Point Blue’s watershed restoration and education program, Students and Teachers Restoring A Watershed (STRAW) facilitates K-12 students in implementation of professionally designed restoration work on streams and wetlands in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through restoring watersheds, STRAW restores our connections with the land, with each other, and with a sense of hope for a more resilient and responsible world downstream. STRAW’s watershed science education activities offer an integrated place-based learning experience for students to work together, connect to their local watershed, and be empowered by their actions. Each year, approximately 4,000 students participate in 60 restoration work days, planting 5,500 native plants.
2021-2022 Apprenticeship Application Will Open in November 2021
Point Blue is seeking six to eight reliable, respectful, and enthusiastic Interns who have a strong interest in both restoration and education. Interns will work as a team to assist with student-implemented restoration workdays, educate students in and outside of the classroom, and accompany maintenance and monitoring of restoration sites. Restoration work typically includes native plant installation, invasive species removal and/or biotechnical erosion work from October-May. Site maintenance work is integral to the overall program success and includes watering, weeding and other plant establishment activities from May-September. Point Blue headquarters is based in Petaluma, CA.
The main goals of the STRAW intern program are to:
- Gain understanding of and experience in community-based restoration and education.
- Gain a better understanding of personal and professional strengths and interests and how to apply them to future endeavors.
- This is a full time Monday- Friday (occasional weekends required) field work position spending 4-5 full physically demanding days per week outdoors (all weather conditions).
- Required travel and overnight stays for up to one week to STRAW field sites throughout South Bay Area and the Sierra Nevada (dependent on project funds).
- Train, supervise, and lead students and adults during restoration and maintenance work days.
- Teach concepts of restoration and climate change science through inquiry-based learning to K-12 students through in-class and outdoor lessons.
- Assist staff with workday preparations (site visits, plant pickup, and tool preparation).
- Learn and apply new communication techniques to create effective collaborations.
- Set-up, operate and troubleshoot various temporary irrigation systems and utilize Best Management Practices for restoration and weed control.
- Fulfill the role of an Assistant Field Leader for several restoration sites to track site needs and clearly and concisely record and communicate about site progress.
- Assist with plant monitoring.
- Assist with coordination and implementation of STRAW teacher training events.
- The opportunity to be involved in various education workshops, lessons, and events.
- Create a final capstone project that celebrates learning throughout the STRAW Intern program.
Compensation: The Apprenticeship position receives a monthly stipend of $1,000/month (gross) to offset living expenses, plus shared housing in Petaluma, CA. Interns are required to accept shared housing proximate to Point Blue’s Petaluma Headquarters (housing and related costs to be covered by Point Blue).
- Relevant education or field work experience.
- Enthusiasm and experience for ecological restoration work.
- Enthusiasm and experience for teaching K-12 students and other public audiences.
- Openness to learn and share knowledge and skills.
- A strong sense of self awareness and the willingness to engage in reflective practice.
- Strengths in troubleshooting field-based challenges.
- Ability to work respectfully on private and public property.
- Ability to thrive in both a team setting and individually/live in shared housing cooperatively.
- Field leadership skills.
- Ability to lift and carry 40 pounds and complete strenuous physical tasks.
- Have a valid driver’s license with at least 5 years of driving experience.
- Ability and willingness to drive Point Blue owned work trucks, tow trailers, and drive off-road/4WD.
- May be asked to drive personal vehicle (if applicable) to project and school sites and provide proof of insurance coverage (minimum of $100k per incident, $300 total insurance is required to drive personal car for Point Blue business)
- Other helpful skills include Spanish language proficiency and California native plant knowledge.
Apprentices will learn key concepts and skills in:
- Best Management Practices in urban and rural community-based, climate-smart restoration.
- Education theory and practices, specifically inquiry-based learning.
- Methods of plant and wildlife monitoring.
- Current trends in California science standards and practices.
- Effective collaboration and team-building techniques.
- Educating K-12 students in and out of the classroom.
- Communication techniques to create effective collaborations.
Point Blue is an equal employment opportunity employer and does not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, citizenship status or disability status of an otherwise qualified individual, membership or application for membership in a uniformed service, or membership in any other class protected by applicable law. Reasonable accommodation will be made for applicants with disabilities to complete the application and /or participation in the interview process.