Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-EXTASSOC [#19268, WDR-00027573]
Position Title: Extension Associate
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Ecology
Computer Science
Appl Deadline: finished (2021/08/24, finished 2022/03/30)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

Extension Associate
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Johnson Center for Birds & Biodiversity
Cornell University, Ithaca, NY  14850

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. 

Who We Are

Located in the beautiful Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the Lab) is dedicated to advancing the understanding and protection of the natural world and joins with people from all walks of life to make new scientific discoveries, share insights, and galvanize conservation action. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), and our management and staff are committed to the highest standards of ethics and excellence in all areas of our work.

The Extension Associate will join the Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics (KLY-CCB;, one of six programmatic centers within the Lab. KLY-CCB’s mission is to collect and interpret sounds in nature by developing and applying innovative technologies across multiple ecologically relevant scales to inspire and inform the conservation of wildlife and habitats. Our highly interdisciplinary team of scientists, educators, engineers, students, and research support personnel is working with many national and international collaborators on a wide variety of terrestrial and aquatic bioacoustic research projects tackling conservation issues worldwide.

What We Need 

The objective of the Extension Associate is to facilitate the use of bioacoustics and passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) in wildlife research and conservation around the world. In collaboration with the other workshop instructors, this person will be responsible for expanding in-person and virtual workshops and trainings, assisting researchers who are initiating PAM projects, collaborating on established projects, building a global network of practitioners, and helping to organize regional conferences in Central Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. 

This position consists of 75% capacity building responsibilities and 25% research. Applicants will be expected to:
  • Develop and expand in-person and virtual sound analysis training in passive acoustic monitoring, use of data collection equipment, use of specialized software for data analysis, and data interpretation.
  • Deliver domestic and international workshops on passive acoustic monitoring and bioacoustic methods.
  • Provide the bioacoustics community with opportunities for engagement and continued learning (e.g., virtual discussions, webinars, virtual office hours).
  • Serve as a resource and collaborator for colleagues in KLY-CCB
  • Establish and/or contribute to a research program that complements the research focus of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics.
  • Publish conservation-relevant research in major peer-reviewed journals.
  • Mentor undergraduates and early-career researchers.

Workshop instruction and organization. Develop and update teaching materials to advance education on acoustic monitoring methods, use of data collection equipment, use of specialized software for data analysis, and data interpretation. Deliver sound analysis workshops in Ithaca, NY and internationally. Participate in workshops, research and/or training in the field, which may include working for extended periods of time at remote field locations. Advise software developers and engineers on the development and improvement of software and hardware to meet the needs of the bioacoustics research community. Work with KLY-CCB Leadership and Lab Development Team to identify and secure external funding through grant writing, foundation requests, donations, and other sources of support for training activities (25%).

Virtual curriculum design and implementation. Structure a virtual curriculum in bioacoustics, passive acoustic monitoring, and sound analysis. Generate videos and interactive virtual exercises. Collaborate on the production of stand-alone guides for common types of acoustic analysis (e.g., data annotation, use of detectors, construction of training and test datasets for machine learning approaches) (20%).

Build and curate a network of PAM practitioners. Provide the bioacoustics community with opportunities for engagement and continued learning (e.g., virtual methods discussions and journal clubs, webinars, virtual office hours). Collaborate with non-governmental organizations and local personnel on acoustic monitoring and community engagement projects. Provide KLY-CCB staff and external collaborators with subject matter expertise on sound analysis, analysis protocol development, application of automated analysis tools, statistical methods, interpretation of analysis results, scientific writing, and figure generation.  Collaborate with KLY-CCB staff and the broader bioacoustics community on the preparation of scientific manuscripts for peer review and on presentations for scientific audiences, government officials, the public, and mass media. Work with and guide KLY-CCB graduate students (20%).

Research. Establish and/or contribute to a research program that complements the research focus of the K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics, including applying for external funding. Identify and obtain external research funding, publish papers, present at scientific conferences and public engagement events. Supervise grant-funded post-docs, field technicians, and other staff. Mentor undergraduate students interested in bioacoustic research and conservation (25%).

Other duties. Maintain and build upon relevant skills such as virtual curriculum design. Serve on administrative committees (e.g., hiring committees, space committee). Establish and maintain a safe, productive, and respectful working environment that fosters a culture of inclusiveness, teamwork and high-quality research and instructional results (10%).

The Extension Associate must be able to foster and maintain excellent working relationships with coworkers, collaborators and students from very diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. This requires approaching all matters with an open mind, sense of curiosity, service-minded attitude, and diplomacy. KLY-CCB is an inclusive community (, and we welcome anyone who has an interest in bioacoustics without consideration of age, sex, gender/gender identity, ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, nationality, or background, among others. We recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature. We will work purposefully to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices within KLY-CCB and the communities we aspire to serve. Applicants are invited to include a statement on how their experiences, perspectives, and aspirations can contribute to diversity and inclusion in support of KLY-CCB’s values.

Term of position 

This is a full-time (100% FTE) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in biology, ecology, computer science or other relevant field, or extensive experience in bioacoustics research and education, and two or more years of related work experience.  
  • Strong understanding of bioacoustic principles and concepts, and willingness to gain deep proficiency with the technical aspects of sound analysis. 
  • Experience teaching complex topics, including the ability to organize and present scientific and technical information clearly in written and oral form. 
  • Enthusiasm for engaging with students, researchers, and conservationists from diverse backgrounds and geographic regions. 
  • Proficiency in English and at least one additional language. 
  • Capacity and excitement for international travel; must obtain and maintain a valid passport. 
  • Self-motivated, able to work both as part of a team and independently, and to regularly communicate status and progress. 
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills with the ability to complete tasks in a timely and effective manner. 
  • Attention to detail as well as excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.

Preferred Qualifications

  • PhD preferred. Experience mentoring others in the design and execution of scientific projects, particularly passive acoustic monitoring projects. 
  • Experience with conservation research and associated ethical considerations
  • Demonstrated capacity to secure grant funds.
  • Proficiency with acoustic-based detection, classification, localization and/or density estimation. 
  • Proficiency in Spanish, French, Indonesian, or Malay. 
  • Experience with curriculum design and/or virtual teaching. 
  • Video production and editing skills.
What We Offer You

We hope you appreciate great benefits! Cornell receives national recognition as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.

  • Our benefits program includes comprehensive health care options, access to wellness programs, employee discounts, and generous retirement contributions.
  • Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays: including an end-of-year paid winter break, from December 25th through January 1st.
  • Cornell's impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Part-Time Study and Employee Degree Program, Tuition Aid for external education, and Cornell Children's Tuition Assistance program.
  • We invite you to follow this link for more information about current benefit options:

Application Instructions: 

Interested applicants should submit a CV, letter of interest, research statement, teaching statement, contact information for 3 references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link:  Review of applications will begin September 1 and will continue until a candidate is selected.  If you have questions about this position, please email Laurel Symes at 

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
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