Wildlife Refuge Specialist (USFWS, Desert National Wildlife Refuge)

The Great Basin Institute

Las Vegas, Nevada

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $24.00-28.00/HR, DOE
Deadline Jul 30, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

This year-long position is a unique opportunity for a mid-career natural resources management professional to lead the implementation of a Habitat Restoration and Stewardship project at Corn Creek on Desert National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in southern Nevada and gain first-hand experience in various other natural resource, biological and visitor services related refuge activities.  

In partnership with the USFWS Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Great Basin Institute is recruiting a Wildlife Refuge Specialist with experience in Natural Resources Management to manage a habitat restoration and stewardship project and work in the Research Associate Program. The refuge received funding for a project combining habitat restoration, trail improvements, enhanced interpretation and stewardship for Corn Creek. The RA will plan, lead and implement all components of this project. This RA will also complete tracking and reporting for the project and assist the refuge manager in budgeting and budget tracking.  Daily and weekly work schedules will vary to accommodate project needs. Work will take place both indoors and outdoors. Applicant must be comfortable working outside in both very hot and cold/windy conditions.  The position requires leading a team in habitat restoration activities, including trail work, planting and invasive species control and working with herbicides and other potentially hazardous materials. 

The RA will assist with various other refuge projects and administrative tasks and other duties as assigned. The position will include opportunities to engage in projects on other refuges within the complex, including wildlife water monitoring, Desert bighorn sheep guzzler maintenance and construction, trail camera wildlife monitoring, various bat and bird projects, and more. This position will expose the successful candidate to various aspects of Wildlife Refuge Management and make them a strong candidate for Federal positions, especially with National Wildlife Refuges. 

Contract Timeline:

  • One year appointment beginning as soon as possible and upon completion of a Department of Interior background investigation, may be extended for up to three years.
  • Full time, 40 hours per week; a flexible schedule and weekend work will be required, some overtime may occasionally be required.
  • This is not a remote/teleworking position, applicant is expected to work onsite at DNWRC.


Las Vegas, Nevada

The duty station is at the Corn Creek office building for Desert NWR just outside of Las Vegas. Desert NWR is the largest National Wildlife Refuge outside of Alaska and was designated in 1936 to provide habitat and protection for desert bighorn sheep. The refuge encompasses six major mountain ranges and boasts over 500 plant species as it transitions from the Mojave to the Great Basin Desert. Corn Creek is a spring fed riparian area in the midst of dry desert, important to migratory and resident birds and countless other wildlife, and also the location of the refuge visitor center and offices. The Desert Refuge Complex also includes Ash Meadows, Pahranagat and Moapa NWR’s, the complex showcases the abundance and variety of nature that can be found in Southern Nevada.

In addition to the scenic desert beauty at the Refuge, there are several other recreation and natural setting opportunities to explore close by. Death Valley National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Joshua Tree National Park, Spring Mountains National Recreation Area, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Lake Mead National Recreation Area and more are within a few hours driving distance and afford a variety of outdoor activities ranging from hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing to fishing, boating and skiing/snowboarding.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Rate of Pay: $24.00-28.00/hour, depending on experience.
  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance will be completely paid for at no cost to you
  • Paid leave and holidays.
  • Housing may be available for rent in a shared bunkhouse.

Job Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in environmental sciences (e.g., biology, ecology, wildlife management, natural or a related field and/or  commensurate field experience) and at least 2 years of relevant experience.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences (e.g., biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a related field) and at least 4 years  of relevant experience.
  • Experience in planning and implementing biological or natural resource management projects.
  • Experience leading teams and working in partnership with diverse collaborators; 
  • Experience using hand-held GPS equipment for data collection and ArcView GIS software and creating maps;
  • Computer skills including use of MS Word, PowerPoint/illustrator, Excel and other software for communication, presentations,  project and data management; 
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both in writing and orally, with a diverse audiences; 
  • Comfortable with flexible daily and weekly schedules to accommodate refuge and project needs.

Preferred Experience:

  • Experience facilitating meetings with stakeholders;
  • Experience creating interpretation and outreach materials;
  • Plant identification skills and previous experience in invasive plant management and/or restoration ecology;
  • Knowledge and experience operating 4WD trucks, tractors, and Utility Terrain Vehicles.

Additional Requirements:

  • Ability to self-direct and self-motivate; 
  • Ability to plan, coordinate and implement a multi-faceted restoration and stewardship project;
  • Ability to lead a team and to collaborate with partners, including but not limited to Contractors, Federal Agencies, NGO’s, Native  American Tribes, youth groups and volunteers.
  • Ability to develop a project plan and schedule, maintain accurate and detailed records;
  • Ability to plan and track a multifaceted project and budget, produce accurate statements of work contracts and agreements, and  complete other project management associated administrative tasks;
  • Willingness and ability to carry a backpack sprayer (up to 35 pounds), lift up to 50 pounds, and to perform physical labor, including  but not limited to, trail and fencing work, planting of native vegetation and manual removal of non-native vegetation.
  • Ability to work productively and cooperatively as part of a team to accomplish mutual goals;
  • Possess a valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license;
  • U.S. citizenship or legal resident alien status; and
  • Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training. 

To learn more and apply, please visit our site: 


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

Category General / Stewardship, Wildlife
Tags GIS, Outreach, Ornithology