Department of Environmental Conservation

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Environmental Education Intern Program

Application Deadlines for each Internship Season are in the application forms or links at the bottom of this web page. Deadlines and applications differ by each center.

DEC's environmental education centers (Five Rivers, Reinstein Woods, run by DEC staff, and Rogers, Stony Kill Farm run by Friends groups, links leave DEC website) offer internships to persons seeking professional experience in the field of environmental education. Each intern will receive training in the mission and role of the DEC environmental education bureau, a wide variety of center programs, the operations and activities of a center, principles of environmental interpretation and natural history of New York. Interns will assume the role of environmental education staff in carrying out the responsibilities necessary to meet the center's objectives. Opportunities for training and development of specific skills will be available depending on each intern's interests and the center's needs.

The internships run for 10 to 16+ weeks (depending on the center) and are held year-round.

COVID-19 Considerations

All four centers take our responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 very seriously. During the pandemic, all staff and volunteers are required to complete a daily health screening and abide by mask wearing and social distancing guidelines. Any in-person programming conducted at a center during the pandemic has been modified in accordance with guidelines set by New York State and the CDC to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Qualifications

Anyone with a minimum of two years of college-level study or equivalent experience and able to work in the United States may apply. Academic training in environmental education, natural resources, natural sciences (biology, geology, etc.), environmental science, interpretation, education, outdoor recreation or a related field is advantageous. Preference will be given to candidates with a strong natural history background, experience with teaching or youth leadership, and a demonstrated interest in environmental education. We expect interns to have a professional attitude and exemplify the standards of the NYSDEC. Valid driver's license required.

Intern Responsibilities

(may include the following)

Educational Activities:

  • Complete intern training: orientation to job and NYSDEC, environmental education philosophy and techniques, environmental education literature, customer service, safety and emergency procedures
  • Plan and lead a variety of environmental activities for a wide variety of audiences including: pre-school, elementary school, middle school, high school, youth groups, special needs groups, general public
  • Design, prepare, conduct and evaluate an original environmental education presentation
  • Interact with the public during weekend and weekday visitor center receptionist duty
  • Write newsletter or newspaper articles on natural history or environmental topics
  • Attend educator training workshops and assist staff in conducting workshops; including Project Learning Tree, Project WILD and Project WET
  • Attend staff nature study training sessions
  • Complete a project (to be arranged with the intern's supervisor). Examples of past projects:
    • Plan and present a walk or program on a particular topic
    • Create a theme slide show
    • Design and construct an exhibit
    • Develop new lesson plans and teaching activity materials
    • Write a seasonal trail guide

Administrative Duties:

  • Complete a visual impressions report of grounds, trails, and exhibits
  • Interview each staff member for practice in interviewing and to learn about each staff member's job
  • Assist staff in planning seasonal general public programs
  • Attend a meeting of the center's not-for-profit support organization
  • Care for live animals
  • Visit other environmental education centers
  • Check trails and exhibits, update program announcements
  • Survey nest box use
  • Participate in citizen science projects
  • Perform other duties as assigned by environmental education center staff
  • Complete an evaluation of the Environmental Education Intern Program

Work & Living Arrangements

Normal work days are 8:30 AM to 4:45 PM Monday through Friday, although schedule is subject to change. Some weekend and evening work is required with compensatory time off.

Depending on availability, each center may provide housing, with a fully-equipped kitchen, furnished living room, and private bedroom. Check with each center individually for exact living arrangements and exact amount of the weekly pay.

For Additional Information and to Apply

To apply to Reinstein Woods: download the Reinstein Woods EE Intern application (PDF) and return it by mail or email to the address listed in the application.

To apply to Five Rivers: download the Five Rivers EE Intern application (PDF) and return it by mail or email to the address listed in the application.

To apply to Friends of Rogers: download the Friends of Rogers application (leaves DEC website) and return to the address listed in the application.

To apply to Stony Kill Foundation: please follow the application instructions at Work Opportunities on the Stony Kill Foundation site (leaves DEC website).

Environmental Education Intern Program is supported by the Environmental Protection Fund administered by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.


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