Who We Are:

Owyhee Air Research (OAR) is currently hiring two (2) part-time seasonal employees for its 2023-2024 wildlife survey season. Work is anticipated to begin as soon as possible and run through the end of April 2024 with the potential for extension and/or promotion to permanent employment. Work will involve extended travel to remote parts of the United States and Canada with some small (<25%) portion of time spent at headquarters in Nampa, Idaho.

Owyhee Air Research is a small, privately held aerial data acquisition company headquartered in Nampa, Idaho, USA. Owyhee Air Research (OAR) specializes in the collection of natural resource and ecological data using fixed-wing aircraft outfitted with a variety of multi-spectral imaging systems and navigational computers. One of the primary functions at OAR is the aerial censusing of free-ranging wildlife across a variety of landscapes and habitat types, using cooled infrared sensors to detect wildlife that would otherwise remain unseen.

All our wildlife sensor operators are trained wildlife professionals, all possessing degrees in wildlife biology, zoology, ecology, geology, hydrology, and other natural resource sciences. Since our inception in 2015, OAR has conducted wildlife census flights, utilizing infrared sensors, on virtually every large game species and habitat type in North America as well as many upland game birds. From locating buried Polar Bear dens along the Arctic coast, to desert pronghorn, forest dwelling elk, high mountain bighorn sheep, and everything in between; OAR has solidified a reputation throughout the United States as the leader in professional aerial wildlife surveys, culminating in numerous revolving service contracts with wildlife agencies throughout the United States and Canada.

Job Description:

The Aerial Sensor Operator (ASO) conducts all aerial infrared data acquisition at Owyhee Air Research (OAR). Knowledge of wildlife identification and ecology, as well as basic mapping/ geospatial software, basic statistics, and geospatial inferencing is essential to the success of the mission, as is ecological knowledge and its applications to thermal imaging. The IR technician must work with all parties within Owyhee Air Research, as well as local agency representatives to plan and carry out an aerial IR mission as efficiently as possible. The IR technician must be flexible and able to work independently to organize, prioritize, and fulfill all tasks related to data acquisition for the customer. They must be good communicators and be able to keep clear and concise data records. Strong intra-office communication is required, as is participation in weekly OAR Team Meetings.

Missions are conducted in lite, fixed-wing aircraft during optimal thermal conditions (usually at night or during crepuscular hours), when environmental conditions are coolest and animal activity is at its peak. Successful candidates will operate high-powered, multi-spectral imaging equipment to locate, quantify, and classify target species and other species of interest. Ideal candidates will have experience operating in confined spaces during extreme heat or cold. Please note: this job requires more than 75% travel throughout North America.



  • Minimum of bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology, ecology, environmental systems, or similar field.
  • Excellent organizational skills, ability to prioritize work and maintain multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Ability to accurately identify North American wildlife.
  • Strong email skills and attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated record-keeping abilities.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of personal and professional data.
  • Valid US Passport or ability to work in Canada.


  • Experience operating in confined, and potentially turbulent spaces (previous fixed-wing survey experience preferred).
  • Understanding of the electromagnetic spectrum, thermography, and basic remote sensing.
  • Experience with scientific writing.
  • Proficiency in the following software:
    • ArcGIS Pro / qGIS / Google Earth Pro
    • Microsoft Excel (MS suite)
    • Video editors such as VCSD or Adobe Premiere