Interpretive Naturalist

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Chesterton, IN
United States

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Job Description:

General Description:

Dunes Learning Center (DLC) is a residential education facility within Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (INDU) that works in close partnership with the National Park Service (NPS). Interpretive Naturalists are key members of the program staff at DLC. They instruct children and adults regarding the diversity of ecosystems, plants and animals, and cultural history of the INDU and southern Lake Michigan region while developing naturalist, outdoor education, and resource interpretation skills and techniques. Interpretive Naturalists often work in pairs during the summer, giving each the opportunity to shadow peers, provide and receive feedback, and learn a variety of teaching styles and techniques. During the school year, Interpretive Naturalists may shadow NPS staff and attend professional development workshops.

Term of Internship:

Summer (June 5, 2017 - August 4, 2017) with 2 weeks of training and/or School Year (August 14, 2017–May 25, 2018) with 3 weeks of training. Must be available to work weekend and evening hours. There is an unpaid furlough August 7–11, 2017 and December 21, 2017–January 3, 2018.


The individual is expected to:

  • Attend training workshops and regularly scheduled staff meetings
  • Present programs in natural and cultural history, inquiry-based science, and resource stewardship for ages 8-17
  • Lead half-day and day-long educational/interpretive hikes on Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore trails
  • Conduct evening, weekend and outreach programs as scheduled
  • Conduct research and make preparations needed for all assigned educational programs
  • Ensure safety and well-being of program participants
  • Assist in the maintenance of all program supplies, equipment, and facilities
  • Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)
  • Comply with all Dunes Learning Center policies and represent DLC in a professional manner at all times.
  • Perform all assigned duties critical to the operation of Dunes Learning Center
  • Assist with other duties as assigned Required Qualifications:
  • Must have a BA/BS by June 5, 2017
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Physically able to work outdoors in all weather conditions and hike several miles over hilly dunes terrain while carrying a 25-lb backpack
  • Great independent worker and team player
  • Official government identification

Desired Qualifications:

  • Lifesaving and water safety certification
  • Possess valid driver’s license and have reliable transportation for local travel between housing and DLC


All Dunes Learning Center employees must submit to a background check and possible drug screening.

Position Start Date:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Job Duration:



How to Apply:

Job Compensation:



Compensation Information:

Benefits: $290 weekly stipend (average 40 hours per week), shared housing (private bedroom), uniforms, First Aid/ CPR training, meals and weekly s’mores when groups are in residence, and professional development opportunities.