Support Great Basin Institute in Serving Public Lands in the West

Orange sunlit mountains behind a field of brush
Research Associate Program Logo

Program Overview

Research Associates provide technical assistance, research, analysis and data to support the conservation and management of natural and cultural resources in the West.


The RA Program presents undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates and emerging professionals, with opportunities to enhance their careers in resource management, conservation, stewardship, and related fields. Additionally, GBI fosters a collaborative association between university academics and resource management agencies. University credit can be available to those interested in using field experience to support their academic goals. A Research Associate position can be the next best step for recent graduates to apply their academic learning to real-world resource management challenges.


GBI Research Associates provide the technical support, data and expert analysis resource managers require in order to make informed management decisions. By partnering closely with resource professionals, RAs establish professional credentials while furthering their opportunities for public service.




The Research Associate program provides opportunities for recent college graduates, graduate students, or experienced professionals looking to begin or enhance a career in environmental management, conservation, and other related fields. Through close partnerships with regional land management agencies, the RA experience offers a wide variety of technical positions developed for the public benefit of the participant and for the agency, as well as public lands. Those seeking an intellectually rigorous and challenging season or year will not be disappointed.  Become a Research Associate and make a difference!



The Great Basin Institute has cooperative agreements in place with all major federal and state resource management agencies, including the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the State of Nevada Divisions of Forestry, Wildlife, Parks and Lands. These agreements allow agencies and nonprofits to partner with GBI to support natural, cultural, and recreational resource management initiatives.

Establishing a partnership with the Great Basin Institute is a straightforward process involving cooperation between three major parties: an agency grant/contracting officer, a GBI grant/contract representative, and the project manager.



The Research Associates arid land, post fire and riparian restoration teams offer a wide range of assistance with desert, forest and wetlands rehabilitation initiatives. Restoration teams support reseeding, planting, and bioengineering of disturbed areas on public lands across the state. Equipped with a full complement of tools, our crews can cover substantial treatment areas. Crews work to restore wildlife habitat, eradicate invasive plants, obliterate illegal roads, and plant and reseed native species to mitigate disturbance from fire, flood, and impacts from visitor usage.

Volunteer sitting in sagebrush and plotting land
Research Associate Program member holding a lizard


Our dedicated program staff can help guide you towards a partnership with Great Basin Institute.



Learn about current and past projects of the Research Associate Program’s program services, including Wildlife Studies and Habitat Assessment; Ecological Restoration; Invasive Species Inventory and Management; Travel Management; Wilderness and Recreation Management; and Environmental Outreach and Education.

GBI’s RA program supports wildlife studies and habitat assessments such as assisting the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the Clark County Desert Conservation Program (DCP), which monitor the health and trends of desert tortoises; the data help determine compliance with Clark County’s Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan.


Research Associates support sage-grouse conservation through habitat monitoring and assessments, as well as assisting NDOW with capture and telemetry operations.

Research Associates track and monitor endangered California condors, assist with wildlife refuge management and engage citizen volunteers to aid in condor recovery efforts.


Tortoise; sage-grouse; California condor

Research Associates can serve as project managers for hard-working Nevada Conservation Corps crews by establishing the scope and logistics of projects, managing crews and monitoring work in order to gather data on the efficacy of the efforts.


Volunteer using a pickaxe on the soil

If you need an expert who knows the difference between native and invasive thistles, you need a GBI Research Associate.


Invasive pink flower blooming

Research Associates support agency Travel Management Planning by creating mapping databases, complete with route inventories and evaluations, restoration needs and inventories of signs and their condition, to aid in long-term management of recreation and access.


Travel management map

Building trails is one thing; building them right is something else entirely. Research Associate Vince LaPlante aligns and designs trails in accordance with BLM and Forest Service standards, and ensures proper trail construction standards.


Volunteers doing trail building work with tools

The institute is dedicated to providing environmental education and interpretative services for the public. Through academic and agency partnerships, GBI offers a wide array of educational delivery positions. Below are a few examples of past and present educational programs and field study opportunities.


Mojave Desert: curriculum-based field trips and in classroom programs for school students in the Clark County School District, especially schools with a high percentage of English Language Learners; interpretive hikes, short talks, campground programs, library programs, and outreach at special events and community events; and informal roving interpretation to the public.


Tahoe Rim Trail: coordinate and implement interpretive programs, including “Leave No Trace” and others related to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Lake Tahoe basin; present environmental education programs; prepare teacher’s guidebook for local schools; plan and publicize special events; and research and develop outreach materials related to the Tahoe Rim Trail and Lake Tahoe Basin.


Environmental Outreach volunteers showcasing a booth with photos and decorations