Job Opportunities

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.

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 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.

Job Openings at the Cornell Lab

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.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Harris at (607) 255-3087 or

Administrative Support Assistant, Human Resources

The Lab of Ornithology is seeking an Administrative Assistant who will provide consistent administration of confidential administrative transactional activities to faculty, managers and staff, under the direction of the on-site Human Resource Generalist and the Senior Director of Administration and Operations. This role supports the Lab of Ornithology Human Resources function in administration of HR processes and systems, however does not provide direct consultation or policy advice to employees. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Associate Editor, Online Bird Guide

We are seeking an associate editor with strong expertise in ornithology, bird identification, writing, editing, and project management, to produce the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Online Bird Guide on the All About Birds website, reaching 14 million people each year. The associate editor will join our Birds of the World digital publication teams generating authoritative, accessible information about birds for education, citizen science, and conservation. In your application, please include three clips or links to articles representing your best science writing for the general public. Learn more about this job and apply on the Cornell Careers website.

Other Jobs

For additional job listings in ornithology, visit the Ornithology Exchange.

Year Round

Each year, dozens of students gain hands-on experience at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. (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 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


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 Nominations for the forthcoming summer should be submitted by March 31.

Research and Outreach Assistant, Bird Cams

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Bird Cams stream live, close-up views of birds from across the hemisphere at Millions of people have watched these cams which have built up an avid online community of people curious about birds, ecology, and bird behavior. We are seeking a research and outreach assistant to join our team this summer. Examples of outreach duties include watching cam footage and selecting, formatting and interpreting multimedia to share with viewers on the website or in social media; responding to viewer questions by email, social media, and online forums; and generating FAQs. Examples of research activities include watching and annotating footage for scientific studies, assisting with data summaries or analysis, and researching the primary literature to inform new studies.

Special Requirements: Strong interest in birds and general knowledge of animal behavior. Excellent skills in communicating science concepts to the general public and/or conducting scientific research through exploration of the primary literature and processing and summarizing data. Must be a Cornell student.

Work Schedule: 20 hours per week June–August. Hours and dates of employment are flexible.

Wage: $12.00

To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and names and contact information for 3 references to Charles Eldermire,

Science Writer

In a full-time summer position at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, you’ll gain experience in science communication, including reporting and writing. Work with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s science editors to develop and produce stories for print and digital publications such as Living Bird magazine and the All About Birds website. The student for this position will be selected from those enrolled in COMM 3080/3081, a seminar and internship program “Fellowship in Environmental & Sustainability Communication: From the Lab to the World.” This position is supported by the Science Communication Fund, thanks to Jay Branegan ‘72 and Stefania Pittaluga.


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
• 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 Lab of Ornithology please contact Anne Rosenberg at or call 607-254-2109.

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