Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee

California City, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $19.75/hour
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

The Desert Tortoise Preserve Committee, Inc. (DTPC), a California tax-exempt non-profit corporation, is seeking a SEASONAL, FULL-TIME Naturalist for the SPRING / SUMMER interpretive season at the Desert Tortoise Research Natural Area (DTRNA).


(A) Interpretive Services. The Naturalist is expected to greet all visitors with an open, friendly demeanor. The Naturalist must be knowledgeable about the fauna and flora of the DTRNA; the organizations and agencies responsible for its creation and stewardship, particularly the DTPC; and the role of the DTRNA in conserving a part of the desert biome. The Naturalist will use this knowledge to provide information to the public in the course of welcoming visitors, conducting scheduled and unscheduled nature walks, presentations, and other educational activities. The Naturalist will observe visitor activity and behavior and will take appropriate action if a prohibited activity is observed. The Naturalist's actions may include speaking to the individuals involved, telling them that the activity is prohibited, and requesting alternative actions if appropriate, or notifying the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

In order to provide interpretive information to visitors, the Naturalist should know the following information: plant communities typical of the Mojave Desert and common and scientific names of principal species of perennial shrubs; vertebrate species of the reptiles, mammals, and breeding birds of the Area; State and federal regulations regarding wild and captive desert tortoise matters including why the desert tortoise was federally- and state- listed, causes of population and habitat decline; and the functions of the Bureau of Land Management and the DTPC as they apply to the DTRNA.

(B) Data Collection and Reporting. The Naturalist will record information about visitors and visitation patterns, maintain daily activity reports, and record wildlife sightings and all unusual activities using the daily activity report forms provided by DTPC. The Naturalist will take notes and keep records of hourly and daily observations and activities. Notes will be taken in permanent black ink and the original copies will become the property of DTPC. The Naturalist will enter monitoring data onto the daily activity report forms immediately on making the observation whenever possible. The Naturalist will prepare a weekly summary of visitor use information gathered over that period, a summary of interpretive activities, any problems encountered and their resolution, and any other observations which might contribute to better stewardship of the DTRNA and bordering habitat. The Naturalist will assist in the preparation of the annual Naturalist report.

(C) Monitoring. The Naturalist will record visitor attendance, the number of tours conducted, other visitor use information that may be required, and wildlife sighting information, especially concerning common ravens and Mohave ground squirrels. The Naturalist will observe the conduct of visitors and take appropriate action when prohibited activities are observed, will monitor the outhouse for venomous animals, and will intercept releases or removals of desert tortoises. The Naturalist will maintain and add to a list of vertebrate species found on or adjacent to the Natural Area. Observations must be documented as to date, time, location, and activity of the animal. Most monitoring activity will take place in the vicinity of the DTRNA Interpretive Center, but the DTPC may request monitoring of other areas as well.

(D) Assisting with Other DTPC Activities and Programs. During scheduled work time, the Naturalist will assist other DTPC personnel and volunteers as necessary to conduct activities at the DTRNA or vicinity, such as volunteer-guided tours, stewardship activities, and survey work. The Naturalist will offer DTPC fundraising products for sale to visitors as appropriate and when sales will not interfere with educational and interpretive services. Records will be kept of all sales and monies received. All collected monies will be sent to the DTPC Treasurer at the end of each work week. The Naturalist will distribute DTPC membership forms and information.

(E) Site Maintenance

(i) The DTPC Naturalist Trailer. The DTPC Naturalist Trailer is the Full-Time Naturalist’s living quarters and office. The trailer is for personal use only and overnight accommodation for unapproved guests is prohibited.  The trailer shall be kept locked whenever the Naturalist leaves its vicinity to speak with visitors or to guide tours away from the immediate vicinity.

(ii) The BLM Interpretive Trailer The Interpretive Trailer is the only indoor space where the public visitors are allowed. Visitors may enter the trailer to view and collect interpretive materials for to purchase products.  The Naturalist shall store educational materials that are displayed outside of the trailer whenever the Naturalist leaves the Interpretive Trailer and after business and visitation hours.

(iii) DTRNA Interpretive Area. The Naturalist shall keep the parking lot and vicinity clean by picking up incidental trash, etc. The Naturalist will check the toilet and kiosk area for rattlesnakes, black widow spiders, and recluse spiders on a daily basis. Spiders should be removed from the toilet and kiosk. The Naturalist will inspect the exhibits along the trails each morning and maintain them as required.

(iv) DTRNA Outdoor Toilet Outhouse The Naturalist is responsible for cleaning and maintaining this facility that is used by both the Naturalists and the public. 

(v)  Overall Maintenance The Naturalist shall keep the above facilities in a clean, neat and in good order at all times.


  • Demonstrated professional and/or educational commitment to environmental conservation, public outreach, and/or scientific research
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with a diversity of interest groups, public and private agencies, and members of the general public
  • Exceptional recommendations from professional, educational, and personalreferences
  • Basic understanding and ability to administer first-aid
  • Ability to maintain accurate and complete records and incorporate information into
  • Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets, Microsoft Access database, and Microsoft Word processing computer programs
  • Ability to live on-site in the DTPC’s motor home at the DTRNA during the term of employment
  • Possessing and maintaining a valid state driver’s license.
  • Having and maintaining eligibility to work in the United States pursuant to federal law, along with submission of employment eligibility documentation.


The Naturalist must have the ability to live alone and on-site in the DTPC’s generator powered DTPC Naturalist Trailer at the DTRNA during the term of employment. This very basic housing includes heating and air conditioning, sleeping quarters and a small kitchen.  The DTRNA Outdoor Toilet Outhouse is available for use by the Naturalist.  Showers are available off-site at a nearby campground. Laundry is done off -site at your expense.

The Naturalist must be comfortable living in a remote location alone where weather conditions are harsh with winds exceeding 30 miles an hour and the temperatures rising above 100 degrees.

There can be weak to no cell phone signal and minimal access to the internet, however, a back-up mobile “hot spot” will be made available in case of emergencies.

This is a remote desert location surrounded by OHV use land and private property. The DTPC office is in Ridgecrest, 40 miles away.  You will be supported in person infrequently and supervised by the Preserve Manager who will visit the location once a week. 

The part-time Naturalist who works two days a week will also have access to the DTPC Naturalist Trailer during visitation hours.

California City proper is approximately five miles away from the DTRNA and is a small desert town that has several restaurants, a library, and Dollar Store.


Compensation and Timeline: The timeline of work is from March to early June 2022. While the start and end dates are flexible, the preferred start date is prior to March 14, 2022. This is a full-time 40 hour/week position. The Naturalist is expected to work alone on-site Tuesday through Saturday during operating hours (8 am to 5 pm). Compensation is $19.75/hour.  Other standard employment terms, conditions, and policies apply.



Please submit a cover letter, resume, and the contact information of at least two  references to Sophia Osho, Executive Administrator at Please include “Naturalist Position” in the subject line. Review of applications will begin in January and continue until the position is filled.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.