Amargosa River (CA) Bird Monitoring

Field technician needed for avian spot mapping, nest searching and monitoring, cowbird trapping and vegetation surveys in recently restored riparian areas of the Armargosa River in the Mojave Desert of California.

Duration:  early April through early-June 2023 (start and end date may be flexible DOE)

Description: This program offers a unique opportunity to explore and observe birds in some of the most unique landscapes in North America in and around the Mojave Desert, while collecting data to guide management and gage bird response to riparian restoration. Field work focus on tributaries of the Amargosa River (near Shoshone and Tecopa, CA) and local bird populations with emphasis on studying the breeding ecology of Least Bell’s Vireo. Training will be provided by experienced supervisor (< 10 years on project) during first 6 weeks of project.

Primary duties include but are not limited to: Conducting multiple-species avian surveys, spot mapping, nest searching for target species and monitoring, cowbird trapping and habitat surveys. Work weeks vary from 5-6 days and are typically 40-50 hours but vary from 35-60 hours.

Compensation: Positions pay an hourly wage of $25 per hour DOE with overtime pay according to California State law. Housing and utilities are included in the town of Tecopa, CA.  A personal vehicle will be required to get to nearby study sites. Any required travel over 30 miles from provided housing will receive mileage compensation ($0.65 /mile).

Covid-19 precautions: We expect field technician to follow Point Blue safety protocols, including any local county and state mandates to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Hired applicants may be required to quarantine and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to start date.


  • Previous experience of careful observing bird behavior and bird identification is highly recommended, nest finding and spot mapping desired but will train. Most important is patience and careful and persistent observation to follow and map individuals in dense cover.
  • All candidates must feel confident in their ability to hike and navigate in dense riparian vegetation. Exposure to biting insects (chiggers) is unavoidable and will require bathing immediately after field work.
  • We require self-motivation, enthusiasm for working in hot weather in remote location. The ability to cope with inclement weather, willingness to spend long hours in the field and carefully sleuthing individual birds 5-6 days/week. The ability to work independently is required.
  • Position requires driving (< 10 miles) to remote study sites from housing provided 5-6 days/week.
  • Successful applicants will need a valid U.S. driver’s license, at least two years of driving experience, and may be asked to provide information to verify their good driving record.

To apply: Send a single document (PDF preferred, or Word Doc) including a cover letter describing previous field work, specific dates of availability, a resume, and contact information for two references to Geoff Geupel ( In the subject line type: Armargosa 2023. A qualified candidates will be hired as they are identified. Position will remain open until filled.

Point Blue Conservation Science is a growing and internationally renowned non-profit with over 160 staff and scientists based in Petaluma, California. Founded in 1965 as Point Reyes Bird Observatory, our mission and programs have evolved over time to include a broad range of conservation activity, from restoration to environmental education to innovative work in the field of regenerative agriculture.  We have a proven track record of scientific excellence.

We recognize that increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion factors at Point Blue and in our partnerships is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. We are actively engaging in a process to create lasting organizational change. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community.

Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.