Make a Difference, Become a Save The Bay Fellow

fellows collage

Join Save The Bay in the office and outdoors at our restoration sites around the Bay, as a volunteer in our Fellowship Program. You’ll support our day-to-day operations and be a part of cool and innovative projects, while gaining hands-on nonprofit experience with mentorship from our talented and passionate staff. This is an excellent opportunity for your professional development and networking, and for the chance to explore roles and responsibilities that could lead you to your next career.

We are currently hiring for our next session which begins in September 2016, and runs for 12-16 weeks after your start date.

What we’re looking for:

  • A go-getter who loves to get his or her hands dirty in the Bay mud and who isn’t afraid to call out friends who aren’t using reusable bottles and bags
  • Someone with experience or knowledge in environmental studies, policy, restoration science, community engagement, communications, or fundraising
  • A team player with an ability to get things done, a great sense of humor, and a passion for San Francisco Bay

What we offer:

  • Professional office space in the heart of downtown Oakland with easy access to BART, amazing eateries, and an extraordinary view of the Bay to inspire you
  • Experience working on our upcoming groundbreaking projects such as the first inaugural Bay Day celebration on October 1, 2016, and the campaign for Yes on Prop 67 to uphold California’s single-use plastic bag ban on the November 2016 ballot
  • Enrichment opportunities galore. Our fellows are active members of the organization and participate in a Bay restoration planting day, attend our all-staff meetings and partake in our staff appreciation events

Program details:

  • Session duration is 12-16 weeks (we’re flexible)
  • You’re committing to 20-24 hours/week
  • This is an unpaid volunteer position
  • Your transportation costs will be reimbursed

How to apply:

  • Select a specific department/position to apply for
  • Email your resume and cover letter with your chosen department in the subject line to jobs AT savesfbay DOT org
  • Check out our website for more information including application deadlines,
  • Save The Bay reserves the right to fill positions before the application deadline passes

Want to know what it’s like to be a Fellow firsthand? Check out these blogs our former fellows wrote about their experience at Save The Bay.

From Fellows to Staff Members

Some of our staff started their journey with Save The Bay as participants in the Fellowship Program. Our organization benefits greatly from having support from our Fellows, and when a variety of factors fall into place, a few Fellows have been able to step into open positions on our staff. It’s a great feeling when we’ve gotten to know these individuals professionally and personally as Fellows, and then they have the opportunity to join the team for more long-term opportunities.  Read on for some inside perspective of what it’s been like to both be a Fellow and staff member at Save The Bay.


Ethan Tucker is our newest addition to the staff, taking action as a Temporary Policy Associate with the Policy Team. He’s a native of Connecticut and has a great community of friends from school who have also relocated to the Bay Area.

Rachelle Cardona owns the longest title on staff as the Restoration Education and Community Engagement Specialist, acting as the organizer of all of our public and private Restoration Programs. A biologist at heart, she loves animals and has learned all about wetland plant species with ease.

Vivian Reed worked with us as a Fellow in 2012. Three years later, she returned to Save The Bay’s communications team as our Communications Assistant. Vivian now manages the same Facebook account that originally attracted her to the Fellowship.

How did you find out about the Save The Bay Fellowship Program?

Ethan: I first contacted Paul Kumar, Political Director at Save The Bay. I found him through the alumni directory at Wesleyan and knew I was interested in environmental policy. He told me about the environmental atmosphere in the Bay Area and the Fellowship program. He mentioned that Allison Chan, our Clean Bay Campaign Manager, needed a Fellow for her program, so I applied. I wanted to see what that world was like.

Rachelle: I had been looking for environmental causes to devote my time to while I was working, and my mom pointed me to Save The Bay. I signed up for a volunteer program at the nursery and after working with the plants, I was super fired up and asked the people leading the program, “Do you have any internship or volunteer opportunities?” Right at that time, they were switching between Fellowship sessions.

Vivian: I stumbled upon the Save The Bay Facebook page and Liked it, honestly, without giving it much thought. It wasn’t until one day when I saw their post saying, “Do you want to do environmental communications? If so, apply now!” I figured it would be a great opportunity for me to expand on my interest in environmental conservation and learn how to communicate solutions to the environmental problems we face, so I applied.

When were you a fellow for Save The Bay, and when did you join the staff?

Ethan: I was a Fellow from October 2015 until February 2016. I worked with the Policy department, helping Allison with her projects: Trash and stormwater, green infrastructure, advocating for local ordinances, and other research projects. It’s awesome, I only picked up coffee for people twice during my Fellowship. I’ve been employed since mid-February 2016. Save The Bay has been a really good experience for me. I definitely have a wider set of skills and capabilities than when I first walked in the door back in October.

Rachelle: The Fellowship really set me up for an easy transition into the positions I’ve been in. I was a Fellow from October 2013 to December 2013 and was able to stay on as a Temporary Restoration Project Specialist. In February 2014, a full-time position opened up and I was honored to fill the Restoration Education Specialist position. As a Fellow, I pushed hard in the field and delivered my best, and the Restoration Team took notice of the qualities I possessed, thinking they would be beneficial for the team. That was right out of college, too. I was expecting nothing to happen after Save The Bay and to have to make smoothies or do something not related to environmental work, so it was encouraging.

Vivian: I started in March 2012 and ended my stint in late August 2012 with the Communications department. My position started in January of last year.

As a volunteer in the office, what was your perspective on STB during your Fellowship?

Ethan: It was interesting to see the different aspects there are to running a non-profit and to be with an organization that’s doing so many different things with their work.

Rachelle: I thought Save The Bay was a really influential organization to work for. As a Fellow, when I said I had an internship style position at Save The Bay, people were amazed and really interested in the work that I was doing. People were really interested in what Save The Bay was spearheading as an organization, which is a longstanding effect of Save The Bay being an older, regional and impactful organization.

Vivian: Prior to volunteering with Save The Bay, I had no idea that San Francisco Bay almost ceased to exist. The story of how Save The Bay began still moves me today, as much as it did the first time I learned about it on day one. While we now think of them as pioneers, our founders were just ordinary people like you and me who simply wanted to solve a problem. I’ve always wanted to be aligned with an organization that makes a difference, and working here at Save The Bay fulfills my sense of purpose.

Our Fellows participate in a wide range of projects, activities, and experiences during their time with our organization. They help host volunteer programs at our wetland restoration sites, meet policy partners to move ideas into action, bond with staff on our annual events, and much more. Tell me about a memorable experience from your Fellowship session, and why it stands out.

Ethan: Two memorable experiences were the Fellowship planting day and all-staff planting day. They were great experiences, to be on the water and get the chance to interact with other staff members that I hadn’t normally interacted with on a day-to-day basis.

Rachelle: The going away party for our former Restoration Program Manager was memorable. I had been with Save The Bay for maybe a month, and in Habitat Restoration Team style, everyone on the team had to memorize the song and dance to “What Does the Fox Say?” and perform it in the bar we were in. I barely knew any of these people and it was slightly embarrassing, but it also showed the culture at Save The Bay: How friendly everyone is, and when it comes down to it, how goofy and fun loving we are. That was my first memorable experience having to do with the culture at Save The Bay.

Vivian: Outside of dancing in a mascot costume, I still remember the 20 minute presentation I gave to the staff about my contributions to Save The Bay. Not only was it great way to end my Fellowship experience and reflect on what I had learned in the course of 6 months, but I think it also demonstrated the value of having this organizational program.

What are some of your primary responsibilities or tasks?

Ethan: My daily tasks change a lot. I’ve been analyzing the annual trash reduction reports with an app and updating our supporters on the status of the Zero Trash, Zero Excuse campaign. In the last month, I’ve been helping advocate for the smoking ban in East Bay Regional Parks (EBRP). That has involved a lot of writing letters of support for the policy up for adoption, and doing outreach to other environmental groups, tobacco prevention groups, and the EBRP Board of Directors.

Rachelle: My primary responsibilities include coordination of all of our volunteer programs, corporate programs, education programs, public programs: all of the programs! With the education programs specifically, I’m also in charge of maintaining our curriculum. Most of the work around that is understanding the recent changes in scientific standards for California and how our program can fit that and support the teachers. I also manage a lot of the Salesforce database responsibilities for our team, keeping track of the volunteer data and supplying that info to other parts of our organization.

What drives you to do environmental work as your professional career?

Ethan: I’ve always loved the outdoors and nature, and protecting it is a big priority for me. It’s really important to protect the environment. I’m also interested in politics so I think it’s a great way to do something to make the world a little better.

Rachelle: Sharing knowledge, that’s the most exciting part about working with so many people. By coordinating their events, it’s an opportunity for us to spread knowledge in our region about the Bay, the threats facing it and what we can do to combat them. The hope that we can spread an environmental stewardship-based knowledge and drive within our region is really what keeps me going.

Vivian: When I grew up, the outdoors was a big part of my life.  As I got older, it became a place for me to relax and do what I enjoy most, which is going on hikes and landscape photography free of distraction. I’m always mindful that I can’t take what I enjoy doing for granted because it may go away.  That realization is what inspires me to work for an environmental organization.

Do you have any advice for future Fellows?

Ethan: It’s definitely worth doing! There have been a lot of opportunities to explore the different things I was interested in, to see the different aspects of STB’s work, and to dive in and get a lot of hands-on, deep experience. I’m happy to be here.

Rachelle: Treat your fellowship as one big long interview by continually working hard and putting forward your best work and best effort in everything you’re doing. In my doing that, it has definitely paid off. And volunteering, if you give your time and are passionate and devoted, there’s often times a next step to continue down that road. This is also a really good opportunity to get to see how an organization like this works.

Vivian: We want to make sure everyone gets the most out of their fellowship experience. I find that Fellows who are curious, open to learning new things, and take on unique projects get the most out of this program.  There’s a lot to learn at Save The Bay and a lot of room to grow professionally, but sometimes an experience like this can even set you up for a future you didn’t even predict.

Learn more about the Save The Bay Fellowship Program and apply here. 

Fall 2015’s Fellowship Brown Bag Presentations

Group photo
Fall 2015 Save The Bay Fellows: Ethan Tucker, Morgan Jue, Alan Cai, Bridgette Haggerty

As the coordinator for Save The Bay’s Fellowship Program, I enjoy seeing the variety of interests, perspectives, and voices that our Fellows bring to the organization. We host a “Brown Bag” Presentation each session where the Fellows present a topic of their choice to each other. The ten-minute presentation can reflect their everyday work with Save The Bay or show a deeper dive into a research project of their choosing. This meeting is also an opportunity for the Fellows to get a feel for each other’s Save The Bay experience, as they often work independently of each other in their own departments.

A huge thank you goes to our Fall 2015 Fellows for their extensive work and contributions. They have conducted research, created original content for outreach, planted in the Bay’s wetlands, and much more. In their own words, here are summaries of their Brown Bag Presentations.

— Veronica, Administrative Assistant

Green Stormwater Infrastructure
Ethan Tucker, Pollution Prevention (Policy Department)

“Green Stormwater Infrastructure is way to slow down, filter, and even reuse rainwater that would otherwise flood city sewers and bring trash and pollutants to the Bay. Some of the most common Green Infrastructure techniques are bioswales, rain gardens, tree wells, and green roofs. Though the process is simple, filtering rainwater through plants and gently sloping, permeable earth, these technologies represent the future of how we will deal with stormwater runoff in the Bay Area. Green Infrastructure offers huge advantages in terms of cost and capacity over traditional gray stormwater systems. Green Infrastructure filters and slows stormwater, so that pollutants such as PCBs and Mercury are deposited in soil and taken up by plants instead of flowing to the Bay. Green Infrastructure also provides public green space and can help beautify streets and whole neighborhoods. Though these technologies have been around for a few years, cities around the Bay Area are getting serious about implementation. The new Municipal Regional Stormwater Permit includes a provision requiring cities to use Green Infrastructure to reduce the amount of Mercury and PCB they release into the Bay. This means it is time for cities to adopt these technologies in a meaningful way and begin projects to supplement their aging gray stormwater systems with Green Infrastructure.

There are exciting opportunities for these technologies to play multiple roles within larger projects as Cities around the Bay look for ways to redevelop urban areas, and promote smart growth. In many places there are opportunities to integrate green stormwater management with other projects such as transit oriented development, or affordable housing. Green Infrastructure will play a huge role in future growth that keeps the Bay healthy and clean.”

Communications in the office
Morgan Jue, Communications Department

“As a Communications Fellow I’m responsible for presenting most of Save The Bay’s blogs, photos, and relevant news articles on social media, primarily Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. But during my time at Save The Bay, I also began thinking about how communications could be a frequent resource for our Policy and Restoration teams as we continue reaching new supporters to our mission. I met with my fellow Office Fellows to brainstorm ideas for our departments to share on social media, and their feedback has been especially helpful in shaping how future Fellows can contribute on a regular basis. One of those ideas involved using Instagram as a way for all teams to capture important moments and people within each of our teams.”

A policy perspective of past and future wetland restoration
Alan Cai, Advocacy and Outreach (Policy Department)

“A planned June 2016 ‘Clean and Healthy Bay Ballot Measure’ will aid long-term plans to restore tens of thousands of acres of wetlands around the Bay Area. Attention is shifting to the threat posed by climate change and sea level rise to the natural and built environment. Wetlands can offer increased flood protection, habitat, and water filtration services if we create more of them and keep the ones we already have healthy. Restoration projects often take many years or decades to complete, and can be costly and complex. Obtaining the combination of governmental and non-profit resources to execute projects is a significant challenge. Given this, securing a consistent, dependable source of funding through passage of next year’s ballot measure will greatly help accelerate Bay Area wetland restoration.”

Bay Area habitat restoration
Bridgette Haggerty, Habitat Restoration Field and Office

“In my Brown Bag presentation I wanted to portray a sense of what I have been learning since I started with Save The Bay. Because I recently moved from Colorado, I have been trying to take advantage of the incredibly extensive knowledge of the Habitat Restoration team to learn about marsh ecosystems and specifically about the plants Save The Bay’s team works with the most.

In my presentation I specifically talked about salt tolerant plants. These are known as halophytes. I gave several examples of halophytes and explained how they are adapted to their environments. I also talked about rhizomes. This is particularly interesting because the majority of the plants going in at Oro Loma [Sanitary District, Save The Bay’s partner in an experimental horizontal levee project] have rhizomes. I gave some specific examples of plants with rhizomes.

I then talked about invasive species and tried to explain the environmental detriment that these species can have on their adopted environments.”

Learn more about our Fellowship Program and apply for the Spring 2016 session!

Paddle Boarding with StokeShare

paddle boards
Veronica joined StokeShare for a day of paddle boarding with local youth at China Camp.

StokeShare, a gear-sharing organization and community that also works to inspire love and advocacy for the outdoors through recreation, invited Save The Bay to come paddle boarding at China Camp State Park in San Rafael on Halloween. They were looking to bring several organizations together to give ten high school students from San Francisco a free day of recreation and education on the Bay. I normally work behind-the-scenes in the Save The Bay office, but it was an easy choice to volunteer for the job. Paddle boarding, China Camp, and the chance to meet people who are enthusiastic about recreating on the Bay? Sign me up!

This was my first visit to China Camp State Park. When I arrived, I was immediately struck by the beauty of the Bay waters. It was a perfectly still day, and the warm sun shining on China Camp’s historic village made for a serene scene. The volunteer docents greeted me warmly and shared that they talk to state park visitors about Save The Bay every day. We all shared the joy of having a common vision of constantly improving the Bay for future generations.

Building community on the water

Joel and Warren from StokeShare had organized volunteer instructors and paddle boards from a wide group of organizations, another testament to the sense of community that the Bay brings. Once the youth arrived, we all did a group safety training and got in the Bay. The weather was perfect, and everyone successfully stood on their boards. I could see that the youth were enjoying connecting with each other through the activity. It was fun to be outside, sharing our love for the outdoors while bobbing on the water. Everyone present had a permanent smile on their face during our time on the boards.

Inspiration in the brackish water

Going to the shoreline and getting on a paddle board was a personal reminder of why Save The Bay’s work is so important. I adore the perspective of viewing the bay from the water itself, whether it’s atop a ferry, kayak, or paddle board. Being so physically close to the water brings me a sense of being spiritually closer to nature. This personal connection is what fuels my desire to advocate for the Bay every day – whether I’m behind a desk or on a paddle board. After our time on the water, I talked to the kids about the importance of wetlands and the history of the Bay, and how they can each make an impact through their everyday habits. Joel from StokeShare encouraged them to follow their passion for the environment into a career path, using him and myself as examples. Hopefully we provided some inspiration to these high school students. Truly, I believe that the Bay spoke for itself, as we enjoyed the warm brackish water with each other’s company.

A huge thank you goes to Joel and Warren of StokeShare, and the variety of people and organizations that participated in this fantastic event on the water. StokeShare is a mission driven company that aims to create access to the outdoors for everyone. Joel Cesare and Warren Neilson are the co-founders, whose inspiration to begin their organization came to them while surfing at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. They both come from environmental backgrounds and are focusing their personal and professional efforts on environmental advocacy.

As StokeShare says, “people protect what they love, love what they know and know what they experience”. Get outside, enjoy the water, and spread the advocacy for the Bay that we all love.