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The 2022–2024 FAO Schwarz Fellowship at

NYC Audubon

New York City Audubon is a grassroots community that works for the protection of wild birds and habitat in the five boroughs, improving the lives of New Yorkers. We envision a day when birds and people in the five boroughs enjoy a healthy, livable habitat.

The FAO Schwarz Fellow at NYC Audubon will play a major role in programming that contributes to greater equity in nature education and experiences and involves young people from across the city in learning about conservation through birds. The Fellow will also contribute to our research, policy, and public outreach initiatives.


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, but will have opportunities to learn on the job and access to our bird ID classes. We give preference to candidates with an interest in environmental and nature education, conservation and environmental justice.

Founded in 1979, NYC Audubon is an independent citywide conservation nonprofit NYC Audubon (NYCA). NYC Audubon  affiliates with and often collaborates with the National Audubon Society, but is a completely separate entity.   

Current initiatives include the following:

Outreach and Education engages New Yorkers of all ages in nature, wildlife, and urban conservation. Our extensive program includes bird walks, classes, wildlife festivals, a seasonal environmental center on Governors Island, an after-school birding club for 3rd to 5th graders, and volunteer community science and habitat stewardship. We are working to expand the engagement of youth and communities of color in birding and urban wildlife conservation. 

Project Safe Flight works through research, education, outreach, and advocacy to reduce bird mortality due to collisions with glass and artificial light at night, and to safeguard and expand urban habitat, including green roofs. We aim to build on recent legislative successes—NYC’s landmark bird-friendly buildings law and new city and state green roof laws—to pass Lights Out legislation.

Waterbirds of New York Harbor monitors and safeguards the birds that breed, stopover, and winter in and around the harbor, including colonial wading birds that nest on harbor islands and migratory shorebirds that nest and stopover in Jamaica Bay.  

Online programs we developed during the pandemic to connect people with nature and bring together our community have enabled us to engage a larger and more diverse audience, and we will keep using these tools, such as online classes and volunteer training webinars, as in-person events resume.

  • In 2019, 550 volunteers donated 7,650 hours restoring habitats, collecting data, conducting education and outreach, and assisting in other ways; 75% had volunteered with us previously. 

  • In a typical year, four annual beach cleanups involve 200 volunteers and six community partner organizations in clearing trash from 15 acres of coastal wildlife habitat. 

  • ​​Almost 4,000 children and adults visited our Governors Island environmental center in 2019.

  • Our community science volunteers collected data on 7,000 bird-building collisions, resulting in published research documenting 90,000 to 230,000 bird collisions yearly in NYC. 

  • We formed a coalition of stakeholders that worked with elected officials to shape the city’s bird-friendly buildings law and led the grassroots advocacy to get it passed—including organizing 40 people to give in-person or written testimony at a City Council hearing.


The Fellow will be required to provide proof of vaccination. All NYC Audubon staff are vaccinated; the board of directors voted to require vaccination for all staff in June 2021 and a return to full-time office work in October 2021. Proof of vaccination is provided to the Controller, who maintains personnel files following HIPAA rules. We do not require additional testing. Masks are not required for staff in the office. Some staff choose to wear masks in the office as additional protection and may request that others wear masks when meeting in closed offices. Workstations are distanced and personal distancing is encouraged when in close proximity to colleagues. The offices are outfitted with additional air filters and all office spaces have operable windows. Office visitors, though currently infrequent, are required to wear masks. They must offer proof of vaccination upon entry to be unmasked and distanced for meetings at the meeting host’s discretion.


New York City Audubon does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), ethnicity, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, volunteers, vendors, members and others who participate in our programs.

Location: New York City
Website: nycaudubon.org
Year founded: 1979
Staff: 14 

"We are excited to help launch the career of a new leader in conservation and environmental education, and to make a real and lasting impact on the fate of birds. Given the scale of the environmental challenges we face, we believe that it is vitally important to provide experiences that connect people to the natural world—and birds can be a powerful way to do that. Conservation can’t happen if we don’t engage all communities. Through nature experiences like birding, we can expand the diversity of voices, backgrounds, perspectives and ideas to strengthen efforts and initiatives that protect and improve habitat and the environment for all.”
Dr. Kevin Burgio
Director of Conservation and Science

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 NYC Audubon and include your responses to the following questions:

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

  2. Why are you specifically interested in being the FAO Schwarz Fellow at NYC Audubon? Why does their mission engage you?

  3. 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.


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

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PHOTO CREDITS: Don Riepe, Mike Hernandez