Naturalist Internship 2019

Des Moines County Conservation

Posted 2 weeks ago

County: Des Moines

Location: Burlington, Iowa

Salary    $10.00 – $12.00/hr plus uniforms & housing (if needed)

Closing date: April 5th, 2019


The individual in this position will perform duties for the Des Moines County Conservation Board, as set out in this document, under the direct supervision of the Environmental Education Coordinator. The individual plans, develops, and presents environmental education, interpretation, conservation education, and outdoor recreation programs for youth summer camps; plans and presents programs to school groups and the public as necessary; develops written, audiovisual, and display materials.  This individual assists in directing the operations and programs of Starr’s Cave Nature Center.  This individual performs related work as the need is identified.  The purpose of this internship is to help the individual gain experience in the field of environmental education and interpretation, and if applicable, to fulfill any obligation set forth from that individual’s college requirement.


The individual in this position should, at a minimum, have completed two years in a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in general education, environmental education, interpretation, natural sciences, natural resources, outdoor education, or a related field.

Special requirements:

  • Experience in public speaking
  • First Aid and CPR certification is preferred but not mandatory
  • A valid driver’s license and insurable under Des Moines County’s insurance program
  • A willingness to work weekends, evenings, holidays, and irregular hours
  • A willingness to wear designated uniform attire


  • Plan, develop, and teach summer camps for ages 3 – 14
  • Assist with the operations and programs of Starr’s Cave Nature Center
  • Assist with the development and designing of interpretive and promotional displays for the nature center
  • Assist with the promotional activities to stimulate public interest in the use of parks, including taking photos, brochure development, and speaking to the public
  • Attend appropriate training sessions as assigned by the Environmental Education Coordinator
  • Plan, develop, and teach at least one public program
  • Complete one major project (e.g. design a brochure, build an interpretive trail, create a new exhibit, develop curriculum for a school program)


Knowledge of natural and cultural history and recreation:

  • Basic field identification and natural history of local flora and fauna
  • Ability to comprehend, analyze, interpret, and explain conservation laws, principles, and practices

Program Development and Educational Skills

  • Ability to plan and evaluate programs appropriate for the developmental ability and needs of the audience
  • Ability to write program goals and objectives

Communication Skills

  • Ability to communicate orally and effectively to groups and individuals in both formal and non-formal situations in one or more of the following areas: indoor and outdoor presentations, camp fires, trailside talks, classroom presentations, public meetings, and storytelling
  • Ability to communicate effectively in writing to people with a variety of age and educational abilities

Administrative Skills

  • Ability to work within a budget
  • Ability to organize camp registration materials
  • Ability to inventory supplies and obtain new supplies as needed

Personal Attributes

  • Creativity
  • Enthusiasm
  • Initiative
  • Flexibility
  • Team player
  • Willingness to learn
  • Sense of humor
  • Sincere love of the outdoors and desire to communicate it to the public


The employment period is mid-May to mid-August (specific starting and ending dates somewhat flexible, depending on school schedule of applicant), 40 hours/week with no expectation of employment beyond that specified. Normal workweek is Monday through Friday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM though some evening or weekend hours are required. Starting pay is $9.00 – $11.00/hr. depending on qualification. Interns will be provided with uniforms, all necessary training, and priority consideration for future seasonal employment and higher pay in subsequent employment periods.

Housing is available for interns in this program. Des Moines County Conservation, in partnership with the Leopold Landscape Alliance, has the opportunity to possibly house interns in the historic boyhood home of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold. Also available are the student dorms at Southeastern Community College. Details on housing arrangements will be discussed during the job interview, if applicable.

To Apply

Submit a resume, cover letter and two references to:


Kent Rector

Environmental Education Coordinator

Des Moines County Conservation

11627 Starr’s Cave Rd.

Burlington, IA 52601

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Job CategoryNaturalist

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