Southwestern Research Station
The Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) is a year-round field station owned and operated by the American Museum of Natural. Since 1955, it has served biologists, geologists, and anthropologists interested in studying the diverse environments and biotas of the Chiricahua Mountains in south-eastern Arizona. The SWRS welcomes scientists and advanced students from all parts of the country and from abroad to carry out their research projects. The SWRS is located at an elevation of 5,400 feet in riparian habitat, surrounded by oak-juniper-pinyon pine woodlands.
Five "life-zones" (environments that are characterized by particular groupings of plants and animals) can be encountered on the slopes of the Chiricahua Mountains: Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. Biogeographically, the station is located at a crossroads between distinct desert and mountain biotas, providing access to a wide range of biotic communities influenced by the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts to the east and west, and the Rocky Mountains and Sierra Madre Occidental to the north and south.
Scientists from the American Museum of Natural History, as well as from other institutions across the country and from around the world, conduct research at the SWRS. Research facilities include a library and plant/animal collections, and a laboratory. An outdoor aviary complex, animal behaviour observatory, and a multi-room live animal holding facility afford outstanding facilities for behavioural ecology studies.
Fields of research include entomology, herpetology, ornithology, mammalogy, botany, geology, arachnology, animal behaviour; and population, behavioural, physiological, and conservation ecology. Numerous long-term studies are in progress, including: communal breeding in Mexican Jays, evolution of unisexual parthenogenetic lizards, spadefoot toad reproduction, horned lizard ecology and behaviour, sexual selection and behaviour in striped plateau lizards, and the evolution of social behaviours in ants. To date, scientists working at the SWRS have produced well over 1,000 publications on research conducted there.
Costs & Benefits
Work 4 hours a day/6 days a week on various chores. Dishes, help in the kitchen, clean rooms or labs, and help with maintenance and gardening duties. The rest of their time is for them to use as the like and help researchers
Volunteer is responsible for cost to get to the station, if you fly into Tucson, AZ and take shuttle to Douglas, AZ we will pick you up in van. Free room and board. Free room/board-3 delicious home-cooked meals, internet service, and free laundry facilities. Bring your own equipment if you want to camp out.
Great attitude required, welcome to birders, photographers, science students, naturalists, field skills encouraged, and interest in wildlife and science. Volunteers aged 18 years and over.
American Museum of Natural History's Southwestern Research Station
PO Box 16553
Portal, AZ 85632
Location:Portal, AZ, USA
Average cost per day: No Fees
Skills needed: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old