Jobs - Full-time

Banding a San Clemente sage sparrow chick

Island Fox Project – Project Leader

Job Description: The Institute for Wildlife Studies (IWS) is seeking applicants the Project Leader position working with island foxes on San Clemente Island, California. This is a full-time position beginning summer 2021.  Primary duties include:

1) Collecting and analyzing mark-recapture data to produce population size and apparent survival estimates.
2) Radio-collaring ~60 foxes and monitoring them from fixed wing aircraft and via ground telemetry to collect known-fate survival data, monitor for disease introduction, recover mortalities, and produce associated survival estimates. 
3) Assisting in veterinary care of injured or sick foxes.
4) Duties will also include scheduling, supervising field personnel, data entry and analysis, report writing, attending meetings, coordinating with federal agency personnel, and working cooperatively with other IWS projects/personnel on the island. 

Employees work 10 days on island, and then take 4 off (off island).  Additional information regarding IWS research and SCI is available on the IWS website (

Please note: 1) No pets are allowed on SCI, 2) this position involves working and living for 10-day periods at a remote island field station.  Please do not apply if you are not completely comfortable with this work schedule and living arrangements.

To ensure the health of our employees on San Clemente Island (and others who share the same limited spaces), we are requiring COVID-19 vaccinations. The only exceptions are those who request an exemption based on legally protected employment characteristics.

Location: San Clemente Island, near San Diego, California, is owned and operated by the U.S. Navy as a training facility, and personnel will be required to follow established military protocols and rules, including keeping a clean and organized work and living space.

Qualifications: The Project Leader should have a M.Sc. in Wildlife Management, Conservation Biology, or a related field.  Candidates with a B.Sc. and extensive, demonstrable, post-graduate experience in project management, data analysis, and technical writing may also be considered.  The Project Leader should have experience handing mammals safely, conducting radio telemetry, administering basic veterinary care, and with data entry and database management. Additionally, the Project Leader should have experience operating ATVs and full-sized, 4-wheel-drive trucks over rocky and muddy roads. Employment is conditional upon insurability with IWS, so a clean driving record is essential. This position requires considerable hiking, including hauling materials and equipment to and from remote sites. Applicants should be sure-footed, safe, and be prepared to hike long distances in steep, rocky, cactus-covered terrain. Applicants should enjoy living as part of a small research community in a busy field station, interacting with biologists working on other projects, and working with military personnel and members of other organizations who may have varying missions, opinions, and personalities.  Additionally, applicants must be willing to participate in the day-to-day upkeep of a busy field station, including cleaning work vehicles and shared kitchen and office spaces. The successful applicant will be expected to follow relevant COVID-19 safety protocols as established by IWS and the US Navy.

Application Procedure: Submit resume and cover letter, as a single PDF file, highlighting relevant experience. Provide the names, phone numbers, and email addresses of at least three professional references. No phone inquiries.  Please email documents to Andrew Bridges at (foxjobs AT with the subject line of “Project Leader – San Clemente Fox Project”.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified applicant is identified.  Ideally, qualified applicants will be identified during May 2021, and the selected candidates should be eligible to begin June or July 2021. However, for a well-qualified candidate the start date may be negotiable. All employment offers are contingent on the insurability of the applicant by IWS and applicants must be willing to provide information to verify their driving record.  In addition, the Navy will perform a post-hire background check before issuing a base access credential.

Compensation: Hourly rate of $17.25/hr, however; scheduled overtime results in average gross earnings of approximately $3,750/month or $45,000/year.   

In addition, room and board will be provided while working on the island; off-island housing during days off is not provided. Flights on and off the island are provided at no cost. Benefits include employer-paid health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation, paid holidays, and an optional 403(b) retirement plan.