Conservation Science Bird Banding Apprenticeships at the Palomarin Field Station

Location: Point Reyes National Seashore, Bolinas, CA.

Duration: Start dates range from Feb 20–Mar 15, 2023 |  End dates range from Aug 20–Sep 15, 2023

Deadline to Apply: January 1, 2023

Position Type: Apprenticeships (4)

Since 1966, we have been training early-career conservation scientists at the Palomarin Field Station through intensive field-based positions as part of a long-term ecological monitoring program focused on studying the impact of environmental change on birds. These immersive apprenticeships teach landbird research techniques and data-driven solutions to conservation challenges. 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. This position has a strong emphasis on mist-netting and bird banding. Apprentices will run long-term mist netting stations ~3-6 days per week (number of days varies by month and is weather dependent). The position includes early mornings, long hours in the field, followed by data entry and verification. A typical field day starts before sunrise, and involves hiking 5-7 miles; the terrain has some incline, and can be uneven. On non-banding days, apprentices will work on field and/or office tasks that may include vegetation surveys, working on an independent capstone project, data entry and management, or other activities.

Palomarin’s Training Program has a global influence, having prepared over 700 people from over 20 countries for careers in academic research, applied conservation, natural resource management, and beyond. 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.

We recognize that increasing racial, gender, cultural, and other diversity, equity, and inclusion factors at Point Blue and in our partnerships is essential for the success of our mission, vision, and strategy. We are actively engaging in a process to create lasting organizational change. We seek applicants from all backgrounds to join our teams. We strongly encourage applications from people with backgrounds that are under-represented in the conservation community

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 motivation to spend long hours in the field and office. Successful applicants will have an openness to learn, and to share knowledge and skills with others. Participants must be able to work independently as well as in groups: apprentices will work closely with fellow crew members and live in a communal setting (e.g., shared bunkrooms, communal kitchen). 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 $17.25 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 fill out an application at the following link. In addition to answering the questions at the link provided, applicants will also upload their resumé and contact information for three references. If you have questions or issues with the application process, please contact MIKE MAHONEY (EM: by January 1, 2023.

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