Conservation and Education Specialist - Upham Woods

Wisconsin Conservation Corps

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $460/week Living Allowance, Approximately $7,300 Education Award

Position Title: Conservation and Education Specialist 

Position Service Site: Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center (Wisconsin Dells, WI)

Service Time: September 9, 2024 – August 22, 2025 (1,700 Hour AmeriCorps Term, 50 weeks, 35 hours per week)

Benefits: Living stipend total for whole term = $23,000 ($460 per week). Education Award of approximately $7,300 upon successful completion of service. To find out more about the Award: https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more.

Health insurance optional (1 year/1,700-hour positions only, available for individuals who are not already covered).

Onsite housing available.
Meals are available when food service is being served in the dining hall to a group on site.

OVERVIEW: Operating since 1941, Upham Woods is a residential outdoor learning center, managed by the University of Wisconsin – Madison Division of Extension. The center sits on a prime location on the Wisconsin River, two miles north of the Wisconsin Dells, offering an excellent “river classroom” to study both the natural and cultural history of Wisconsin. The center rests on 318 total acres of forested land, including a 210-acre island called “Blackhawk Island”. The facility consists of 14 buildings including a fully equipped nature center. The center supplies lodging for 200 people, meals, and outdoor education year-round for youth and youth leaders, including environmental lesson plans, summer camp programming, leadership workshops and other conferences.

SERVICE DESCRIPTION:  Upham Woods’ Conservation and Education Specialists will lead environmental lessons and assist with conservation projects throughout the Upham Woods property. The Individual Placement will aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all groups they encounter. This is a unique and varied position with the opportunity to gain many skills.



  • Teach environmental and outdoor education programming to school and community groups and participate in public/community outreach both on and off-site.
  • Lead programs for groups between 25-160 people.
  • Care, training, and presentation of live animals (primarily reptiles).
  • Program design, development, implementation, and evaluation for programs to improve and expand program offerings to new and returning audiences.

Community Engagement

  • Serve as liaison (main point of contact) for visiting groups including on call status*.
  • Reporting and record keeping of participant demographics, goals and outcomes to comply with federal requirements.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with local community groups.
  • After ~6 months, mentor new seasonal staff, including assisting in staff training on programming and liaison responsibilities and duties.
  • Create public facing communications, including but not limited to social media, newsletter, event marketing, and assist with fundraising efforts for specific program events.
  • Work with the Facility and Operations Manager to administer the Paddle Pass program during the summer months per program guidelines.

*On call status refers to liaison responsibilities extending overnight, in case of emergency contact from the visiting group via cell phone. 


  • Support conservation projects by preparing necessary tools, safety equipment, and project materials for use on conservation project days.
  • Evaluate and maintain existing Outpost Program camping equipment including tents, cooking equipment, canoes, paddles, and personal floatation devices.
  • Maintain trail tools including Mcleods, shovels, saws, pickaxes, loppers, and rakes.
  • Under supervision of the Facility and Operations Manager, perform trail work related tasks such as trail repair, new trail construction, and trail reroutes.
  • Perform invasive vegetative species removal.
  • Complete facility maintenance projects including painting, minor cleaning, as needed.


  • Upham Woods provides onsite housing in our staff duplex at no cost. Room assignments can be an individual or shared bedroom, shared bathroom, and shared common areas (kitchen, living room, laundry facilities).  
  • Assignments are subject to change over the course of the year. Room assignments are made at the discretion of Upham Woods administrative staff.
  • A check-in/check-out procedure will be utilized for housing. Occupants may be charged for damages that exceed normal wear and tear to duplex facilities. 
  • Meals will be provided at no cost to staff whenever a group is on site utilizing food service in the dining hall. Other meals are the responsibility of the WisCorps member. A kitchen stocked with appliances and cooking utensils is available for cooking and food storage.


  • First Aid/CPR/AED (Basic Life Support).
  • Professional development offered through the UW-Madison Extension, including supporting youth mental health, Extension All Colleague Conference, Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education conference, or other relevant conferences.
  • Additional opportunities may include Lifeguard, Pesticide/Herbicide Applicator, and Chainsaw Safety, depending on site needs and service member interest.


  • Minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
  • Able to perform duties in inclement weather.
  • Enthusiastic, creative, and flexible.
  • Outdoor recreation, paddling experience (canoe/kayak), and outdoor education experience is a plus.
  • Teaching license, college degree, and/or other education-related or natural resource management certifications (chainsaw certification) are a plus.
  • Withstand the physical demands of work which involves some lifting (up to 40 lbs.), carrying, bending, and hiking across uneven terrain.
  • Ability to perform the essential duties of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Ability to multitask and shift schedule and priorities to meet changing conditions.
  • Upon hire, a criminal background check will be conducted by both WisCorps and UW-Madison. Service with WisCorps will be considered probationary until all results are returned and have been reviewed.
  • Valid driver's license that meets UW Risk Management Standards.

WisCorps provides equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran per applicable federal, state, and local laws. We are committed to assuring equal employment opportunity and equal access to services, programs, and activities for persons with disabilities. If you have a disability, and need to access information in an alternative format, or need it translated into another language, please contact us at 608-782-2494, by email at staff@wiscorps.org or Wisconsin Relay 711.


To apply, visit https://www.wisconsinconservationcorps.org/ipapplication  or contact Holly Pierro at holly.pierro@wiscorps.org  for a paper formatted application. 

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Admin & Leadership , Environmental Education , General / Stewardship , Outdoor Recreation
Tags Conservation Corps , Trail Maintenance , Outreach