Natural History Interpreter Positions

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NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (1 position)

 

Park/Area: KODIAK DISTRICT 
The Kodiak archipelago in the Gulf of Alaska is home to the famous Kodiak brown bear and many species of marine mammals and birds. The community of Kodiak, with a population of approximately 14,000, is one of the nation's busiest fish processing ports. Kodiak residents live next door to some of the most productive salmon streams in the world. Besides fishing, other popular pastimes include sea kayaking, hiking, birding and whale watching. The park units include a historic park, three recreation sites, and the remote island parks of Shuyak and Afognak Islands. 

Main Tasks: Develop and present interpretive programs highlighting the park's natural history and WWII history. Schedule and conduct guided tide pool exploration walks. Organize a weekly series of lectures given by local natural, cultural and military history experts. Schedule, arrange and publicize park events. Assist in sales and visitor services at the Fort Abercrombie Visitor Center. Other duties may include weekly reports/publications for the local newspaper and radio stations.

Special Projects: Varied, depending on skills and interests. 

Required Skills: Must possess a valid driver's license; minimum of one year undergraduate studies and a minimum of 6 months paid or volunteer work experience in natural resources, history, environmental studies and/or interpretation; ability to work independently with little or no direct supervision; ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing; computer skills in word processing and desktop publishing; physically able to hike fair distances and an enthusiasm for the outdoors. Applicants are required to submit a writing sample with their application to be considered for this position. 

Desired Skills: College-level course work in biological or natural resource fields, and/or creative writing, and field experience in natural or military history interpretation and/or outdoor education. Experience in developing interpretive programs, the ability to be self-motivated to learn as much about the area as possible with little supervision, and experience working with children. 

Internship: Park Staff Will assist volunteer in internship requirements and paperwork. 

Allowance/Housing: Monthly food subsistence payment, 12x20 cabin with gas stove and propane refrigerator/freezer, shower and internet access available in the Visitor Center after-hours. 

Time Commitment: Mid May through Labor Day. 

Send Application to: 

Alaska State Parks - Kodiak
1400 Abercrombie Dr.
Kodiak, AK 99615

        

phone: (907) 486-6339
fax: (907) 486-3320
email: kodiakstateparks@alaska.gov


NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (1 position)

 

Park/Area: KETCHIKAN AREA STATE PARKS - TOTEM BIGHT SHP, SETTLERS COVE SRS, REFUGE COVE SRS.
Southeast Alaska’s temperate rainforest is a unique part of Alaska. A group of 10,000 islands in the Alexander Archipelago snuggle up to a narrow strip of mainland on the west side of the Coast Mountains, also known as the “Inside Passage.” Ketchikan, an island community, has a population of 14,500. It is noted for its rich Alaska Native Culture and totem poles, extreme geography, diverse and lush vegetation, abundant land and marine wildlife, fishing, and of course lots of water! Other popular recreation activities include hiking, sea kayaking, sailing and scuba diving. The diversity of state parks in the Ketchikan area includes: a Native cultural/historic site, 2 recreation sites, and 2 remote marine parks, one with a public use cabin. The primary emphasis for the interpreter will be accomplished at Totem Bight State Historical Parks and Settlers Cove State Recreation Sites. 

Main Tasks: Arrange and organize for speakers, or present interpretive programs highlighting the historic and natural resource values of the area parks. Coordinate the junior park ranger program for youth ages 8-12. Conduct weekly guided tours of the historic park for all age groups. Develop interpretive and informational displays for bulletin boards. May assist in the visitor information center. 

Special Projects: Varied depending on skills and personal interests. 

Required Skills: Field experience in natural history interpretation or outdoor education; enthusiasm for the outdoors, good communication and public speaking skills. Must work independently. 

Desired Skills: Two years of undergraduate study in natural resources, environmental studies or interpretation. Computer skills beyond basic knowledge. 

Internship:Will assist volunteer in internship requirements but preference given for field experience. 

Allowance/Housing: Monthly food subsistence payment. Vehicle and housing needs are the responsibility of the volunteer. 

Time Commitment: As long as desired between May 15 - September 15. 

Send Application to: Ranger Mary Kowalczyk

Alaska State Parks - Southeast
9883 N. Tongass Hwy.
Ketchikan, AK 99901

           

phone: (907) 247-8574
fax: (907) 247-8573
email: mary.kowalczyk@alaska.gov


NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (Up to 5 positions)

 

Park/Area: CHUGACH STATE PARK - EAGLE RIVER NATURE CENTER
The half million acres that make up Chugach State Park are filled with rugged mountains, ice caps, and sweeping glaciers. Wildlife abounds, including brown and black bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, lynx, bald and golden eagles and all five species of salmon. Anchorage has grown up next door to this amazing wilderness and residents and visitors find a quick retreat in the park. 

Recreation includes hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing, rafting, mountain biking and horseback riding. With mountains rising almost 7,000 feet in elevation just above the Nature Center, it’s no wonder that Walter Mendenhall called the Eagle River Valley a “miniature Yosemite”. Yet, the Nature Center is just a short 45-minute drive from Anchorage. The Nature Center is the trailhead to 26 miles of the most scenic part of the Historic Iditarod/Crow Pass Trail. The trail system also includes a short ¾ mile interpretive trail (Rodak Nature Trail); a 3-mile loop trail that takes you to the shores of the glacially-fed Eagle River; and a backcountry trail that takes you above the valley to Dew Lake.

Friends of Eagle River Nature Center, Inc. assumed management of the Nature Center in 1996 from Chugach State Park. The organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to serving the community with educational and recreational programs, maintaining and improving the surrounding trails, protecting and restoring habitat, and providing visitors with information about the area and park.

The Friends of Eagle River Nature Center, Inc. raises funds through memberships, donations, parking fees, fundraisers, corporate contributions, grants, facility use fees, gift shop sales and group instruction. 

Main Tasks: Provide indoor information services (in person and over the phone); operate cash register for snack, gift and membership sales. Lead daily 1-hour guided nature walks. Light maintenance, including watering flowers, letter pickup, cleaning restrooms, emptying trash and vacuuming. 

Special Projects: May include developing formal interpretive displays or programs. Trail maintenance. 

Desired Skills: Ability to interact with people; flexibility; good communicator; organization; enthusiasm for the outdoors; willingness to “jump in” when needed;  self-motivated to learn as much about the area as possible with little supervision.

Internship: Dependant on intern's requirements and will be determined case-by-case. 

Allowance/Housing: Monthly subsistence payment; individual cabin (no electricity or water, gas stove for heat) One larger cabin with a wood stove is available for couples. Modern amenities inside the Nature Center include a private restroom with shower, small shared kitchen, and internet access. Use of a vehicle for trips to Eagle River for laundry and shopping.

Time Commitment: Minimum requirement - 60 days (May-September). Preference will be given for longer time commitments (April 15-September 30) and for people with a background in natural history interpretation or natural sciences

Note: Additional information about the Nature Center is located at www.ernc.org For specific questions contact Asta Spurgis, Director at info@ernc.org (please include "Volunteer Inquiry" in the subject). You may send applications up to one year in advance. We prefer to follow-up on preliminary applications by e-mail. 

Application requirements: Completed Alaska State Parks application; short cover letter explaining your motivation for pursuing a volunteer position at the Nature Center; and a resume limited to one page. Please do not send any additional information.

Send Application to: Laura Kruger, Manager

Eagle River Nature Center
32750 Eagle River Rd.
Eagle River, AK 99577

           

phone: (907) 694-2108
fax: (907) 694-2119
email: info@ernc.org

NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (5 positions)

Park/Area: INDEPENDENCE MINE STATE HISTORICAL PARK AND EAST HATCHER PASS MANAGEMENT AREA
The East Hatcher Pass Management Area is located within the Talkeetna mountain range approximately 60 miles north of Anchorage. The Hatcher Pass road is a high country route between the Matanuska and Susitna valleys that once served the historic Willow Creek Mining District. This is South Central Alaskan gold country with a number of historic mining sites scattered across the area. Nestled in an alpine bowl at 3,500 feet is the Independence Mine State Historical Park (IMSHP). This park includes remnants and partially restored structures from a lode gold mining operation dating back to the early 20th century. Visitors can enjoy a walking tour through some of the mining camp structures or enjoy a hike into the surrounding alpine environment.

Main Tasks: 

  • Providing roving interpretation including small group presentations, impromptu tours of mining complex, performing guided nature hikes, assisting with a Junior Ranger Program, gold panning demonstrations, and other related interpretive duties 

  • Park upkeep and maintenance, general cleaning, dusting, mopping, collection of litter, emptying of trash cans, servicing restrooms, and special projects like painting and minor repairs to historic structures and displays 

  • Fee collection and cash handling including operating a fee entrance station and helping to gain public compliance in collecting daily user fees in parking areas 

  • Serve as a point of contact for park guests, answering general questions, providing directions, and serving as a local area guide 


Required Skills: The ability to work effectively with a diverse staff and public to provide excellent customer service. The willingness to work as part of a team, be flexible, and self-motivated; the ability and desire to be a public speaker; the ability to walk and stand for an entire shift; An interest in history and/or mining; cash handling experience.

Desired Skills: Motivation to learn history and develop programming that coincides with the mission of Alaska State Parks. An inclination towards outdoor recreation including knowledge of hiking, climbing, biking, hunting, and fishing. An interest or background in the areas of natural science, ecology, biology, conservation, or related fields.

Internship: Will assist with the fulfillment of internship requirements and paperwork.

Allowance/Housing: Subsistence payment. Limited rustic housing may be available provided candidate meets certain requirements. Must be willing to live without full time modern conveniences like phone, internet, and electricity. Must be willing to share common kitchen and bathing facilities with other staff and volunteers. No pets permitted.

Time Commitment: Approximately May 15 -September 15

Position Contact: Ranger Mario Pagni

Alaska State Parks 
7278 East Bogard Road
Wasilla, AK  99654

        

phone: (907) 745-8936
fax: (907) 745-0938
email: mario.pagni@alaska.gov

NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (4 positions)

Park/Area: DENALI STATE PARK – ALASKA VETERANS MEMORIAL 
Located centrally along the Parks Highway, this popular site includes a small visitor center with interpretive displays and visitor information. The center is operated by a non-profit group that supports State Park programs. The site will serve visitors with information about the 325,000 plus acres of accessible wilderness in the park abounding with bears, moose, and other wildlife with magnificent views of Denali and the Alaska Range. The closest community is Trapper Creek, 32 miles south with a population of 400. 

Main Tasks: Staff visitor contact station for information and retail sales service. 

Special Projects: May provide interpretive talks/walks; assist the rangers in special projects. 

Required Skills: Sincere desire to provide all levels of visitors with a positive park experience. 

Desired Skills: Desire to work with the public and familiarity with cash register operations. 

Internship: Staff will support internship requirements and paperwork. 

Allowance/Housing: Subsistence payment provided with minimum 60 day commitment. Use of shared amenities at caretaker’s cabin that includes electric lights, shower, toilet and laundry facilities. RV preferred, park housing possible. 

Time Commitment: Late May - early September, preference to three month commitment or more. 

Send Application to: 

Ranger Chris Love 
Alaska State Parks 
7278 East Bogard Road
Wasilla, AK  99654

        

phone: (907) 355-7742 
fax: (907) 745-0938
email: chris.love@alaska.gov

NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (1-2 positions)

Park/Area: ALASKA PUBLIC LANDS INFORMATION CENTER (FAPLIC), in Fairbanks.
These inter agency centers are located at four locations throughout Alaska, providing one stop information sources for all public lands and facilities in the state. Located in the Morris Thompson Cultural & Visitor Center in Interior Alaska, our center offers self-guided trip planning stations, daily film showings and museum exhibits that interpret the natural, cultural and historical resources of Alaska’s public lands. The non-profit Alaska Geographic Association operates a bookstore in the center. Staff provides interpretive services. They also collect fees and sale material regarding all types of recreational activities including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, kayaking and canoeing. The intern/volunteer will be representing nine different federal and state agencies including Alaska State Parks and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the Alaska Division of Tourism, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Main Tasks: Volunteers/interns work together with staff providing trip planning assistance and interpretive materials to visitors primarily at an information desk and throughout the museum. Presentation of formal and informal interpretive and educational programs is strongly encouraged; training and support will be provided. 

Required Skills: Ability to work effectively with diverse staff and public; excellent verbal, organizational, and communication skills; interest in natural/cultural resource related subjects; knowledge of Alaskan themes and issues, and ability to work independently and under pressure. 

Internship: Will assist volunteer with internship requirements and paperwork. 

Allowance/Housing: Housing is NOT provided. 

Time Commitment: Twelve weeks minimum: June 1-August 31; preference given to longer commitments, mid-May through mid-September. 

Note: Transportation around Fairbanks will be limited; a personal vehicle is recommended. 

Applications accepted only after October 1st. 

Send Application to: Adia Cotter, Lead Park Ranger

Alaska Public Lands Information Center
101 Dunkel St. #110
Fairbanks, AK 99701

           

phone: (907) 459-3730
fax: (907) 459-3729
email: Adia_Cotter@nps.gov

NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER (1-2 positions)

Park/Area: ALASKA PUBLIC LANDS INFORMATION CENTER (APLIC), in Anchorage.
These inter-agency centers are located at four locations throughout Alaska, providing one-stop information sources for all public lands and facilities in the state. The staff provides interpretive services. They also collect fees and sale material regarding all types of recreational activities including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, kayaking and canoeing. The intern/volunteer will be representing nine different federal and state agencies including Alaska State Parks and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the Alaska Division of Commerce, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. In the Anchorage center, we offer a full range of interpretive materials, free video programs, exhibits depicting the rich natural and cultural heritage of the 49th state, and a wide variety of books and maps sold by our branch of the non-profit Alaska Geographic Organization. Staff is carefully trained to provide interpretive messages representing all the agencies and resource issues currently of interest throughout the state. 

Main Tasks: Volunteers/interns work together with staff providing trip-planning assistance and interpretive materials to visitors, collecting fees for reservations and use of public facilities, and handling cash register transactions for cooperating association sales items. They may also be asked to develop and present informal interpretive programs. 

Required Skills: Applicants need excellent interpersonal skills and experience, the ability to work effectively with other interpreters and volunteers from a broad range of backgrounds, and the ability to remain calm under pressure. This center is in an urban setting where visitation is heavy during the summer season. Good organizational skills and the ability to work independently without a lot of direct supervision are also needed. 

Internship: Will assist volunteer with internship requirements and paperwork. 

Allowance/Housing: None provided. Must have own personal vehicle or arrange for transportation to and from the center.

Time Commitment: 12 weeks minimum preferred, at least June 1 - August 31. As long as May 15th to September 15th. 

Send Application to: Chris Smith, Lead Park Ranger

Alaska Public Lands Information Center
605 W. 4th Avenue, #105
Anchorage, AK 99501

           

phone: (907) 644-3670
fax: (907) 271-2744
email: chris_smith@nps.gov

NATURAL HISTORY INTERPRETER - NATURALIST FOR SCHOOL PROGRAMS (1 positions)

Park/Area: CHUGACH STATE PARK - EAGLE RIVER NATURE CENTER
The half million acres that make up Chugach State Park are filled with rugged mountains, ice caps, and sweeping glaciers. Wildlife abounds, including brown and black bears, Dall sheep, moose, wolves, lynx, bald and golden eagles and all five species of salmon. Anchorage has grown up next door to this amazing wilderness and residents and visitors find a quick retreat in the park. Recreation includes hiking, climbing, wildlife viewing, rafting, mountain biking and horseback riding. With mountains rising almost 7,000 feet in elevation just above the Nature Center, it’s no wonder that Walter Mendenhall called the Eagle River Valley a “miniature Yosemite”. Yet, the Nature Center is just a short 45 minute drive from Anchorage. 

The Nature Center is the trailhead to 26 miles of the most scenic part of the Historic Iditarod/Crow Pass Trail. The trail system also includes a short ¾ mile interpretive trail (Rodak Nature Trail); a 3 mile loop trail that takes you to the shores of the glacially-fed Eagle River; and a backcountry trail that takes you above the valley to Dew Lake. 

Friends of Eagle River Nature Center, Inc. assumed management of the Nature Center in 1996 from Chugach State Park.  The organization is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to serving the community with educational and recreational programs, maintaining and improving the surrounding trails, protecting and restoring habitat, and providing visitors with information about the area and park.  The Friends of Eagle River Nature Center, Inc. raises funds through memberships, donations, parking fees, fund-raisers, corporate contributions, grants, facility use fees, gift shop sales and group instruction. 

Main Tasks: Leading and/or assisting staff naturalists with interpretive programs for K-12 school children. Curricula and training will be provided by staff naturalists, but the candidate must have a degree in the natural sciences and some teaching experience. Besides leading programs (topics range from animal tracking to forest ecology) the position requires assisting with organizing handouts and materials and setting up the both before and after a program. 

Desired Skills: Degree in the natural sciences (botany, biology, ecology, etymology, zoology, geology) and some experience working with children. College students completing their degrees will also be considered (internships). 

Allowance/Housing: Weekly subsistence payment (dependant on experience). Housing inside Nature Center or two-room cabin with a wood stove, but no electricity. Access to all modern amenities inside the nature center, including bathroom with shower, shared kitchen, and internet access. Vehicle will be available for occasional use. 

Time commitment: April 1 through early June. 

Send Application to: Asta Spurgis, Director

Eagle River Nature Center
32750 Eagle River Rd
Eagle River, AK 99577

   

phone: (907) 694-2108
fax: (907) 694-2119
email: info@ernc.org
Web address: www.ernc.org