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Association for Environmental & Outdoor education

AEOE strengthens environmental education in California by connecting providers, building professional expertise, and championing environmental literacy and outdoor learning.

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Naturalist - Environmental Nature Center

  • February 19, 2024 5:15 PM
    Message # 13317912

    Learn more and apply at

    The Naturalist is responsible for teaching environmental and social science education programs to children at the Environmental Nature Center and ENC Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary. The Naturalist’s goals are to encourage students’ awareness and appreciation of the environment, broaden students’ knowledge of science concepts, and foster students’ commitment to the protection of the natural environment.  The Naturalist will also staff ENC facilities on weekends as needed. Must be willing and able to commute to both Newport Beach and Silverado, CA, although if candidate prefers, they can be based out of one location or the other and spend the majority of their time there. This is a Part-Time position. Starting pay rate: $17/hour



    The Naturalist works under the direct supervision of the Director of Education.


    Essential Functions/Duties Include but Are Not Limited To: 

    1. Teach on-site field trip programs based on Next Generation Science Standards.
    2. Teach Traveling Naturalist programs, the ENC’s version of in-school field trips. Visit schools with the ENC’s Animal Ambassadors to facilitate hands-on, engaging lessons about nature to up to 40 students. The curricula for each grade-specific program supports the Next Generation Science Standards for each grade.
    3. Maintain program supplies; inform supervisor of supplies needing replacement or repair.
    4. Teach on-site and off-site Scout programs and other community programs, ensuring that they are taught according to the requirements of the groups and in consideration of the mission of the ENC.
    5. Teach Enrichment Camps and Summer Nature Camps (this may include working on days close to holidays).  Responsibilities include:
      1. Attending Camp Teacher Training.
      2. Developing curricula and providing it to the Education Director at least two weeks prior to the first day of each camp session.
      3. Providing your “best camp activity” for the next day to the Education Director each day before leaving.
      4. Arriving on site early enough to be able to fully set up all activities & areas needed, and be completely ready to sign-in campers / greet parents prior to camp start.
      5. Keeping materials organized, and completely cleaning all teaching/snack/lunch areas used for the day, including kitchen, before leaving.
      6. Completing an evaluation after session is complete. Meeting with Camp Director to go over evaluation.
      7. Attending a follow-up meeting at the end of Summer Camp to review the summer and provide feedback for future camps.
    6. Set-up, take-down, and staff outreach booths at off-site events, professionally representing the ENC to the public.
    7. Arrive when scheduled to prepare and set-up for programs, being mindful of travel time. 
    8. Supervise students at all times for the duration of programs, extending to the release of students to their guardians. Maintain the highest possible degree of safety.
    9. Maintain positive communication with all program participants as well as all visitors to the nature center.
    10. Develop environmental education instructional materials/curricula, as needed.
    11. Responsible for notifying the Horticulture Manager of any safety hazards (i.e. fallen trees), and for closing any trail if necessary.
    12. Staff the front desk when requested. 
    13. Staff the ENC or ENC Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary occasionally on weekends as needed.
    14. Assist in the care of our program animal collection, assuring that all of the animals’ needs are met for the duration of their off-site visits; report any concerns with the program animals to the Animal Care Specialist.
    15. Additional duties as assigned.


    Qualifications & Requirements

    1. Commitment to the mission, vision, and core values of the ENC.
    2. Ability to work independently with minimal supervision and demonstrate flexibility.
    3. Knowledge of California’s plant and animal life highly desirable.
    4. Knowledge of California Native Americans and local indigenous people highly desirable.
    5. Ability or willingness to handle animals including birds, amphibians, mammals, arthropods, and reptiles.
    6. Ability to memorize and recall facts, figures, and information.
    7. Ability to move up to fifty pounds and set up equipment.
    8. Ability to hike on trails, and traverse stairs and uneven terrain while carrying equipment.
    9. Ability to make independent decisions and respond to immediate needs of students, emergency situations, and program needs.
    10. Ability to work outside in a variety of weather conditions and temperatures.
    11. Ability to work irregular hours, including evenings, for mandatory special events (i.e. Fall Faire, Summer Soiree).
    12. Regular, reliable and punctual attendance is essential because of limited resources, costs, productivity, and quality continuity.
    13. Ability to interact successfully with supervisors, staff, teachers, parents, and students.
    14. Computer (Macintosh and Microsoft Office) experience required or willingness to learn.
    15. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required prior to start date.
    16. Must possess a valid driver’s license. Must have own vehicle. 
    17. Fingerprinting for a background check will be required.


    Skill to:

    1. Effectively communicate environmental education concepts to students of all ages in both indoor and outdoor settings.
    2. Interact successfully with supervisors, teachers, parents, volunteers, and students. Demonstrate an understanding, patient, and receptive attitude toward students of all age groups, including adults, in small as well as large groups.
    3. Demonstrate an understanding, patient, and receptive attitude toward students of all age groups, including adults, in small as well as large groups.
    4. Communicate effectively in the English language, in both oral and written forms.
    5. Understand and carry out oral and written instructions in an independent manner.
    6. Understand and apply pertinent personnel policies, laws, rules, and regulations.


    Education, Training, and Experience:

    1. Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university with major course work in science, education, or related field is desired.
    2. At least one year of experience as a formal or informal science educator, working with children in an environmental education setting as an interpreter, naturalist, or equivalent. Background strong in thematic, hands-on programs.
    3. Excellent verbal communication skills.
    4. Ability to utilize computers and technology efficiently. 
    5. Current CPR and First Aid Certificates are required within two months of employment.
    6. Bilingual speaker highly desirable: Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean.


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