Southwestern Research Station

Basic Information

Address: P.O. Box 16553 2003 W. Cave Creek Rd. Portal, AZ 85632
Phone Number: 520-558-2396
Fax Number: 520-558-2018
Director: Dawn S. Wilson

Action Shots

Southwestern Research Station

* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Causes Served: Biological Field Research and Education
Population Served: Researchers & Students of Biology from around the world
Ages for Volunteer: 18 and older
Hours of Service: 24 hours/week in exchange for room & board
Minimum Hours Required: 24 hours/week
Days of Service: 6 to 8 week commitment
Mission Statement:

The Southwestern Research Station aspires to add to the existing diversity and strengths of the American Museum of Natural History by providing scientists, students, and educators from institutions across the country and around the world the opportunity to participate in research, training workshops, and outreach programs in one of the most biologically rich environments in the United States.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

The Station seeks to face the challenges of the future by promoting knowledge and understanding of our ever-changing world and by evolving to meet the current needs of all individuals and groups that strive to conserve the world’s biodiversity -- all through the benefits of an outdoor laboratory that enhances research and education.

Program History:

The Research Station was purchased by the American Museum of Natural History in 1955 with funding donated by David Rockefeller. Since then, it has served biologists interested in studying the diverse environments and biotas of the Chiricahua Mountains. Volunteers have been essential to the operation of this non-profit field station.


Ongoing research and classes from March through October each year. In September, we are hosting the 2013 Organization of Biological Field Stations (OBFS) Annual Meeting.

Additional Information:

Volunteers at SWRS work 24 hours per week (housekeeping, kitchen chores, maintenance, etc.) in exchange for room/board, 3 meals a day, internet privileges, and laundry facilities. Normally, you will work 4 hours per day, 6 days per week, and we ask for a 6-8 week commitment. The remainder of your time may be spent assisting researchers or pursuing individual goals.  

The Station is located in a beautiful canyon with tremendous biodiversity.  We are at 5400 ft. elevation in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona.

Please go to our website, and fill out the proper application.  You will also need two letters of reference when you send the application in.  You may fill out the application, save it to your computer and send it to me as an email attachment, or you may fax it to 520/558-2018.  My email address is: