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Job Opportunity: Field Institute Coordinator – McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Apply Here!


Overall Responsibilities

Coordinate and support research projects as part of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Parsons Field Institute. Projects will include long-term monitoring, experimental research, training, and engaging citizen scientists, and community engagement.

Responsibilities Include

  • Support local and regional projects focused on flora and fauna research and monitoring and the management of natural open space. 
  • Coordinate and oversee project logistics, including protocols, equipment, data collection, and data management.
  • Recruit and train citizen scientists and other volunteers. Provide support for field and data processing teams.
  • Contribute to project reporting for partners, funders, and other stakeholders.
  • Partner with staff and volunteers to recruit and mentor lead volunteers for research projects.
  • Partner with education and communication staff and volunteers to engage the community in the Conservancy’s work.
  • Draft regular updates on activities and research findings to promote the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy to the public, volunteers, the Conservancy Board of Directors, scientific partners, and other interested organizations, and individuals. 
  • Work with volunteers and staff to develop professional-level presentations and engaging activities.
  • Participate in and contribute to planning and coordinating Conservancy events.
  • Manage and update research permits and equipment inventory.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources science or closely related field
  • Two or more years of experience in a closely related field OR equivalent scientific experience in related/applicable areas
  • Fieldwork experience and field skills, such as plot sampling, plant and animal identification, and use of GPS. Leading field project teams a plus
  • Ability to plan, schedule, provide structure, set expectations, and follow-up on results
  • Must have exceptional attention to detail, be able to multitask, be organized, fast, efficient, skilled at prioritizing and meeting deadlines, and excel in a fast-paced environment with the ability to keep a positive outlook under pressure
  • Ability to interact well with a wide variety of people, including volunteers, research partners, and the public
  • Advanced computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently; knowing when to seek assistance
  • Must be able to pass a standard background check
  • A valid driver’s license and access to reliable transportation
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds on a regular basis

 Preferred Skills and Experience

  • Experience with plant and animal monitoring techniques and scientific data collection procedures
  • Sonoran Desert plant and animal identification
  • Experience with wildlife camera monitoring and acoustic monitoring
  • Skill in using ArcGIS software
  • Public speaking experience

Like all of our staff members, this role is expected to contribute to a culture based upon respect, teamwork, and collaboration. Adaptability, creativity, and a passion for the environment and the Conservancy are a must.

Working Conditions

Work is performed in an office setting as well as outdoors. Some local travel to meetings is required.


A complete application contains the following items:

  • A cover letter, not to exceed one page.
  • A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae.

Items should be saved together in one PDF (.pdf) or Word document (.doc or .docx), and saved with a file name in the following format:

  • LastnameSCApplication.pdf or LastnameSCApplication.doc or LastnameSCApplication.docx

Complete applications should be attached to an email message and sent to Applications will not be accepted through any other means.

Application Submission Deadline: Open Until Filled                                           

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including, but not limited to, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfers, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.


Backyard Bats: Bat and Hummingbird Feeder Study

Hello and thank you again to all those who volunteered their time and sugar for our Backyard Bats project this past season! Despite the universal challenges of 2020, we had a great turnout. Attached is a brief analysis from project collaborator Ted Fleming comparing season summary form data collected in 2019 and 2020. 
In other news, our scientific journal article discussing the findings from data collected between 2008 and 2018 was recently accepted by the Journal of Mammalogy! The article has not yet been assigned to a printed volume, but in the meantime the article abstract can be found at the following link:

We are now officially launching this project again for the 2021 season! Your input will be valuable to our monitoring efforts…the more data, the stronger our findings. Just go to and keep track 2-3 times per week of how much your feeder is drained overnight by bats, and then fill out the online Data Input Form. There is also a lot of information on the above website – instructions for the project, info about the bats, what we’ve learned so far from this citizen-scientist project, and interesting articles. If you can get a photo or video of the bats at your feeder at some point, we can usually identify which species you have.

If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know. We are always looking for new volunteers, especially in areas in Southern AZ outside of Tucson, so please help to spread the word! 
A few small reminders for the 2021 season:

§  Make sure that you hang your feeder high enough off the ground that the bats will not be in danger from feral/outdoor cats. Also, the bats can be a bit messy at times so keep any patio furniture you don’t want to clean away from the feeder.

§  If your feeder has bee guards on each port that can be removed, this will make it easier for the bats to access the nectar.

§  We ask that you take note of overnight changes to the fluid levels in your hummingbird feeders at least twice per week, but any amount of data you can provide will be helpful.

§  Submit your observations on the website by clicking “Weekly Data Input Form” just below the photo. More detailed information can be found by clicking “Instructions and Information”.

§  Negative data (i.e. no change in fluid level was observed) are just as important to us as drained feeders.

§  Take a quick look at the “End of Season Summary Form” located on the website to see what information we will ask of you at the end of the 2021 season. It may help to take notes throughout the season so you can easily refer back to them when the time comes.


Job Opportunity: TWS Conservation Affairs Network Fellow

The Wildlife Society is hiring a Conservation Affairs Network Fellow to help advance TWS’ policy activities and those of TWS chapters and sections through support and coordination of the Conservation Affairs Network. This is a full-time, term position with funding expected to be available through June 30, 2022. Possibility for extension up to an additional 12 months based on funding and incumbent availability. Further details may be found in the attached announcement. Deadline to apply is August 15. Contact Caroline Murphy with any questions at