Naturalist - The Ridges Sanctuary

Wisconsin Conservation Corps

Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin

Job Type AmeriCorps
Salary Details $500 per week, Housing, Education Award of approximately $1,900 upon successful completion of service.

Position Title: Naturalist

Position Service Site: The Ridges Sanctuary (Baileys Harbor, WI)

Service Time: May 28 – August 16, 2024    (450 hours total, 40 Hours/Week)

Benefits: Living stipend total for whole term = $6,000 ($500 per week) Education Award of approximately $1,900 upon successful completion of service. To find out more about the Award: https://americorps.gov/members-volunteers/segal-americorps-education-award/find-out-more

Housing that is walking distance to the service site is provided for $25 per week.

OVERVIEW: The Ridges Sanctuary mission is to promote positive environmental behaviors through impactful educational experiences, land management and protection, and ecological research. The Ridges was established in 1937 after Albert Fuller, then Curator of Botany at the Milwaukee Public Museum, began spending a significant amount of time surveying the landscape. Fuller spearheaded a grassroots movement to protect this incredibly diverse property and establish Wisconsin’s first land trust. The Ridges now protects over 1600 acres comprising fifteen discrete plant communities, 475 inventoried vascular plants, a Boreal Forest glacial relict and twenty-six of Wisconsin’s forty-nine native orchids. The Ridges has also established popular early childhood education programs, a nationally recognized Orchid Restoration Project, and welcomes over 35,000 visitors to our Nature Center each year.

SERVICE DESCRIPTION: The Ridges Sanctuary is seeking motivated individuals to join our team of naturalists. The primary responsibilities will be developing and leading educational programs for The Ridges Backpack Adventure Camps, leading guided hikes for adults and families, and to assist visitors at the Nature Center and along the trail. Other experiences include weekly immersion into the operations of the Organization including our Orchid Research Project, Land Management, and developing and completing an individualized project in an area of interest.

Training that will be provided, if not already completed:

  • Knowledge of local natural history
  • Early Childhood Education Training
  • CPR certification and Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Throughout the experience, there will be ongoing learning opportunities to expand your knowledge in education, research, preservation, and more!


Education Programs

  • Assist with developing and teaching Backpack Adventure Camps for children ages 4 to 11
  • Lead nature hikes on a daily basis teaching visitors about The Ridges
  • Assist with group tours as needed
  • Participate in special events
  • Develop a report, program, or educational materials for staff or visitors based on an individual area of study
  • Assist developing brochures, programs, activities to enhance the visitor experience

Visitor Engagement

  • Interact with visitors daily and answer questions about The Ridges, the Nature Center and Door County
  • Responsible for managing daily operations for visitors and members to include program registration, customer service, store sales, and other needs
  • Help answer incoming phone calls


  • Support land management and research staff in various projects throughout the summer such as orchid monitoring, plant surveys, and trail maintenance

HOUSING: Members should be prepared to live in communal housing with other members of the program/organization/agency. Members should expect to have roommates, and must inform staff of any housing preferences or required accommodations. Pets are not allowed.


  • At least 18 years of age
  • Experience in developing and delivering environmental education and/or camp programs
  • Lifeguard Certification and Experience is a plus
  • Energetic and enthusiastic personality to help motivate children and collaborate with co-workers
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Withstand the physical demands of work which involves some lifting, 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. Service with WisCorps will be considered probationary until all results are returned and have been reviewed

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 Environmental Education, General / Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation
Tags Conservation Corps, Naturalist, Nature Center