Winter 2023 Desert Restoration Corps Project Leader

Conservation Begins Here.

The Student Conservation Association (SCA), Americas #1 conservation service organization seeks qualified applicants to lead, educate, and inspire for the Desert Restoration Corps program.


Winter Season Dates

Position Length: 1/9/2023 4/22/2023

Project Leader Training and Planning Period: 1/9/2023 2/5/2023

Corps Member Training Period: 2/6/2023 2/18/2023

Field Work Hitches: 2/19/2023 4/15/2023


Position Benefits:

  • Salary range: $700 – $800/week
  • Wilderness First Responder Training included
  • Relocation benefit: $1,100 (half paid on the first paycheck, half paid on the last paycheck)
  • Benefits such as Health Insurance are available for leaders who have accrued 6 months of service time in a 12-month period.
  • Field-based meals are provided.


Arrival Airport: Ontario International Airport, Ontario, CA

Training Location: Ridgecrest, CA


Project Location: Ridgecrest, CA

Position Summary:

Project leaders are responsible for daily management and supervision of a Conservation Restoration Corps project in either backcountry or a front-country site with members 18 & older. Project Leaders coordinate with agency partners to plan and implement projects, and with SCA staff to manage crew safety, performance, and logistics in the field. Leaders are required to perform administrative tasks to track project outcomes, approve members timesheets, and manage a field budget.

Project Description:

SCAs Desert Restoration Corps (DRC) is a partnership between SCA, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and several other federal and nonprofit partners in southern California. Since 2001, SCA members have been at the forefront of developing and testing addressing a variety of desert conservation projects. From monitoring, preserving, and repairing fragile habitats to maintaining trails and ensuring safe recreation areas, the DRC has been instrumental in supporting the BLMs management of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts.

The crews will be based in southeastern California and travel to various worksites throughout the California Desert District. Projects may include, though are not limited to water, wildlife, and resource monitoring; invasive species monitoring and management; trail work and assessment; fence construction/removal; trail maintenance; public outreach events, and Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) restoration.

During field-based hitches of 4 to 10 days in length, the crew will live and work out of tent camps near worksites. Field life is rugged, and while on the hitch, members should expect to live without electricity, running water, and cell phone reception; additionally, while on the hitch, this program is alcohol and substance free. Members will typically have 3-5 days off between hitches.

Check out the Desert Restoration Corps homepage for an in-depth look at what our previous DRC crews have been up to. For more information about SCA Desert Restoration Corps, check out these reports from some of our past field crews.


2021-2022 Desert Restoration Corps Final Report
2021 Joshua Tree National Park Restoration Project Final Report


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Act as a Team Supervisor by facilitating teamwork, managing field-based tasks, guiding group dynamics and community building, and being transparent and receptive to ideas when making decisions.
  • Serve as a Teacher by mentoring personal and professional development, teaching environmental stewardship, and teaching conflict resolution skills.
  • Act as a Project Manager by coordinating with agency partners to ensure successful and timely completion of work projects and upholding a position representation of SCA.
  • Perform tasks as a Program Administrator by organizing logistics, completing timely documentation, managing a budget, and communicating with SCA, agency partners, and their own team members.



  • Must be a minimum of 21 years of age
  • Must have the ability to legally work in the US.
  • Valid drivers license and MVR that meets SCA standards required
  • Ability to meet SCAs criminal background check standards
  • Must be able to attend mandatory Crew Leader training: from January 9, 2023, to February 5, 2023.
  • Wilderness First Responder certification is preferred and will be required for backcountry Project Leaders.
  • Experience working with young adults 18 and older; managing group dynamics; teaching in an outdoor environment a plus
  • Experience with conservation work skills or related skills preferred i.e., habitat restoration, trail maintenance, trail construction, chainsaw, carpentry, landscaping, and gardening
  • Ability to perform manual, physical labor for up to 8 to 10 hours per day, exposed to the elements, occasionally lift and/or move 50 pounds or more, and potentially hike up to 8 miles in a day.
  • Not required to provide own housing during the dates of the program.
  • Ability to implement and enforce SCA COVID policies and procedures


To Apply Click HERE


Beginning on 1/18/22, all new SCA volunteer program participants are required to provide proof of up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19. Per CDC guidance, up-to-date vaccination now includes all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when indicated. For example, if someone has completed the primary series but is not yet indicated for a booster shot, they are considered up to date. Once a person is indicated for a booster (6 months after Pfizer or Moderna primary series, 2 months after J&J primary series), full and up-to-date vaccination includes the completed booster shot. Visit the following website for more information:

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Student Conservation Association