Description: The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is recruiting for a Research Associate (RA) to serve as a Propagation Support Technician at the Ash Meadows Fish Conservation Facility, Amargosa Valley, NV.  The primary duties include commissioning and monitoring critical life support equipment to successfully establish a back-up population of endangered Devils Hole pupfish (including hybrids) and the Devils Hole biological community, as well as other listed and/or imperiled aquatic species in the Mojave Desert.  Assistance is provided to all phases of facility start-up and commissioning in order to successfully propagate aquatic organisms. The RA works directly under the supervision of the Facility Manager and with project partners and cooperators.  Main duties include:

  • Assists in spawning, rearing, harvest, inoculation, culture, inventory, monitoring, and identification of fish, algae, and invertebrates in both a laboratory and artificial refugia setting. Assists with all aspects of assessing and maintaining fish and aquatic species health;
  • Commissions a variety of water control and monitoring equipment to achieve desirable biotic and abiotic conditions in the 100,000 gallon refuge tank and various-sized aquaria in the propagation room;
  • Troubleshoots equipment malfunction and finds solutions in a timely matter by referencing O&M manuals, written and video-recorded SOPs, and other resources;
  • Accurately records data and maintains written records of water control manipulations, water quality, commissioning and propagation efforts, and other work completed. Compiles, analyzes, and sets forth findings in report and SOP formats to inform counterparts and superiors;
  • Ensures proper cleanliness of grounds, buildings, and hatchery equipment, including routine cleaning, as well as minor repairs and routine service to facility equipment as necessary to prevent cross-contamination and ensure propagation tasks are completed safely;
  • Assists in the planning and execution of the planned program by making recommendations and ensuring communication is effective between AMFCF staff, and other partners and offices;
  • Works cooperatively with various Service partners to address commissioning and propagation questions to further the successful propagation of native aquatic organisms in the southwest.
  • Assists with the supervision and direction of volunteers, makes assignments, and guides their work activities;
  • The work is completed in both indoor and outdoor locations, often in extreme conditions, and often working alone;
  • Requires considerable physical exertion such as bending, crouching, stooping, stretching, reaching, lifting (feed, aquaria, etc.), and netting. Some weekend and odd-hour work may be required;
  • Applicant must be comfortable working in a remote desert location.

Compensation and Timeline:

  • Rate of Pay: $19.00/hour
  • August 3, 2015 – August 2016
  • Full time, 40 hours per week
  • ACA compliant health benefits
  • 401(k)

Location: Ash Meadows NWR, one of the first wetlands in the United States to be designated a Wetland of International Importance, comprises over 23,000 acres of spring-fed wetlands and alkaline desert in the Mojave Desert of southern Nevada near Death Valley National Park.  The Refuge was established in 1984 to protect threatened and endangered species and more than two dozen endemic plant and animal species.  The Refuge also provides habitat for over 100 species of plants and animals that are considered sensitive, or are state protected or priority species.

The Research Associate must provide his/her own reliable transportation for non-work-related trips since the closest personal amenities and grocery stores are located approximately 30 miles from the Refuge in Pahrump, Nevada.  The city of Las Vegas is located approximately 90 miles southeast of the Refuge.


  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences (e.g. biology, ecology, wildlife management, or related field) or engineering with emphasis on aquatic ecology, limnology, ichthyology, mechanical engineering and related coursework – candidates with advanced degrees encouraged to apply;
  • Previous experience in fish culture and water recirculation systems, including water quality monitoring;
  • Previous experience with mechanical equipment (e.g. pumps, heaters, etc.) troubleshooting and installations;
  • Basic construction and plumbing skills
  • Related experience in data collection and management, and project reporting;
  • Familiarity with and ability to assist in spawning, rearing, harvest, inventory, and identification of fish, algae and invertebrates;
  • Understanding of issues related to threatened and endangered species, and familiarity with aquatic ecology of the desert southwest preferred;
  • Ability to ensure proper maintenance of grounds, buildings, and hatchery equipment, including minor repairs and routine service to pumps, heaters, motor vehicle, and hand tools;
  • Willingness and ability to work in harsh desert conditions, including extreme temperatures, independently or as part of a team;
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both written and orally, with a diverse audience;
  • Experience in volunteer coordination preferred;
  • Valid, clean, state-issued driver’s license and familiarity driving 4WD vehicles on- and off-road; and
  • Willingness to submit to a background check, and pass computer security and ethics training.

How to Apply: Qualified and interested applicants should forward a cover letter, their résumé, and a list of three professional references to Amy Gladding at  Please include where you found this position posted. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No phone inquiries, please.

We conform to all the laws, statutes, and regulations concerning equal employment opportunities and affirmative action. We strongly encourage women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans to apply to all of our job openings. We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin, age, disability status, Genetic Information & Testing, Family & Medical Leave, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We prohibit Retaliation against individuals who bring forth any complaint, orally or in writing, to the employer or the government, or against any individuals who assist or participate in the investigation of any complaint or otherwise oppose discrimination.