RAY Conservation Diversity Fellow/Restoration and Education Technician

DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM: Point Blue Conservation Science STRAW Program
REPORTS TO: Jennifer Benson, Senior Project Manager
STATUS: Regular, Full-Time, Non Exempt
LOCATION: Gilroy, California

Inspired by efforts to increase racial diversity in conservation, the Roger Arliner Young (RAY) Conservation Diversity Fellowship Program aims to increase and facilitate conservation-related career pathways for emerging leaders of color. The RAY Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship designed to equip recent college graduates with the tools, experiences, support, and community they need to become leaders in the conservation sector—one that, in our visions of the future, fully represents, includes, and is led by the diverse communities, perspectives, and experiences of the United States.

Our mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach. We have been assessing changes in our environment and advancing conservation through bird and ecosystem studies since our founding as Point Reyes Bird Observatory in 1965. Point Blue’s 160 scientists work to reduce the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, and other environmental threats while developing nature-based solutions to benefit both wildlife and people. We partner with land and water managers, fishermen, ranchers, farmers, cities, counties, and other to improve the health of our planet.
Point Blue is proud to be a “boots on the ground” organization. We were founded with a commitment to innovative science and have a contagious enthusiasm for applying our scientific knowledge for stronger conservation outcomes.

The core elements of Point Blue’s culture are:

  • Sense of Purpose
  • Support and Empower Staff
  • Rigor and Excellence in Everything We Do
  • Collaboration
  • Innovative and Entrepreneurial
  • Educate and Inspire People
  • Positive and Solution Oriented
  • Long-term View

The Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed Program (STRAW) is combating climate change with every restoration. STRAW coordinates and sustains a network of teachers, students, restoration specialists and community members to plan and implement professional watershed restoration.

STRAW empowers communities to heal the land, revitalize habitats, generate cleaner water, sequester carbon, empower children, and inspire the next generation of conservation leaders. Since 1992, STRAW has collaborated with more than 45,000 students to restore over 36 miles of stream by planting with over 46,000 plants.

The RAY Fellow Restoration and Education Technician works as part of a collaborative team responsible for meeting program objectives, including providing meaningful opportunities for students and teachers to learn about and make a positive change in their local community through wetland and riparian restoration in the in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on South Bay projects. The RAY Fellow will perform a full range of duties, working independently and as part of a team, and exercising judgement and initiative.


(70%) Support and lead restoration tasks, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Assist project coordinators with planning and preparation for restoration project days. Tasks could include but are not limited to ordering and picking up restoration supplies, preparing field sites for restoration workdays, and communicating with teachers and partners involved with restoration workdays.
  • Communicate with project coordinators regularly by maintaining accurate logs, data collection records, and basic written reports from field work days.
  • Provide assistance to project coordinators as needed with data entry, photo-monitoring, and report writing.
  • Provide technical and functional direction to an intern crew and/or volunteers. This involves coordination with project coordinators to plan tasks and supplies needed for the day.
  • Oversee volunteers, including school groups, conservation corps crews, and other volunteer crews in the field and on restoration days by ensuring proper use of equipment, safety of all participants, and quality of work.
  • Assist with planning coordination, and scheduling of spring and summer site maintenance and assess site needs and plant health in the field. Mentor interns; maintain good communication with landowners and partners.
  • Organize and track restoration supplies for projects as well as shared materials and tools.
  • Assist project coordinators with project site maintenance. Tasks include but are not limited to installing irrigation dripline, weeding, and recording maintenance activities.
  • Operate mechanical tools and equipment such as weed whackers and all-terrain vehicles. (experience not necessary)
  • Observe safe work methods and make appropriate use of related safety equipment.

(20%) – Support and lead education tasks, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Teach independently and with another educator in schools in the South Bay
  • Develop restoration science, native plant nursery, and place-based curriculum
  • Perform outreach to local junior colleges, universities, high schools and other community groups to raise awareness about careers in conservation science
  • Build relationships with STRAW teachers, support them with resources, ideas, and check ins
  • Attend environmental education collaborative meetings and build relationships with local environmental educators and support environmental education efforts regionally
  • Assist with Watershed Week and/or teacher training development and logistics

(10%) – RAY Fellows will spend, on average, 2-4 hours per week on the following:

  • Actively communicating and building community with their RAY Fellow cohort and previous RAY Fellows.
  • Attending monthly check-in calls (including 1-on-1 check ins with RAY program staff and group calls with their RAY Fellow cohort).
  • Meeting regularly with mentors both inside and outside the host institution.
  • Attending monthly professional development webinars, trainings, and other opportunities to build knowledge and skills.
  • Developing a Personal Leadership Plan (PLP) with the support of supervisor(s), mentors, RAY program staff, and their RAY Fellow cohort. The PLP will service as a tool for self-reflection, planning, and assessing progress towards professional, personal, and leadership goals.
  • Preparing and leading an hour-long end-of-fellowship webinar highlighting their fellowship experience.

RAY Fellows will also attend:

  • A 3-day Orientation Retreat in August 2020.
  • A 3-day Leadership Retreat in February 2021.
  • At least one other in-person training or workshop with their RAY Fellow cohort.

Eligible RAY Fellow applicants will:

  • Come from a racial / ethnic background underrepresented in conservation and demonstrate a commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Be less than one (1) year out of college and have a Bachelor’s Degree by July 2020 (we are not considering individuals with graduate degrees at this time).
  • Have not had a full-time job in conservation.
  • Have the ability to work in the United States and commit to the entire fellowship.


  • A college degree by the time of employment.
  • An interest in the field of conservation.
  • Demonstrated intellect and leadership.
  • Effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • An eagerness to learn.
  • A strong interest in education, specifically environmental education
  • An interest in the field of community-based ecological restoration
  • An understanding of the myriad of relationships students may have with the outdoors based on class, race, gender, and experience and a willingness to teach in a culturally relevant way


  • Must have a Valid Driver license
  • Willingness to drive personal and work vehicles to carry out work tasks throughout the Bay Area
  • If you own a personal vehicle and have car insurance, you will use it to for driving to field sites and other work locations. (You will be reimbursed for mileage at the federal rate).
  • If you do not have a personal vehicle, the host organization will provide a monthly allowance to rent or lease a vehicle for work travel.

This is a two-year, full-time fellowship (one year with a one year renewal) starting on or after July 15, 2020.

The Fellowship is compensated and sponsored by Point Blue Conservation Science, who offers a competitive salary and benefits package as well as training and professional development opportunities.

To apply for the RAY Fellowship Program, applicants must:

  1. Complete the online application survey on the RAY Fellowship Program website:
  2. Follow the instructions on the linked application webpage to submit a curriculum vitae or a resume, two essay and one short answer responses, and a letter of support.

Applications must be submitted to the RAY Fellowship Program no later than March 22nd, 2020. Transcripts and additional writing samples are not required. Questions about the application process can be submitted to the RAY Conservation Program Coordinator, Guilu Murphy, via email at

Point Blue Conservation Science is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran status. Point Blue Conservation Science is continually seeking to diversify its staff, particularly to broaden opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy.