Career Opportunity / 

Research Associate

The San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is seeking a new Research Associate to join their Conservation Technology Lab team.

Escondido, CA

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.


The Research Associate I performs assigned laboratory, animal care, field duties and/or training initiatives in support of a variety of conservation research, endangered species propagation, diagnostic activities and/or community initiatives. The position reports to a Supervisor level or higher in the Conservation Science & Wildlife Health department.

View the full position details and begin your application here.


  • Perform a variety of laboratory, diagnostic, wildlife care, and/or field duties, depending on the assignment.
  • Collect, collate, maintain, process, and analyze records relevant to current projects (e.g., biological samples).
  • Prepare, arrange, and maintain records for sample and/or wildlife shipments.
  • Collect, record and analyze data utilizing spreadsheet and database systems.
  • Document, file, and maintain records.
  • Conduct a variety of assigned research, husbandry, training, and diagnostic activities.
  • Work with team administrative assistant to maintain supply inventories and prepare purchase requisitions.
  • Ensure laboratory, animal care, and field equipment are properly maintained and calibrated and coordinates repairs and maintenance of equipment and facilities with administrative assistant.


A Research Associate to work in the SDZWA Conservation Technology Lab (CTL) who will test and perform quality control of off-the-shelf equipment, externally developed prototype equipment, and internally-developed prototype equipment; including in the CTL lab space and in the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the Safari Park Biodiversity Reserve field sites. They will assist with design, fabrication, modification, and maintenance of field devices built using a variety of materials to the specifications of the interested parties, as well as communicate instructions for use.

They will be able to safely operate and maintain a variety of machinery and fabrication software and equipment, including but not limited to 3D printer, bandsaw, drill press, soldering iron, etc. Strong problem-solving and organization skills, ability to manage lab space and equipment, ability to collate purchase order lists and verify receipt of ordered items, and willingness to learn new skills are essential. This position will also prepare data collected from field studies for research using a mixture of off-the-shelf and custom software tools in Python and R, so some programming experience or interest is preferred.

Duties also include routinely traveling to field locations to inspect and collect information about equipment deployed in those locations, so the ideal candidate must be able to work under adverse conditions such as hiking in mountain terrain with high temperatures and exposure to sun and wind. Experience with Fusion 360, Linux OS, assembly of electronic systems and/or machining of parts using mill or lathe is a plus. Computer Science, Engineering, or relevant field of study desired.


  • 1 years of experience and/or certification in conducting laboratory or field-based research required.
  • Experience with science communication or interpretation of scientific concepts preferred.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in biological sciences or a specialized field specific to the position is required.


  • Trained in methodology and equipment used in the assigned area of biological research, animal care, diagnostics, social science or science communication
  • Proficient in data and record keeping.
  • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs.
  • Able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Able to work effectively with others in a diverse environment,
  • Able to attend to the needs of assigned research collections and/or community members.

View the full position details and begin your application here.