Turtle Island Restoration Network’s California-based initiative, the 10,000 Redwoods project, takes direct action on climate change by planting 10,000 redwoods in the San Francisco Bay Area to sequester carbon and restore habitat where ancient redwood forests once grew. The program also supports the Salmon Protection and Watershed Network (SPAWN) whose mission is to protect endangered, wild Coho salmon and the ecosystems they need to survive in West Marin County, California.

Position Summary

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

SPAWN is seeking a reliable and independent intern with a passion for environmental restoration and education to join our team. Under supervision from the Native Plant Nursery Manager, the Redwood & Climate Change Intern will be responsible for assisting with the 10,000 Redwoods program by collecting redwood seeds; stratifying and planting redwoods; helping implement classroom education projects; gathering materials for events; teaching lessons for a variety of ages; monitoring the health and status for the out planted redwood trees; periodically monitoring, measuring, and photographing the trees; and keeping the donor database and out planted trees database up to date.

Additionally, the Redwood & Climate Change Intern will assist with volunteer coordination, volunteer event planning and leadership, and organizational outreach. The intern will gain technical skills in stream and riparian restoration practices, vegetation monitoring, volunteer management, and fundraising and event planning skills.

Other responsibilities can include assisting with native plant propagation and out-plating, irrigation and watering, restoration site preparation, planning, implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of habitat restoration projects in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed, grant work, recruiting and training volunteers, data collection and entry, and project management. Beyond working in habitat restoration, interns will all learn about the dynamic inner workings of a non-profit. This includes fundraising, community development, outreach, database management, and campaign support.

Intern Roles & Responsibilities

  • Redwood tree propagation: collect, stratify, and plant redwood seeds with best practices.
  • Education: work with a wide variety of ages to introduce redwood ecology and successfully collect and grow redwoods in the classroom. These events will range from informal Creekwalks, to school planting events, to PowerPoint presentations.
  • Redwood monitoring: Periodically assess the health of the out planted redwood trees for the 10,000 Redwoods project, measure height and DBH, assess site health, and collect GPS waypoints.
  • Database management: Keep out planted redwood database and interactive donor map up to date.
  • Volunteer outreach & management: recruit and train volunteers to assist with habitat restoration projects and tie them into the current organizational campaigns.
  • Habitat restoration: assist SPAWN staff with planning, design, implementation, and monitoring of riparian restoration projects including native plant propagation and out-planting, irrigation and watering, restoration site preparation, data collection and entry, and project management. Some evening lectures, weekend events, and political advocacy required.

Qualifications & Skills

  • Fieldwork experience or education in a relevant field
  • Experience in native (and exotic) plant identification and biology
  • Experience in nursery operations and horticultural practices
  • Interest in watershed ecology, fisheries biology, botany, and ecological restoration
  • Experience in vegetation monitoring
  • Experience in volunteer management or customer service
  • Experience working as part of a dynamic team
  • Experience working with students
  • Experience collecting, entering, and organizing biological data
  • Ability to work outside in varying terrain and weather
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and organize oneself
  • Ability to use PC or Mac proficiently (Microsoft Office)
  • Driver’s license (own car a plus)
  • 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 Redwood & Climate Change Internship will help you gain 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 is a six-month, full time position at our headquarters in Olema, California with housing provided nine miles from our office.

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

Hours: This is a full-time position Monday-Friday, with Saturdays occasionally required. Work will be primarily outdoors (all weather conditions) and may be around poison oak and ticks.

Benefits: Coed housing is provided in a furnished house that features shared bedrooms, bathroom and living spaces. The intern house is located just nine 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.

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.

How to Apply

Please send a resume and cover letter to Native Plant Nursery Manager Audrey Fusco at audrey@seaturtles.org.