• Seasonal Environmental Educator/Summer Naturalist

    Job Locations
    Seasonal, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 22 state offices, 44 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


    Position Summary

    The Sharon Audubon Center is a nature center and wildlife sanctuary owned and operated by the National Audubon Society. The nature center is located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, in the town of Sharon. The Sharon Audubon Center has over eleven miles of scenic hiking trails, and includes 1,147 acres of mixed forest, meadows, wetlands, ponds and streams. The mission of the National Audubon Society is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of the Earth's biological diversity and humanity. The Sharon Audubon Center strives to meet this mission through education, conservation and environmental research to encourage the responsible usage and stewardship of natural lands.The Sharon Audubon Center offers educational programs for all ages, nature programs, wildlife rehabilitation, research, live animal exhibits, a children's adventure center, a nature store, and a natural history library.


    The Seasonal Environmental Educator/Summer Naturalist will have a furnished apartment on-site at either the Miles Wildlife Sanctuary or Sharon Audubon Center with private bedrooms and a shared kitchen, bath and living room. Students should arrange for school credit with their adviser beforehand, if applicable.


    Seasonal Educators will work with and learn from experts in the field of conservation education while gaining exposure to informal education techniques both inside and outside of the classroom.  Expand your Wings at Audubon and learn how to:

    •  Research and develop educational conservation programs;
    •  Create teacher resource materials for outreach;
    •  Draft, review and modify curriculum;
    •  Lead field trip and camp programs; and
    •  Organize community outreach and involve the community in conservation efforts.

    Essential Functions

    Audubon Sharon, consisting of the Sharon Audubon Center and Emily Winthrop Miles Wildlife Sanctuary, has been connecting people with nature for over fifty years.  Creating life-changing experiences that enable community members and their families to appreciate, understand and protect the natural world is at the very core of our mission.


    The Seasonal Environmental Educator/Summer Naturalist position will:

    • Deliver established curriculum for in-class and outdoor field trip programs, both on and off-site.
    • Design and implement curriculum for the Sharon Audubon Center Summer Nature Programs for children in grades K-6, in cooperation with the Education Program Manager and Summer Naturalists. Children visit the Center for 6-8 hours each day during week-long sessions. Activities range from discovery hikes, pond explorations, live animal programs, nature crafts and games.
    • Seasonal Environmental Educator/Summer Naturalist will implement facilitation and group management techniques, set up, clean up and keep track of materials and equipment, resolve conflicts and address student needs in a caring and positive manner, and supervise students and maintain physical and emotional safety at all times. 
    • Assist Education Program Manager with Summer Camp registration and communication with camp parents.
    • Assist with other aspects of running a nature center, such as answering telephones, wildlife rehabilitation, public education programs, answering requests for information from the public, running the Nature Store, and helping with many other facets of a Nature Center's day to day operation.

    Additionally, the position will be an opportunity for the candidate to sharpen / broaden their environmental education skills in:

    • Providing hands-on environmental education and natural history topics to students while in the classroom.
    • Engaging with the public via in-person and phone regarding natural history and wildlife questions.
    • Writing and coordinating curriculum for students featuring a variety of natural history lessons, games, crafts and activities.
    • Effectively managing time for age appropriate lessons and activities.
    • Executing a summer camp program while communicating with parents, staff, campers, as well as, handling registrations, as needed.
    • Learning the operation of the day to day responsibilities of the Nature Center are run (customer service, wildlife rehabilitation, mailings, communication with volunteers and the general public, etc.).  

    **This is a five month position beginning the week of March 30th, 2020 through August 28th, 2020. The Seasonal Environmental Educator/Summer Naturalist works under the guidance and direct supervision of the Education Program Manager, however, the entire staff is available for special interest sessions, guidance and assistance. The Seasonal Educator may also work with Center volunteers, the general public, school teachers and parents. 

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Must be at least 21 years old.
    • Previous experience teaching outdoor and environmental education for groups of children ages 4-14, as well as some curriculum development, is necessary. 
    • Some experience working in or running summer camp programs, facilitating games, activities and creative arts, and using creative strategies for conflict resolution and problem solving. 
    • Completion of at least two years of college coursework in environmental or life sciences, degree preferred. 
    • Confident in public speaking, leading a group and initiating activities, working independently and team teaching.
    • Strong work ethic, natural history background, self-motivation and self-directed organizational skills, on-going enthusiasm, commitment, flexibility, a desire to learn, and the ability to work well with others and with children.
    • Excellent interpersonal, written and communication skills and the ability to work independently as well as part of a team. Ability to efficiently use a computer and learn various programs such as Doubleknot and Filemaker. 
    • Must enjoy being outdoors in all weather conditions and have the ability to traverse all major trails of the Sharon Audubon Center and on uneven terrain, even in the hot summer heat, and must be able to sit, stand, grasp, lift, carry, walk, push, reach, climb and pull for short and extended periods of time. 
    • A current driver’s license and own vehicle are required
    • CPR and 1st Aid Certification are preferred.


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