Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-BIRDSOFTHEWORLDEDITOR [#13028, WDR-00017401]
Position Title: Extension Associate; Science Editor, Birds of the World Extension Associate; Science Editor, Birds of the World Extension Associate; Scie
Position Type:Non tenure-track faculty
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Biology / Natural Resources
Natural Resources / Natural Resources
Appl Deadline:2019/01/05* finished (2018/12/20, finished 2019/01/30, listed until 2019/01/05)
Position Description:    

*** this position has been closed, and no new applications will be accepted. ***

Extension Associate; Science Editor, Birds of the World

Lab of Ornithology

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY  

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology seeks a scientist with exceptional knowledge of birds of the world at the family and species levels, experience in scientific writing, research, formal and informal science education, and public outreach to serve as Science Editor. The Science Editor will oversee the editing and production of the Birds of the World project.

* This is a full-time, 2-year appointment (February 2019 to February 2021), renewable annually pending renewable funding, available work and performance.


Birds of the World is a dynamic online series of scholarly monographs covering all bird families and species, based on the 17 volume print series The Handbook of the Birds of the World. Rooted in and linked to the eBird/Clements taxonomy of birds of the world, this series aims to update each family and species account in digital format by leveraging the strengths of a community of scientific contributors and associate editors to produce modern information covering family and species level natural history and identification. The Birds of the World will produce current, living documents available through web and mobile services for students, professionals, citizen scientists, and government agencies worldwide. The result will be a scholarly and dynamic information resource covering all bird families and species.

 The science editor will:

·         Work in conjunction with the Digital Publications Lead in Information Science to clearly define the vision, scope, and goals of a successful Birds of the World project; a new strategic project at the Lab

·         Develop a strategy to update content for all bird families and more than 10,000 bird species in online monographs while ensuring appropriately authoritative coverage and Cornell Lab publication quality

·         Work together with a managing editor to develop and maintain interactions with a community of associate editors to produce and review incoming content

·         Identify and recruit authors from the scientific community to revise family and species accounts

·         Work with these authors to incorporate new science and associated citations, amend and replace text as needed, and integrate into each account a suite of rich media assets (sound recordings, photos, video, diagrams, etc.) that illustrate various aspects of each species’ natural history

·         Beyond maintaining current scholarly content, the expectation will be to increase the volume of annual account revisions; the specific goals for publishing will be discussed annually as these depend in part on account management infrastructure and staff, and the level of author engagement.

·         Keep Birds of the World current with taxonomic changes as dictated by the eBird/Clements taxonomy

·         Ensure systematics sections are treated in depth and consistently across all Lab digital publications

·         Keep abreast of, and take part in current research related to this position, especially around taxonomy

·         Represent the Lab in professional contexts related to avian systematics and taxonomy

·         Foster connections among the Birds of the World project and other Lab programs and projects engaged in the study and interpretation of avian biodiversity

·         Work closely with a team of technical information specialists and software designers at the Lab who will assist in developing the infrastructure required to run the project, as well as archiving and serving the digital assets

·         Consult with the Sales and Marketing Manager in Information Science to coordinate sales and marketing of this product to individual subscribers as well as college and university libraries.

·         Represent Birds of the World at ornithological meetings


·         Masters in biology, ecology, natural resources, or related field required

·         Strong background in ornithology and taxonomy required

·         Expert knowledge in bird families and species of the world

·         Broad experience writing scientific literature, with a focus on life history works at the family and species level

·         Good working knowledge of publishing, particularly online

·         Familiarity with the global ornithological community

  •      Strong record of enhancing the performance of a team through productive collaboration
  •       Excellent oral and written communication skills required



·         PhD in biology, ecology, natural resources, or related fields.

SALARY:  Commensurate with experience

SUPERVISION RECEIVED:         Reports to the Information Science and Technology Digital Publications Lead

Applications including a CV, Coverletter, a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion, three letters of recommendation and transcripts should be submitted online at: Applications will be reviewed January 5, 2019. Potential applicants may contact Brian Sullivan ( 

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities.

Application Materials Required:
Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
159 Sapsucker Woods Rd.
Ithaca, NY 14850

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