Job Listings

Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill

The University of Arizona
Job Location:
Tucson, 85724
Facilities Management

Posting Number: req17618

Department: AZ Inst for Resilience

Location: Main Campus

Address: Tucson, AZ USA

Position Highlights

The Arizona Institute for Resilience (AIR) at the University of Arizona invites applicants for the Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill (Research Program Administration Manager III), a facility located on the west side of Tucson with programs administered by AIR. This full time position will direct and develop all aspects of new and ongoing research, education, and community engagement activities at the Desert Laboratory.

The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill is a unique, 120-year-old research facility that is a National Historic Landmark located on Tumamoc Hill, an 860-acre reserve and Archeological District, that holds prominent cultural and sacred significance to the Tohono O'odham Nation and other Indigenous groups. This complex and sensitive cultural and ecological site attracts researchers focused on desert ecology, the relationship between human and environmental health, and research at the intersection of the humanities and natural and social sciences. Tumamoc Hill is also a popular public recreation site offering a wide variety of education and public outreach opportunities and requires careful management to ensure protection of its significant cultural and natural resources.

AIR is an inter- and transdisciplinary institute that engages partners from varied knowledge systems and societal sectors to address complex challenges related to climate change mitigation and adaptation, water scarcity, natural climate solutions, thriving ecosystems, renewable and sustainable energy, and healthy built environments and communities.

The Director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill will report to the Director of AIR, liaise with other AIR program leads and University units, and supervise the activities of the Desert Laboratory's research, education, operations, and community engagement activities and staff.

We seek an experienced and collaborative leader and manager who recognizes the diverse research, educational, and community engagement opportunities that promote all the Desert Laboratory offers; has a strong spirit of building academic and community partnerships across widely disparate disciplines and sectors; promotes a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice; and supports and empowers staff, students, and their professional aspirations.

Outstanding UA benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance plans; life insurance and disability programs; paid vacation, sick leave, and holidays; UA/ASU/NAU tuition reduction for the employee and qualified family members; state and optional retirement plans; access to UA recreation and cultural activities; and more!

The University of Arizona has been recognized for our innovative work-life programs. For more information about working at the University of Arizona and relocations services, please visit

Duties & Responsibilities

Duties & responsibilities:

  • Lead
    activities and operations at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill to
    achieve strategic goals in research, education, community engagement,
    and fundraising.
  • Strengthen and
    support the research community at the Desert Laboratory and integrate
    with educational uses of the facilities and lands on Tumamoc Hill.
  • Coordinate with researchers on proposals and active grants for work at the Desert Laboratory.
  • Oversee application approval process for research, education, and community engagement uses.
  • Supervise
    the diverse responsibilities of the Operations Manager and Program
    Coordinator to improve infrastructure for research, education, and
    community engagement (e.g., application process, data access, zoning).
  • Propose
    and secure implementation of appropriate recommendations related to
    research, education, and community engagement presented in recent
    Tumamoc Hill visioning documents to advance activities that promote the
    opportunities available at the Desert Laboratory.
  • Support
    new experiential education initiatives seeking to maximize the Desert
    Laboratory resources for student internships and training, such as
    Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) teams.
  • Coordinate
    with AIR Director of Education Initiatives and campus academic
    departments and programs to increase appropriate use of the Desert
    Laboratory by UA courses and faculty instructors.
  • Manage and cultivate the Desert Laboratory's Advisory Council.
  • Lead
    efforts to identify new funding sources available through federal,
    state, and local agencies, along with corporate and individual support.
  • Maintain current and develop new strategic community partnerships.
  • Additional duties may be assigned.

Knowledge, skills, & abilities:

  • Strong oral, written, and presentation skills; excellent ability to communicate across all levels.
  • Ability
    to develop, review, critique, and implement new collaborative research,
    education, and community engagement programs and strategies.
  • Ability to effectively coordinate researchers and research projects spanning a wide variety of disciplines.
  • Knowledge of university research and education administration and processes, including funding and permitting requirements.
  • Skill in managing staff.
  • Skill
    in working with and connecting to a variety of community partner
    organizations to co-develop engagement activities and to ensure all
    interests are equitably represented.
  • Skill in identifying and securing diverse funding sources.
  • Knowledge of and practice with successfully fostering a workplace culture of inclusion and belonging.
  • Strong knowledge of MS Office.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent advanced learning attained through professional level experience and a minimum of 7 years of related work experience, including 3 years of leadership experience, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced expertise of and experience with theories, concepts, principles, and practices in a multi-faceted professional discipline and team leadership.
  • Master's degree or PhD in related field.
  • Experience with the Desert Laboratory's activities.
  • Prior experience as an academic researcher.
  • Prior experience developing and managing research and education programs or units.
  • Prior experience managing a diverse team.
  • Prior experience raising/securing funding.
  • Prior experience conducting outreach to community members and groups, and building community partnerships, including those with Native Nations.
  • Prior experience working with physical and digital collections.
  • Prior experience applying Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to research or planning.
  • Experience with University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
  • Multilingual in Spanish and/or a Native language.

FLSA: Exempt

Full Time/Part Time: Full Time

Number of Hours Worked per Week: 40

Job FTE: 1.0

Work Calendar: Fiscal

Job Category: Research

Benefits Eligible: Yes - Full Benefits

Rate of Pay: $117,883 - $127,000

Compensation Type: salary at 1.0 full-time equivalency (FTE)



Career Stream and Level


Job Family

Research Program Admin

Job Function


Type of criminal background check required: Name-based criminal background check (non-security sensitive)

Number of Vacancies: 1

Contact Information for Candidates

Liz Petterson

Open Until Filled: Yes

Documents Needed to Apply: Resume, Cover Letter, and One Additional Document

Special Instructions to Applicant

Please submit a one-page statement on the your vision for research, education, and community engagement at the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill with your applicant materials.

Diversity Statement

At the University of Arizona, we value our inclusive climate because we know that diversity in experiences and perspectives is vital to advancing innovation, critical thinking, solving complex problems, and creating an inclusive academic community. As a Hispanic-serving institution, we translate these values into action by seeking individuals who have experience and expertise working with diverse students, colleagues, and constituencies. Because we seek a workforce with a wide range of perspectives and experiences, we provide equal employment opportunities to applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. As an Employer of National Service, we also welcome alumni of AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service programs and others who will help us advance our Inclusive Excellence initiative aimed at creating a university that values student, staff and faculty engagement in addressing issues of diversity and inclusiveness.

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