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Interpretive Cave Tour Guide

Company: Student Conservation Association
Location: Benson
Posted on: January 15, 2022

Job Description:

Expected DatesFebruary 7, 2022 to October 2, 2022SiteArizona State Parks and TrailsPosition IDPO-00732204Join our team venturing into the dark, mysterious, underground world of Kartchner Caverns State Park. Kartchner Caverns State Park showcases a well-preserved limestone cave system, which in accordance with the mission of Arizona State Parks and Trails is managed and conserved for the benefit of the people of our state, country, and world. During your time here, you will both lead and assist with tours of the cave system imparting to our visitors understanding of the delicate ecosystem of a cave and enhancing their knowledge of this rarely visited part of the natural world. Kartchner Caverns State Park is one of the best protected showcaves in the world. It was the first cave system in the world developed to be 100 percent wheelchair accessible allowing nearly every interested person to see this natural wonder.

Duties Include:

  • Lead and assist with guided interpretive cave tours (70%)
  • Assisting our natural resource staff with environmental monitoring data collection and day to day cave upkeep (20%)
  • Environmental outreach and interpretive programing (5%)
  • Facility upkeep (5%)These duties will be carried out while working directly with both park rangers and volunteers. These will be your colleagues and mentors during your time at the cave. The work week will be 5 days a week 8 and a - hours per day with a half hour lunch each day. This will include weekends, holidays and the occasional evening. Weather conditions on the surface of Kartchner Caverns State Park are typically pleasant, however, there are periods of the year which are subject to extreme heat and extreme cold. Daytime highs in the summer can exceed 105 degrees fahrenheit and winter highs will not exceed 40 degrees on a small number of days per year. The environment of the cave is a constant 72 degrees fahrenheit and 99% humidity. The position will require you to remain standing for much of the day, much of that time will be underground in a warm and very humid environment. Each cave tour is either 80 minutes or 105 minutes long and requires a - mile walks each time. This position is ideal for those who like to tell a good story, with an interest in geology, hydrology, history, public speaking, and those who would like to gain skills for a career in natural resource management

    Leisure/Recreation Opportunities:
    Kartchner Caverns is ideally located near many interesting and exciting off time attractions. Hiking opportunities abound as there are several mountain ranges located within a one hour driving radius. Several of these "sky island" ranges reach 9,000 ft of elevation and feature an incredibly diverse range of ---ora and fauna as they reach up from the desert ---oor. The artist community of Bisbee, Arizona is approximately 50 miles southeast of the park and offers many interesting art galleries, restaurants, and unique stores all nestled into an historic architectural gem of a downtown. For lovers of all things western the town of Tombstone, Arizona is 26 miles East of Kartchner Caverns and features historical reenactments, period costumes, and restaurants. Tucson, is a very easy one-hour drive from the park and features cosmopolitan dining, nightlife, and lodging options.

    Compensation:
    • $160- weekly living allowance
    • $1200- Monthly housing allowance
    • $1,100- one-time round trip travel allowance
    • AmeriCorps Education Award ($4,441)Tag: SCA1957
      • Location DescriptionKartchner Caverns State Park - located 9 miles south of the town of Benson, AZ and 25 miles north of Sierra Vista AZ. Kartchner Caverns State Park established in 1988 and opened to the public in 1999 is a 718-acre park protecting a nearly pristine cave system and the surrounding surface areas. Located in the eastern foothills of the Whetstone Mountains nine mile south of Interstate 10 in Benson, Arizona, in the basin and range province in southeastern Arizona at an elevation of approximately 4600 ft. The above ground terrain features semi-arid grasslands typical of the transition zone between the Sonoran Desert to the west and the Chihuahuan Desert to the east. The park is home to a wide variety of wildlife including many exciting and charismatic species of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Located in western Cochise County, Kartchner Caverns is within a one-hour drive of many different types of attractions. There are many areas of National Forest and National Parks including Saguaro National Park to the west and Coronado National Forest which has several districts in the area including one which is immediately adjacent to the state park. The major city of Tucson, AZ is 55 miles to the west of the park and has all the big city amenities that an applicant may need.
      • Training ProvidedInterns will have a highly detailed cave tour training course, before being asked to lead their own tours. They will also receive a review of basic emergency procedures at the park and learn how to remove any visitor from the cave in the event of illness
      • Educational/Recreational OpportunitiesThere is an abundance of recreation opportunities, with much to see and do in the surrounding areas. Arizona is a state that offers hiking, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities.Main Area of FocusEducation and InterpretationEducation, Training & Skills ExpectedNone listed.Further DetailsAmeriCorps EligibleEligibleDriving LogisticsValid Drivers License NeededPersonal Vehicle RequiredTo travel between housing and state park. Also to explore the area while serving in the position.Housing or Stipend Provided?YesWhile housing is not available on the park there are several choices available when it comes to living arrangements. These range from rural, suburban, to urban. The town of Benson, Arizona is the closest to the park (9 miles) and does have several apartments and extended stay hotels available for short term rentals. It is a small town of nearly 5,000 people and is characterized as rural. 25 miles to the south of Kartchner Caverns is the city of Sierra Vista, Arizona. It is a town directly adjacent to Fort Huachuca, an army installation, which provides many employment opportunities to the area. It has many apartment complexes available. It is a suburban area featuring many nationally known chain restaurants and retailers. Tucson located 50 miles to the west of the park is a city of 547,000, it undoubtedly features the most available housing units but the tradeoff is that it is the longest commute. Interns will have to make the choice as to which type of living situation best fits their individual tastes and needs.Indoor/OutdoorIndoorUS CitizenshipRequired

Keywords: Student Conservation Association, Tucson , Interpretive Cave Tour Guide, Other , Benson, Arizona

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