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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, June 26, 2017, 6:00pm


Rockford, IL
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



Forest Preserve of Winnebago County

Job Description:

Job Title:

Naturalist/Educator- Severson Dells Nature Center                                 

Reports to:

Director of Nature Education and Research

Salary: $18.75+, depending on education and experience


This position will support and carry out the missions of Severson Dells Nature Center and the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.  This is accomplished primarily by providing a quality educational experience for students and the general public when they are visiting the nature center or participating in off-site presentations.  The position is responsible for setting up and managing citizen science projects within the Northern Illinois region and for planning and implementing environmental education programs. This position helps ensure that each individual involved receives basic knowledge and appreciation of our natural world.


  • Develops, prepares, presents, and evaluates research and survey projects as they pertain to our mission. Research is accomplished at Severson Dells by developing university and agency partnerships as well as conducting independent researching and analyzing citizen science datasets.
  • Integrates methods and results of environmental monitoring projects into curriculum for youth and adults.
  • Develops and manages citizen science programming including training, ensuring data quality, data management and dissemination
  • Collaborates in developing, implementing, delivering and evaluating nature activities to be used with guided school groups, in-school settings, scout groups, summer programs, and the general public.
  • Collaborates in outreach programming through marketing and public relations with new target audiences.
  • Collects program fees for guided outdoor education programs and for in-school programs.
  • Helps keep program and activity materials ready to use and in good working order.
  • Helps with set-up and clean up of school educational programs.
  • Assists Director of Nature Education in providing donor cultivation events.
  • Participates in special events as assigned by Director of Nature Education.
  • Assists in providing accurate natural history information for visitors and people who inquire by other means.
  • Assists with planning and carrying out volunteer appreciation activities.
  • Assists other staff members as needed
  • Understands and adheres to all risk management and safety programs and procedures.
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Demonstrated ability to coordinate, develop, and conduct nature programs; previous program teaching experience required. 
  • Knowledge of northern Illinois species and ability to utilize field identification procedures for plants, flowers, birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and other natural resources. 
  • Ability to lead and instruct programs for physical outdoor recreational activities, such as, but not limited to hiking and canoeing, is preferred. 
  • Motivation as a self-starter, able to demonstrate a superior work ethic and have the ability to multi-task, be detail oriented, plan efficiently, and to represent the Nature Center and the District Preserves enthusiastically. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills; effectiveness as a strong team player and public speaker; professionalism, leadership skills, tact and sensitivity with the public, students, staff, and volunteers. 
  • Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with volunteers, fellow employees, various organizations, and the general public, especially children. 
  • Must have flexible schedule with the ability to work evenings, limited holidays and weekends, as required, and the ability to travel, including some overnight travel. 
  • Must successfully obtain and maintain CPR and basic first aid certification.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license.


Bachelor’s degree with major in Life/Environmental Sciences or related field required.  Combination of experience and education must relate directly to program responsibilities, with an emphasis on environmental education and citizen science.  At least two years experience working with school age children in an outdoor setting is required.  One-year experience scheduling, planning and supervising nature programs and activities is desirable.


Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.  Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from staff, volunteers, children, and the general public.


Ability to accurately perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division computations involving rational numbers is necessary.  Must also be able to interpret and produce line graphs, bar graphs and pie charts.  Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and Google Docs is essential. Knowledge of the Squarespace website platform and working knowledge of social media is desirable.


This position requires the ability to stand, walk, stoop over, kneel, crawl, reach and lie on ground.  Must be able to walk up to three miles on uneven or varied terrain.  Frequently must lift objects up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move objects up to 50 pounds. 


Normal office environment, as well as frequent work in the field.  Outside work during wet, cold, windy, dusty or hot weather conditions is often necessary.  Walking over uneven ground through woods and climbing stairs.  Travel to schools by private vehicle frequently required (mileage reimbursed at the federally negotiated rate).


How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resume to by Monday, June 26th at 5pm

For questions about the position, please contact Ann Wasser at 815-335-2915 or

Compensation Information:


$16.00/hour and up, based on experience and qualifications