Biological Technician

Expected Dates
August 9, 2020 to August 7, 2021
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge
Position ID
Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a large desert refuge in the hottest and driest and most scenic part of the Sonoran desert and is part of the Southwest Arizona Refuge Complex (SWAZRC). Kofa NWR is mostly Designated Wilderness was established for the protection of desert bighorn sheep, other native wildlife and their habitat. In 2011 the recovery team began reintroducing the endangered Sonoran pronghorn to Kofa NWR and surrounding areas. The SWARC  also includes Imperial and Cibola NWR’s, which are located along the Lower Colorado River. The intern will have opportunities to learn first-hand about the operation of three refuges.

The SCA Biological Technician intern will work out of the Kofa NWR/SWAZRC office located in Yuma, Arizona. He/she will assist the with wildlife management and monitoring projects on Kofa NWR. Periodically, the intern may assist with activities or projects on Imperial and Cibola NWRs. Specific tasks will include checking the status of water sources, running trail cameras in remote wilderness locations and processing photos to collect data relevant to managing the refuge for the benefit of desert bighorn sheep and other native wildlife. Duties will also include assisting with monitoring, maintenance and feeding of the endangered Sonoran pronghorn within and outside of a semi-captive breeding pen. There will be many opportunities to interact with refuge staff and partner agency personnel on a wide variety of projects.

The Biological Technician intern will also help with the Visitor Services Program, and with general refuge operations. He/she will greet visitors and answer phone calls at the Visitor Center and respond to questions, needs and complaints; help maintain the refuge website, Facebook page and brochures. Duties will include participating in public outreach at community events and developing and presenting programs to school classes and other groups and leading interpretive hikes. They will also help manage and coordinate Refuge Volunteer activities and work schedules.

Working atypical, sometimes long hours, working on some weekend and over-night camping trips are required for this position. Very strong hiking and orientations skills are essential, as is being able to do field work in remote areas and in extreme summer heat. Operating a 4x4 vehicle on sometimes extremely rough and rocky roads is necessary.

Housing is provided at an RV park within walking or biking distance of the SW Arizona Refuge Complex/Kofa NWR headquarters. All utilities will be paid for by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The trailer is furnished with basic dishes, pots and pans, silverware, and bedding.

Compensation amounts:
  • $1,100 - RT travel allowance
  • $160 - weekly living allowance
  • $1,200 - duty related travel
  • AmeriCorps eligible ($6,095 education award and health insurance)
  • Housing

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

  • The SCA Biological Technician intern will operate out of the SW Arizona Refuge Complex/Kofa National Wildlife Refuge headquarters located in Yuma, Arizona. He/she will travel often to Kofa NWR and on occasion to Imperial NWR and Cibola NWR to perform assigned duties.
  • Training opportunities include wildlife and natural resources management methods, interpretation and first aid/CPR. Additional training opportunities may arise.
  • In addition to training necessary to accomplish wildlife and natural resource management activities, participate in community events; and enjoy outdoor activities like hiking; biking; boating; etc. is available in and near the community.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree major or professional experience
some coursework or experience
Earth Sciences
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
competent without supervision
Field Research
some experience
competent without supervision
Volunteer Coordination
some experience
Orienteering compass skills
competent without supervision