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The 2022–2024 FAO Schwarz Fellowship at

Audubon Mid-Atlantic

Audubon Mid-Atlantic’s mission—like that of its parent organization, the National Audubon Society—is to protect the places that people and birds need today and tomorrow, through science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Where birds thrive, people prosper.  Audubon is committed to the sustainability of our planet and is working to mitigate the growing harmful impact of climate change.

The FAO Schwarz Fellow will engage with students served through programs offered by Audubon Mid-Atlantic through their direct service work and will deepen audience engagement through their special project work.

About the Fellowship Position

The FAO Schwarz Fellow will split their time between direct service and strategic or special project work. In addition, the Fellow will spend about 10 percent of their time on professional development, cohort gatherings, and their Fellowship role.

Candidates for this Fellowship are not required to have previous experience with birding or special bird knowledge. Audubon Mid-Atlantic will provide training. We give preference to candidates with an interest in environmental and nature education, conservation and environmental justice.

For more than ten years, Audubon has provided education programs in Philadelphia schools and community settings.

Our grassroots network includes 26 local Audubon chapters and we serve over 100,000 people annually through our conservation, education, and advocacy programs. Our Pennsylvania centers—The Discovery Center in Philadelphia, and the John James Audubon Center in Montgomery County—along with Patterson Park Audubon Center in Baltimore, represent three of Audubon’s 41 centers. 

Our current work is centered at The Discovery Center, which opened in 2018, where we plan and host education programs for local school-aged children as well as adults. The Discovery Center is located within East Fairmount Park, which 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.

Audubon’s work in the Mid-Atlantic region focuses on restoring critical forest and coastal habitats, protecting fresh watersheds, building climate-resilient neighborhoods, and increasing the number of environmental supporters through school-based and public conservation education and community engagement work.

Audubon’s October 2019 climate report, Survival by Degrees, found that two-thirds of North American bird species are at risk of extinction due to major environmental changes at the global and local levels, including 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s 227 bird species. These macro-level changes also cause disproportionate harm to vulnerable human communities. 


  • Audubon’s education programs are evaluated by pre-and post-education assessments, attendance logs, and frequent feedback from community groups and schools. We track local conservation impact through quantities of annual acreage improvement, native vegetation planted, and pounds of invasive materials removed.

  • Audubon’s conservation education program on the K-8th grade level has resulted in a significant increase in test scores between the pre-and post-curriculum test.

  • Across geographies, age groups, and demographic differences, students have historically improved their knowledge on tested material from 5% to 118%, with an average of 29.5%.


Audubon Mid-Atlantic requires all staff either to provide proof of being fully vaccinated or, if they cannot provide such proof, to wear a mask while working indoors, including in all Audubon facilities and offsite, and while working outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing. In addition, at this time and until CDC recommendations change, all staff in counties the CDC identifies as having “substantial” and “high” COVID transmission rates must wear masks indoors (unless alone in a closed office) and outdoors in situations where they cannot maintain social distancing regardless of vaccination status. 

In addition, all staff must abide by the City of Philadelphia regulations.


Audubon Mid Atlantic is member organization of the National Audubon Society—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.

Location: Philadelphia
Website: pa.audubon.org
Year founded: 1974
Number of employees: 23 throughout the Mid-Atlantic region; 8 at The Discovery Center.

Mid Atlantic Audubon logo
“Our goal is to deeply engage with schools and youth organizations in North Philadelphia. By having a dedicated staff member delivering series-based lessons to area classes, clubs, and summer camps, we can break down the barriers between green spaces in Philadelphia and the youth in the communities we serve.”
Damien Ruffner
Damien Ruffner
Discovery Center and Fellow Supervisor

Where to find us...


How to Apply for the Fellowship

To apply, click the apply button to the right. You will be redirected to the application form where you will be asked to answer a few simple questions. We also request that you upload a résumé and cover letter (PDF). Please name your files as follows:


In your letter, please describe your interest in working at Audubon Mid-Atlantic and include your responses to the following questions:

  • How did you learn about the FAO Schwarz Fellowship, and why are you interested in being an FAO Schwarz Fellow? 

  • Why are you specifically interested in being the FAO Schwarz Fellow at the Audubon Mid-Atlantic? Why does their mission engage you?

  • What background and experiences would you bring to the direct service and special project work at this organization?

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.


Audubon Mid-Atlantic will review each application carefully and select its Fellow by April 29th. Thanks for your interest.

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