Tagging sandlance
Apprentices are Middle School, High School, Undergraduate and Graduate students that carry out relevant research using our facilities, mentored by our Associates.  Apprentices have the opportunity to work in an extraordinary natural environment, with cutting edge tools and daily mentoring, and are encouraged to write and publish.  Few research institutions offer opportunities like this to motivated students as early as Grade Six.

As a community based organization, Kwiáht relies primarily on recruiting through local public and private schools in the San Juan Islands, Tribal schools serving communities with historical ties to the islands, and a small number of cooperating university programs in Washington State and British Columbia.  Students are nominated by teachers, submit a resumé or example of their academic work, and are interviewed by a Kwiáht Associate. Students may then be offered an Apprenticeship with an Associate in their area of interest and may also be offered a modest scholarship, if funds are available.

Apprentice Jennifer Reeve seining salmon

Kwiáht also accepts proposals year-round from students interested in conducting research in the San Juan Islands in cooperation with our Associates.  A proposal should describe the research question or hypothesis, methods of data collection and analysis to be used, and why the research can, and should be carried out in the San Juan Islands.  A resumé or curriculum vita must accompany the proposal, which can be mailed to Kwiáht, P.O. Box 415, Lopez Island, WA 98261, or emailed to  Proposals may be for four to twelve weeks of work at any time of year.

Apprentice Claire O'Neill identifying plankton

Proposals will be considered in the order they are received, and judged for their scientific merit, clarity of reasoning and language (taking account of the age and experience of the applicant), and relevance to Kwiáht's overall program of work in the islands.  Preference will also be give to students with ties to the islands, or willingness and ability to arrange for their own lodging during the duration of their apprenticeship.  Proposals will usually be reviewed within 30 days.  Successful applicants may be offered a living stipend, if the work they propose falls within the scope of a currently funded Kwiáht project.

Apprentice Gray Crowell at Indian Island

Satisfactory performance is a condition of continuing the apprenticeship.  Apprentices' work will be evaluated at the end of three weeks, regardless of the term of service they originally proposed. 

Kwiáht is a participant in the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps initiative with its focus on training and employing youth and veterans in caring for critical public landscapes.

Kwiaht has funded Conservation Biology apprenticeships available for Tribal college and high school students for summer 2021. Contact Madrona Murphy ( if interested in applying.