Sign up to volunteer!
Interested in volunteering? We have lots of great options, including both field work and office work. Our main volunteer opportunities include:
Desert Monitor (CURRENTLY FULL, please sign up to be put on our waitlist) – We have limited opportunities for volunteers to check wildlife cameras as a Desert Monitor right now, but we will do our best to fit you in! This is a longer-term commitment. Desert Monitors check their cameras once per month and physical hiking ability is a requirement for this activity. Getting to a camera site often requires navigating over rough terrain, in desert habitat, hiking anywhere between 1 to 8 miles round-trip (you will not need any special outdoor hiking clothes or gear). For safety, Desert Monitors work in pairs or small groups. Please let us know if you would prefer being matched with a team, or if you want to form your own team with friends or family (everyone must sign the volunteer agreement form). Project areas with camera sites available are currently in Oro Valley near Catalina State Park and Big Wash, and the Tucson Mountains near El Rio Preserve and Avra Valley Rd. Once we place you with a camera, we can send you an orientation guide and we can do an in-person field outing to get you started. We will provide everything you need to do the job, teach you how to use wildlife cameras in the field and basic field safety, and how to submit the photos after your outing. Learn more about this project here.
Desert Identifier (CURRENTLY FULL, please sign up to be put on our waitlist) – We can always use lots of help sorting wildlife photos as a Desert Identifier! You do need a PC computer for this activity, and internet access to download photos. Desert Identifiers work remotely and on their own schedule. We do ask that you aim to complete your assigned photo packet in a month’s time, or check in on your progress each month. Species ID can be challenging and fun, and we’re here to help you learn! If you don’t have a PC computer but are interested in this volunteer role, let us know – we now have a few PC laptops we can loan to volunteers!
Desert Roadies – Roadkill surveys provide valuable information that help us construct wildlife crossings and funnel fencing to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions and increase safe passage for wildlife across roadways. Surveys are done in small teams by car, or by bike, and data is collected using a GPS unit and a datasheet, or a smartphone. We do not currently have any active Desert Roadie project but may be starting up again in 2023. In the meantime, you can report roadkill sightings (with date and location information) on our iNaturalist project page at: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/csdp-safe-passages.
Desert Mailer – We host mailing parties in the spring and fall, and depending on need. We meet at the Historic Y near downtown Tucson and fold, stuff, address, and stamp envelopes, typically for our fundraising campaigns. There is always fun music and snacks!
Desert Highway Crew – We have been hosting quarterly trash pick-up events along our adopted stretch of Oracle Road, near the wildlife crossing structures, for many years now. This activity has been on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic but we hope to start up again in 2023. Stay tuned.
Desert Fence Buster – We collaborate with a group of community partners on the Desert Fence Busters project. This involves removing legacy barbed-wire fencing from the landscape, largely focused in Avra Valley west of the Tucson Mountains. This is hard, physical work with immediate positive results for wildlife movement. We typically hold 4-5 events throughout the year and take a break during the hot summer months.
If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon!