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Tips and Tricks for Getting a Wildlife Job

Interested in a career in wildlife? As you likely know, it’s a competitive field! Use these tips and tricks to make yourself stand out from the crowd:

  • The idea of hiring someone who appears not to have stepped foot outside is a bit daunting. If you don’t have outdoor experience, get some! Volunteer for a field project, go on a hike, get involved with a local wildlife group. Although professional experience goes a long way, personal experience can be just as important as it shows interest and aptitude.
  • If you’re applying for field work in the desert, and you grew up hiking in the desert, make sure that’s clear in your resume. Area specific experience and knowledge can be important for various reasons.
  • Be confident, but not cocky. You are not an expert. Even if you are an expert.
  • Once you have an internship, take advantage of your time to learn from biologists. Wildlife projects, the inner-workings of the organization, and professionals’ work history are all much better topics to discuss on a 3-hour drive than the most recent episode of American Idol, or your hair care regimen.
  • If you want to stand out, learn how to harness tech that’s widely available to conduct or improve for wildlife work. Master Excel formulas and experiment with coding; build an iNaturalist project targeting a specific wildlife question; learn your way around Google Earth and ArcGIS Online.
  • Be early, not late. Don’t be the person always looking at their watch and seeming like you’d rather be somewhere else. Instead, be the person who is always looking for more ways to help. Volunteer for the menial tasks, and you’ll end up on the short list for the cool ones.
  • Socialize with professionals at events. Just don’t get tanked or be a jerk. Those things aren’t forgotten.
  • Don’t submit a resume with track changes on it. Always, always, always proofread!
  • The days of the good ol’ boys are gone. If you say or do something that can be used in a training video of how not to behave at work, you won’t be around long.
  • Lots of different volunteer experience is great to have and builds a resume quickly, but repeated volunteering for the same project can show a commitment and carries a higher probability of professionals remembering your work.
  • Be prepared when you show up for volunteer opportunities. Pay attention to information the volunteer leader provides beforehand. For example, flip-flops are rarely the right footwear for field work, and water is a necessity no matter what you do (if the leader doesn’t say it’s provided, bring some). If you have any doubt about what is appropriate for the event, it’s better to ask questions than to guess wrong.
  • Take the opportunities around a campfire or other field settings to get to know the biologists with whom you’re working. We’re just as vain as the average person off the street and it doesn’t take much to get us to talk about how we got there. By the time I get past 5 tangents, I’ll have spent 20 minutes telling you how I landed my first wildlife job (spoiler: AGFD was desperate).
  • Show up for an interview in person if you can; over the phone is acceptable for out-of-state entry-level positions and typically for other city internships. And being in the field is a totally acceptable reason for not being able to make an interview in person.

  • Don’t put your picture on your resume. These days hiring supervisors are probably checking your Facebook account anyhow.
  • Don’t bail on scheduled activities without ample notice/coordination with your supervisor or a legitimate emergency
  • Be eager to learn new skills and help on other projects. Internships are a huge opportunity to learn.
  • Ask questions when you need clarification, take ownership when you can.
  • Become proficient or even an expert in something (a field skill, a data management technique, etc.)

Assistant Professor Wildlife Ecology | Mesa, AZ | Closes 12/7/2016


The Science and Mathematics faculty in the College of Integrative Sciences and Arts on the Polytechnic Campus at Arizona State University invites applications for a highly motivated, energetic and passionate individual to fill an Assistant Professor position in Wildlife Ecology with a principle focus on field-based ungulate or big game ecology or management. The Assistant Professor will be part of a team that includes Applied Biology faculty and other instructional staff dedicated to quality research and instruction in applied biological sciences. The Assistant Professor is expected to involve undergraduates and graduate students in research, provide innovative teaching techniques, and advise students towards careers as professional wildlife and conservation biologists. In addition to a typical course load of two (2) courses a semester, plus an equivalent 20% of workload devoted to service. This is an academic year appointment with an expected start date of August 2017. The Assistant Professor position is an academic-year, benefits-eligible, faculty appointment with tenure implications. Salary is competitive to commensurate with experience and rank. Candidate must reside in Arizona, or be willing to relocate. Background check required prior to employment. Official transcripts required prior to first day of employment. Course load is determined by the faculty head.

Required Qualifications:

  • An earned Ph.D. in Ecology or closely related field at the time of appointment
  • Strong background in wildlife ecology, field biology, or wildlife conservation using modern techniques in occupancy, telemetry, and/or behavior
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Clear potential to secure extramural research funding
  • Evidence of excellent teaching ability

Desired Qualifications:

  • Post-doctoral experience
  • A record of publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals
  • Two or more years of teaching experience at the undergraduate level
  • Demonstrated success in securing extramural research funding
  • Experience working with state and/or federal wildlife agencies
  • Experience in course management systems such as Blackboard

Application Procedure:
To apply, visit and upload your application as one combined .pdf document under job number 11752. Only electronic submissions will be reviewed. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications must contain:

Cover letter of interest

  1. Curriculum vitae
  2. Statement of teaching philosophy
  3. Unofficial graduate transcripts
  4. Evidence of teaching effectiveness should include copies of two sets of student evaluations at the postsecondary level
  5. Information for three professional references (their position, title, e-mail, phone number)
  6. SPEAK test or TSE score of 55 or higher, if applicable

The application deadline is 12/7/2016 at 5pm; and if not filled, then every Friday thereafter until the search is closed. For technical assistance with your application contact, for position-related questions contact Search Committee Chair Dr. Heather Bateman at

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. (See ASU’s complete non-discrimination statement at; see ASU’s Title IX policy at


USFWS Biological Science Technician | Whiteriver, AZ | Closes 10/24/2016


USFWS Biological Science Technician

OPENING DATE: 10/07/2016

CLOSING DATE: 10/24/2016

DEPARTMENT: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

JOB TYPE: Full-time – Temporary

SALARY: $32,318 – $42,012 / Per Year


You too can make a difference in our world. The work of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is meaningful and varied. Want to know more about what it is like to work for us?

Click here to watch short podcasts called Meet Your New Boss! and Diversity is our Strength


Relocation expenses are not authorized.

This is a temporary appointment, not-to-exceed 1040 hours in a service year. The employee may be rehired in subsequent years as long as 1040 hours has not been exceeded in the previous year.

In November and early December, the duties will be intermittent in nature, 10-15 hours a week. Starting in late May or early June, 2017, the position will be 40 hours a week, up until 1039 hours have been reached within the first year of service.

The employee will perform a variety of basic operational tasks in support of programs conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arizona Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office. The employee will be stationed in Whiteriver, Arizona, but will assist with projects across the entire state.

All application materials and supporting documentation must be received by the closing date of this announcement (including Veterans Preference documentation).

  • Conduct biological surveys.
  • Collect, handle, identify, and tag endangered, native, and recreational fish.
  • Maintain field equipment and vehicles, repairing when practicable.
  • Compile data in tabular, graphic, or narrative form.
  • Assist professional biologists by cataloging and filing technical publications and material; performing literature reviews; and by extracting and compiling information as needed for report preparation.
Travel Required
  • 50% or Greater
  • Field work
Relocation Authorized
  • NO



  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Background Investigation
  • One-year probation period
  • Physical Examination
  • Possess and maintain a valid State driver’s license
  • May be required to wear the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service uniform

One year specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-4 grade level in the Federal service, but could have been gained in the private and/or public sectors. Examples of specialized experience may include: enter and analyze biological data using various computer programs; collect biological data including age, sex, species, and mass; operate a variety of equipment; collect biological data on plant species; identify invasive plant species.


Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with major study or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of courses such as biology, chemistry, statistics, entomology, animal husbandry, botany, physics, agriculture, or mathematics. At least 6 semester hours of courses must have been directly related to the position to be filled. PLEASE NOTE: If you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts.


Possess a combination of education and experience that is equivalent to a major in a biological science. Only education in excess of the first 60 semester hours of a course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience requirements. Two full academic years of study, or 60 semester hours, beyond the second year is equivalent to l year of specialized experience.



You must submit a copy of your transcripts (official or unofficial photocopy) to support your educational claims if you are qualifying for the position based on education.  Failure to submit this documentation by the closing date will result in disqualification from further consideration.  Official transcripts will be required if you are selected to fill the position.  College transcripts are still required if you currently occupy or previously occupied the series for which you are applying.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

Work is often strenuous and conducted in remote locations. Weights carried over rough terrain regularly exceed 50 pounds. Considerable driving, hiking, climbing, rafting, and aircraft transport are required. Camping outdoors for extended periods of time in remote locations will be required.

Employee must have average to above average dexterity and must be able to function under stress, unexpected interruptions, and delays while trying to accomplish work in coordination with activities of Tribal, State, and Federal cooperators.

Work includes both office and outdoor settings. As much as 90% of the work is performed outdoors. The office is adequately lighted, heated, and ventilated. In the performance of outdoor work, temperature extremes vary from below zero to above 115° F, depending on the season and location.

During the summer, the lower body, hands, and arms are not protected from the elements, and are exposed for extended periods of time. During winter, the lower body is kept dry with hip boots, waders, or dry/wet suits, but the arms and hands are exposed to water temperatures below 50° F.

The employee is expected to conduct duties in a safe and orderly manner so as not to endanger self, fellow workers, or property with which entrusted.


To apply visit: