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. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Duration: April 1 through mid-June 2021 (start and end date may be flexible )

Description: This program offers a unique opportunity to explore and observe birds in one of the most important riparian areas in the Mojave Desert, while collecting data to guide management and gauge bird response to riparian restoration. Fieldwork focused on the Amargosa River (near Shoshone and Tecopa, CA) with emphasis on studying the breeding ecology of endangered Least Bell’s Vireos. Training will be provided by experienced supervisor (> 10 years on project) during first 4 weeks of project.

Primary duties include but are not limited to: Conducting multiple-species avian surveys, territory mapping, nest searching and monitoring, cowbird trapping, and vegetation 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 – 30 per hour DOE with overtime pay according to California State law. Housing and utilities are included at Tecopa Marsh, in the town of Tecopa Hot Springs, 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.

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 territory mapping experience desired but will train. Most important is patience and careful and persistent observation to follow individuals and carefully locate well-hidden nests 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 are hallmarks of a successful season. The ability to work independently is required.
  • Position requires driving (< 15 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 2021. A qualified candidate will be hired as they are identified. Position will remain open until filled.

Point Blue is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion. 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.