Seasonal Naturalist

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



IMG_4939The seasonal naturalist will teach classroom nature programs, assist with assembling pre- and post-visit materials for classroom visits, maintain database records for classroom programs, and assist with care of the educational live animals. Other tasks may include weekend event planning, 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 leading outdoor walks for children;
  • General natural history knowledge and comfort in the outdoors;
  • Familiarity with office equipment, including copy machines, computers, scanners, and fax machines


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


  • Wage: $9.00/hour, no benefits
  • Dates: Beginning of October through the end of March. Exact dates somewhat negotiable.
  • Hours:  30-40 hours/week, occasional weekends: Generally Monday through Friday work schedule, 9:00am-3:00pm. Hours are somewhat flexible, as we have some weekend events 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 time is 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 programs in a school day. Three to four days per week are spent in schools. Schools are up to one hour away, we carpool when possible.
  • 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.
  • Administration: You are expected to assemble, photocopy, prepare and send out the pre- and post-visit materials for classroom visits. Other administrative duties may include creating posters and flyers for upcoming events (marketing), attending staff meetings, taking minutes for meetings, proofreading materials, scheduling and sending newspaper articles, writing articles, and assisting with the nature store.
  • Public Programs: Paper Making 2011 Homemade HolidaysYou are expected to assist with public programs that happen during your employment. Programs range from sit-down lecture-type programs, to hands-on workshops. Events held within the time frame of your employment are First Fridays, Enchanted Forest, the Annual Dinner, Education Days, Thanksgiving with the Birds, Christmas with the Critters, Doors Open Jamestown, Snowflake Festival, and other single-year events. The Public Programming Series also occurs during your employment and this may provide opportunities for you to teach a workshop if you so desire. You may be asked to assist with some workshops.


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 Audubon, and created small exhibits. You may, with your supervisor’s knowledge and support, pursue a project to your liking. 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.