Conservation Internships

    Ano Nuevo Reserve

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    Ano Nuevo Reptile and Amphibian Surveys

    Also found in Research tab.

    Contact: Patrick Robinson (Reserve manager), 

    Come learn about snakes, lizards (maybe some frogs and rodents too) with an internship at the Año Nuevo UC Natural Reserve. In April of 2013 the UCSC Field Methods Class and Natural Reserve placed 25 coverboards in the main park area between the Año Nuevo visitor center and main beach as well as 25 coverboards in a recently acquired State Park property (BART property) just to the north. The coverboards have now aged and are likely providing habitat for snakes, lizards, amphibians, and perhaps small mammals. This internship will involve checking these coverboards on a weekly basis throughout the quarter, recording data, identifying species, and entering data into a database. Data from your project will help State Parks compare herpetofauna across the two sites (the BART property was farmed as recently as 2006 whereas the main park area was last farmed in the early 1950s).

  • Arboretum

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    Interactive Ecology

    Listing also found in Campus tab.

    Contact: Brett Hall (please put Interactive Ecology in the subject line), (831)212-4853

    Interactive Ecology interns will work primarily within the California Native Plant Conservation Program in the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. Physical activities will include building plant collections through seed germination, propagation, nursery work, planting, garden work and invasive weed control. We will take field trips to local wild areas to learn local plant communities and techniques involved in vegetation mapping, classification, habitat assessment and surveys.

    For more info, visit their website!


  • California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program / CA Sea Grant

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    California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program / CA Sea Grant

    Listing also found in the Research and Water and Marine-Related tabs.

    Contact: Ryan Fields,           

    California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program (CCFRP) interns gain insight into the world of marine science and valuable, hands-on experience for professional development through active participation in various forms of field work, data analyses and project support.

    Job Description: CCFRP interns provide organizational, logistical and administrative assistance to the Fisheries & Conservation Biology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.  Within the CCFRP, our lab conducts background research for fisheries-related projects, coordinates a variety of events, collects and analyzes field data and disseminates information to the public.  Program interns help facilitate any/all portions of these activities while additional duties are assigned, as needed.

    For more information visit the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program's website

  • Central Coast Wetlands Group at Moss Landing Marine Labs

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    Restoration Internship

    Listing also found in Water and Marine-Related and Public Policy tabs. 

    Contact: Cara Clark,

    The Central Coast Wetlands Group is an affiliate research group at Moss Landing Marine Labs focused on the study, preservation, and restoration of wetlands. We work closely with regional and state partners to improve wetland science communication between researchers, resource managers and policy makers. We do this through on the ground research, the development and dissemination of tools and materials, and through organizing and hosting meetings and symposia that bring groups of people together to increase dialogue.

    We are interested in hosting interns with the right fit for our organization. We seek an intern who is self-motivated, has clear goals, and has a sound scientific background. Due to these requirements, we prefer students who have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate courses.

    The intern would assist with restoration activities including native plant propagation and out-planting, weed control, and monitoring. They may also be involved in scientific research and monitoring of water quality treatment wetlands and local watersheds. There is also data analysis and management and other office work that may be needed. The balance of these various duties would depend on the season and the need, as well as the abilities and interest of the intern.

    Our office is located in Moss Landing, CA -- about half an hour south of Santa Cruz. The intern would have to provide their own transportation to Moss Landing.

  • Central Coast Wilds

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    Central Coast Wilds

     Listing also found under Public Policy and Water and Marine-Related tabs.  

    Contact: Cindy Hudson, and Ayla Mills,

    Central Coast Wilds nursery is a wholesale native plant nursery that specializes in growing watershed specific native plants for habitat restoration and ecological landscape projects. We grow hundreds of species of native plants that are indigenous to watersheds throughout the Monterey and San Francisco bay areas. The nursery began as a back yard nursery on the Westside of Santa Cruz in 1992. After growing rapidly, the garden moved to the Soquel Hills in 1993. In 2000 the nursery moved back to the City of Santa Cruz to the current location on Golf Club Drive.

  • Coastal Prairie Restoration Research

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    Restoration Research Intern

    Also Under Research and Summer

    Contact: Justin Luong,

    Students will assist Graduate Student Justin Luong with research in whether the use of plant functional traits and phylogenetics can be predictive in restoration planting survival and growth, because restoration often has unpredictable outcomes. Presumeably, this will be exacerbated by climate change. Interns have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Younger Lagoon Reserve at Coastal Campus utilizing rain-out shelters that simulate a 1-in-100 year drought after five years for 12 CA coastal prairie plants, collecting data such as plant community composition and plant functional trait data, and categorizing plants in subgroups by leaf area and thickness. No experience is required. 


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    Blog and Newsletter Internship

    Listing also found in Water and Marine-Related tab.

    Contact: Erin Loury

    FISHBIO is a fisheries and environmental consulting company dedicated to the research, monitoring, and conservation of fishes around the world. Our offices are located in Chico, Oakdale, and Santa Cruz, California, as well as in Vientiane, Laos. FISHBIO updates a blog on our website ( three times per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The Monday blog post also doubles as our weekly email newsletter, called the Fish Report, which is distributed to more than 3,000 subscribers. Fish Reports and blog posts cover FISHBIO project updates, topical news stories, or recent research publications related to fisheries, water, or environmental science. There is a decided freshwater and salmon focus to the content, but stories on marine issues and other species are welcomed as well. 
    The intern’s primary responsibility will be pitching, researching, and writing stories for the FISHBIO blog and newsletter. The intern will also craft social media posts to promote the finished stories. Time and interest permitting, there may be opportunity for the intern to develop blog posts and lesson plans for FISHBIO’s Three Rivers Education program. (

  • Fort Ord Natural Reserve

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    Various Internships

    Contact: Joe Miller,

    Located on part of the former Fort Ord Army Base, Fort Ord Natural Reserve supports excellent examples of maritime chaparral endemic to the Monterey Bay region. This rare habitat and several associated plant and wildlife species depend largely on Fort Ord land for their survival.

    Eleven listed plant species reside there (including the federally endangered, state-threatened sand gilia and the federally threatened Monterey spineflower), along with six listed animal species (including the federally endangered Smith's blue butterfly). The site also supports a mixture of other habitats: coast live oak, coastal scrub, mixed annual grassland, and native perennial grassland.

    The reserve was established because of its unique flora and fauna of the Monterey Bay maritime chaparral and as mitigation for the adjacent UCSC Monterey Bay Education, Science, and Technology Center (MBEST) under the Fort Ord Base Closure Habitat Management Plan (HMP). As part of this plan, the reserve will protect rare habitats and associated special-status species into perpetuity and foster teaching/research opportunities, especially in conservation biology of the HMP species.

  • Groundswell Coastal Ecology

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    Groundswell Coastal Ecology

    Contact: Bill Henry,

    Groundswell Ecology seeks interns for our Coastal Programs in Santa Cruz County. Groundswell is a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) dedicated to building healthy coastal communities through education and community-based ecological restoration and research. We use these tools to increase biodiversity, ecosystem resiliency, and aesthetic at highly visited coastal access sites. In 2017/18 interns will participate in three primary projects: Healthy Coastal Communities, Teaching our NextGen Coastal Adaptation through Green Infrastructure, and the Lighthouse Field Enhancement Project. Work will occur at Santa Cruz K-12 schools and coastal sites including Seabright Beach, Lighthouse Field, Natural Bridges, and Davenport Landing.

  • Island Conservation

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    Volunteer with Island Conservation

    Contact: Emily Heber,

    Island Conservation (IC) is an international non-profit conservation organization headquartered in Santa Cruz, California with offices around the world in Australia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. The mission of Island Conservation is to prevent extinctions by removing invasive species from islands. The removal of invasive species is a feasible, cost effective, and long-lasting conservation action that is critical to saving species and conserving biodiversity. To date, we have successfully deployed team members to 60 islands worldwide to protect 1090 populations of nearly 400 species.

    Duties will focus on a variety of desktop research projects including but not limited to: enhancing knowledge on threatened island biodiversity and invasive species eradications, learning about climate change impacts on islands, and managing data on changes in native flora and fauna following invasive species removal.

  • Communications Volunteer Intern

    Island Conservation is seeking a Communications Volunteer Intern to learn from and support the Communications Team in our Santa Cruz Headquarters. We are looking for an enthusiastic and dedicated individual who wants to develop new skills and improve their writing, communication, social media, organizational, and computer skills. For more information, please visit the website.

  • Jesse Street Marsh

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    Friends of the Jesse Street Marsh

    Contact: Vicki Winters, (831)239-6793 

    The Friends of Jessie St. Marsh is a community organization dedicated to bringing together resources to protect and restore the Jessie St. Marsh, a remnant tidal marsh in the Lower Ocean Neighborhood of Santa Cruz. FJSM is seeking an intern to assist with community outreach and education.

    Interns will:

    • Draft printed environmental education materials for social media postings, brochures, and interpretive signage (text, video, photography, illustration)
    • Do independent research on wetlands habitats for interpretive materials, may also require research into source policy documents
    • Assist with special event planning and preparation.
    • Assist in construction of a tabletop marsh model and in developing wetlands curriculum/activities to demonstrate the importance of wetlands for flood control and water quality.
    • Canvass and distribute literature to residents surrounding the Marsh, many of whom are monolingual Spanish.

  • Jodi McGraw Consulting & UC Santa Cruz Greenhouses

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    Sandhills Restoration Intern

    Contact: Jodi McGraw, (831)768-6988

    Jodi McGraw Consulting is implementing a series of sandhills conservation and restoration projects, including a multi-year project to restore mined habitat within the approximately 114-acre restoration area of the Olympia Quarry in Felton, CA. The work done by interns is part of a longer-term restoration effort designed to establish native plant species form the sandhills communities, including rare native plant species, in order to help recover four federally-listed endangered species. Sandhills Restoration interns gain experience in the following aspects of conservation and restoration, with the precise activities depending on the season (i.e., quarter) of participation:

    • Native plant propagation, including seed collection, cleaning, and growing;
    • Native plant installation and maintenance, including weeding, pruning, and irrigation;
    • Exotic plant identification and control strategies;
    • Rare plant identification and monitoring, including mapping;
    • Endangered insect surveys; and
    • Monitoring of experimental trials to promote endangered plants and insects and restore degraded habitat.

  • Land of Medicine Buddha

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    Conservation Internship

    Also under the Agroecology and Plants and Environmental Education tabs

    Contact: Dominic “Buzz” Renda 

    Land of Medicine Buddha (LMB), a center for healing and developing a good heart, is an active Buddhist community, a local registered non-profit, an environmental conscious meditation and retreat center located on 108 acres of coastal redwood foothills in Soquel. Our mission, values, teachings and practices devoted to increasing the wellbeing for all. We offer a wide range of secular and non-secular offerings including teaching, meditation, retreat and community.

    4 2 or 5 unit internships are available. Internship participants will be instrumental in planning, developing and actualizing 1 of 2 priority LMB projects; Regenerative Garden and Nature Walk. 

    For more information please visit our website!

  • Macaw Lodge

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    Conservation Internship

    Listing also found in Summer Internships tab.

    Contact: Stephanie Mermet,, (506) 8310-9073                  

    Macaw Lodge is an eco-lodge dedicated to inspire environmental conservation through mindful and evidence based sustainable practices.  We are committed to preserving the biodiversity of our environmentally unique wet-dry tropics as we constantly improve upon sustainable agricultural practices and eco-tourism.  Our methods respect the web of life while providing opportunities and guidance to local farmers and residents ready to improve their quality of life and thereby live purposefully and in harmony with nature. Your proficiency in Spanish may determine the project(s) you will participate in. Immersion into daily life with our staff, local neighbors, lodge guests from around the world, and school age children are all possible while engaged in our daily practice of tending, preparing and creating a life affirming experience.

    • Sustainable gardening, Tropical Food Forest Production of bananas, papaya, bread fruit, Medicinal Plant propagation, Greenhouse Management
    • Wildlife Surveys and Bird counts
    • Fish ponds and Aquaponics
    • Cacao Production and Chocolate making from bean to bar.
    • Trail building,  Bamboo construction

  • Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project

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    Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project

    Listing also found in Water and Marine-Related tab.

    Contact: Seth Bowman (831)458-3095, Mat Rowley  (831)818-9819

    The Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project is a donor-supported, non-profit organization that operates a salmonid recovery hatchery located just north of Davenport in the Scott Creek watershed. The project goals are to help preserve and rebuild local populations of endangered coho salmon and winter steelhead in Santa Cruz/San Mateo coastal watersheds. MBSTP aids in salmonid recovery efforts with CDFW and NOAA/NMFS Fisheries Ecology Division’s Salmon Ecology research team. General duties include assisting hatchery staff with completing daily and seasonal activities at the hatchery, including but not limited to: feeding fish, cleaning fish rearing units, facility maintenance, monitoring water conveyance systems, and occasionally performing above activities in hatchery manager/fish culturist absence. 

    Fall quarter internship would involve transportation and disc tagging of adult coho broodstock. Winter quarter internships are focused on spawning adult salmonids, egg incubation, management of pre-smolting yearlings for later release, and assistance with cleaning and maintenance of water conveyance systems. Spring quarter focuses on tagging and release of smolts into local watersheds, and care of emergent fry. Summer quarter duties include fingerling care and growth monitoring along with facility maintenance.  

  • Oceans 360

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    Oceans 360 Internship

    Contact: Steve Mandel, 

    We are an ocean conservation education 501(c)(3) nonprofit, that uses virtual reality to communicate the need for reduction of ocean plastics, encourage sustainable use of ocean resources and work on global warming and its effect on coral. 

    For more info, visit their website!

  • Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge

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    Seabird Research at Ano Nuevo

    Contact: Jessie Beck, and Ryan, 

    Oikonos ( seeks one UCSC intern to work with our seabird conservation science project at Año Nuevo Island, a seabird and marine mammal refuge just north of Santa Cruz. We annually monitor the ecology of breeding seabirds on the island, as well as restoring habitat for nesting Rhinoceros and Cassin’s Auklets. The intern will work with our crew during weekly field trips to Año Nuevo Island, collecting data on seabird population and reproduction. This is a unique opportunity to learn skills such as bird banding, bird handling, scientific monitoring, and habitat restoration in a hands-on, adventurous field setting. There is also potential for interns to continue working with Oikonos for senior projects. Intern must be able to commit to at least 1 (preferably sometimes 2) full days a week in the field all quarter; trips are always the same day of the week. For more information about the project, see our website

  • Puma Project

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    Puma Project

    Listing also found in the Campus tab.

    Contact: Anna Nisi, 

    We have studied mountain lions in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 2008. Our goals are to understand how mountain lions survive in an area that is highly-impacted by people, develop new research technologies, and educate the public. You can gain resume-building experience conducting cutting-edge research with large carnivores. We need interns who are proactive, independent, self-motivated, and communicate clearly. There are 2 options:

    • On-campus Option: On-campus intern positions are time-flexible and ideal for the intern who only has partial days available between classes. These interns will label photographs of animals, utilize Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and help with data entry using on-campus computers. These interns must be computer-literate (able to learn to use Picasa and other software). Motivated interns may also spend up to 20% of their time in the field if they are interested and have an occasional full day free (this could be on the weekend). Fieldwork is optional for on-campus interns.
    • Off-campus Option: Off-campus interns accompany experienced project personnel in-the-field to investigate GPS locations where pumas may have made kills, check trail camera stations. These interns must 1) dedicate one full day at a time on a regular day each week, 2) be in good physical condition to hike canyons off-trail through brush, 3) exhibit the ability to make common-sense choices, and 4) tolerate poison oak, ticks, and other field hazards.

  • Roots & Routes Intercultural Collaborations

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    Social & Ecological Justice Campaign

    Listing also found in the Research, Environmental Education, and Environmental Justice tab.

    Contact: Juli Hazlewood, 

    Roots & Routes Intercultural Collaborations (Roots & Routes IC) mission is to facilitate sharing knowledge between diverse cultures en route to responsibly stewarding a flourishing living world. Our vision is people standing arm-in-arm to form an Indigenous-led educational exchange network that teaches the world that we are worth more than the resources below our feet.

    The objectives of the projects will vary from quarter to quarter, depending on the needs of the organization. Yet, as the supervisor is also faculty at UCSC, she knows that the students should be involved in meaningful work, and not only busy work. Depending on the interests and skills of the students, we can develop a project that would be useful to the future of bot the student and the organization.

    Some options may be working on a Rights of Nature campaign (for the FIRST Rights of Nature case in the world), organizational media and communications, collaborating on grant applications, helping to write letters/contact partner organizations, establishing a database and/or donorbase, website development, fundraising campaigns (if interested), helping to create community and/or campus events in relation to organizational activities, and so on.

  • San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory

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    Bird Banding Internship

    Contact: Josh Scullen, and Yiwei Wang,

    The San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory is dedicated to the conservation of birds and their habitats through science and outreach. We are located in Milpitas, approximately 45-60 minutes north of Santa Cruz. SFBBO’s Coyote Creek Field Station bands birds throughout the year to study bird migration patterns and the bird community of one of the lagest riparian habitats in the South Bay Area. We seek an intern (or two) to work with Landbird Program biologists to band birds, train and work with volunteers, and analyze and manage data.

    *Note: This internship is offered year round

  • San Vicente Redwoods Restoration

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    Restoration Internship

    Listing also found in Summer tab.

    Contact: Jim Velzy,

    The Restoration Intern (Intern) will assist the landowners and/or Property Manager with numerous restoration projects on the San Vicente Redwoods property, located just north of Davenport, CA. Potential projects include
    restoration of areas encroached on by invasive species, including significant involvement in a $1.2 million, 3-year project to remove Clematis vitalba from 30 acres in the riparian corridor of San Vicente Creek. Other work may
    entail sensitive species monitoring, restoration forestry, wildlife imaging, and native species seed collection, propagation, and planting. The Intern will learn skills in land management, integrated pest management, and ecology, as well as the use of various technologies critical to conservation.

  • Santa Cruz Bird Club

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    Bird Club

    Contact: Alex Rinkert,

    The Santa Cruz Bird Club is a 501(c)(7) non-profit with a mission to unite those who have a common interest in wild birds, that they may better study and conserve them. The club has more than 500 members and offers free field trips and lectures year-round. In 2017 the club sponsored a five year project, the Santa Cruz County Breeding Bird Atlas II. The project aims to document the distribution, abundance, phenology, and life history of all breeding birds in Santa Cruz County as well as foster more community engagement in birding. The results of the project will be synthesized in a publication also containing results of the first breeding bird atlas in Santa Cruz County (1987-1993), providing comprehensive insight into current breeding bird populations, how they have changed, and what changes lay ahead. 

    Interns will work under the supervision of the Project Director during the spring or summer quarter of UC Santa Cruz. Internship work will require up to 6 hours per week, often in the morning and on Fridays through Mondays but here is some flexibility depending on the tasks assigned. Most field work will be located in Santa Cruz or on the immediate coast between Capitola and Davenport. A stipend of $175 will be provided for completion of 60 hours of work.

    For more information please visit website

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    Santa Cruz Predatory Bird Research Group

    Contact: Zeka Glucs, 

    The Predatory Bird Research Group is a long-standing non-profit organization at UCSC tasked with monitoring wild populations of predatory birds and promoting their conservation through education and local involvement. Interns will learn to identify the breeding raptors of Santa Cruz County and gain hands-on skills in field
    observation and data collection.

    Participation in both Winter and Spring quarters is preferred: field observation training will take place in Winter Quarter (2 units), data collection and research activities will take place in Spring Quarter (2 or 5 units).
    Leadership roles and independent research opportunities are available to students able to take the 5 unit internship in Spring Quarter.

  • Small Mammal Undergraduate Research in the Forest

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    Listing also found in Campus tab.

    Contact: Alex Jones,

    The SMURF program is a collaboration between graduate students, the Natural History Museum, and the UC Natural Reserve System that monitors long-term small mammal population dynamics in the UCSC Natural Reserves. SMURF interns trap small mammals every quarter and use the data to examine environmental and ecological questions. We offer 2-unit and 5-unit internship. All first-time interns must take the 2-unit course, which is an introduction to small mammal surveying and handling, data entry and management, and project organization. After completing the 2-unit course, interns can advance to the 5-unit course for the following quarter. The 5-unit course focuses on designing and conducting a research project, data analysis, scientific writing, and public speaking in addition to the further development of field skills. 
    Requirements for all interns:
     • Capable of working outdoors during hot or cold weather
    Comfortable handling rodents
    Willingness to be exposed to poison oak and ticks
    Capable of lifting and carrying ~20lbs of weight
    Excellent communication and team work skills
    Must be available to attend all trapping sessions on 2 or 3 weekends (dates TBD)

  • Ventana Wilderness Alliance

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    Youth in Wilderness Intern

    Listing also found under Environmental Education tab.

    Contact: Toan Do,, (831)423-3191

    YiW seeks experienced backpackers and enthusiastic naturalists to assist in the leading of Environmental Education and Stewardship expeditions in the Spring and Fall of 2018. A positive attitude, patience, and commitment to safety are a must! Assistant Field Instructors will work closely with Program Manager, Toan Do, Lead Field Instructor, Jacquelyn Bergner, and other core YiW Field Instructors to organize and lead backpacking expeditions in the Big Sur backcountry. A 2 unit internship—60 field hours—entails joining at least 3 wilderness expeditions in a quarter. Please inquire about the field season expedition schedule.

  • Wilmers Lab

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    Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Santa Cruz Mountain

    Contact: Dr. Justin Suraci

    Listing also found in Campus tab.

    Interns will assist with a large-scale field experiment examining the trade-offs
    that local wildlife face between avoiding risk from humans and taking advantage of
    anthropogenic resources. Work will include setting up and maintaining experimental sites
    around the Santa Cruz Mountains

  • Younger Lagoon Reserve Habitat Resoration Field Crew

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    Younger Lagoon Internship

    Listing also found in the Campus tab. 

    Contact: Vaughan Williams (831)502-7250

    The UCSC Natural Reserves Office manages five natural reserves that are set aside for teaching, research and public education. We sponsor interns every quarter, including summer, to work at Younger Lagoon Reserve on our Habitat Restoration Field Crew.  Student interns work outside among herons, hawks, and coyotes and pull invasive weeds, collect native seeds, propagate and plant native seedlings, maintain existing restoration sites, cut back trails, and conduct ecological monitoring throughout the year.