Wild Horse Population Field Coordinator and Technician

Return to Freedom

Reno, Nevada

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details Commensurate with experience
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Return to Freedom (RTF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit wild horse conservation organization founded in 1997. Return to Freedom is dedicated to the freedom and diversity of wild horses and burros through sanctuary, education, advocacy, and conservation, while enriching the human spirit through direct experience with the natural world.

Position is open until filled, with an expected start date of Summer 2024. Housing is not provided. Field sites are primarily located in Northeastern California. A reliable vehicle
is necessary. 

Location: Federal lands throughout the west.

Reporting Structure: The Wild Horse Population Field Coordinator and Technician reports to RTF’s Science Project Manager

Position Description:  The Wild Horse Population Field Coordinator and Technician (Technician) will be responsible for coordinating and implementing wild horse and burro fertility control projects with federal partners.  This includes gathering all wild horse identification information in several predetermined wild lands sites, with potential for expansion to other states and/or sites. This position will work closely with RTF’s Biologist/ Science Project Manager to determine priorities for sites, work, and partnerships, and will execute the day-to-day field work as well as determine and coordinate work with BLM program staff, and trained RTF volunteers as appropriate. In areas where partnerships are in place with federal agencies, the Technician will create a horse database and work with RTF’s Project Manager and agency staff to plan for and initiate fertility control darting/treatment.

This work requires excellent communication skills, ability to work well with diverse stakeholders, comfort in challenging field conditions, attention to maintaining detailed data, skills and experience working in the field, and a high degree of professionalism and confidentiality – this is tantamount.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Complete Remote Delivery of Immunocontraception certification.
  • Research potential databases, select, implement, maintain digital horse identification database.
  • Work with RTF’s Project Manager and agency staff to identify wild equine herds in several herd management areas and determine tractability and appropriateness for current and future range projects.
  • Identify, count, and begin assessing tractability of various bands within the project area.
  • Photo documentation (for identification and inclusion in database).
  • Implement fertility control through remote darting.
  • Maintain Excel spreadsheets of field data collected.
  • With RTF Project Manager, work to expand fertility control program with new partners.
  • Maintain hard copy horse identification charts.
  • Provide viewing and education to planned RTF visitors.
  • Provide material for written field journals and blogs.
  • Assist with outreach materials intended for the public.
  • Provide content to RTF outreach staff for social media.
  • Some travel to witness and document roundups may be requested.
  • Some travel with RTF Biologist/Project Manager to conferences may be requested.
  • Engage positively and strategically with area stakeholders.

Working conditions:

  • Long drive times to HMAs
  • Some camping
  • Comfort and familiarity with 4WD travel, hiking, map reading, fixing flat tires, bringing all field and survival gear into field as a matter of course (extra food and water, layers, batteries, flashlights, blankets or sleeping bags, first aid supplies)
  • Some tedious days organizing photos and entering data meticulously into Excel, File Pro, or other
  • Ability to lift 20 pounds on a regular basis and up to 50 pounds on an occasional basis
  • Requires face-to-face discussions with individuals or groups of people, contact with others (face-toface, by telephone, or otherwise)
  • Comfort and familiarity with firearms. The dart projectors used are CO2, not cartridge fired, but safety, fastidiousness, and utmost care and respect for the projectors and their use is paramount.
  • Requires work with others in a group or team
  • Requires working outdoors
  • Requires operating truck, trailers and other equipment or vehicles.
  • Requires working in close physical proximity to other people and animals
  • Requires working with large domesticated and undomesticated horses
  • Requires minimal office work in a controlled environment, telephones, copiers and computers

Qualifications: A degree in natural sciences is preferred; experience handling horses; experience working in the field alone and with others and following safety protocols outlined by RTF and agencies; knowledge of government bureaucracies; knowledge of NEPA; familiarity with RFP’s and/or developing MOU’s, contracts, or work agreements with partners; specific knowledge of wild horse and burro natural history; specific knowledge of horse markings and how to identify horses; comfort and familiarity in the backcountry (map reading, site awareness, hiking). Must be able to communicate effectively and clearly and with a high degree of professionalism, both verbally and in writing.

Key skills include: speaking respectfully and strategically with the public, stakeholders, agency personnel (strong communication and people skills); self-starter and independent worker; responsible, mature and acts with integrity; active learner; problem solving; sensitivity moving around horses; ability to identify potential safety risks and problem solve; ability to maintain composure in stressful situations; basic computer skills; volunteer coordination; educational photography / videography; grant writing; ability to provide written updates to RTF communications staff for use in social media, educational events or collateral.

Compensation and Benefits: Salary commensurate with experience. Benefits include paid vacation time, three paid holidays and paid sick leave.


To apply:

• Please familiarize yourself with our website: www.returntofreedom.org
• Submit a cover letter explicitly describing your relevant experience, résumé, and an original, non-AI-generated writing sample to: science@returntofreedom.org. Please put “Field Position” in subject line.
• Questions to above email. 

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

Category Admin & Leadership, Wildlife