Preserve Steward & Naturalist

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Deadline to Apply:

Thursday, April 21, 2022, 11:45pm


New Fairfield, CT
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:



About Great Hollow

Great Hollow is a non-profit environmental education and research center that was founded in 2016 in New Fairfield, Connecticut, a little more than an hour north of New York City. Great Hollow is dedicated to biodiversity conservation, applied ecological research, experiential environmental education, and the promotion of passive outdoor recreation. Our scientists conduct integrative, conservation-driven studies of wildlife and plants within and beyond the preserve. Active areas of research include the effects of invasive plants on wildlife and habitat quality, the effects of light pollution on bats, the spatial ecology of wood turtles, and the effects of mercury pollution on migratory songbirds. Great Hollow also runs numerous education programs for both children and adults throughout the year, including school programs and a nature-based summer day camp. The preserve consists of 825 acres of forest, wetlands, and freshwater streams, a 4-mile trail network, and historic houses and barns that provide seasonal staff housing, offices, a lab, and program rooms. The trails and grounds are open to the public year-round.

Position Description

The Preserve Steward & Naturalist position is multifaceted and has a wide range of responsibilities that require intimate knowledge of local natural history along with facility maintenance and groundskeeping abilities. The person in this position plays a critical role in the day-to-day operation of Great Hollow and works closely with Great Hollow’s executive director and education coordinator. 

In their role as a naturalist, the selected applicant will contribute to Great Hollow’s education, outreach, and research initiatives by (1) cultivating and maintaining relationships with local conservation groups, land trusts, regulatory agencies, schools, community organizations and the general public; (2) developing and leading outreach programs; (3) helping to organize large community events; (4) providing support to children’s environmental education programs and camps; and (5) assisting with field research. 

Concomitantly, as Great Hollow’s steward, s/he will be directly responsible for (1) the maintenance of Great Hollow’s facilities, which include historic houses and barns; (2) groundskeeping of Great Hollow’s campus; (3) maintenance of a 4-mile trail network; (4) helping to care for Great Hollow’s collection of non-releasable birds of prey; and (5) management of habitat in support of native plants and wildlife. Weekend work is often required in order to lead or support programs and events, accommodate renters of Great Hollow’s property for private functions, respond to urgent matters (e.g., storms, power outages), care for education animals, and other reasons. 

Responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Develop and lead engaging outreach programs and interpretive hikes focused on Northeastern natural history.
  • Steward cooperative relationships with diverse groups, including schools, land trusts, community organizations (e.g., Scouts), local businesses, adjacent landowners, conservation NGOs, government agencies, colleges and universities, and the general public to promote and further Great Hollow’s education, outreach, land management, and research initiatives.
  • Assist Great Hollow scientists with field research and biodiversity inventorying and monitoring.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for habitat enhancement around the preserve, including but not limited to invasive plant management.
  • Provide written and photographic content for Great Hollow’s website, social media outlets, annual reports, and other outreach and marketing materials.
  • Maintain Great Hollow’s hiking trails, including removal of fallen trees and other debris, mowing and weed whacking, replacement of trail markers and other signage, temporary closure of trail sections due to flooding or unsafe conditions, etc.
  • Manicure and maintain Great Hollow’s campus, including lawnmowing, weed whacking, weeding of flower beds and pollinator garden, snow and leaf removal, litter removal, etc.
  • Maintain facilities, including basic repairs, heating and cooling system maintenance, gutter cleanouts, winterization of seasonal housing, and light janitorial work (e.g., trash/recycling management; upkeep of restrooms, main work areas, and program rooms).
  • Maintain power equipment including but not limited to lawnmowers, Kubota UTV, portable generator, chainsaw, weedwhacker, etc.
  • Set up and break down tables and chairs for private rentals of Great Hollow for weddings, birthday parties, and similar functions.
  • Help care for Great Hollow’s non-releasable birds of prey, including management of food supplies, feeding, and cleaning and maintenance of enclosures.


  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, conservation biology, environmental education, or a similar field preferred, but not required.
  • A minimum of two years of professional experience in land stewardship, nature interpretation, environmental education/outreach, field biology, nature center work, or a combination thereof. 
  • Intimate knowledge of northeastern U.S. natural history, including ecosystems and biological communities. Strong plant and animal identification skills required.
  • Familiarity with basic field biology methods (e.g., vegetation surveys, bird surveys, radiotelemetry) and current principles of wildlife and habitat management.
  • Outgoing and engaging personality, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to deliver inspirational interpretive programming to all ages.
  • Experience working with partners such as local NGOs, land trusts, schools, community organizations, and local and state government agencies.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, punctuality, and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong self-direction and successful experience meeting goals with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Ability to communicate well with diverse audiences, verbally and in writing. English fluency required.
  • Proficiency with common software such as Microsoft Word and Excel, web browsers, social media applications, etc. 
  • Experience with groundskeeping, property maintenance, and building maintenance and light repair work.
  • Ability to maintain and safely operate power equipment such as a zero-turn lawnmower, UTV, gas-powered chainsaw, gas-powered leaf blower, and gas-powered weedwhacker.
  • Ability to work under variable and inclement weather conditions, on challenging terrain, under physically demanding circumstances, climb ladders, and lift heavy objects. 
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Current CPR-First Aid certification or willingness to obtain.
  • U.S. citizenship or current authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Ability to start no later than May 15, 2022.

How to Apply:

As a single PDF, please email (1) a cover letter that summarizes your most relevant experience with outreach, land stewardship, and facilities maintenance, (2) a resume/CV, and (3) contact information for at least two relevant references to Chad Seewagen at Please put “NATURALIST/STEWARD_[last name]” in the subject line. We are looking to fill this position immediately, so applications will be reviewed as they are received. The last date to apply is April 21, 2022.

Job Compensation:


Compensation Information:

The Preserve Steward & Naturalist will receive a competitive compensation package that includes a starting salary of $45,000 – $50,000 (DOE), an annual performance-based bonus, 10 paid vacation days per year, health insurance, and a 401k retirement plan with an employer match of up to $2,500 per year.