Restoration Scholars Program 2023

Training the Next Generation of Conservation Leaders

The field of restoration science and is becoming increasingly relevant and crucial in our current decade. With the rising impacts of climate change posing major threats to our environment and communities, it is imperative that we take action now to bring life back to tens of thousands of acres of river landscapes statewide.

Students interested in gaining hands-on experience and contributing to active restoration are invited to apply to River Partners’ Restoration Scholars program. Applications for Summer 2023 intern positions in four California regions (Chico, Sacramento, Modesto, and San Diego) are now open and will close on April 14, 2023.

Apply to be a 2023 Restoration Scholar today.

Why river restoration?

Rows of restored riparian vegetation in a former walnut orchard along the Sacramento River near Chico, CA.

Only a small fraction—some estimate less than 5%—of the original river habitat that existed here 200 years ago remains. Riverways, wetlands, and floodplain forests are biodiversity hotspots which naturally buffer wildlife and communities from the worst impacts of climate change. Riparian ecosystems can absorb floodwaters, capture carbon, recharge groundwater, and provide a space to get outside and connect with nature. Restoring our riverways is essential for vibrant and healthy communities.

Why become a Restoration Scholar?

River Partners science team monitoring restoration sites to help improve conservation strategies.

Restoration science is a rapidly growing field, and through our Restoration Scholars program college students can gain hands-on experience while contributing to environmental stewardship and a positive future. Whether you’re interested in habitat restoration, wildlife conservation, native ecosystems, or simply learning how a conservation organization operates, River Partners’ Restoration Scholars program can help you can gain valuable insights and opportunities to build your interests and skills.

What does the program entail?

River Partners Restoration Scholars program offers hands-on restoration experience as well as the opportunity to conduct a self-directed research project.

Over an 8-week period starting in June, Restoration Scholars work with science team members on active restoration project sites, collecting and analyzing plant and wildlife data which help inform River Partners’ conservation strategies.

In addition, Restoration Scholars complete self-directed research projects, collecting data from River Partners habitat restoration sites in one of four California regions: Chico, Sacramento, Modesto, and San Diego. Past research projects have ranged from monitoring the health of soil amended with mycorrhizae, examining insect diversity, predator-prey dynamics of endangered species, and monitoring aquatic invertebrate species in restored salmon side-channel habitat.

Gaining real-world experience

River Partners internships are paid positions, and the experience students gain can lead to full-time opportunities with River Partners or other conservation organizations down the road.

“Beyond being satisfying, fun, and totally insightful, my internship with River Partners opened doors,” says 2020 Restoration Scholar Twyla Capurro. “I am now working with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, which is totally awesome. It was undoubtedly my experience with River Partners that inspired me to work more closely with wildlife and lead me to the job I have now.”

The program also provides insight into the inner workings of conservation organizations, as Camille Hymes, 2022 Restoration Scholar, learned. “I gained so much plant identification skill and learned so much from people in positions that I one day want to be in. I loved being a Restoration Scholar and encourage others to pursue the opportunity!”

What past Restoration Scholars have to say

Kylie McNary, 2022 Restoration Scholar, was a studying at Sacramento City College when she applied. Kylie was hired on after her internship completed, and now works with our development team assisting grant reporting:

This program has solidified my passion for restoration and reassured me that I’m pursuing the right field of study. I’m more excited about continuing my education, especially after witnessing that there is in fact job security for the restoration and conservation field.

Keeley Lanigan, 2022 Restoration Scholar, had recently graduated from UC San Diego when she applied:

I learned a lot about the plant and animal species in California which is what I really wanted from this internship. I also really enjoyed being able to complete my independent project monitoring birds. I had really wanted to learn how to identify California bird species by sound and I learned a lot about it this summer.

Phoebe Santos, 2022 Restoration Scholar, was studying at University of Edinburgh when she applied:

The long weeks of field work were what I found most valuable. They were difficult and sometimes made me question what I was doing there but I think that is what I needed. I needed to know the reality of the line of work that I wanted to join and know how committed I really was to it all. I learned the amount of effort and work long-term restoration projects require, along with what restoration in the San Joaquin valley looks like. It was difficult to visualize before this.

Don’t miss your opportunity! Apply today.

River Partners’ Restoration Scholars Program is a perfect opportunity for students to gain real-world experience, learn from experts in the field, and develop their passion for conservation.

Apply now to become a 2023 Restoration Scholar!
Application deadline: April 14, 2023