Environmental Educator

Potomac Valley Audubon Society

Charles Town, West Virginia

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details Service members receive a $776.33, pre-tax, paid twice monthly, living stipend
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

The Potomac Valley Audubon Society is seeking full-time Environmental Education AmeriCorps Service Members to serve a 6-month or year-long term beginning mid-September 2023.  AmeriCorps, sometimes described as the domestic Peace Corps, involves young adults and adults in a year of service targeted towards important social outcomes.  The service member will be responsible for completing 900 or 1700 service hours assisting the Environmental Education Team by providing environmental outreach and education to youth in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties in West Virginia in both formal and informal settings.

What our current & past Americorps Service Members say about this position:

“My time as an Environmental Educator has been an amazing experience.  I’ve learned so much about nature and gotten to play an important role in introducing the wonder of the outdoors to the next generation.”

“The staff are so kind and thoughtful.  They’re accommodating and look out for their team.  Truly peaceful work space.”

My AmeriCorps experience with PVAS was the perfect transition from academia into environmental education and nonprofit work- a pivotal decision that eventually led to my forming an organization to help landowners coexist with beavers. I simply would not be where I am today without the mentorship (and friendship!) of the wonderful folks at PVAS.”

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Provide instruction of PVAS programs to youth in Jefferson, Berkeley, and Morgan Counties in West Virginia. Audiences may include children ages 2-18. These programs include but are not limited to the following:
    • Wee Naturalist Pre-School Programs: 1.5-hour long programs at Cool Spring Preserve for ages 3-5 year-olds who attend with a parent
    • Outdoor School classes at both Cool Spring Preserve and Yankauer Nature Preserve: 6-hour classes for ages 5-10
    • Fourth Grade Watershed program: This includes 5 in-school lessons to fourth grade classes followed by a fieldtrip to a local stream.
    • Family programs: Evening campfires and night hikes, Halloween “Trail of Bones” program, etc. 
    • Summer Camp: Weekly day camps in June and July
    • General Nature Programs: These include programs and field trips with local schools relating to topics such as insects, reptiles, birds, decomposers, etc. 
    • Scout programs and library programs 
  • Assist in developing new programs, implement activities, and help evaluate programs for effectiveness.  
  • Help with animal care and cleaning (turtles, snake, hissing cockroaches, worms, and others), nature center interpretation and management, meet/greet visitors and special groups, and giving tours of PVAS properties.
  • Participate fully in all trainings provided by PVAS and AmeriCorps.
  • Communicate with teachers/youth leaders to confirm program times and locations beforehand.
  • Prepare all lessons, materials, and teaching space needed for each lesson/activity as required, and clean up all spaces and clean/restock equipment after use. Store all cleaned and organized items in appropriate location. 
  • Serve as a positive role model for youth with whom you interact.
  • Occasionally serve  with the Land Manager on conservation initiatives. 
  • Occasionally compose social media posts and write content for our newsletter, “Valley Views”.
  • Assist the Lead Naturalist/Instructor with other duties as necessary to carry out the position.


  • At least 18 years of age
  • U.S. Citizen
  • High school graduate/GED (Bachelors Degree in the environmental or education field preferred)
  • Basic knowledge of science, mostly related to watershed and natural history. 
  • Able to serve roughly 33 hours a week Monday through Friday with occasional weekend and/or evening service (service hours will never exceed 35 hours per week)
  • Have reliable transportation, a valid license and good driving record. This position requires occasionally driving up to 45 minutes to area schools or one of our nature preserves. Mileage to sites other than the main office will be reimbursed.
  • Interest in community service and commitment to getting things done in your community.
  • Have patience and skills to teach/counsel up to 25 children at a time.  Prior experience working with children is a plus.
  • Basic knowledge of computers and software including Google Docs, Drive, Calendar, Slides and Sheets. 
  • Communicate effectively in person, by phone and in writing.
  • Excellent people skills
  • Organized, self-starting, highly motivated and creative.
  • Able to lift and carry 40 lbs over uneven ground for a minimum distance of 50ft. 
  • Able to hike at least two miles over moderate terrain at a brisk pace (4mph). 
  • Able to be outside for long periods of time in rain, snow and/or cold temperatures.

Details & Benefits:

  • All AmeriCorps must sign a contract committing to six months of service. Start date is September 18, 2023, but soon after is acceptable. All positions are full-time.  There is a mandatory in-person training September 18-19, 2023.   
  • Service members receive a $776.33, pre-tax, paid twice monthly, living stipend 
  • Year-long, full-time members who complete their 1700-hour commitment by the end of August will receive an educational award of $6,895.00.  Half-year, full-time members who complete their 900-hour commitment by the end of August will receive an educational award of $3,447.50.The educational award can be used for existing student debt, current or future education expense – and the member has 7 years in which to use it.
  • Healthcare benefits while in service (if you qualify)
  • Childcare assistance while in service (if you qualify)
  • Student loan forbearance or deferment while in service
  • Service members that complete their year-long term may be eligible to attend a public West Virginia college tuition free for 2 semesters.  Service members that complete a 6-month term may be eligible to attend a public West Virginia college tuition free for 1 semester.

1. Send resume with cover letter and contact information for three references via email to:  sonja@potomacaudubon.org 

Note: Cover letter should relate your experiences and abilities to this specific job. Generic or non-specific letters will receive no reply. No phone calls please. Send inquiries to sonja@potomacaudubon.org

2. Candidates must also apply to and be approved by AmeriCorps. Details of that process will be shared once PVAS approves the applicant through resume review and interview. A sample of the application packet and reference forms will be provided upon request. 

Note: All AmeriCorps members will undergo a fingerprint background check and a national sex offender check.

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

Category Environmental Education
Tags Conservation Corps, Naturalist, Nature Center