Jobs in Interpretation

Job Information

Position Title: Naturalist Apprentice
Salary: $200 allowance/week and onsite housing
Job Type:  Seasonal/Temporary
Deadline: 03/20/2014
Date Posted: 03/03/2014
Job Start Date:  05/01/2014
Job End Date: 05/01/2015
Job Duration: 9 months- 1 year

Agency: USDA Forest Service
Employer:  Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area
Woodlands Nature Station, KY

Detailed Information

Apprenticeship positions are designed for college graduates who desire a well-rounded experience with interpretive program planning and delivery, animal husbandry, special events, and facility operations at a nature center. The goals of the apprenticeship program are the following: (1) provide quality training and practical experience for individuals in a wide range of disciplines, (2) introduce apprentices to the operational procedures of a federal agency, and (3) provide experiences in environmental education and interpretation for the diverse customers who use Land Between The Lakes.

A $200/week allowance (non-taxed) and onsite government housing within LBL will be provided.

Minimum Qualifications: 
  • Willingness to work with and handle live animals on a daily basis, including raptors and snakes
  • Enjoyment of working in a highly people-oriented job, especially including interacting with children and teaching them about the natural world and conservation
  • Participation as a team member with other Nature Station staff, including other naturalists, information clerks, gift shop clerks, and maintenance personnel.
  • Previous experience in environmental education or interpretation, teaching, camp counseling, animal husbandry, or outdoor leadership is a plus
  • Introductory knowledge of the area’s natural history and willingness to learn more
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Powerpoint preferred
  • Ability and/or willingness to learn to drive a 10-passenger van
  • Developing and delivering interpretive natural history programming for the general public
  • Providing daily care and husbandry for a live native animal collection that includes over 40 species
  • Conducting curriculum-based programs on-site and off-site to schools and groups ages pre-K through adult
  • Leading (and co-leading) outdoor excursions including nature hikes, canoe/kayak trips, and wildlife-viewing van tours
  • Maintaining native plant gardens
  • Staffing a canoe/kayak rental station by scenic Honker Lake
  • Interacting with visitors on a daily basis through roving interpretation about the natural and cultural resources of the area
  • Other trainings that may be provided include: Low Ropes Challenge Course Facilitator training and certification; First Aid and CPR; Defensive Driving; Canoeing; and cross-training at other interpretive facilities, including a living history farm, planetarium/observatory, and environmental education camp.

Application Info

The Naturalist Apprentice is employed by the U.S. Forest Service. It is a full-time position, lasting 9 months to 1 year, at the Woodlands Nature Station within Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area. A $200/week allowance (non-taxed) and onsite government housing within LBL will be provided.

How to Apply:
Applications are due by March 20. Please send a cover letter, resume, and a list of 3 references to Aviva Yasgur at

Equal Employment: 
Applicants will be considered without regard to religion, sex, National Origin, political affiliation, marital status, or physical handicap.

Description of Site: 
The Woodlands Nature Station serves as the main interpretive nature center for the U.S. Forest Service’s Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area, a 170,000-acre parcel of mainly bottomlands hardwood forest nestled between two large freshwater lakes in western KY and TN.  The primary goals of LBL are high quality environmental education, recreation, customer service, and multiple use management for sustainability. The interpretive activities and programs at the Nature Station focus on regional natural history, natural resource conservation, and outdoor recreation activities.  One of our main attractions is our live native wildlife, which are mainly rescued and permanently non-releasable animals, including a bald eagle, several owls, a bobcat, endangered red wolves, reptiles, and more.  Another highlight is our demonstration backyard habitat area, featuring native gardens, bird feeders, and active bat roosting boxes.  We offer a variety of interpretive programs and activities, including roving on-site interpretation, special events, live animal programs, hikes, canoe and kayak trips, puppet shows, wildlife-viewing tours, school programs, and community outreach programs.  Over 40,000 people per year visit the Nature Station.