Naturalist Internship

Audubon Center of the North Woods
Internships - Paid
Sandstone, MN

Naturalist Internship (Multiple Positions)


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 trip and student travel destination. In addition to our on-site programs and camps, ACNW provides outreach programs throughout the region. Our 640 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 nearly 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
  • 21 years of age or older
  • Interest or experience in working with children
  • 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
  • Ability to have, and share, a positive mental attitude about being outdoors in all Minnesota seasons
  • Willing to facilitate and participate in our climbing wall and high ropes course

Intern Duties include:

  1. K-12, Summer, Family & Public Programming 70%
    1. Facilitate classes to K-12 audiences
    2. Serve as a liaison for these K-12 school groups
    3. Develop curriculum for outdoor environmental education
    4. Summer Youth Camps
      1. Co-develop and lead summer camps
      2. Assist in driving participants from different programs to locations
      3. Participate in overnight/on-call duty
    5. Winter Family Camp and Public Programs
      1. Assist with coordinating and teaching programs for the annual Winter Family Weekend
      2. Assist in driving participants from different programs to locations
      3. Co-coordinate activities and teach at the annual Maple Syrup Day
  2. Focus Area 10%

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 programming and wildlife care.

  1. Program Management Interns have the opportunity to learn more about the administration of non-profit education and will participate in scheduling, program development, curricular evaluation and development, and other assigned tasks.
  2. Adventure Coordinating Interns have the opportunity to take the lead in our adventure courses and classes, including advanced work with community colleges in our Wilderness Navigation and Outdoor Sampler courses. These interns will also learn about and be responsible for routine maintenance of our high ropes course, climbing wall, and other adventure gear.
  3. Animal Training and Husbandry (“Wildlife”) Interns take on special duties in the care of our educational birds and mammals. These interns have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in caring for non-releasable raptors, corvids, and a porcupine, as well as learn operant conditioning and use animal educators in large-group programs. 
  4. Wildlife Care 10%
    1. Perform daily barn chores as assigned (~1/week)
    2. Report to Wildlife Apprentice on status of supplies and food
    3. Report health concerns for animals to Wildlife Coordinator
    4. Complete rotating chores of 20% water change on aquariums, cleaning refrigerator, and cutting grass around barn
  5. Groups & Conferences 10%
    1. Facilitate/lead programming for participants when needed.
    2. Serve as liaison for these groups


  • Broad natural history and naturalist interpretation training
  • Teaching experience with 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 free meals when groups are present
    • The staff house is a private building on the Center’s grounds, with a full kitchen, laundry, fireplace, TV, common areas, and beach access.
  • Eight days off each month, plus two paid weeks off (one in December and one as scheduling allows)
  • Optional paid graduate credits from Hamline University to fulfill the 10-credit Master’s-level Certificate in Environmental Education
    • Classes Include:
      • Advanced Interpretation
      • Reading the Landscape
      • Winter Ecology
      • Minnesota Forests
      • Spring Flora
      • Food and Energy Sustainability

Position Dates:

This internship begins June 16th, 2018, and runs through June 14th, 2019.



Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.


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: