Bird Conservancy of the Rockies is seeking field biologists to contribute to the long-term occupancy monitoring of the Mexican Spotted owl on US National Forests throughout Arizona and New Mexico. This field position is from April 3rd- July 20th, and is paid $17/hr. This is a unique opportunity to work on a federally-threatened species and to become intricately familiar with southwestern landscapes. Fieldwork entails navigating to established survey locations during daylight hours by driving on remote roads and hiking on- and off-trail. After dark, technicians follow a strict protocol of broadcasting Spotted Owl calls and listening for responses from owls at up to 5 survey points, approximately ½ to 1 km apart. Technicians hike between survey points and return to their camping locations in the dark. Campsites are usually primitive, often without cell phone service or facilities. Occasionally, overnight backpacking is required to access remote sites. Technicians work in pairs with the same individual during a 10-day work hitch, after which partners are switched within a team of four.

Tagged as: Backcountry Skills, Conservation, Research/Science and Technical


Successful candidates will be passionate about wildlife conservation, comfortable hiking long distances off-trail at night, and enjoy living and working remotely for several months at a time. Work days can be long and strenuous, and the work schedule is highly variable with extensive driving time. Attendance to a 4-day training prior to the field season is mandatory. Technicians must be able to learn to identify all southwestern owls by sight and sound upon completion of the training.

Preferred Skills:

Applicants should be enthusiastic, physically fit, enjoy traveling, and be willing to work long hours in the field. The successful applicant will need to be comfortable hiking up to 12 miles a day while carrying a 30-pound backpack, and surveying areas with potentially hazardous wildlife including black bears, mountain lions and rattlesnakes. Applicants must enjoy working independently with multiple days of solitude and have enthusiasm work spending 3.5 months conducting fieldwork.

About Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

About the Organization:
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through an integrated approach of science, education and stewardship. Our work extends from the Rockies to the Great Plains, Mexico and beyond. Our mission is advanced through sound science, achieved through empowering people, realized through stewardship and sustained through cross-border collaborations. We monitor and identify population trends, research habitat needs, engage landowners and managers in wildlife and habitat stewardship, and inspire audiences of all ages to be better stewards of the land. Together, we are improving native bird populations, the land, and the lives of people. Learn more about our work and programs at our website: www.birdconservancy.org

Application Instructions

Send a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references IN ONE DOCUMENT (.pdf or .doc) to [email protected]. Name your application file as follows: Lastname_MSO2023_technician. Applications will be reviewed starting on January 1st 2023 and positions will be filled as suitable applicants are found.