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.

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. Environmental justice, policy and planning.
    2. Habitat restoration design for both private agricultural lands and publicly managed parks and refuges.
    3. Working with 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.
  3. Apprentices will learn teaching 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).
  4. Apprentices will learn how to lead and work with volunteers to accomplish restoration day goals.
    1. Build skills around small and large group facilitation outdoors.
    2. Support safety, workflow, overall engagement of student and adult volunteers during restoration days


Learning Goal 2 – Apprentices will gain self-awareness around their personal and professional strengths to inform their aspirations.


  1. Apprentices extend their personal and professional networks.
    1. Apprentices have meaningful and diverse experiences with and receive mentorship from a broad range of Point Blue staff, partners, professionals and community members.
  2. Gain a better understanding of how people’s individual identities inform their experience in the environmental field.
    1. Welcome and accept the diversity of experiences students have outdoors when they arrive at a restoration day
    2. Share about the opportunities for careers in conservation with students, using our own stories as examples
  3. Apprentices will learn effective collaboration and team-building techniques.
    1. Learn skills around giving and receiving feedback while participating in morning and post-restoration team feedback sessions.
    2. 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).


Position Season Workflow

The following timeline is meant to be a guide and not an exhaustive list of core responsibilities. Throughout the year, all STRAW Apprentices core responsibilities will include approaching new and diverse perspectives with a strong sense of self-awareness. All STRAW staff will demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and the local community.

September – March

  • Restoration Days
    • Oversee volunteers, focused on K-12 students and adults during restoration project days, including leading planting groups or learning stations.
    • Teach concepts of restoration and climate change 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.
  • Native Plant Nursery
    • Assist in nursery operations (i.e. planting, hosting grade school students).
  • Optional: Environmental Education
    • Attend and support school pre-restoration lessons (ex. co-teaching, independently).

April – June

  • Maintenance Days
    • Implement restoration practices such as irrigation, plant removal, and seed collection.
    • Tool maintenance upkeep and restoration site preparation.
  • Data Monitoring
    • Collection of restoration sites data such as plant health and growth.
  • Best Management Practices
    • Assure restoration site health from plant illness such as Sudden Oak Death through sanitation and testing.
  • Optional: Environmental Education
    • Outreach and recruitment for STRAW Community College Conservation Internship, including but not limited to the creation of recruitment materials.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • Approved background check and fingerprinting to work with students.
  • Capability to lift up to 40 pounds and complete strenuous physical tasks in various weather conditions.
  • 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 and experience for ecological restoration work.
  • Enthusiasm and experience for teaching Kindergarten – 12th grade 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.
  • Ability to work respectfully on private and public property.

Position Obligation:

This position will begin September 26th, 2022 and end on June 30th, 2023. This is a field based position that requires a time commitment of 32-36 hours per week within the Monday – Friday weekday.  Work days are typically 8-hour days between ~7 am to ~5 pm.

There might be the possibility to work additional hours occasionally throughout the apprenticeship.


The applicant will need transportation to our headquarters in Petaluma. This position operates throughout the Bay Area in remote field locations with uneven terrain, limited vehicle access, limited cell phone reception. Apprentices must be able to work in adverse weather conditions such as rain, heat, wind, and cold temperatures.


Hourly wage of $16.75 in addition to mileage reimbursement at the federal rate. Employment benefits include medical and dental insurance upon hiring, 401k retirement account, and vacation, sick, and paid time off (PTO) hours.

North Bay Apprentices: Subsidized housing ($253 per month) is provided in Point Blue’s Rich Stallcup House in Petaluma, CA. Stallcup House residents share rooms with other early-career scientists. Access to furnished rooms, full kitchen, living room, washer and dryer, communal bikes is available.

South Bay Apprentices: Please note housing is not available in association with the South Bay Apprentice positions. South Bay sites are relatively new in our STRAW history and we have not established the infrastructure in the South Bay to provide subsidized housing.

COVID Safety

We require staff to be fully vaccinated in compliance with the Kindergarten – 12th grade school vaccination requirements. All Point Blue staff will do the same and ensure a safe working environment. Hired applicants may be required to quarantine and have a negative COVID-19 test prior to start date.

How to Apply

Application: Submit application via this form (pdf available here) by Monday, August 22nd at 12 pm PST, noon.

If you have any questions, please contact Alba Estrada Lopez at  or at 707-781-2555 ext. 394.

Hiring Timeline

  • Application Deadline – Monday August 22nd, 12 pm PST (noon).
  • Interviews – Monday, August 29th to Thursday, September 1st.
    • Thirty minute interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis.
    • Interview questions will be shared beforehand.
  • Notification of Status – by Wednesday, September 7th.
    • We are looking to hire 4 Apprentices total: 2 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 Monterey).
  • Apprenticeship begins – Monday, September 26th.
    • Applicants accepted will have the opportunity to move into the Rich Stallcup House a week prior or other flexible date before the apprenticeship begins.

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.