Naturalist / Program Coordinator

River Bend Nature Center
Jobs - Full Time
Faribault, MN

Job Description

Title: Naturalist / Program Coordinator

 (Full-Time, Regular, Non-Exempt)


Reports to: Executive Director


Qualifications / Education / Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in environmental education/science, outdoor education/recreation, natural history/interpretation, natural sciences or related field.  Candidates with comparable combinations of education and experience may be considered.
  • Experience developing, coordinating, and delivering environmental education or outdoor recreation programs, camps, and special events in one or more of the following areas: natural/cultural history, environmental education, or outdoor recreation/adventure for all ages and diverse backgrounds.
  • Class D Driver’s license with violation free driving record.
  • Ability to pass a background check.
  • Means of self-transportation during work hours as needed.  Proof of meeting Minnesota requirements regarding auto registration and liability insurance.
  • First aid / CPR / AED certification a plus.
  • Experience rock climbing, canoeing/kayaking, archery or other outdoor activities a plus.
  • Experience handling, caring for, and presenting programs with live animals a plus.


Knowledge / Skills / Abilities

  • Ability to
    • identify, learn and share natural and cultural history of the area,
    • effectively communicate, orally and in writing, with groups and individuals in formal and non-formal settings,
    • work indoors and outdoors in a variety of temperature extremes and weather conditions and withstand the physical demands of the work which involves some lifting, carrying, stooping, bending, reaching, walking, standing, sitting and computer use,
    • identify, analyze, and solve problems,
    • plan for safety and follow risk management principles,
    • achieve work objectives using good time management,
    • drive a 15-passenger van, hook up and move trailers, transport equipment,
    • read, write, and communicate in English,
    • work nonstandard hours and overtime when the need arises, and
    • show energy and passion for the River Bend Nature Center mission.
  • Enthusiasm for learning and working with children.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills with ability to take initiative to shape daily priorities and coordinate long-term projects and meet deadlines working as a team with staff and volunteers.
  • Proficiency with computer and online applications (Windows, Google, Office) and social media (Facebook, Twitter) and ability to learn/use other applications (constituent/program management software).
  • Spanish, Somali, or American Sign Language experience or fluency a plus.


Essential Duties

  1. Programs
  • Plan, implement, and evaluate creative and enriching environmental education / outdoor recreation programs for all ages, abilities and backgrounds which meet current science / academic standards and/or achieve organizational goals and objectives.  Some of these include: on- and off-site pre-K-6 grade school programs, homeschool, camps, after school programs, scouts, outreach, public programs, and special events.
  • Coordinate activities and programs in specific focus areas which could include: school programs, county-wide waste education, marketing and outreach, volunteer coordination, event planning, and/or animal care.
  • Design interpretive and promotional displays and exhibits.
  • Implement fiscally responsible use of resources within program budget and report on metrics of activities.
  • Establish and evaluate long-term goals and objectives for programs and plans using data from research, evidence-based best practice, and stakeholder input.   


  1. Relationships
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with staff, volunteers, community, Board of Directors / Board committees, the public and other organizations and entities.
  • Implement strategies to attract, recruit, train and motivate volunteers matching volunteer skills and interests to opportunities.
  • Assist with volunteer retention and recognition activities; provide training to volunteers
  • Field questions from and cultivate interest in River Bend Nature Center from Interpretive Center visitors and trail users.


  1. Communications / Marketing
  • Develop ongoing relationships and nurture potential collaborations with diverse stakeholders and plan strategies to promote River Bend Nature Center to targeted audiences.
  • Represent and promote River Bend Nature Center in a professional, responsible manner in a variety of public forums (e.g. newsletter articles, press releases, interviews, public speaking and communicating face to face, on the website and on social media)
  • Handle visitor and public input courteously and responsively with respect for differing opinions and maintain positive relationships across sectors.


  1. Other
  • Assist with grant and revenue development, program agreements, and organizational planning.
  • Maintain accurate records and data collection to facilitate evaluation, ongoing quality improvement, and inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Exhibit professionalism and commitment to the River Bend Nature Center mission, guiding principles and policies.
  • Work as a team to integrate organizational operation objectives and actions.
  • Positive, optimistic attitude and willingness to be flexible and work flexible hours including some evenings and weekends.
  • Ensure health maintenance, wellness, and enrichment of live animals and coordinate their care and involvement with programming. 
  • Keep public and work spaces neat and orderly.
  • Carry out other duties as directed.


How to Apply

To apply, please send cover letter and resume by Monday, February 25, 2019 to:


Breanna Wheeler, Executive Director

River Bend Nature Center

PO Box 186

Faribault, MN 55021


or email


River Bend Nature Center was established in 1978 in Faribault, Minnesota and is a non-profit nature center located on 743 acres which includes maple basswood forests, restored prairies, wetlands and the Straight River. The mission of River Bend Nature Center is to help people discover, enjoy, understand, and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us. Through contact with River Bend Nature Center, we envision that people will develop understanding of natural systems and our connections within them and be inspired to conserve and be stewards of the natural world. River Bend Nature Center provides environmental education, conservation and recreational programs, events, and activities for area schools and the public. Visit year-round to explore ten miles of multi-use trails and an interpretive center open to the public with no entrance fees. Become a member, donate, or learn more at