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Sonora, CA
United States

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Job Description:


Position: Naturalist

FLSA: Non-Exempt

Department/Site: Sierra Outdoor School (SOS)

Salary Grade: 116

Reports to/Evaluated by: Director, Sierra Outdoor School

Salary Schedule: Non-Operations


Under general supervision, enhances curriculum and exercises supervision over selected/assigned Sierra Outdoor School (SOS) classes and programs. Assists in developing class programs, layout, design of exhibits and instructional sites. Work may include, but is not limited to, extended hours in an outdoor setting, routine exposure to the elements, lifting, climbing, belaying, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, and bus driving. Provides general assistance to students, teachers, administrators and parents.


The Naturalists participate and assist the SOS administration in lesson planning and carrying out supervisor assigned tasks to reinforce instruction. Incumbent will need to have skills, knowledge and training in areas of specialization. Positions at this level requires a 4-year degree or specialized vocational training. Advancement from this level would typically require additional education or certification.


  • Instructs or facilitates student activities. Encourages the learning process through different learning modalities, and shares observations with the SOS administration, classroom teachers, and visiting administrators. Prepares materials for classroom and outdoor instruction.
  • Conducts day and evening orientations with teachers, students, and chaperones from visiting schools.
  • Assists in maintaining indoor and outdoor instructional sites, curriculum materials and monitors instructional supplies. Assists in maintenance and care of the facility as needed.
  • Reinforces instruction in natural science conservation, environmental science, resource management, California History, and moral values through Character Counts!
  • Mentors interns focusing on general SOS policies and procedures. Provides in-depth training in core curriculum, observes and provides written as well as oral feedback to interns relative to instructional practices.
  • Participates in curriculum and activities planning, staff meetings and conferences.
  • Designs and leads staff in-services for new and permanent naturalist staff.
  • May be responsible for the Raptor Center including: how to train birds, policies and procedures for the center, care of the birds and needs assessment for the Center. May train staff to properly and safely handle raptors.
  • May be responsible for High and Low Rope sites, including but not limited to proper care and maintenance of equipment, setup/take down and storage of equipment.
  • May maintain SOS website and staff computers.
  • Drives school buses for field trips to off-site teaching venues.
  • May assist Program Coordinators in other administrative tasks.
  • Assists in the health and safety activities of the Sierra Outdoor School.
  • Assists in operation of kitchen and dining room, supervising set-ups and clean-ups.
  • Performs other related duties and responsibilities as required.


Knowledge and Skills: Knowledge of teaching practices including but not limited to self-contained classrooms, experiential learning, and discovery learning required. Thorough understanding of natural systems and the environment with specialized knowledge in SOS programming areas such as raptor care and training of raptors, Team and High Ropes Challenge facilitation and other areas including, but not limited to forest management, astronomy, and mining/geology.

Abilities: Ability to instruct, using all leaning modalities, a variety of science, natural history and historical interpretative programs. Ability to recognize and work within the limitations of special needs or disabled students required. Ability to write lesson plans, instructional materials, reports, and general correspondence. Some combination of fine arts skills such as guitar playing, song leading, and story telling skills are necessary. All classes are taught outside and may expose employees to inclement weather. Work in our raptors program requires specialized safe handling and care techniques. High Ropes and other climbing programs require adherence to industry standard and local operating procedures.

Physical Abilities: Requires good hearing and speaking ability to communicate with staff and program participants. Requires an appropriate level of physical fitness to carryout assigned outdoor activities. May require lifting, carrying, and manipulation of tools and equipment necessary for set up and maintenance of instructional sites. Must be able to lift light to medium (10-50 pounds) weights to maintain facilities. Must be able to ascend and descend poles, ladders, and work on elevated platforms. Climbing, belaying and hiking in excess of six miles a day in all weather conditions are essential elements of the work place.

Education and Experience: Bachelors Degree in science, adventure education, recreation administration, natural history or related technical field; supplemented by three (3) years experience working with students in a formal or structured setting. Minimum of two (2) years experience with interpretative programs preferred. Any equivalent combination of education, training and experience.

Credential Requirements: Valid Driver’s License. California school bus driver certificate preferred. First aid and CPR certificates required. Lifeguard, WFA/WFR preferred.

How to Apply:

Apply Online at for Clovis Unified School District -

For more information about Sierra Outdoor School -

For more information about the position - Michael Olenchalk,, 209-532-3691