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Conservation Research Scientist 

Category Science/Conservation  
Position Conservation Research Scientist  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Exempt  
Salary $48,000  

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a world-renowned zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum and art institute, with a long history of basic and applied research in support of Sonoran Desert conservation.

The Museum is seeking a Conservation Research Scientist who is responsible for conducting, and coordinating research/conservation projects at the intersection of conservation biology and general ecology/natural history of the Sonoran Desert Region. He/she will join the Conservation Education and Science Department, and will work collaboratively with other scientists and educators in the development of research, communications, and programs. He/she is also expected to contribute to the Museum’s education mission by helping to translate current science and conservation issues for a wide variety of audiences.

Position Requirements

Department: Conservation Education & Science

Reports To: Director of Conservation Education and Science

Prepared Date: 05/29/14


The Conservation Research Scientist is responsible for organizing, conducting, and coordinating supervisor-approved research/conservation projects at the intersection of conservation biology and general ecology/natural history of the Sonoran Desert Region. He/she is also expected to contribute to the Museum’s interpretive and educational mission.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

  • Develop and undertake original research programs in areas of expertise.
  • Write grant proposals and raise funds for projects and research and conservation activities within the scope described.
  • Publish in both scientific, peer-reviewed journals and popular magazines and other media.
  • Provide guidance and answer questions in the area of Sonoran Desert science and conservation from ASDM staff, docents, volunteers, and the public on both sides of the border.
  • Promote science and conservation in the region among government agencies, international agencies, and other government and non-governmental organizations.
  • Contribute to the scientific accuracy and precision of ASDM interpretive and educational programs, and publications.

Supervisory Responsibilities                                                 

This job has no supervisory responsibilities.

Education and/or Experience

Doctoral degree (Ph. D.) or equivalent combination of education and experience in a field related to the conservation of biological diversity.

A minimum of five years experience in research and conservation of the Sonoran Desert Region.

A minimum of five years diverse fundraising experience.

Must have published records in scientific and popular publications.

Language Skills

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret the most complex documents. Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints. Ability to write speeches and articles using original or innovative techniques or style. Ability to make effective and persuasive speeches and presentations on controversial or complex topics to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations. Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.

Reasoning Ability

Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems. Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, musical notes, etc.,) in its most difficult phases.  Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.

Computer Skills

To perform this position successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Database, Internet, Spreadsheet and Word Processing software.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations

Ability to obtain an Arizona Drivers License

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Fluent in written and spoken English, with good conversation-level Spanish
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to check for scientific accuracy in public education materials
  • Ability to speak in public to both scientific and popular audiences
  • Ability to travel throughout the region

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to walk; sit; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to stand. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions.The employee is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions; moving mechanical parts and high, precarious places. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.


To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

Customer Service (Internal & External) - Displays courtesy and sensitivity; Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Meets commitments; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service.

Dependability - Responds to requests for service and assistance; Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Commits to doing the best job possible; Keeps commitments; Meets attendance and punctuality guidelines.

Initiative - Volunteers readily; Undertakes self-development activities; Seeks increased responsibilities; Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.

Job Knowledge - Competent in required job skills and knowledge; Exhibits ability to learn and apply new skills; Keeps abreast of current developments; Requires minimal supervision; Displays understanding of how job relates to others; Uses resources effectively.

Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.

Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Displays commitment to excellence; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality.

Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests.

The above position description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position.

Open Date 6/20/2014  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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