School Year Teaching Counselor Naturalist

University of Wisconsin-Extension Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center
Jobs - Part Time & Seasonal
Wisconsin Dells, WI

Position Description: School Year Teaching Counselor Naturalist


Cooperative Extension Vision: Wisconsin’s educational network for engaging people and their communities in positive change.

Cooperative Extension Mission: Through the University of Wisconsin-Extension, all Wisconsin people can access university resources and engage in lifelong learning, wherever they live and work.

Primary Position Location: University of Wisconsin-Extension Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI

Type of Appointment: This is an ad hoc appointment in the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s division of Cooperative Extension. Ad hoc appointments are typically made on a part-time or temporary basis to provide essential program or unit coverage on a short-term basis which means that ad hoc appointments are not eligible for benefits through the Wisconsin Retirement System.


Purpose and Primary Focus of Position: The Upham Woods School Year Teaching Counselors are the primary programmatic personnel for Upham Woods. In that regard this position is responsible for teaching the classes, leading the programmatic activities, interacting with center clientele, corresponding with schools before and after a group visit, assisting with program development, and care for programmatic equipment which includes the science center animals. Additionally the teaching naturalists may sometimes be called upon to lead offsite educational school outreach presentations. All of the above is to be done with a focus on customer service and effective educational methods in a safe environment.

Primary Duties/Essential Job Functions:

  • Prepare for and teach the Upham Woods classes using effective educational methods, center class guidelines and overall format. Make adjustments to class content, length, focus, etc. as needed based upon audience, clientele needs, environmental concerns, etc.
  • Participate in professional development sessions with a focus on educational pedagogy and effective experiential education methods
  • Facilitate an overall positive clientele experience. This includes but is not limited to: dissemination of pertinent information to all necessary coworkers, coordination with group during their stay, and proper filing of pertinent paperwork at the conclusion of group stay
  • Lifeguard barge crossings to Blackhawk Island, canoeing, and Voyageur Canoe History Lesson
  • Provide leadership to onsite programs. This includes but is not limited to: prior to arrival, timely preparation and distribution of schedules and other paperwork duties as instructed, dissemination of pertinent information to all necessary coworkers, preparation of equipment, route research, coordination of their schedule during their stay, assistance in the leadership of the program and proper filing of pertinent paperwork at the conclusion of their stay
  • Provide care and food for the science center animals
  • Provide a program and/or facility development function as time allows
  • Maintain equipment and projects associated with digital technologies.
  • Manage digital resources
  • Support scholarly and research based writing efforts
  • Organize and report data and observations of past programming
  • Provide assistance to the other departments for the safe and effective operation of the center
  • Provide emergency support to groups while onsite, as needed
  • Responsibility for a programmatic or facility specialization area. Specialization areas include but are not limited to: program animals, challenge course, technology, marketing and social media, and facility improvement

Administrative Relationships: This position is directly accountable to the Program Director and jointly supervised by the Program Director and Facility and Operations Director on all work matters.

Program Relationships: This position primarily works with 4-H youth and youth leaders, youth and youth leaders of our school year, scout, and retreat group programs. This position cooperates with and communicates to all other Upham personnel. As such, a positive working relationship with others is a condition of this position.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ability to work in a team setting with enthusiasm and creativity
  • Ability to be a positive member of our team environment
  • The desire to teach environmental education to Upham user groups
  • Ability to hike at least three miles on uneven terrain in a wide variety of temperatures and environmental conditions
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds
  • Ability to carry out duties of the position while abiding by the naturalist position expectations
  • Ability to effectively communicate environmental concepts to youth and youth leaders
  • Familiarity with outdoor adventure pursuits and their associated equipment, such as hiking, camping, canoeing, etc.
  • CPR and First Aid certification
  • Ability to work independently
  • A general understanding of the field of environmental education, natural resources, education and youth development
  • Experience working with youth in an educational setting
  • Ability to work flexible hours any day of the week including some evening hours
  • Applicant must be able to pass a standard criminal background check
  • Understanding of computers and commonly used programs such as Word and internet searching

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in education, natural science, biology, environmental education or a related field
  • Lifeguard certification
  • Advanced First Aid and CPR certifications
  • Wisconsin Teacher Certification
  • Professional certifications in any of the activities which we commonly offer, such as archery, ropes challenge course, canoe, etc.
  • A clean driving record
  • Knowledge and ability to handle birds of prey in a presentation setting
  • Ability to teach environmental issues with a positive and open approach
  • Ability to handle reptiles and amphibians in a presentation setting
  • Ability to take responsibility for one of the specialization areas. Specialization areas include but are not limited to: program animals, challenge course, technology, marketing and social media, and facility improvement

For More information about Upham Woods go to:

How to Apply:

Please email cover letter, resume, and three references to Max Myers, Program Director, Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center.

Equal Opportunity: As an affirmative action employer, UW-Extension provides equal opportunity in programs and employment. UW-Extension does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, creed, color, disability, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, marital status, arrest record or non-program related conviction record. Employment is contingent upon establishment of identity and verification of employment eligibility as required by the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986.