledge of or interest in birds, conservation, and natural science.

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Web Service Developer

Applications Programmer II – Band E
Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

The Web Service Developer will help create a robust web-service tier for web and mobile applications for the Information Science and Macaulay Library programs of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. This position will collaborate with world-class experts and development teams to advance science and conservation. This is an opportunity for a less-experienced developer to work with and learn from experienced team members.

Core job responsibilities include working under the guidance of senior Infrastructure Team to:

  • Design and implement REST-based web services and transform existing software and systems into a service-focused architecture.
  • Automate deployment, monitoring, and scaling of services, incorporating cloud technologies as appropriate.
  • Collaborate with other Infrastructure Team members, including DBAs, DevOps personnel, and system architects, to design and implement an operational infrastructure that supports automated testing, deployment, and scaling. Analyze metrics to improve efficiency. 

Key qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, and more than one year subsequent programming experience or equivalent combination.
  • One year experience with software design and development, preferably with an object-oriented language.
  • Experience integrating multiple system components into a coherent software system.
  • Experience collaborating on and maintaining source code using version control.
  • Able to adapt to changing priorities, situations, and demands.
  • Ability to work with others to solve problems and achieve common goals.
  • Ability to express highly technical terms in everyday language. Experience collaborating with a team of software developers and stakeholders.
  • Adhere to confidentiality practices when necessary.
  • Ability to work weekends or evenings when participating in the 24-7 on call duty rotation.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience building web applications or other software utilizing middle-layer services; Experience writing and optimizing SQL; Experience designing and implementing web services using REST or other approaches; Experience designing and implementing software for microservices or SOA architectures; Experience with linux server system administration; Experience installing and configuring open source and commercial enterprise software.
  • Knowledge of or interest in birds, conservation, and natural science.

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Software Engineer

Applications Programmer II – Band E
Lab of Ornithology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Official Cornell Job Description here—apply within

The Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a Software Engineer. Specific duties include:

  • Collaborate with the Visipedia Project Coordinator, who will reach out to communities with images and expertise in butterflies, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and other taxonomic groups to curate media and primary occurrence data.
  • Work with a team of developers in the Macaulay Library and Information Science and Technology programs at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to build applications that ingest media and associated metadata into the Macaulay Library (macaulaylibrary.org), an archive of biodiversity media.
  • Currently, online upload capabilities are restricted to birds and uploaded via eBird (ebird.org).
  • A focus of the Visipedia project is to develop a suite of applications and partnerships that will enable the community to upload images and associated metadata for groups such as moths, dragonflies, butterflies, and mammals.
  • The resulting collections of curated data will be packaged and made available for scientific research, including use as comprehensive, accurate training datasets for the computer vision and machine learning communities.
  • Work with Cornell Lab staff and partner organizations to define technical requirements for new applications and features within the current infrastructure. 
  • Assist in the planning, implementation, and tracking of technical aspects of the projects.
  • Coordinate with Macaulay Library, eBird, and Visipedia team members to ensure project milestones and deliverables are met.

Application development projects are likely to include:

  • Media upload tools for the community to contribute media and associated metadata for non-avian taxonomic groups.
  • Tools that enable both the community and experts to review identifications.
  • Tools for engaging the community in managing the media they contribute and adding metadata (such as bounding boxes, part annotations, or quality ratings) to media contributed by others.
  • Tools for packaging and delivering data for scientific research.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field, and a minimum of 1year of programming experience or equivalent combination.
  • One year experience with software design and development, preferably with an object-oriented language.
  • One year building web applications with Java, Django, Spring, or similar.
  • One year experience writing SQL.
  • Experience integrating multiple system components into a coherent software system.
  • Experience with Linux or Windows server system administration.
  • Experience collaborating on and maintaining source code using version control.
  • Able to adapt to changing priorities, situations, and demands.
  • Ability to work with others to solve problems and achieve common goals.
  • Ability to express highly technical terms in everyday language.
  • Experience collaborating with a team of software developers and stakeholders.
  • Adhere to confidentiality practices when necessary.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree and 5 years of experience in computer or information science preferred. 
  • Experience with Oracle SQL, and ORM frameworks (Hibernate).
  • Experience implementing SPAs using AngularJS or similar, HTML5 and CSS3.
  • Prior experience with Spring Framework, REST, and JavaScript MVC frameworks.
  • Experience managing Linux-based Java application servers.
  • Previous experience with content management or web publishing systems.
  • Prior experience working on computer software and collaborating with a team of programmers on software projects.
  • Proven experience writing application requirements, architecting applications, and documenting code.
  • Knowledge of or interest in natural history and conservation.
  • Experience managing a large amount of images or media archives.

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