Join Our Dynamic, Inclusive Workplace
Located in Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary in Ithaca, New York, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a renowned nonprofit institution dedicated to advancing the understanding and protection of birds, wildlife, and our shared planet through research, education, citizen science, and conservation.
As a nonprofit science and conservation organization and a vibrant unit of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, we offer the resources of a world-class university and the impact of an innovative nonprofit organization supported by more than 100,000 members and donors.
The Lab has 200 staff and 12 interdisciplinary programs. Scientists and artists, engineers and conservationists, educators and app developers, multimedia producers and students, support staff and volunteers, all work together here, along with local and online communities and partners around the world.
We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our workplace as we join with people from all backgrounds and walks of life to share a love for nature and a commitment to protecting our planet.
Please apply for the positions below through the Jobs at Cornell website unless otherwise specified. When you submit your application, be sure to attach a resume, cover letter, and contact information for three references. In the Experience section of your application, use the Paperclip icon to search for file(s) or use the ‘Drop Files Here’ box to manually drag document(s) into your application. For questions, contact Jen Harris at 607-255-3087.
Bartels Science Illustrators
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers paid positions to early-career visiting illustrators through the Bartels Science Illustration Program each year. Starting in Fall 2019, we are aligning these appointments with Cornell’s academic cycle, with each new illustrator joining the Lab community in mid-August and then continuing through the full academic year to the following June or July. Each participant works on art and design projects illustrating birds, wildlife, and scientific concepts related to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s mission “to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds.” Learn more about this position and how to apply. For questions, please direct queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct Response Fundraising Coordinator
The individual in this position will coordinate all aspects of fundraising campaigns to keep everything on schedule and serve as the Lab’s first point of review for of all campaign materials. The coordinator will also assist with department’s annual budget development process. Learn more about this position and how to apply.
Project Assistant, K-12 Programs
The project assistant supports the K-12 program in its mission to provide resources and training to educators as they engage students in investigations and outdoor experiences focused on birds. Duties include working with the team to develop curricula, lead workshops, guide educators using citizen science and inquiry-based teaching, and representing the Cornell Lab at state, regional, and national education conferences. Learn more about this position and how to apply.
For more jobs in ornithology, see listings from the Ornithological Societies of North America.
Each year, dozens of students gain hands-on experience at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Come join a research project, assist with education and outreach, or apply your talents in a way that you envision. You can apply for one of the paid or volunteer positions below. Or learn about our mission and programs, then identify relevant faculty or mentors, or staff listed in our directory. Inquire about volunteering or earning credit for a project that matches your interests. (Note: high school students must be at least 16 years of age to volunteer.)
Kristen Rupert and John Foote Undergraduate Research Fund
Recipients of Rupert/Foote funding engage in paid semester or summer opportunities in collaboration with a Cornell Lab of Ornithology faculty or staff member. This fund is specifically designed to promote cross-disciplinary study at the University, particularly by Cornell students whose interests and majors fall outside the traditional realms of ornithological research. Examples might include a mechanical engineering major who helps design a bird recording device, an English major who writes articles for our website, a computer science major who creates an algorithm for our bird ID app, or an art major who draws images for our outreach publications. Nominations for this program are initiated by a Lab faculty or staff member. Students interested in this program should discuss it with their Lab-based mentor or supervisor or contact Myrah Bridwell at email@example.com. Nominations are considered on a rolling basis throughout the year.
Francis M. Peacock Scholarship
The Francis M. Peacock Scholarship for Native Bird Habitat provides financial aid to students studying areas in the United States that provide winter or summer habitat for our threatened or endangered native birds. Typically, the Scholarship awards $4,500 annually to one scholar. In special instances, because of two unusually qualified candidates or two candidates working on one project, the award may be divided between two candidates. College seniors or graduate students enrolled in a US-based institution are eligible to apply. The award is given by the Garden Club of America and is administered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Applications must be submitted by January 15 preceding the proposed period of study. For more information, see the proposal guidelines.
Other Funding Opportunities for Cornell Undergraduates
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology manages a number of additional funds that support undergraduate student research, semester and summer jobs, expeditions, and activities that align with the Cornell Lab’s broad mission. The Lab currently does not have funds to support University financial aid or similar tuition scholarships to individuals, and most of these opportunities are limited to Cornell undergraduates who are in good academic standing. To initiate a conversation about these funding opportunities, students or their advisor/mentor should obtain our simple funding request form by emailing Myrah Bridwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philip H. Bartels ’71 Scholars
Two Bartels Scholars are appointed annually to engage in a paid, eight-week summer opportunity. This opportunity is open to Cornell undergraduates who would conduct the proposed project during the summer in collaboration with a Cornell Lab of Ornithology faculty or staff member. Although Bartels Scholars most commonly focus on research, any Lab-related activity may be appropriate. Nominations for Bartels scholars are initiated by a Lab faculty or staff member. Students interested in this opportunity should discuss it with their Lab-based mentor or supervisor or contact Myrah Bridwell at email@example.com. Nominations for the forthcoming summer should be submitted by March 31.
K-12 Education Assistant
A dependable student is needed to help with special projects such as crafting social media messages, curriculum/resource development, and planning for and participating in community outreach events and workshops. This is a paid position, 8 to 10 hours per week for the 2019-20 academic year. Applicants must be a current Cornell undergraduate student and quality for Federal Work Study. Learn more about duties, qualifications, and how to apply.
K-12 Education, Feature Writing Assistant
Looking for a student to help identify publications targeting the middle-school-level education community and work with K-12 educators to develop, pitch, and write full-length articles featuring the accomplishments and achievements of teachers and classrooms using the K-12 program. This internship is available for fall 2019, with possibility of continuance into the spring 2020 semester. Must be a current Cornell undergraduate student and qualify for the Federal Work Study Program. Learn more about duties, qualifications, and how to apply.
We are looking for volunteers of all abilities to assist with the programs and operations of the Visitor Center. If you love birds and want to be around others who share your interests, you are invited to join our Visitor Center volunteer corps!
From our Visitor Center overlooking Sapsucker Woods Pond, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers opportunities for visitors to connect with the Lab and learn about its mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity. Birders, school classes, families, and nature lovers come to the Lab to walk the trails, watch birds, view the art, use the library, and learn from exhibits, tours, guided walks, seminars, and other programs.
- Helping with youth education programs
- Leading guided tours
- Assisting with outreach efforts
- Helping out in the Adelson Library
- Attend initial information session
- Complete the training for a specific volunteer appointment
- Commit to at least five hours per month (specific time commitments vary by appointment)
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Complimentary Cornell Lab of Ornithology membership
- 10% discount in Wild Birds Unlimited at Sapsucker Woods store
- Program discounts
- Training and continuing education opportunities
If you are interested in volunteering at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology please contact Chelsea Benson at firstname.lastname@example.org.