News
Director, Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center
Tuesday, August 23, 2022 07:47 AM

The Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center (SDCC) is a not-for-profit lodging and event venue
in Ajo, Arizona, located on the historic Curley School campus. Housed in the former elementary
school, the SDCC welcomes groups for conferences, workshops, retreats, reunions, and
weddings, as well as individual travelers. In addition, we host community events and the Sonoran
Arts Residency, which draws visual and performing artists from across the country and around
the globe. The SDCC is a supporting not-for-profit of the International Sonoran Desert Alliance
(ISDA), a 29-year-old organization devoted to preserving and enriching the environment, culture,
and economy of the Sonoran Desert.


Since opening in 2015 we have hosted thousands of individuals and dozens of groups, earned a
5-star rating and an annual Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, and played a vital role in the
ongoing revitalization of this former copper mining town. Our staff has grown from two people
to a team of 15. We aren’t simply an inn; we are a destination, a gathering place, and a
centerpiece of Ajo’s growing creative economy. We’ve been covered in newspapers, radio and
TV in Arizona, as well as in national and international publications, including The Atlantic and
National Geographic Traveler.


The Director oversees all aspects of operation for the SDCC, guides the evolution of the property
and the business, and plays a key role in the development of the culture and economy of Ajo. We
are seeking someone professional, energetic, entrepreneurial, articulate, proactive, and
organized, with management, customer service and/or hospitality experience, a knack for team
building, and a passion for the Sonoran Desert region.


Responsibilities
The SDCC Director has a broad and diverse set of responsibilities – all aspects of running the
business are in their hands, and they are the public face of the operation. It is a hands-on
leadership position that requires an experienced professional who is comfortable managing a
budget, creating unforgettable experiences for guests, representing Ajo at national conferences...
and rolling up their sleeves to unclog a toilet when needed. We’ve divided the key responsibilities
into five categories:

1. Operations
● Oversee the daily functioning of the Sonoran Desert Inn & Conference Center
facilities, including guest rooms, meeting rooms, commercial kitchen, artisan’s
shop, and courtyard spaces;
● Implement and update systems and policies to ensure efficient, effective, and safe
use of all SDCC spaces;
● Hire and oversee/manage office, housekeeping, and overnight staff (team is
currently around 15 people). This is a structure that can evolve;
● Collaborate with ISDA on the care of the historic buildings and grounds;
● Collaborate with ISDA on the ongoing development of/improvements to SDCC
facilities, including additional guest rooms and outdoor areas.
● Oversee purchasing of all needed supplies for the operation of the business;

2. Marketing and Outreach
● Lead marketing and outreach efforts to ensure consistent bookings and
profitability of the SDCC;
● Target groups for retreats, conferences, workshops, etc., with a goal of developing
lasting partnerships and recurring events;
● Tap into existing and new networks to increase visibility of the SDCC;
● Partner with local organizations and leaders to create, promote and manage
events;
● Manage website, print, and social media marketing efforts.

3. Special Programs
● Serve as the host and ambassador for group events, including speaking before
groups, welcoming guests to meals, and giving tours of Ajo to guests;
● Develop and implement mission-driven events and residencies (arts, desert
scholarship, international border, local foods, etc.);
● Design and implement a menu of educational and cultural offerings for SDCC
guests that draws on local entrepreneurs and resources;
● Promote the commercial kitchen for a variety of uses including catering, cooking
classes/demonstrations, micro entrepreneurs, and special events.

4. Budget and Financial Management
● In collaboration with ISDA leadership and the SDCC board, develop and manage
the annual budget, ensuring that the operation remains sustainable;
● Review financial reports and present them to the SDCC board quarterly;
● Review and approve all payables and receivables for the ISDA bookkeeper;
● Oversee payroll, including bonuses, pay increases and paid time off;
● Make decisions on large expenses based on cash flow and occupancy rates.

5. Collaborate with ISDA on advancing the broader organizational mission and vision
● Support fundraising and development efforts;
● Provide physical space and logistical support for large ISDA events, including the
biennial Tri-National Sonoran Desert Symposium;
● Work with other local organizations and individuals to provide programming and
needed resources to the Ajo community (in the past this has included providing
free meeting space, serving free or reduced-cost meals, hosting guests of the
community);
● Represent ISDA and SDCC at local, regional, and national conferences and events;
● Promote local entrepreneurs, job training, and micro enterprise.

Qualifications
● Excellent customer service skills - warm, welcoming, and professional;
● Experience in hospitality, community development, creative placemaking, marketing,
and/or related fields;
● Expertise managing a diverse staff team and fostering a healthy, positive, safe work
environment;
● Strong administrative skills;
● Knowledge of Ajo (businesses, tourist attractions, resources, history) or willingness to
learn;
● A passion for being a part of the development and growth of Ajo as a destination for
tourism, culture, and educational events;
● Excellent on-the-spot problem-solving skills;
● Strong computer skills - proficient in basic platforms like Microsoft Office, Google Suite,
and various social media platforms, and able to quickly learn (and teach) new platforms
such as QuickBooks, online property management software and various financial systems;
● Strong systems thinker;
● Flexible hours. Must be able to work evenings and weekends as needed, during peak
season;

● Ability to multitask;

● Experience as a small business owner preferred;
● Spanish language skills are not required, but a big plus.


Terms
● Full-time position, starting training (some may be remote) as soon as possible;
● Employee status Exempt;
● Strong preference for an in-person start date no later than November 1, 2022;
● Salary range is $55,000-65,000/year, with opportunity for performance-based incentives;
● Benefits package includes health insurance with vision and dental options, 4 weeks paid
vacation, and opportunity for extended leave during the hot summer months;
● Unique perks including 10 free nights at the SDCC annually for friends and family; the use
of an SDCC golf cart; and delicious free meals at SDCC events;
● Reports to the Executive Director of ISDA and the SDCC Board.
● We plan to have the successful candidate in place by November first. Interviews will begin
September first. This position will remain open until filled.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to [email protected] For
candidates who are re-locating to Ajo for this position, temporary housing may be available on
the SDCC property.


The Sonoran Desert Inn and Conference Center is a supporting not-for-profit of the International
Sonoran Desert Alliance (ISDA). The Equal Employment Opportunity Policy of ISDA is to provide
a fair and equal employment opportunity for all job applicants regardless of race, color, religion,
national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability, or any other protected
characteristic as established by law. ISDA hires and promotes individuals solely on the basis of
their qualifications for the job to be filled.

 
Assistant Director for Operations (ADO) - Kino Bay
Friday, July 15, 2022 12:40 PM

The Prescott College Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies seeks a hands-on, versatile manager for the position of Assistant Director for Operations (ADO). Located in Bahia Kino, Sonora, Mexico, the Center is a field station and Mexican NGO supporting academic, research and community-based research, education and conservation in the central Gulf of California. The ADO lives on site and oversees the site maintenance, logistics, and safety of the operation. If you are passionate about hands-on work to support conservation and education in a dynamic and engaging environment, please consider applying.

Prescott College is a private liberal arts institution of higher learning in Arizona offering B.A., B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees. The Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies is Prescott College’s field station and Mexican NGO on the central shores of the Gulf of California in Sonora, Mexico. The Center’s mission is to protect priority species and habitats through the integrated application of science, education, information exchange, and community participation. The Center promotes and models collaborations between people from different cultures and institutions to co-create solutions to complex conservation challenges.

The ADO is responsible for the daily operation of the field station, which has a staff of ~15 and receives 1500+ visitors a year (college and high-school students, researchers, community members, and others). The ADO resides on-site and works with the administrative team to support the work of our bilingual and multicultural staff and visitors through the promotion of a positive and effective living and working environment by providing leadership, safety, and facilities management duties. This position offers great opportunities to explore a beautiful and complex desert and marine environment and contribute directly to important conservation, education, and research projects in the region.

The ADO is expected to be available to fulfill the following responsibilities during approximately six regularly scheduled days each week during the academic year (~Sept – July). It must be recognized and accepted however that some days/weeks/months will be busier than others and the ADO will have to adapt his/her schedule to meet the needs of the station during any given time period. Conversely, the ADO should take advantage of down times to recuperate from high use times by taking additional time off.  The position reports to the ED. Candidates must be able to be legally employed in the United States or Mexico, possess a valid passport, and be willing to semi-regularly travel between the US and Mexico.

Responsibilities include:

LEADERSHIP

     
  • Provide leadership toward the cultivation of a positive living, learning working atmosphere at the field station
  •  
  • Support all on-site research, conservation, education, and community outreach activities conducted through the field station
  •  
  • Oversee Maintenance Coordinator, Visiting Groups Coordinator, and Boating and Vehicle Coordinator, and provide support for all other on-site staff.
  •  
  • Act as a role model and representative of the Center to community members and visitors; participate broadly in Center activities

SAFETY

     
  • Coordinate and oversee safety procedures and emergency response at the field station in consultation with the Prescott College Risk Management Office
  •  
  • Develop and implement safety protocols
  •  
  • Planning safety trainings and workshops
  •  
  • Be willing to respond to and make decisions in complex emergent situations
  •  
  • Maintain awareness of local security issues

LOGISITICS AND PLANNING

     
  • Schedule use of field station resources and facilities by residents and visitor groups
  •  
  • Provide visiting groups with local knowledge and information
  •  
  • Collaborate with direction team to maintain station calendar
  •  
  • Coordinate all field activities conducted through the field station

FACILITIES

     
  • Coordinate and oversee all maintenance activities conducted by the Maintenance team
  •  
  • Coordinate and oversee equipment warehouse management conducted by Boating and Vehicle Coordinator
  •  
  • Correspond with ED about equipment acquisition priorities and coordinate purchasing
  •  
  • Work with the Boating and Vehicle Coordinator to oversee use and maintenance of station boats, trailers, and vehicles, and to certify drivers and boat captains
  •  
  • Work with the ED to plan and carry out capital improvement and larger maintenance/building projects
  •  
  • Maintain current and adequate inventories for all Center equipment and assets
  •  
  • Work with the Prescott College IT Department to maintain functional hardware, network, and software systems

ADMINISTRATION

     
  • Maintain current and adequate insurance policies in conjunction with the Prescott College insurance broker and Prescott College business office.
  •  
  • Maintain accurate and complete incident reporting in accordance with Prescott College guidelines
  •  
  • Develop, update, and implement protocols and systems for use, organization and care  of station resources
  •  
  • Keep maintenance records
  •  
  • Write trimestral reports summarizing visitor use, maintenance activities and safety

Qualifications:

     
  • Personnel management and leadership experience relevant to managing a bilingual team of multicultural employees 
  •  
  • Conversational fluency in spoken and written Spanish and English
  •  
  • Excellent group facilitation and interpersonal, conflict resolution, and intercultural communication skills
  •  
  • Experience overseeing and undertaking construction and maintenance activities
  •  
  • Ability to troubleshoot and fix plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and other facilities issues
  •  
  • Considerable experience in coordinating complicated logistics and managing risk in a field setting, specifically in marine and desert environments
  •  
  • WFR certification or higher (or willingness to attain WFR quickly upon hire) and risk management experience
  •  
  • Valid driver's license and experience driving in remote settings (boating experience is a plus)
  •  
  • Ability to live on site at the field station and be available for irregular working hours
  •  
  • Ability to be self-directed/motivated as well as work as a team member
  •  
  • Willingness to pitch in as needed to create a functional and positive field station atmosphere
  •  
  • Alignment with mission of field station and ability to represent the Center in a wide variety of cultural and institutional contexts
  •  
  • Curiosity to explore and enjoy the Gulf of California, the Sonoran desert, its communities, and cultures.
  •  
  • Ability to be legally employed in the United States or Mexico.

Compensation includes housing, salary, benefits (according to Mexican or U.S. standards depending on citizenship) and some travel expenses. Please direct inquiries and applications to Gregory Smart ([email protected]) and Lorayne Meltzer ([email protected] ) with the subject “ADO applicant”. To apply please send a resume, contact information for 3 references, and a cover letter addressing your interest in the position and your relevant experience and skills.  Applications received before July 31st, 2022 will be given priority. Zoom interviews will be conducted in August and finalists will be invited for a site visit in September 2022.

 

 
OBFS Station Exchange Program (SXP) - Travel Award Application
Friday, July 15, 2022 09:11 AM

Dear OBFS Community,

The OBFS Collaborations Committee is pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new station exchange program (SXP). The intent of this program is to provide mini travel awards to facilitate field station staff travel to other field stations in the OBFS network for shadowing, cross-training and mentoring opportunities. Recipients should seek to learn more about specific aspects of station management (i.e., programmatic offerings, infrastructure, land management, research coordination) that are applicable to the needs of their home station. To this end, OBFS is offering five travel awards of up to $1,000 each that will facilitate 2-3 day shadowing experiences with host staff.

Applicants should submit a letter of support from the field station they are visiting along with a short, written statement outlining specific needs that includes:

1.     Short written description describing need for cross training/shadowing experience.

2.     Person/people they will be shadowing.

3.     Proposed travel dates and logistics.

Rules and Regulations:

1.     Both the awardee and the host station must be members of OBFS in good standing.

2.     Awards are provided on a reimbursement basis only (i.e., no funds will be provided ahead of expenses).

3.     Allowable travel expenses include economy airfare to host station, meals, lodging, car rental, host station fees.

4.     Original receipts will be required for reimbursement of allowed expenses.

5.     Legible scanned copies of receipts can be emailed to the OBFS treasurer for reimbursement.

6.     This opportunity is intended to provide shadowing opportunities across field stations and is not intended to support travel to conferences or formal workshops.

7.     Award recipients will be required to submit a short final report and evaluation upon completion of their exchange experience.

Timeline:

1.     August 15, 2022 Applications due

2.     August 15-31 OBFS collaborations committee reviews the applications.

3.     Early September- Awardees will be notified on the status of their application.

Please submit written statement and letter of support to [email protected]

Thank you,

The Collaborations Committee

 
Executive Director, Black Rock Forest
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 09:58 AM

Black Rock Forest (BRF) seeks an Executive Director (ED) to provide vision and direction to the vibrant organization. Black Rock Forest is a living laboratory for field-based research, education and conservation encompassing native terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems that are increasingly rare in the region. The 3,920-acre Forest features dramatic topography, more than 1,000 feet of relief, numerous lakes and streams, and high species and habitat diversity. Following more than three decades of dedicated leadership from outgoing Executive Director, Dr. William S.F. “Bill” Schuster, BRF is poised to enter a new era.

Reporting to and working closely with the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for providing leadership and day-to-day management for the Forest. Responsibilities include: strategic planning, scientific leadership, fiscal oversight of the operating budget, external engagement, fundraising, talent recruitment, and the management and development of ten full-time and five part-time staff. Partnerships are also critical to the Executive Director’s work, including civic interactions relating to the portion of the local water and reservoir system contained within the Forest. The ED must foster strong working relationships with its consortium member institutions, the surrounding state parks and forests, Storm King Art Center, and other important community partners.

The position calls for a dynamic leader and spokesperson who brings proven managerial and organizational leadership skills, outstanding abilities in communication and collaboration, and an advanced scientific background in forest ecology, environmental science, or a related field.

Black Rock Forest has partnered with Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to help with this recruitment. Confidential inquiries, nominations, and applications should be sent via electronic mail to:

 

Kennedy Kearney-Fischer, Managing Associate

Becky Piper, Senior Associate

Monica Ochoa, Search Coordinator

www.imsearch.com/8432

 
Coastal Steward, Tuckernuck Land Trust
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 02:27 PM

Coastal Steward, Tuckernuck Land Trust 

Tuckernuck Island, Massachusetts 

The Tuckernuck Land Trust (TLT) seeks a Coastal Steward to live and work on Tuckernuck Island from May to August 2022 (approx. 15 weeks), with the possibility of extension. This 800- acre island is located 25 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and lies just west of Nantucket Island. It supports a distinctive coastal maritime plant and animal community that includes several state- and federally listed species. The Coastal Steward will monitor and protect beach-nesting shorebirds, interact with and provide education for residents and their visitors, and potentially assist visiting scientists with their research. Applicants for this position should be adventurous and have the skills necessary to live and work independently in a semi remote location. Intensive and physical field work is an integral part of this job. 

Qualifications 

Candidate should have or be working toward a degree in wildlife biology/management,  ecology, environmental science, or a related field 

Field experience in biological data collection and coastal bird identification and/or their  monitoring is strongly preferred; additional training will be provided 

Candidate must possess excellent communication and observational skills 

Candidate must be able to live and work independently at a semi-remote location, to  walk long distances daily, to work in less-than-ideal conditions (i.e., mosquitoes, ticks,  poison ivy), and to swim proficiently 

Additional Information 

40-hour work week; daily hours vary and are weather-dependent; weekend and holiday  work required 

Residence provided, equipped with basic necessities (i.e., water, sleeping loft, kitchen,  etc.), including limited power from solar panel and generator 

Limited Internet access provided for communication and reporting 

Biweekly round trips provided, via boat, to access food and supplies on Nantucket Island Transportation to and from meetings provided 

Shorebird Responsibilities 

Locate and monitor Piping Plovers, terns and American Oystercatchers, maintain detailed records of all breeding activities, and complete weekly updates and end-of season reports 

Install and maintain protective fencing and signs in compliance with state and federal  guidelines for beach-nesting birds 

Observe and record all color-banded birds and enter sightings in appropriate data base 

Interact in a positive manner with beachgoers and provide information about beach nesting birds and their protection under state and federal regulations 

Document any violations of these regulations and report them to authorities on  Nantucket 

Attend regularly scheduled local and regional meetings related to shorebirds

Educational Responsibilities 

Conduct (or assist) and promote weekly educational programs for residents and visitors Facilitate visiting scientists’ research 

Maintain a small science library 

Promote TLT’s work in the community 

Submit a seasonal report to the TLT Board of Directors at the close of employment 

Property Management Responsibilities 

Maintain residence and equipment in good order 

Complete light maintenance as needed on TLT property, including mowing grass Welcome and assist visiting scientists and share living quarters for short periods Communicate problems and needed repairs to TLT supervisors in a timely manner 

This job represents a unique opportunity for a well-qualified candidate. Please send a letter of interest, resume, and three references to both [email protected] and  [email protected]. Job inquiries and supporting material must be received by March 4, 2022. 

Please note: Work will be conducted in compliance with all applicable COVID-19 regulations,  and job responsibilities may be adjusted if necessary.

 
 
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