Naturalist Intern (2017-18 School Year)

This job has expired and is not visible on the eePRO Jobs page.


Sonora, CA
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Job Description:

Our interns create rich and rewarding experiences for our visiting sixth grade students, teachers, and counselors. Interns will lead groups of students as they hike the trails, explore, and gain a greater connection to the natural world.  Interns teach hands-on science curriculum in a fun, engaging way.  Certain weeks, instead of teaching on the trail, interns serve as the recreation leader. During these weeks, they lead teambuilding activities and campfire programs, teach dance, and supervise freeplay time.

Naturalist Interns are integral members of our community of dedicated and passionate naturalists and are valued as innovative, knowledgeable staff members.  Interns who complete our program are self-reflective teachers, effective environmental educators, knowledgeable about natural history, and are able to write a lesson plan.  Interns receive extensive training at the beginning of the academic year that continues throughout the internship.

Naturalist Interns, once comfortable, also play a large role in our high school counselor program; by providing suggestions and advice to our counselors on how our counselors can best assist Naturalists while out on the trail, and by providing guidance for how the counselors can best handle student behavior in the dorms.  Interns will write formal evaluations for their counselors at the end of each week.  Through this process, interns gain valuable experience in learning how to assess the performance of others and put observations in writing – a wonderful skill to have, should your career path lead you in the direction of coaching others.

Program Description:

The Stanislaus County Office of Education operates Foothill Horizons Outdoor School for the upper elementary students of Stanislaus County. Throughout the school year, classes of students accompanied by their classroom teachers, spend between three and five days in residence at our facility.  During their stay, the students participate in a variety of activities designed to increase their knowledge of, and sensitivity to, the natural world.  The students take part in outdoor science classes, field trips, and evening activities that include campfire programs, night hikes, and dancing.

Site Description:

Foothill Horizons is nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains surrounded by 143 acres of oak woodlands.  The site offers varied terrain through beautiful forests of large ponderosa pines and oaks.  With our students, we enjoy exploring the meadows, granite outcroppings, and our year-round creek.  The outdoor education center is located five miles east of the historic town of Sonora, California, at an elevation of 2,500 feet.  The Stanislaus National Forest - with its wilderness areas, granite peaks, mountain lakes, rivers, and ski areas is just a short drive up the hill.  Year-round climbing is available at nearby Table Mountain, and Yosemite National Park is about two hours away.

Our Staff:

Foothill Horizons has a staff culture that is built upon support, kindness, and growth.  Our six permanent naturalists have over 70 years of accumulated experience teaching and working as professional environmental educators and share the responsibilities of formally and informally mentoring the interns.  To complete and enhance our teaching staff, each spring we hire five interns for the following school year. We select 2-3 females and 2-3 males for our intern staff.  


-Experience teaching or working with children in either a formal or informal capacity

-Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. We prefer that applicants have some college level course work in natural sciences, education, interpretation or outdoor recreation 

-Must have a valid standard drivers license in order to drive students in school vehicles

-First Aid and CPR certifications required

-Ability to hike up to 5 miles a day in all weather conditions

-We are searching for self-motivated, flexible, hardworking, passionate people who work both well on their own and as part of a team


Compensation & Perks :

$80/day – most weeks are 5-day work weeks

Private bedroom and bathroom

Food while program is in session, basic staples provided for weekends 

$300 health stipend

Two paid days to visit other programs

Financial assistance towards tuition fees for an AEOE Conference  (check out:


Internship Commitment:

Start Date:  On or around August 11, 2017 – the exact date is yet to be decided

End Date:    On or around June 8, 2018 – the exact date is yet to be decided.

Position Start Date:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Postions are open until filled.  Apply Early! 

  1. Complete and submit our application via our website:
  2. Email your resume and cover letter to Diann Rastetter:
  3. You will be contacted by Diann if you qualify for a first interview
  4. First interviews will be conducted over the phone with Diann
  5. Second interviews will be offered to the top candidates and will be conducted on site at Foothill Horizons in Sonora, CA.  A skype interview can be arranged for those candidates who cannot make it to site.  A panel of 2-3 staff members will conduct second interviews.
  6. Final selections will be made after second interviews are complete

Job Compensation:


Compensation Information:

Salary: $80 a day plus room and meals

Contact Name:

Diann Rastetter

Contact Phone:

(209) 532-6673

Contact Email: