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). View all Cornell Lab job opportunities here.
Current Job Postings
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a major, globally focused institution for research, training, and public communication relating to birds and biodiversity. Information Science and Technology Program is one of eleven programmatic units that carry out the Lab’s mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Information Science and Technology program develops data intensive techniques and applies them to massive quantities of bird observational data, with the goal of using these big data techniques for basic and/or applied research that contributes directly to the conservation of biological diversity at the species, population, or community level. One of the major projects in Information Science and Technology is eBird.
eBird collects information about the distribution and abundance of birds, taking advantage of the enormous popularity of watching birds to create a global network of volunteers who submit bird observations via the Internet to a central data repository. Through a combination of broad-based community engagement and global partnerships, the volume of data coming into eBird has increased exponentially and is regarded as one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity databases in the world.
The Data Engineer will collaborate with computer scientists, statisticians, and ecologists to prepare data for, and run large analysis processes on a variety of Linux high performance computers (HPC) platforms including local HPCs, large HPC systems available through the XSEDE program of the National Science Foundation, and cloud computing resources, such as Amazon Web Services. This will include managing, updating, and running data analysis workflows and scripts that perform Big Data spatiotemporal analyses with tools like Slurm or Apache Spark for job submission, monitoring and control. The Data Engineer will develop, test, code, and maintain data resources that are provided for data intensive analysis processes, while working within a collaborative development environment. An important goal is to develop software and data products to insure the data collected by eBird are available and appropriately used to the maximum extent possible by conservationists and researchers. Software produced by the Information Science and Technology Program generally includes R, Python, and a PostgreSQL or SQLite backend, all running on Linux operating systems.
- Bachelor’s degree with 3-5 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
- Must have experience developing, managing, and automating software in a data science or scientific project setting.
- Must have experience with scientific computing languages R and/or Python, Linux/Unix scripting, and command-line tools.
- Demonstrable skills in problem solving, critical thinking, and written and verbal communication.
- Proven experience writing application requirements and architecting applications.
- Ability to manage and automate big data analysis workflows within high performance computing (HPC) or cloud computing environments and documenting code.
- Experience with relational databases, such as SQLite and PostgreSQL.
- Experience using collaborative code source versioning with Git.
- Basic knowledge of GIS functionality and core libraries, such as GDAL and GEOS.
- Ability to work effectively independently; work effectively on a team, and to learn technical material quickly.
- Ability to establish realistic goals and deliver work on schedule. A keen eye for data quality and computational efficiency.
- 3-5 years of experience developing, automating, and running R and/or Python statistical or scientific applications within a HPC environment or scalable big data engines, such as Spark.
- Experience building distributed, reliable data pipelines that ingest and process data at scale.
- Experience with Slurm, Singularity, Docker, Kubernetes, AWS, and/or other cloud technology.
- Experience with deployment technology such as Jenkins, Travis, or Bamboo.
- Experience collaborating with data science and/or programming teams on software projects is desired.
- Experience managing and processing large volumes of remote sensing data, such as NASA MODIS or Landsat products.
- Experience with GIS data and server software (GeoServer, GeoTrellis, or similar).
- Experience managing and developing specifically SQLite, PostgreSQL, or cloud databases including advanced SQL knowledge and stored procedures.
- Prior experience designing/deploying relational database schemas.
- Experience managing and creating database server deployments.
- Prior experience managing priorities and working on diverse set of application development projects.
- Experience managing large volumes of data for replication and archival storage.
This is a full time, 12 month regular position located in Ithaca, New York.
The Bird Academy team at the Cornell Lab is looking for creative talent to help us build online courses on bird ID, behavior, naturalists skills, photography, and more. Our dynamic team supports more than 45,000 online students and is constantly searching for innovative ways to help people learn. If you’re interested in helping us fuel curiosity about birds using the latest educational technologies, consider applying for the open Course Developer position!
Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a nonprofit, member-supported organization renowned for its innovative work in science, communications, conservation, education, and citizen science. The Lab is a vibrant administrative unit of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Based in CLO’s education program, the Bird Academy Course Developer plays a key role in furthering the mission of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology by supporting online courses and educational websites through which curious people of all ages can learn more about birds and increase their scientific literacy. Collectively, the education program’s web team is responsible for supporting tens of thousands of users and customers and more than a million views/year.
Play a key role in the Lab’s mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds by developing engaging content for online courses, quizzes, and interactive content. Use expertise in education and instructional design skills to foster public engagement and outreach through the Bird Academy project at academy.allaboutbirds.org. Provide authoritative and accessible information about birds to the public by working with content experts to develop courses and content for the Bird Academy educational platform. Incorporate knowledge of effective teaching strategies into online content. Deliver clearly written material and high-quality multimedia to support the learning goals of each product. Use project management skills to meet production schedule.
Annual term appointment with possibility of renewal based on performance and availability of funding.
- Bachelor’s degree in biology, environmental science, communication, education or related field or other formal training of 4 years.
- Strong background in instructional design, curriculum development, science outreach or equivalent experience.
- Experience with teaching, natural history interpretation, or in science communication.
- Ability to meet deadlines is essential. Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications and media manipulation (photos, audio, video).
- Proven ability to work in a team environment where cooperation between colleagues and flexibility to different styles and approaches is required.
- Experience developing web-based courses.
- Proficiency with Adobe Creative Cloud products for manipulating media assets.
- Experience in providing scientific content to the general public on the Web is helpful, as is experience in multimedia production (photography, videography, and basic photo and video editing).
- Some experience with bird identification.
Cornell provides great benefits that include professional development, access to a plethora of wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, health care options to choose from, and generous paid leave provisions: 3 weeks of vacation, 12 holidays (including end of year winter break) and superior retirement contributions.
Cornell University is nationally recognized as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.