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The FAO Schwarz Fellow at Audubon Mid-Atlantic

Philadelphia, PA

About the Fellowship Position

The Fellow will deliver science curriculum to 1st-5th grade students through in-class lessons at partner schools and help implement a strategy for Audubon Mid-Atlantic to build and strengthen our North Philadelphia audience and create deeper community connections. 

The Fellowship program provides opportunities for new college graduates interested in social impact careers to be part of organizations that are deeply committed to social justice and equity. Through a combination of direct service and leadership challenges, professional development and mentoring, Fellows gain first-hand experience leading change and learn how effective nonprofits create lasting and measurable progress.

Audubon Mid-Atlantic works to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity in Pennsylvania.

Direct Service

The Fellow’s direct service work will involve conservation and environmental education in area elementary schools, leading our High School internship program, and presenting public programming.

The Fellow will support:

Special Project

The Fellow will help implement a strategy for Audubon to build and strengthen our North Philadelphia audience, create deeper community connections, and orient our direct community to act on behalf of birds, conservation, and policy.

The Fellow will use school connections to ensure school community input is considered for public programming by:

LOCATION Philadelphia, Pennsylvania WEB discoveryphila.org FOUNDED 1905 STAFF 735 nationally, 36 at Audubon Mid-Atlantic
“The person that takes this role gets the rewarding opportunity to interact, in a deep and meaningful way, with the young people of Philadelphia. As I have continued to grow and develop my career in Environmental Education, I can see with more clarity than ever that interacting with youth is the single greatest impact we can have on birds in the future.”
Damien Ruffner
Damien Ruffner
Audubon Program Manager, The Discovery Center
"A normal day at work for me usually involves at least one bird, several classrooms, and students greeting me with hugs and shouts of 'Hey, Ms. Sophie,' or 'Look, there’s the bird lady!' In my Fellowship at Audubon Mid-Atlantic, I've learned that everything we do is community-driven."
Sophie Becker-Klein
Sophie Becker-Klein
Audubon Mid-Atlantic FAO Schwarz Fellow, 2024

How to Apply

Applicants must be college seniors at accredited four-year colleges or universities at the time of application and be eligible to work in the United States for the duration of the two-year Fellowship.

The deadline to apply is February 5, 2024 at 9:00 pm ET. Host organizations will select applicants for interviews and make their decisions by the end of April 2024. Fellowships begin in the summer of 2024.

Learn more about Audubon Mid-Atlantic before applying by visiting their website.

A Closer Look

Audubon Mid-Atlantic (AMA) enjoys the support of more than 100,000 members. Our grassroots network includes 26 local Audubon chapters, and we serve over 75,000 people annually through our conservation, education, and advocacy programs. AMA is one of 23 state/regional offices of the National Audubon Society. Our Pennsylvania environmental action centers—The Discovery Center in Philadelphia, and the John James Audubon Center in Montgomery County—represent two of Audubon’s 41 centers across the Americas. 

For more than twelve years, Audubon has provided education programs in Philadelphia schools and community settings. Our current conservation education and engagement work is centered at The Discovery Center, where we plan and host education programs for local school-aged children and adults. The Discovery Center is in East Fairmount Park. This location allows us to work closely with residents of the Strawberry Mansion, Brewerytown, and Sharswood neighborhoods, which have experienced decades of disinvestment and environmental degradation. Working with communities of color, low-income populations and other audiences that have traditionally been underrepresented in conservation presents one of the most promising opportunities for achieving conservation success in the 21st century. 

Our Impact in our Community

School Engagement

  • Our growth and impact on schools has increased year–over–year since our opening in 2018 (except the 2021–2022 school year due to COVID).
  • Since our opening, the number of deeply committed and connected schools has grown to seven (7) area schools in North Philadelphia.
  • All students in 4 of the 7 schools interact with Audubon
  • High School Internship Program aims to educate and empower high school aged students through paid internships and conservation.
  • Collection of pre-and post-lesson evaluations that show a positive trend in their environmental knowledge after interacting with Audubon. 

Community Engagement

  • Our commitment to programs for the communities in North Philadelphia hinges on our Community Engagement Committee (CEC). 
  • Intro to Birding series, our Discovery Nights programs, and specific tours and workshops that are tailored to the North Philadelphia neighborhoods.
  • Community led flier campaign for all programs and public offerings.
  • Community Science Initiatives that allow guests to be actively involved with conservation efforts.
  • Utilizing the CEC for hiring, asking them to help review resumes and applications of public-facing and community-centric positions. 
  • Workshops designed to help North Philadelphia residents continue their conservation impact at home. 

Visitor Center 

  • Our daily visitation has grown significantly in the years since our opening and more near neighbors are coming to the Center each year as a percentage of total visitation.
  • We have also recruited and hired nearly all of the Center’s public-facing staff from the neighborhoods of North Philadelphia, through an active job board, distribution of job announcements, and utilizing the CEC to help recruit potential staff.
  • Community use of the Center (use that does not fall under the missions of Audubon or Outward Bound) has also had a major impact on the Center and the community. 

National Impact

To learn more about National Audubon’s long history in conservation and contribitions to conservation, environmental justice and research, visit the National Audubon website


All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.


The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.

The National Audubon Society endeavors to keep our careers site accessible to any and all users.  If you would like to contact us regarding the accessibility of our website or need assistance completing the application process, please contact Accommodations@audubon.org. This contact information is for accommodation requests only and cannot be used to inquire about the status of applications.

Fellows who start their Fellowship during the summer of 2024 will receive total compensation of approximately $90,000 plus benefits over the two-year Fellowship.

+ $42,000 in year one (includes  $2,000 start of Fellowship bonus)
+ $48,000 in year two (includes $3,000 end of Fellowship bonus)
+ Health insurance coverage (100%—approximate value $12,000/year)*
+ Monthly subway pass (approximate value $1,200/year)
+ Professional development & leadership training

* Fellows are responsible for co-pays and expenses not covered by insurance.

Monday – Friday (9:00 am – 4:30 pm)

The Fellow will be assigned a desk to work directly at The Discovery Center adjacent to their Supervisor and other AMA staff. 

Some nights, evenings, and weekends will required (such as back-to-school nights).

The Fellow will be permitted to work one day/week remotely if not engaging with schools and center visitors. The Fellow will have an Audubon computer and access to Zoom to set up and access remote meetings and work.