eBird Web Developer Position Available

By Team eBird July 2, 2015

We are excited to announce an opportunity to work with the eBird team as a Web Developer. This position is open to internal and external applicants on the Jobs at Cornell web page here: Web Developer. If you are interested in working with eBird, developing new functionality for the website, and being part of a small team of dedicated eBird programmers who are passionate about birds – please read on for the full description!

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a major, globally focused institution for research, training, and public communication relating to birds and biodiversity. Information Science 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 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 is eBird.

eBird has evolved from a stand-alone citizen-science project focused on collecting data, into a cooperative partnership involving several distinct user groups spanning multiple scientific domains and dozens of partner organizations, each with its own unique interests in the eBird Enterprise. 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 (30–40% annually) for the last decade. eBird is regarded as one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity databases in the world. Presently, the eBird database contains over 250 million observations. More than 1 million people access eBird via the web and mobile apps, and more than 255 thousand participants have collectively spend over 18 million hours in the field recording birds. Data have been contributed from every country in the world. eBird data are relied upon for a variety of research initiatives in Information Science, other Lab projects and programs (e.g., Merlin, Citizen Science, Education, Conservation, and Bird Population Studies), external academic institutions (e.g., Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northeastern, U of New Mexico, U of Utah, and Oregon State), governmental departments and agencies in the U.S. and abroad (e.g., U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oak Ridge National Labs, US Department of Defense, CONABIO [Comision Nacional para el Conocimento y Uso de la Biodiversidad], and nongovernmental organizations (e.g., PRBO Conservation Science, Bird Studies Canada, Audubon) and private companies.

The Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a Web Developer to collaborate with application developers and interface designers to:

  • Develop, test, and maintain web sites, web-based applications, and visualizations focused on the eBird enterprise and other Lab projects.
  • Develop, test, and maintain software, components, and services for related content management systems.
  • Use technologies and development tools including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Eclipse-based IDEs, team code repositories, open source libraries, Java and JSP to extend and enhance the functionality of eBird-based projects.
  • Provide consultation and training to staff and collaborators on the use of software and infrastructure.
  • Create documentation and examples to help other developers use the infrastructure.
  • Conduct functional tests, system tests, performance profiling, and security audits.
  • Contribute to team brainstorming and problem-solving initiatives.

Annual term appointment with possibility of renewal based upon performance and available funding.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree with 1-2 years relevant experience or equivalent combination.
  • A through understanding of object-oriented programming and web application development is essential.
  • Experience developing Java based web applications is required.
  • Must have experience working with designers to create and maintain scalable, responsive HTML/CSS/JavaScript systems across large web sites and applications.
  • Must be proficient with web performance techniques for efficiently delivering front-end code, data, and assets.
  • Experience with WordPress customization and administration is required.
  • Candidate must show strong problem solving, critical thinking, and writing skills, work effectively on a team, learn technical material quickly, establish realistic goals, and deliver quality work on schedule with minimal supervision.
  • The ability to prioritize activities and multitask is essential.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 2-5 years experience in web development in a team setting is preferred.
  • Experience and demonstrated expertise in: content management or web publishing systems; Java web application development using Springsource Tool Suite or Eclipse IDE; JSTL front-end templating; the PHP/Apache/MySQL web development stack; designing and implementing APIs and web services; interactive client-side data visualization (D3); CSS pre-processors (SASS/LESS); workflow (Grunt/Gulp), version control (Git), and deployment (Jenkins); JavaScript frameworks (Angular, Ember, Backbone); relational database table design, SQL programming and performance testing using Oracle.
  • Prior use and understanding of the eBird system and interest in birding and ecology is highly desired.

This position is open to internal and external applicants through July 31, 2015 on the Jobs at Cornell web page at: https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10164/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=28452