Conservation Science Bird Banding Apprenticeships at the Palomarin Field Station

Location: Bolinas, CA.

Duration: ~August 22, 2022 to February 22, 2023

Deadline to Apply: July 3, 2022

Position Type: Apprenticeships (2-4)

Since 1966, we have been training early-career conservation scientists at the Palomarin Field Station through intensive field-based positions. These immersive apprenticeships 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. Apprentices 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 Training Program has a global influence, having prepared over 500 people from over 20 countries for careers in academic research, applied conservation, natural resource management, and beyond, with approximately 80% of alumni continuing into careers in these fields, the majority related to birds. Point Blue is committed to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion at our organization, and individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, crew members will be expected to follow CDC, state of California, County of Marin, and Point Blue guidelines to protect themselves and members of their crew and community; the nature of some of the field work, and the group living environment, often precludes masking or social distancing.

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

  • Field methods in ecological and conservation research with emphasis on mist netting and bird banding 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

Apprentices will also complete an independent capstone project, working with a mentor.

Qualifications: Desired applicants will have a strong interest in birds and conservation, and the desire to spend long hours in the field and office. A typical field day starts before sunrise, and involves hiking 5-7 miles; the terrain has some incline, and can be uneven. Participants must be able to work independently as well as in groups. Exposure to poison oak is unavoidable. A vehicle is not required for all positions, but some selected applicants will need a valid driver’s license, a personal vehicle, and current proof of insurance; Point Blue will conduct a motor vehicle report for insurance purposes, after hiring. Any use of a personal vehicle for field work will be reimbursed at the current federal mileage rate.

Compensation: Apprentices will be paid $16.75 per hour, plus overtime, minus a deductible for housing (determined by the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service: current rate is $58.22 per week).

To Apply: Please submit applications via email to RENÉE CORMIER (EM:; PH: 415-868-0655 ext. 416) by July 3, 2022. All applicants should provide a resumé and contact information for three references. In addition to the resumé and references, applicants should choose between one of the following two options: 1) a letter of interest or written document (~1 page) describing why you are interested in this position, how you hope this position can help you advance your own goals, any previous experience you would like to highlight, and whether or not you have a vehicle, OR 2) the above information can also be submitted as a short (<5 min) video.

Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, citizenship status, disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in an uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law and will make reasonable accommodation for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and/or participate in the interview process.

Palomarin Intern Resources