Naturalist & Adventure Intern

Audubon Center of the North Woods Sandstone, Minnesota
Deadline 08/15/2018
Job Type Internship

Naturalist Internship (Adventure Coordinating)

Established in 1968, the Audubon Center of the North Woods (ACNW) is a private, non-profit 501(c)3 residential environmental learning center (RELC) and green retreat & conference center on Grindstone Lake near Sandstone, MN – 90 miles north of Minneapolis/St. Paul. We offer a variety of outdoor and environmental education experiences for people of all ages – youth, families and adults – and are an ideal K12 school field trips and student travel destination. In addition to our on-site programs and camps, ACNW provides outreach programs throughout the region. Our 535 acre campus is a diverse mix of hardwoods, pine plantation, prairie, and wetland on the east shore of Grindstone Lake.

Accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, ACNW serves as a field campus for various community colleges and Hamline University, we have 50 years of environmental education experience and an incredible variety of programs and audiences.  Working at ACNW is a one-of-a-kind internship opportunity!  We hope you will consider becoming part of our dynamic education team.


  • BA or BS degree in a related field--or equivalent amount of experience in ecology and/or education
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Interest or experience in working with children
  • Interest and experience in outdoor activities including, but not limited to: camping, canoeing, backpacking, climbing, hiking, etc.
  • Ability to be innovative, flexible, and self-directed
  • Basic knowledge of and curiosity about the natural and cultural history of Minnesota
  • Open-minded and enthusiastic; excited to learn and try new things
  • Ability to lift heavy equipment, such as a canoe, and spend long hours on your feet
  • Willing to lead and participate in our adventure-focused classes including climbing wall, high ropes course, orienteering and canoeing

Intern Duties include:

RELC/K-12 Programming 70%

  • Facilitate classes to K-12 audiences
  • Serve as a liaison for these K-12 school groups
  • Develop curriculum for outdoor environmental education
  • Summer Camps
    • Assist with overnight summer camps
    • Assist in driving participants from different programs to locations and teaching/leading classes
  • Participate in overnight/on-call duty

Focus Area 10% --Adventure Intern

Interns will have the opportunity to select a focus area: Program Management, Adventure Coordinating, or Animal Training that will include duties in addition to regular instruction.

  • Assist in managing ACNW adventure programs with tasks such as maintenance and inspection in the following areas: high and low ropes courses, climbing wall, ground initiative course, archery, first aid kits, orienteering, skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, and adventure gear;
  • Maintain logs for adventure courses, keep log books stocked with extra forms of all necessary types;
  • Keep high ropes shed and climbing wall area organized and switch out equipment as needed;
  • Perform bimonthly inspections of all first aid kits on site (K-12 kits, buildings, & vans)
  • Assist with weekend college adventure programs including backpacking, wilderness navigation, winter skills, canoeing, and outdoor sampler;
  • Assist with projects such as building and grounds maintenance, construction; projects, XC ski trail grooming, maintain hiking trails, wood splitting, snow removal, maple syrup harvest and production;
  • Help plan and lead summer camp programs

Wildlife Care 10%

  • Perform daily barn chores as assigned
  • Report to Wildlife Apprentice on status of supplies and food
  • Report health concerns for animals to Wildlife Coordinator
  • Complete rotating chores of 20% water change on aquariums, cleaning refrigerator, and cutting grass around barn

Groups & Conferences 10%

  • Facilitate/lead programming for participants when needed including family programs, Road Scholar, community colleges, and others
  • Serve as liaison for these groups


  • Broad natural history background training
  • Teaching experience covering groups of diverse ages and backgrounds
  • Hands-on, behind the scenes knowledge of what it takes to run a residential environmental education center (fundraising, budgets, marketing, etc.)
  • $80/week stipend, private room in onsite Staff House, and meals when groups are present
  • Eight days off each month, plus two paid weeks off (one in December and one as scheduling allows)
  • Paid Graduate Credits through Hamline University for a 10-credit Master’s-level Environmental

Education Certification

  • Participate in the classes offered through Hamline University and conducted at ACNW
  • Classes Include:
    • Advanced Interpretation
    • Reading the Landscape
    • Winter Ecology
    • Minnesota Forests
    • Spring Flora
    • Food and Energy Sustainability
  • Homework for all of these courses is done during non-work hours

Position Dates:

This internship begins August 25th, 2018, and runs through June 14th, 2019.


To apply, please send your cover letter, resume and three references to:

Emily Porter, Education Manager, Audubon Center of the North Woods
(320) 245-2648 | | Facebook:

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