Western Snowy Plover Conservation Apprentice

Location: Monterey, CA

Duration: 4.3 months in March-August, 2024

Position Type: Apprentice

Deadline to Apply: February 16th, 2024

Position Description: The Western Snowy Plover Conservation Apprentice will be an employee of Point Blue Conservation Science and part of a five-person Point Blue team. The Apprentice will also participate in a multi-agency management team that works collaboratively to achieve snowy plover conservation outcomes. The collaborative team includes staff from Point Blue Conservation Science, CA State Parks (Santa Cruz and Monterey districts), USFWS (Salinas River National Wildlife Refuge), USFWS (Ventura Field Office), and US Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services. The Apprentice will participate in field monitoring of breeding snowy plovers on Monterey Bay sandy beaches (50%), entering and managing snowy plover data (20%), implementing snowy plover habitat protections and other management actions (5%), and participating in collaborative team meetings (5%), while designing and implementing an individual project targeted toward achieving specific learning outcomes (20%). The individual project will be developed in consultation with a USFWS collaborator. Field work takes place on public beaches and entails using optics (binoculars and scope), color band resighting, behavioral observations, nest monitoring, and interacting with the public.

The Apprentice will work a total of 4.3 months (745 hours) between March-August of 2024. A start date of April 1st is preferred but could be as late as May 1st. Schedule is flexible and can be a combination of part-time during the final semester of an academic year and full time during the summer, or full time for a shorter duration.

Learning Outcomes and Strategies:

Project Based Learning – The Apprentice will design and implement a project based on their interests and Point Blue Conservation Science and USFWS priorities. Examples of potential project types and matching learning outcomes (in parentheses) include database design and creation (data fluency, data management), data-based scientific inquiry (applied conservation science), development of educational or media outreach materials (social dimensions of conservation), and development of targeted conservation strategies (conservation stewardship).

Experiential and Peer to Peer Learning – The Apprentice will be mentored in the field and during data management by highly skilled Point Blue ecologists who are career conservation practitioners with a depth and breadth of knowledge. The Apprentice will learn from other collaborative team members, who have worked in the snowy plover conservation arena for decades. The Apprentice will learn how traditional conservation challenges are being addressed through a climate adaptation lens. Learning outcomes include conservation collaboration, professional skills development, and increased climate fluency.

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.

Compensation: The apprentice will be paid $18.75 per hour. Transportation using a personal vehicle to field sites from within 20 miles of field sites will be reimbursed at the federal rate. Binoculars and scope are available to borrow. Housing is not provided.

Qualifications: Desired applicants will have a strong interest in birds and conservation. Applicants must be able to perceive and differentiate colors accurately, as reading color bands is a key piece of field work. The ability to traverse long distances through sandy and uneven terrain is necessary; a typical field day involves hiking several miles on dry sand. The Apprentice must be willing to interact with the public, able to work alone (after a training period), as well as work with others from the Point Blue team and collaborators. Preference may be given to applicants with previous experience with field work, scientific data collection, and/or working with birds. 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. Since housing is not provided, applicants who are currently living in the Monterey Bay area of California are preferred.

To Apply: Please fill out an application form. You can also visit the application form by copying and pasting,, into your browser. 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 issues with the application process, please contact

Point Blue is proud to be an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate against applicants or employees because of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, 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.