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30 Nov 2021

Full-Time FAO Schwarz Fellow at NYC Audubon

NYC Audubon Society – Posted by [email protected] New York, New York, United States

New York City Audubon Society logo

Job Description

FAO Schwarz Fellow at NYC Audubon

Reporting to the Director of Conservation and Science at New York City Audubon Society Inc. (NYC Audubon), the FAO Schwarz Fellow will help develop and advocate for an environmental policy initiative and coordinate educational and public programs for youth. Policy work includes research, policy, and public outreach groundwork for NYC Audubon’s legislative efforts to protect migrating birds and the health of city residents, with a focus on passing Lights Out legislation in New York City and/or New York State. Educational work includes developing and delivering nature and conservation programming at NYC Audubon’s seasonal environmental center on Governors Island and coordinating and delivering Feathered Friends, an after-school birding club for third- to fifth-graders. This full-time position is based in NYC Audubon’s administrative office in the Chelsea-Flatiron neighborhood of New York City, but the Fellow will also work throughout the five boroughs and on Governors Island.

FAO Schwarz Fellowship

The FAO Schwarz Fellowship, established in 2006, is a special initiative designed to strengthen high-quality nonprofit organizations and train leaders in the social impact sector. The FAO Schwarz Fellowship is an intensive, transformative two-year experience in the world of social impact designed to develop the knowledge and leadership abilities of recent college graduates. The Fellows will work within established nonprofit organizations providing both direct service to children/youth as well as initiating new projects, research, or programs that may involve public policy, organizational replication, or other new initiatives to strengthen the host organization. The goal is for the Fellows to contribute significantly both through their direct service (tutoring, mentoring, teaching, etc.) and through their special project work. At the same time, it is the Foundation’s goal that the Fellows receive experiences, training, and mentorship that launch them on successful careers as leaders in the social impact sector.

NYC Audubon

Founded in 1979, NYC Audubon is an independent grassroots, membership-based organization that affiliates as an urban chapter of the National Audubon Society. NYC Audubon’s mission is to protect wild birds and habitats in the five boroughs of New York City, and, in so doing, to improve the quality of life for all New Yorkers. NYC Audubon’s conservation and science activities, education and public programs, and advocacy and outreach efforts on behalf of urban and migrating birds and wildlife are more critical than ever due to climate change effects and the devastating, steady loss of the natural environment in the City over many decades. A tight-knit team of ten full-time and four part-time staff, along with over 200 volunteers, serves a diverse community of nearly 8,000 direct and National-affiliated members and the people who live and work in America’s largest urban center. Learn more about us online via, on Twitter @nycaudubon, or our YouTube channel

Statement on Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

NYC Audubon believes all people have the right to a close connection to the natural world and the right to a healthy environment. Preserving our environment is only possible if we all feel that connection. We recognize that inequities in our society are widespread and hinder access to nature. Only by embracing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility as values and striving for them in practice will we begin to foster a love of nature in all people and inspire them to be active stewards of the environment. We further believe that to thrive as an organization and effectively advance our mission and vision, the diversity of New York City’s people must be represented in, and welcomed into, our leadership, staff, and membership. The expertise, values, and perspectives of a diverse and inclusive organization are fundamental to expanding the reach and impact of our conservation, advocacy, and educational efforts. We commit to building an equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible NYC Audubon, dedicated to protecting nature for all of New York City’s people and its wild birds.

The Position

Advocacy Responsibilities

  • Research and write a report summarizing key scientific literature on the impact of artificial light on birds, other wildlife, and human health, and detailing policy proposals and legislation in other cities.
  • Articulate NYC Audubon’s conservation priorities in the public policy and advocacy arena in the five boroughs of New York, and assist Audubon New York and the National Audubon Society with promoting state and federal advocacy issues that affect New York City—especially to support our joint effort to pass legislation to reduce light pollution that impacts migrating birds and the health of city residents.
  • Develop relationships with and educate New York City media on light pollution legislation and other conservation issues.
  • Using NYC Audubon’s existing connections in the New York City policy, environmental advocacy, and government affairs network, build partnerships to develop and pass light pollution legislation and other priorities and join forces to organize high-profile advocacy events.
  • Schedule volunteers to table at community gatherings and conduct outreach at NYC Audubon programs and events, targeting communities that have traditionally been less involved in the environmental movement.
  • Engage NYC Audubon grassroots activists in advocacy on priority issues through regular emails, action alerts, and social media campaigns.
  • Document NYC Audubon advocacy campaigns in stories and photos in our newsletter, The Urban Audubon, our Annual Report, website, blog, eGret eNewsletter, and social media pages.

Education & Outreach Responsibilities

  • Develop and deliver nature and conservation programming at our seasonal environmental center on Governors Island, an historic site that is being transformed into a cultural and recreational hub.
  • Plan programs and conduct outreach inviting BIPOC youth groups to our center.
  • Develop new nature and conservation-related activities and displays at Governors Island.
  • Work with and mentor summer interns assisting at the center.
  • Help coordinate and lead nature programming in our after-school birding club for second- to fifth-graders, including preparing activities, going on bird walks, and assisting with and leading rainy-day activities.
  • Work certain weekends and evenings as needed to assist with relevant programs.

Required Skills

  • Exceptional critical thinking with attention to detail; organizational, writing, and follow-up skills, with the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing.
  • Enthusiasm for working with youth, grassroots advocates, and the public.
  • Willingness to perform all clerical and other duties required to support the position’s administration, including accurate record keeping and filing.
  • Experience with and skills in use of MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus Gail and Google Docs.

Additional Skills Desired or to Be Acquired

  • Comfort in representing an organization in public forums and media.
  • Event production and program planning experience.
  • Experience working with children in an educational setting and developing educational activities.
  • A love of birds and nature, and familiarity with the birds of New York City.
  • Familiarity with the public parks, geography, and communities of New York City.
  • Working knowledge of New York City government structure and New York City Council procedure.
  • Facility with spoken and written Spanish or additional languages is a plus.


First Year: $35,000

Second Year: $38,000; $2000 bonus upon completion of the Fellowship

This is a full-time position at 37.5 hours/week. Must be available to work evenings or weekends as needed. The Fellow will also receive monthly 30-day MetroCards for New York City subway and bus public transit systems. NYC Audubon offers a competitive benefits package, which includes medical, dental, and vision insurance coverage, short-term disability, long-term disability, accidental death and dismemberment, and term life coverage, SIMPLE IRA with up to 3% match, paid time off, and paid holidays.

How to Apply

  • The FAO Schwarz Fellowship program is highly selective. To apply for the FAO Schwarz Fellowship at NYC Audubon, applicants must be college seniors at the time of application and eligible to work for two years in the United States. Successful candidates will have strong academic records, leadership potential, and a commitment to social impact.
  • FAO Schwarz is holding information sessions for potential applicants on November 9, 2021, and January 12, 2022; to sign up, please click here. Prospective applicants with questions about NYC Audubon are encouraged to contact Danielle Sherman, Associate Director of Education and Public Programs ([email protected]). 
  • The application deadline for the 2022-2024 cohort is February 10, 2022 (11:59 pm EST) on FAO Schwarz’s Fellowship application portal.  
  • NYC Audubon will select applicants for interviews and make its decision by the end of April 2022. The Fellowship will begin in the summer of 2022.

Job Categories: Conservation. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: advocacy, avian, birds, education, fellowship, internship, policy, and public programs. Salaries: 20,000 - 40,000.

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