Volunteer Position Description

Position Title and Department:
Invasive Species Volunteer
Reports to:
Yajaira Gray, Invaders Volunteer Coordinator
Alix Rogstad, Invaders Project Manager
Overview of positions:
Volunteers can choose to participate in any one or more of the four different components of the Invaders program.
  1. Invasive Species Mapping: Volunteers will conduct surveys in the field to look for and record the presence or absence of target invasive species. They will be trained in the identification and reporting of these species. Field surveys will be conducted throughout Arizona. We will use both hand-held PCs and datasheet protocols for gathering data in the field. Protocols will be based on the specific project, depending on our project partner's mapping capabilities.
  2. Education and Outreach: Volunteers will present live education and outreach programs to the public on targeted invasive species. Volunteers that wish to participate in this program component will receive special training in the use of the outreach kit and other equipment. Presentations may be conducted on or off-site and at community functions or workshops.
  3. Field Research: Volunteers will work directly with local researchers both in the field (assisting with off-site field studies) and in document research (assisting with library and other reference searches). Volunteers interested in participating in various research studies will be able to work in this area through partnerships that will be established with local scientists. This group of volunteers will have opportunities to support on-going scientific research. Some research may be conducted off-site in remote locations.
  4. Eradication and Control Efforts: Volunteers will participate in control efforts offered through collaborations with other organizations throughout the region.
Primary Specific Tasks:

(Invasive Species Mapping)

  1. Observe and record presence or absence of target invasive species around the state.
  2. Use GPS and digital cameras to confirm location and identification of species in the field. Use home or museum computers to post data to an online database.
  3. Function as a "team leader" to train and direct future volunteers in field surveys of invasive species.

(Education & Outreach)

  1. Staff informational booths at community functions, providing educational materials (such as brochures and pamphlets) to the general public regarding invasive species of concern.
  2. Use an invasive species educational kit and other equipment to deliver presentations at community workshops, meetings, and seminars.
  3. Function as a "team leader" to train and direct future volunteers in education and outreach activities.

(Field Research)

  1. Work closely with community partners and researchers to collect data pertaining to specific research projects in the field. Research projects and sites will vary.
  2. Record accurate field data, assist with other research components (data entry, statistical analysis, report write-up, etc.) as desired.
  3. Function as a "team leader" to train and direct future volunteers in field research activities.

(Eradication & Control Efforts)

  1. Work with project partners to manually remove invasive species. Projects and sites will vary.
Day(s) of week volunteer(s) work in this position:
2 days/month (8-10 hours total including travel time and fieldwork) with opportunities for additional fieldwork as available.
minimum 8 hrs/month
Physical requirements:
hiking skills, field-worthiness, ability to walk on uneven terrain, and able to work in all weather conditions. Ability to stand for long periods of time. Ability to handle all situations in the field, including map reading, trail-finding, first-aid situations, etc.
Skills/knowledge required:
ability to use (or be willing to be trained to use) digital cameras, GPS units, handheld PCs, an online database, educational kits, and various field research equipment.
Background/experience desired:
Preferred background in natural history with an emphasis in plant/animal identification. Familiarity with Sonoran Desert ecosystems helpful.
Other Requirements:
Availability for training and work projects on weekdays. Ability to provide own transportation to some field sites.
Benefits to the volunteer:
Contribute to a nationwide citizen's science initiative monitoring and preventing the spread of invasive exotic species.