Colonial Waterbird Internship – San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory


The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory (SFBBO) is seeking a part-time intern to assist with the Colonial Waterbird Program.  The internship will begin February 1, 2020 and extend through August 31, 2020.  The internship will be based in Milpitas, CA, although many tasks can be completed remotely.  The intern will receive training and mentorship from SFBBO staff and will develop their skills in data management, volunteer management, and waterbird survey techniques. The intern’s primary role will be managing volunteers, data entry, and maintaining a database for the Colonial Waterbird Monitoring Program, a citizen science project. The intern may also assist with SFBBO’s California Gull Research and Monitoring and Avian Disease Prevention programs (

Key Responsibilities:

•    Manage volunteer site assignments and respond to inquiries

•    Enter, proof, and manage colonial waterbird data collected by citizen scientists

•    Prepare short summary reports of colonial waterbird data for local organizations

•    Prepare training materials for citizen scientists and plan or participate in outreach events

•    Conduct gull counts in the field during breeding season

•    Assist with surveys to collect dead, diseased, and injured birds in South Bay sloughs as part of an effort to prevent avian botulism outbreaks

•    Work with SFBBO staff, partner agencies, and volunteers to coordinate field work

•    Assist with other SFBBO projects as assigned

Required Qualifications:

•    Coursework toward a degree in biology, ecology, or related field

•    Solid computer skills and experience with data entry, proofing, and analysis

•    Strong work ethic, organizational skills, and attention to detail

•    Ability to work independently and as part of a team

•    Effective oral and written communication skills

•    Interest in working with volunteers/citizen scientists

Preferred Qualifications:

•    Familiarity with waterbird species of the San Francisco Bay

•    Experience using Microsoft Access and Excel

•    Experience doing fieldwork with spotting scopes

•    Previous participation in citizen science programs

Applicants should be students or recent graduates (within the last year) with a degree in wildlife biology, environmental science or a related field.  This is a part-time unpaid internship position. The schedule is flexible and many tasks can be performed from a computer remotely. The intern will have weekly meetings with the Program Director. The internship will require on average 5-10 hours per week. Weeks with field work may require up to 15 hours per week on a limited basis. If field work is performed, an SFBBO vehicle or reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle will be available for pre-approved, work-related travel.  SFBBO will also provide most field gear, including a spotting scope.

To Apply: Please e-mail the following materials to Dr. Max Tarjan,  1) cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) list of three references (names, email addresses, and phone numbers).  Include all materials in one Word or PDF file, and include your last name in the file name. Include “Colonial Waterbird Internship” in the e-mail subject. Application review will begin on January 17th.  SFBBO is an EOE.