To learn more about specific 2022 Conservation and Justice Fellows projects, please see the detailed descriptions below.
To learn more about how to apply and other details about this program, please see the main Fellowships webpage.
Pilina: Stories about People's Relationships with Hawaiian Birds
Most remaining Hawaiian bird species are declining due to a combination of habitat loss, predation by non-native predators, and habitat degradation due to introduced ungulates, plants, and diseases, and particularly introduced insects such as mosquitoes. Historically, more than 50 different honeycreepers lived in Hawaiʻi, filling forests from the sea to the mountains with their songs. Today, only 17 species remain – with several at risk of extinction in the next few years and most of the others close to vanishing. One difficulty with building the public support necessary to solve these problems is that the native forest birds of Hawaiʻi are confined to remote, inaccessible forests, so are not well known by most people, including native Hawaiians. But Hawaiians have deep cultural ties to the birds, and by sharing these stories this project will build public support across multiple communities in Hawaiʻi. The Fellow will collect stories (personal, historic, or cultural) from community members about their pilina (intimate relationships) with native Hawaiian birds.This project will capture current pilina by interviewing cultural practitioners and other local experts. This will continue the narrative started by Hawaiians centuries ago using modern media, and build a bridge from our present moment to future generations. Additionally, these pilina will promote understanding about the urgent need for landscape-scale management to save these unique birds. Preference for Fellows based in Hawai'i. Native Hawaiians encouraged to apply.
Farmworker Justice: Farmworkers and Pesticide Exposure
Synthetic agricultural pesticides are a major part of farming in the Americas. Our Pesticides and Birds Campaign is examining the effects of pesticides on birds as well as the farmworkers who come into close contact with harsh chemicals during their work. The Farmworker Justice Fellow will examine the detrimental effects experienced by farmworkers disproportionately exposed to unforgiving pesticides and the lack of regulation and available resources which overly endanger them. The Fellow will identify areas for regulatory improvement to help better protect farmworkers, especially in areas which overlap with critical bird habitat. The Fellow will also make policy recommendations to protect the wellbeing of farmworkers and birds. Fluency in Spanish is helpful, but not required.
Communicating Climate Justice
Explore the intersections between bird conservation and climate justice. How can American Bird Conservancy effectively tackle the issue of climate justice while staying true to our mission of protecting birds and their habitats? The Climate Justice Fellow will carry out research into relevant projects, organizations, and opportunities across the Americas. The Fellow will reach out to people working on projects that benefit birds and people while also addressing the impacts of climate change. Final deliverables would include a public-facing blog series laying out the issue and its connections to bird conservation.
Gender Inclusion in Preventing Species Extinction in Latin America.
Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) sites contain the last known populations of one or more Endangered or Critically Endangered species. To prevent extinction, we must care for these sites, surrounding habitats, and the communities of people who depend on these places. American Bird Conservancy and the Global Environment Fund (GEF) want to better understand how our joint efforts to safeguard AZE sites can enhance women's participation in decision-making processes and as agents of change at all levels. The Women in Conservation Fellow will carry our research and community engagement to inform the priorities and direction of the project over the next four years. The Fellow will work with partners in Chile, Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The products of this Fellowship will help to raise awareness about AZE site conservation. Fluency in Spanish and strong English proficiency required. Availability and willingness to travel to remote AZE sites in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Envisioning Conservation with Indigenous Communities on California's Central Coast
The California Central Coast Joint Venture (C3JV) is creating inclusive strategies to steward healthy and resilient habitats for birds, other wildlife and people. As we work to re-envision conservation as a bridge between human and ecological wellbeing, we seek to address biodiversity loss through diverse spaces (e.g. urban), ways of knowing (e.g. Indigenous) and approaches (e.g. social justice). Engagement with Indigenous Communities is central to this work. The C3JV Conservation and Justice Fellow will help us build the relationships essential to a conservation approach committed to supporting Indigenous stewardship and sovereignty. The Fellow should bring their own goals and aspirations to the work, and will be invited to shape the approach in accordance with individual strengths, experiences and existing relationships. Preference for applicants who identify as Indigenous, and for individuals who are familiar with the native nations whose homelands compose the Central Coast.
Bird City and Community Engagement
Through our Bird City program, we work with partners to support and recognize communities for taking bird-friendly action. Our Bird City Fellow will help us build the guidance for both Bird City partners and communities to ensure they are bringing a diversity of people, perspectives, and issues to their work locally. Our Fellow will also help us refine suggested Bird City actions to advance Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within these actions. Lastly, our Fellow will help to gather and articulate informative stories of intersectional work where it occurs, especially within Bird City communities.
Indigenous Grasslands Stewardship
Native grasslands and the birds that depend on them are declining at an alarming rate. Recognizing this, many conservation partners have come together across the northern and southern Great Plains (Central Grasslands) to create a roadmap for conservation action and policy. While grassland ecosystems and the wildlife they support are important to Indigenous people both culturally and economically, Indigenous voices, values, and ways of knowing are often absent from broader conservation initiatives. The Indigenous Grassland Stewardship Fellow will work with partners and communities to communicate the cultural and relational importance of grasslands and birds to Indigenous People, First Nations, and Tribes.
Together for Birds: Artist Residency
Birds bring so many of us joy and add beauty and vibrancy to our lives. The tradition of avian subjects in art is as old as art itself, depicted through time by people around the world in oil, ink, stone, clay, cotton, and silk. In many cultures and traditions, birds and the idea of flight represent peace and freedom. At American Bird Conservancy, birds inspire us daily to restore and protect the natural world. The Together for Birds Fellow provides a visual artist with the opportunity to explore the connections between birds, conservation, and culture. We intend for the Fellow to translate some of our work at these intersections into engaging images.