Naturalist Internship

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

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 over 40 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
  • 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:

  1. RELC/K-12 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 Camps
      1. Assist with overnight summer camps
      2. Assist in driving participants from different programs to locations and teaching/leading classes
      3. Participate in overnight/on-call duty


  1. 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.

  1. 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;
  2. Maintain logs for adventure courses, keep log books stocked with extra forms of all necessary types;
  3. Keep high ropes shed and climbing wall area organized and switch out equipment as needed;
  4. Perform bimonthly inspections of all first aid kits on site (K-12 kits, buildings, & vans)
  5. Assist with weekend college adventure programs including backpacking, wilderness navigation, winter skills, canoeing, and outdoor sampler;
  6. 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;
  7. Help plan and lead summer camp programs


  1. Wildlife Care 10%
    1. Perform daily barn chores as assigned
    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


  1. Groups & Conferences 10%
    1. Facilitate/lead programming for participants when needed including family programs, Road Scholar, community colleges, and others
    2. 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: