The Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) is federally listed as a threatened species north and west of the Colorado River under the Endangered Species Act.  Desert tortoise monitoring will assist researchers in estimating population density. Monitoring occurs during April and May to coincide with the peak activity season of desert tortoises.

Twenty five (25) AmeriCorps field monitors will be required to demonstrate proficiency in backcountry wilderness field skills, including but not limited to 4WD vehicle operation, use of GPS and topographic maps, and electronic data collection technology.  In addition, field monitors will be field tested on their knowledge of and ability to follow monitoring protocols thoroughly and precisely. Field monitors will work for 5 consecutive days with 2 days off. Monitors must be available to work any of the 7 days each week, with the understanding that the schedule is subject to change with little or no notice.  Field camping is required.  This position will require long hours including early mornings and may include weekends.

Job Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology (wildlife or conservation), ecology or related field;
  • Experience collecting field data or following established field data collection protocols;
  • Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for navigation and/or data collection;
  • Knowledge of southwestern/Mojave flora and fauna desirable;
  • Self-motivated with ability to maintain a positive attitude while working in a diverse team environment;
  • Ability to work a variable schedule (including weekends) that may change with little or no notice;
  • Ability to walk a minimum of 12 km/day in challenging terrain and harsh and rapidly changing desert conditions, and otherwise be in good physical condition;
  • Willingness to camp in the desert backcountry for consecutive days;
  • Possess a valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license;
  • Ability to operate a 4WD vehicle on- or off-road if required;
  • Meet AmeriCorps eligibility requirements:
    • U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status,
    • eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award (limit of four in a lifetime or the equivalent of two full-time education awards), and
    • pass National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) and federal criminal background checks.


  • $5,328.00 Living Allowance (divided and paid out in bi-weekly paychecks)
  • $1,342.86 Education Award upon successful completion of AmeriCorps service term
  • Field Per Diem
  • Student loan forbearance/interest accrual eligibility offered through AmeriCorps
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance available at no cost