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Conservation Science Internships at the Palomarin Field Station

Since 1966, our Palomarin Field Station has been training the next generation of conservation scientists through intensive field-based internships. These post-baccalaureate internships teach landbird research techniques and data-driven solutions to conservation challenges.  Palomarin is among the longest running bird observatories in North America, with a rich history as a leader in studying the impact of environmental change on birds. Interns completing our program leave with a comprehensive knowledge base, including the ability to design and implement conservation research, communicate research to the public, and ensure data are incorporated effectively into data management systems and resource management planning efforts.

Palomarin’s Intern Training Program has a global influence, having prepared over 500 interns from over 22 countries for careers in academic research, applied conservation, natural resource management, and beyond, with approximately 80% of intern alumni developing careers these fields, the majority related to birds.

Interns will learn key concepts and skills in the following six areas:

  • Field methods in ecological and conservation research with emphasis on mist netting, bird banding, nest monitoring and territory mapping of songbirds
  • Understanding the scientific process and the role of natural history observation in guiding meaningful research and conservation
  • Critical thinking and evaluation of research and conservation
  • Climate-smart conservation
  • Best practices in science interpretation
  • Skills and advances in data management and data integrity

At the end of the internship, interns will demonstrate synthesis of their new knowledge by completing a final project.

Qualifications: Self-motivation, a sense of humor, and the desire to spend long hours in the field and office are required. Participants must be able to work independently as well as in groups. Exposure to poison oak is unavoidable. Some of our internships require the use of a personal vehicle, current proof of insurance, and a driver’s license. Any use of personal vehicles will be reimbursed at a standard per-mile rate.

Duration:  Internships are between 5-6 months at a time, during three seasonsbreeding season (Mar to Jul/Aug), fall migration (Aug to Nov/Dec), winter (Nov to Mar). Applicants must be able to commit to the full period.

Compensation: This is a voluntary training position that includes a stipend to offset living expenses while on the project ($850 per month, gross) and communal housing is provided.

To Apply: Please send an email containing the following items: a letter of interest (describing why you’d like an internship, previous experience with field research, dates of availability, and whether or not you have a vehicle); a resume; and contact information for three references to the following supervisors:

Applications are accepted year-round and will be saved until the hiring period. Internships are usually filled two months before the start of the season.

Palomarin Intern Resources