Laboratory Research Assistant

Point Blue Conservation Science

Petaluma, California

Job Type Temporary
Salary Details $18.75 per hour
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

LABORATORY RESEARCH ASSISTANT at Point Blue Conservation Science 

Duration: One year

Deadline to Apply: Open until Filled

Position Type: Full-Time, Non-Exempt

Compensation and Benefits:

This is a one-year, full-time (40 hours/week) position with benefits and pays $18.75 per hour. Start date will be June 3, 2024 although the start and end dates may be negotiable. We offer furnished housing in Petaluma (approximately 3 miles from the office), and a housing cost of $124.20 per pay period (which is bi-weekly) will be deducted from your paycheck to cover utilities and internet. 

About Point Blue:

Point Blue Conservation Science is a growing and internationally renowned non-profit with over 160 staff and scientists based in Petaluma, California. Founded in 1965 as Point Reyes Bird Observatory, our mission and programs have evolved over time to include a broad range of conservation activity, from restoration to environmental education to innovative work in the field of regenerative agriculture.  We have a proven track record of scientific excellence.

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.

Position Description: 

We are seeking a Laboratory Research Assistant for marine predator diet studies, zooplankton research, data-related tasks, and outreach activities at our Petaluma, California Headquarters.

Our studies determine size class and species composition of prey consumed by seabirds and California sea lions, and we examine krill and their relationships with seabirds and other top-predator populations in the Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries. 

Main laboratory duties include: Identifying otoliths and other fish parts from diet samples (regurgitated pellets and fecal samples) of Brandt’s cormorants, least terns, and California sea lions; identifying zooplankton taxa and age classes from diet samples (regurgitations) of Cassin’s auklets; preparing zooplankton samples and identifying, weighing, and measuring krill, copepods, and other important zooplankton groups; collecting species composition and size data on prey specimens dropped on seabird breeding colonies; entering and proofing data; and helping to compile information from 50+ years of seabird studies on the Farallon Islands. 

Other duties include: Assisting with the bi-monthly Farallon Island patrol runs, which includes packing and transporting supplies to/from local marinas, taking Farallon compost to a local farm, and keeping patrol run containers clean and organized; participating in online outreach activities (mainly Instagram and Facebook Live events) and in-person events at local museums and community colleges; and training and supervising seasonal interns and laboratory volunteers. There may be opportunities for field work, such as participating in at-sea surveys in the Gulf of the Farallones (duties include assisting in net tows, collecting hydrographic data, and conducting seabird and marine mammal surveys), and/or participating in nest surveys of an endangered California least tern colony in San Francisco Bay (duties include walking through colony with permitted biologists, marking nests, collecting data, and collecting diet samples to be analyzed in the lab). 


Preference will be given to candidates who have a degree in biology or related field and prior laboratory research experience.

Applicants should enjoy working independently and have plenty of patience for long hours spent looking through a scope to identify cryptic fish ear bones and scales, little marine bugs, and contorted, dried-up fish chips. 

Must have your own transportation method to/from the office since transportation is not provided. 

Point Blue is an equal employment 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 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.


To Apply: Please click here to apply. More information about the position can be found at www.pointblue.org and www.accessoceans.org. If you experience issues with the application process please contact Meredith Elliott at melliott@pointblue.org

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

Category Botany , Ecology , Fisheries , Wildlife
Tags Outreach , Ornithology