Seasonal Naturalist

Seasonal Naturalist, Winter, paid, hourly

Applications accepted: July 1 – September 1
Start Date: October 1 (more details below)



The seasonal naturalist will teach classroom nature programs, work with naturalists to modify classroom teaching points and methods, help with festivals and events, and assist with teaching days at the center when school is not in session. Other tasks may include weekend programs, leading birthday parties and scout groups, website design and upkeep, brochure and poster design, and exhibit planning and design as skills and time allow.


  • Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent experience;
  • Experience teaching in an elementary classroom setting;
  • Experience in informal settings teaching children;
  • General natural history knowledge and comfort in the outdoors;
  • Familiar with office equipment, including copy machines, computers, scanners, and fax machines
  • Enthusiasm and the ability to be dynamic
  • Ability to work independently
  • Valid driver’s license and own vehicle


  • Degree, or pursuit of a degree, in Education or the Natural sciences;
  • Aspirations to be a Nature Center Educator;
  • Experience using Microsoft Access;
  • Experience caring for live animals, especially reptiles and amphibians.


  • Wage: $9.00/hour, no benefits
  • Dates:  October 3, 2016 – March 31, 2017
  • Hours: 25-37 hours/week, occasional weekends. Generally Monday through Friday work schedule, 9:00am-3:00pm. Hours are somewhat flexible, as we have some weekend events, some days when afternoons are free, and some days schools start earlier than 9:00am. There may be some weeks when you are asked to work Saturday instead of Monday.
  • Classroom Visits: OK... We all Will...You are expected to teach classroom programs throughout the duration of the position. This involves learning certain programs for each grade level, Pre-K through 5th. Training and observation opportunities are provided before you teach your first classes. Classroom programs involve interacting with children, classroom management, and conveying knowledge effectively to elementary aged students. Typically you will teach 5-6 programs in a school day. Three to four days per week are spent in schools.
  • Discovery Walks:In October we occasionally lead guided walks. You may be expected to lead a walk, if experience allows. Your job is to engage the students in meaningful learning activities along the walk and to make sure you keep to a specified schedule. Training and observation is provided before you lead your first solo walk. Discovery Walks involve informal teaching methods, group management in an outdoor setting, and conveying information to students in an effective and appropriate way outdoors. For more information, visit our on-line training manual.
  • Public Programs: Paper Making 2011 Homemade HolidaysYou are expected to assist with public programs if needed that happen during your employment. Programs range from sit-down lecture-type programs, to hands-on workshops. Snow Camp and Mud Camp are precursors to our Summer Day Camp and you will be expected to assist with those days. Events held within the time frame of your employment are First Fridays, Enchanted Forest, the Annual Dinner, Thanksgiving with the Birds, Winter Lights, Christmas with the Critters, Doors Open Jamestown, Snowflake Festival, and other single-year events.


There are a number of projects that you may pursue if you have time. Previous Seasonal Naturalists have consolidated the Eagle Care Manual, come up with a “branding” book for the Nature Center, and created small exhibits. You may, with your supervisor’s knowledge and support, pursue a project on the Project list, which is a collection of needs that we have and cannot meet. Again, this is an option if time permits. These projects allow you to build your portfolio by gaining training and experience in an area that will help you get into your specific area of interest.


You’ll walk away from this job with experience working in classroom settings with elementary age students. Hopefully, you will have gained confidence in presenting topics to this age range and developed the skills to communicate your message effectively and efficiently. You will learn to adjust your teaching methods to the skill and knowledge levels of the audience. We will work with you to teach classroom management techniques, different teaching methods, and age-appropriate delivery of information.

You will gain experience teaching outside the formal classroom by assisting with and teaching live animal programs, public programs (such as birthday parties or scouts), and discovery walks. This will allow you to learn the differences between formal and informal education methods.

You will gain a better understanding of the workings of a small non-profit. Through administrative tasks and learning opportunities, you will see that a naturalist wears many hats in the course of his/her work. It’s not all teaching and nature!

You will learn more about the natural world through professional development opportunities with volunteers, staff, and workshops/conferences. This knowledge will give you more confidence to lead walks, prepare lesson plans, and feel comfortable teaching about the natural world.

Finally, we hope you walk away with a better understanding that environmental education is a way of life, not a field of interest. Through experience, knowledge and action, your work here will give you the tools to shape the future and its citizens.

To apply: Please send a cover letter, and a resume with references to the address below.

Applications accepted: July 1 through September 1.

Apply to:  Sarah Hatfield, Jamestown Audubon, 1600 Riverside Road, Jamestown, NY 14701 or you may email your application to shatfield(at) If you have any questions you may use the above email or call (716) 569-2345.