Job Opportunities

Mountain Bluebird by Eric Gofreed/Macaulay Library Mountain Bluebird by Eric Gofreed/Macaulay Library.

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.

We’re a great place to work

The Beautiful Finger Lakes Region
Come visit us at our headquarters at the Imogene Powers Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity, located on the shore of Sapsucker Woods Pond in Ithaca, New York, four miles from the Cornell campus.

Ithacans enjoy the quality of life here in the Finger Lakes region with its abundant natural beauty, diverse community, and recreation throughout the seasons, whether hiking, biking, and canoeing in summer, skiing nearby slopes in winter, or enjoying the lively music scene year-round. Ithaca was named in the Top 100 Best Places to Live by Livability.com in 2018, and was ranked the #2 Best Small College Town by USA Today in 2016.

Cornell University Benefits
Cornell is nationally recognized as an award-winning workplace for health, well-being, sustainability, and diversity initiatives. Cornell provides great benefits including health care options, professional development, employee degree program, wellness programs, generous retirement contributions, paid leave positions (3 weeks of vacation, and 12 holidays including end of year winter break), and partial scholarships for children of eligible employees to attend Cornell or other accredited institutions.

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.

Staff Openings

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 bartelsartists@cornell.edu.

IT Team Assistant

The IT Team at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology supports research, administrative, and outreach functions by providing a wide set of core IT services. The assistant supports the Lab IT Team and serves Lab users by solving routine issues, fulfilling requests coming into the Remedy helpdesk, and routing issues to other IT Team members as needed. This is a part-time, 20 hours per week annual term position requiring a consistent schedule. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Leadership Giving Officer, New York City Office

Based in New York City, the leadership giving officer is a front-line fundraising professional responsible for developing relationships with about 250 households who have potential interest in the Lab’s programs and priorities. Foster philanthropic connections—engaging, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding leadership- and major-gifts level prospects and donors. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Leadership Giving Officer, Cornell Lab of Ornithology Office

Based at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the leadership giving officer is a front-line fundraising professional responsible for developing relationships with about 250 households who have potential interest in the Lab’s programs and priorities. Foster philanthropic connections—engaging, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding leadership- and major-gifts level prospects and donors. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Project Assistant 

The Lab of Ornithology is currently seeking a project assistant to support the coordination and administration of its Coastal Solutions Fellowship Program. Duties include logistical and financial management of the program, coordination of the fellow selection process, planning and organizing meetings/retreats, marketing the program, and more. This is a full-time 1-year appointment, with conditional reappointment dependent on satisfactory performance and available funding. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Public Programs Assistant

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology seeks an enthusiastic communicator to provide excellent customer service in the Adelson Library and online by helping the public information specialist answer questions from the public. This is a full-time year round position. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Senior Director of Finance and Contracts

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is seeking an experienced financial leader who will spearhead the Lab’s transition to a significantly larger and more complex budget; guide restructuring of the Lab’s internal financial framework to align with the strategic plan; oversee and manage all Lab financial operations, contract negotiations, and budget management; and provide high-level counsel to top Lab, University, and Administrative Board leadership. Learn more and apply for this job on the Cornell Careers website.

For more jobs in ornithology, see listings from the Ornithological Societies of North America.

Student Opportunities

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.)

Year Round

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 mb252@cornell.edu. 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 mb252@cornell.edu.

Summer

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 mb252@cornell.edu. Nominations for the forthcoming summer should be submitted by March 31.

Autumn

K-12 Program Outreach Assistant

The Cornell Lab K-12 program aims to connect young people to their local environment via outdoor activities including citizen-science projects. This paid position is an exciting opportunity for students interested in outreach from a wide range of majors and subject areas including biology, education, natural resources, communications, engineering, and business. Must be a current Cornell undergraduate student in the Federal Work Study Program. Apply before Friday, September 1, 2019. Learn more.

Volunteer Positions

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.

Volunteer Opportunities

Requirements

Benefits

If you are interested in volunteering at the Lab of Ornithology please contact Lisa Kopp at lmk266@cornell.edu or call 607-254-2174.

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