STRAW Apprenticeship

We’re looking for enthusiastic team members to assist in habitat restoration projects with Point Blue’s Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) program. STRAW Apprentices will work with a supportive team of Restoration Technicians, Restoration Project Managers and Education Managers, to learn techniques and practices of community based ecological restoration, with a focus on training and early career development.

We will hire 8 Apprentices total: 6 apprentices for the North Bay (field and school sites locations are often, but not limited to, the counties of Sonoma and Marin) and 2 apprentices for the South Bay (field and school sites locations are often, but not limited to, the counties of Santa Clara and San Benito).

Apprenticeship Learning Goals

Learning Goal 1 – Apprentices gain an understanding of and experience in community-based restoration and education.

Objectives – Through experiential learning and direct training:

  1. Apprentices will explore the complex relationships between humans, the land, and other beings through introductions to:
    1. Habitat restoration design for both private agricultural lands and publicly managed parks and refuges.
    2. Working with a variety of partners, including tribal communities.
  2. Apprentices will learn field work skills
    1. Best Management Practices in urban and rural community-based, climate-smart restoration.
    2. Restoration site maintenance, including irrigation, weed management and animal-browse protection.
    3. Methods of plant and wildlife monitoring.
    4. How to take care of yourself and others, consider environmental hazards, mitigate risk, and prioritize safety while working outdoors.
  3. Apprentices will learn teaching and facilitating strategies
    1. Education theory and practices, specifically inquiry-based and culturally relevant teaching.
    2. Educating K-12 students, mostly outdoors (i.e. lead learning stations and small planting groups during restoration planting days).
    3. Build skills around small and large group facilitation outdoors.
      1. Understand and step into various key roles our team plays during a restoration day, when comfortable (e.g. safety monitor, leading parts of the opening and closing circle, leading student planting and learning stations, packing up tools and trailers at the end of the day, leading a “brain break/ mover” for students).
    4. Support safety, workflow, overall engagement of student and adult volunteers during restoration days
    5. Welcome and accept the diversity of experiences students have outdoors when they arrive at a restoration day
    6. Share about the opportunities for careers in conservation with students, using our own stories as examples


Learning Goal 2 – Apprentices will gain self-awareness around their personal and professional strengths to inform next steps in their careers.

Objectives –  Through experiential learning and direct training:

  1. Apprentices will extend their personal and professional networks.
    1. Apprentices will be introduced to a broad range of Point Blue staff, partners, and community members.
    2. Apprentices will have opportunities to attend conferences and workshops related to the environmental field.
  2. Apprentices will gain tools for individual reflection and team building.
    1. Apprentices will gather for focused lessons on topics such as communication, giving and receiving feedback, collaboration, problem solving, goal setting, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more.


Position Season Workflow

The following timeline is meant to be a guide and not an exhaustive list of core responsibilities.

September – April (as an Apprentice)

  • Restoration Days
    • Oversee volunteers, focused on K-12 students and adults during restoration project days, including leading planting groups or learning stations.
    • Teach place-based concepts of restoration science through inquiry-based learning to K-12 students.
    • Implement restoration practices such as native species planting and willow harvesting with the guidance of Project Managers and Senior Project Managers.
    • Tool maintenance and storage facility upkeep.
    • Restoration site preparation.
    • Participate in physically demanding field work such as working on steep hillsides, carrying restoration equipment such as shovels, rock bars, and supply bins, loading and unloading vehicles, etc.
  • Best Management Practices
    • Assure restoration site health from plant illness such as Sudden Oak Death through sanitation and testing.
  • Native Plant Nursery
    • Assist in nursery operations (i.e. planting, watering, hosting grade school students and seed collection).


  • School Visits
    • Attend and support pre-restoration lessons (ex. co-teaching, independently) at schools.
    • Participate as a core educator in one of our Multi-Visit Programs (MVP)
      • Support with designing and teaching 4-7 lessons with the same classes, gaining the opportunity to build relationships with those students and teachers

May 1 – August 31 (as a Restoration Technician)

Extension into the Restoration Technician role will be dependent upon skill development, and interest in the position, and will be decided by March 1, 2024.

  • Maintenance Days
    • Assist with planning and coordinating restoration site maintenance including assessing site requirements and plant health in the field, installing drip irrigation, plant removal, seed collection, tracking, and recording maintenance activities.
    • Lead field site maintenance activities and provide technical direction to groups while ensuring the safety of all participants and a high quality of work.
    • Coordinate with Project Managers and other staff to plan daily tasks and supplies needed.
    • Tool maintenance and storage facility upkeep.
    • Operate mechanical tools and equipment such as weed whackers and small engines.
  • Data Monitoring
    • Collection of restoration sites data such as plant health and growth.
  • Summer Teaching
    • Support STRAW Community College Conservation Internship (CCCI), including but not limited to participating in a seminar day, and supporting field experiences for CCCI interns.
    • Support with the development and implementation of Watershed Week, STRAW’s annual professional development workshop for teachers.


Qualifications & Requirements

  • Must meet school district requirements to work with school children including approved background check and fingerprinting.
  • Capability to lift up to 40 pounds and complete strenuous physical tasks in various weather conditions.
  • Observe safe work methods and appropriate use of related safety equipment.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Google Suite, including spreadsheets, word processing, and email applications.
  • Valid US driver’s license with favorable driving history to drive company owned vehicles.
  • Enthusiasm for ecological restoration work.
  • Enthusiasm for teaching Kindergarten – 12th grade students and other public audiences.
  • Communicate and interact effectively with people across cultures, ethnic groups, and identities.
  • Openness to learn and share knowledge and skills.
  • A strong sense of self awareness and the willingness to engage in reflective practice.
  • Ability to work respectfully on private and public property.

Work Environment & Physical Requirements:

  • The position is based out of Point Blue facilities located in Petaluma, California . Apprentices will need transportation to our headquarters in Petaluma. To clarify, North Bay apprentices will frequently travel to Point Blue headquarters and storage facility in Petaluma, whereas South Bay apprentices are considered remote employees and will only need to travel to Petaluma infrequently. However, South Bay apprentices will need regular transportation to various field sites in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.
  • This position operates at remote field locations with occasional uneven terrain, limited vehicle access, and limited cell phone reception, and sometimes in a solitary capacity. Must be able to work in adverse weather conditions such as rain, heat, wind, and cold temperatures.
  • Ability to stand, bend, stoop, sit, walk, and perform other physical activities.
  • Ability to move up to 40 pounds and complete strenuous physical tasks.


Position Obligation:

This apprenticeship position will begin August 28, 2023 and ends on April 30, 2024. Apprentices will be considered for an extension into the role Restoration Technician from May 1, 2024 through August 31, 2024 with increased hourly wage (~$24/ hour).

This is a field-based entry-level position that requires a time commitment of up to 40 hours per week Monday – Friday. The schedule will vary according to the season but generally it is 8 hours per day between the hours of 7 am to 5 pm. Evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand. Occasional travel and overnight stays may be required for this position. Advanced notice will be given.


For Full-Time Apprentices, Point Blue provides a comprehensive benefit package upon hiring including employer paid medical and dental for staff (75% for dependents), life insurance, long-term care, long and short-term disability, flexible spending accounts, and retirement plans as well as time off benefits. Hourly wage is $18.46 in addition to mileage reimbursement (when applicable) at the federal rate. Apprentices will also receive a monthly cell phone stipend ($40/month).

North Bay Apprentices: Work will primarily take place at field sites and schools in but not limited to Sonoma and Marin Counties. Subsidized housing is provided in Point Blue’s Rich Stallcup House, centrally located in Petaluma, CA, about 3 miles from Point Blue’s Headquarters. The cost associated with housing will be $60.16 per week which equates to $120.32 per bi-weekly pay period and will be deducted from your paycheck. Stallcup House residents share rooms with other early-career scientists. House includes furnished rooms, a full kitchen, living room, washer and dryer, and communal bikes and is walking distance from many amenities.

South Bay Apprentices: Work will primarily take place at field sites and schools in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties. Please note housing is not available in association with the South Bay Apprentice positions. South Bay Apprentices will be considered “Fully Remote” employees, meaning that the employee does not have a designated Point Blue or partner office assignment to work from. “Fully Remote” employees will receive a monthly home office stipend ($160 per month) and housing allowance.

How to Apply

Application: Submit application via this form by Friday, July 7, 12 pm PST (noon).

If you encounter difficulty with the application process, please contact Emily Allen at or at 707 781-2555 ext. 360.

Hiring Timeline

  • Application Deadline –Friday, July 7, 12 pm PST (noon).
  • Interviews – Monday, July 17 to Wed, July 26.
    • Thirty minute interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.
    • Interview questions will be shared beforehand.
  • Notification of Status – by Monday, August 7.
    • We are looking to hire 8 Apprentices total: 6 apprentices for the North Bay (often in the counties of Sonoma and Marin) and 2 apprentices for the South Bay (often in the counties of Santa Clara and San Benito).
  • Apprenticeship begins – Monday, August 28, 2023.
  • Applicants accepted will have the opportunity to move into the Rich Stallcup House a week prior or other flexible date before the apprenticeship begins. The Stallcup House is in Petaluma and is for North Bay Apprentices.

About Point Blue

Point Blue Conservation Science (Point Blue, formerly PRBO), based in Petaluma, California, is a growing and internationally renowned nonprofit with over 160 staff and scientists. Founded in 1965 and working from California to Antarctica, we advance conservation of nature for wildlife and people through science, partnerships, and outreach. Our scientists work closely with wildlife managers, private landowners, ranchers, farmers, other scientists, major conservation groups, and federal, state, and local government agencies. Our highest priority today is to increase the pace, scale, and impact of climate-smart conservation. Learn more by exploring this site.

Point Blue is an equal 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 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.