Habitat Restoration Intern

Salmon Protection and Watershed Network

West Marin, California

Job Type Unpaid
Salary Details Unpaid
Required Experience 0 - 1 years


Turtle Island Restoration Network’s California-based initiative, the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN), protects endangered, wild Coho salmon and the ecosystems they need to survive in West Marin County, California. We are currently undertaking the second phase of our largest restoration project yet, restoring a one-mile stretch of Lagunitas Creek. By re-creating lost floodplains and native riparian forest we are working to ensure coho salmon remain part of our ecosystem for generations to come. These actions will improve habitat for adult and juvenile coho salmon, steelhead trout, California freshwater shrimp, California red-legged frog, and a myriad of other wildlife species as part of an effort to reverse the decline of species statewide.

Position Summary

This is a six-month position, applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

SPAWN is seeking reliable and independent interns with a passion for environmental restoration to join our team. Under supervision from the Director of Watershed Conservation, the Habitat Restoration Intern will assist with planning, implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of habitat restoration projects in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed. This watershed is home to the largest remaining wild run of endangered coho salmon in Central California.

Habitat Restoration Interns will be responsible for assisting with native plant propagation and out-plating, irrigation and watering, restoration site preparation, data collection and entry, and design and out-planting of riparian restoration projects. The intern will also help with leading weekly volunteer workdays in the nursery and field, guiding volunteers in carrying out these projects. Additionally, the Habitat Restoration Intern will support education programs related to environmental restoration, as well as volunteer recruitment and outreach.

This position is ideal for those looking to gain hands-on experience in native plant propagation, watershed conservation, and environmental restoration. Your work (40 hours/week) is compensated through accommodation in shared housing just five miles from our office, under the incredible coast redwoods. You will also have the opportunity to volunteer at the local food bank in exchange for weekly groceries.

Intern Roles & Responsibilities

  • This is a full-time position Tuesday-Friday. Work will be primarily outdoors (all weather conditions) and may be around poison oak and ticks
  • Restoration of riparian habitat through planting native species, invasive species removal, watering, and site maintenance
  • Design and implementation of restoration projects
  • Native plant propagation, transplanting, pruning, and out-plating
  • Providing training and guidance for volunteers related to field restoration work and nursery operations
  • Assist with running field trips for local schools
  • Campaign development and support
  • Fundraising and community development
  • Data entry and database management: collect data on plant growth and survival at restoration sites and restoration site monitoring

We also encourage each intern to pursue a project of their choice! Past projects have focused on environmental education, plant propagation techniques, plant-wildlife interactions, and improving nursery operation.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Fieldwork experience or education in a relevant field
  • Interest in watershed ecology, fisheries biology, botany, and ecological restoration
  • Experience in vegetation monitoring
  • Experience in volunteer management
  • Experience in native (and exotic) plant identification and biology
  • Ability to work outside in varying terrain and weather
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs.
  • Experience with power tools a plus
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and organize oneself
  • Ability to use PC or Mac proficiently
  • Driver’s license
  • Ability to project a positive image with the community
  • Creative thinker and interest in helping to improve and develop new methods and ideas for restoration programs

Learning Objectives

The Habitat Restoration Internship will help you gain hands-on experience in field biology and restoration, skills with native and invasive plant identification, native plant propagation, restoration techniques, project management, event organization, and volunteer management. Interns will also learn about the dynamic inner workings of a non-profit, including fundraising, community development, outreach, database management, and campaign support.


Salary: Unpaid.

Location: This position is located at our headquarters in Olema, California, with housing in Lagunitas.

Starting Time: This is a six-month position, applications are reviewed and filled on a rolling basis.

Hours: Full-time (40 hours/week) Tuesday-Saturday.

Benefits: Coed housing is provided in a furnished house that features shared bedrooms, bathrooms and living spaces. The intern house is located five miles from our headquarters in a redwood forest, adjacent to State and National Parklands just 25 miles north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. You will also have the opportunity to volunteer at the local food bank in exchange for weekly groceries.

We are happy to work with academic departments to ensure the internship meets requirements for academic credit.


Please send a resume and cover letter to our Watershed Biologist, Ayano Hayes, at ahayes@tirn.net.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Restoration