This internship offers broad experience in the field on nature center environmental education and program operations. The Education Intern implements a wide variety of interpretive and environmental education programs, with opportunities to plan and develop programs; and, gain experience and leadership in program planning and operations. A strong interest in contributing your talent and knowledge to Fontenelle Forest and in personal and professional growth and learning, including self-assessment and receiving performance feedback is required. The right intern will also demonstrate emotional intelligence, cultural competence, and an effective ability to work with students from backgrounds and cultures that are underrepresented in conservation and environmental fields. This position reports to the Director of Education or his/her appointee.
- Conduct environmental education programs for students of all ages, including on-site field trips, after-school programs, off-site outreach, scout activities, camps, outdoor recreation experience, public programs and interpretive hikes, and birthday parties
- Create a safe learning environment for youth and adults with positive reinforcement, role-modeling, and cultural sensitivity
- Lead classes effectively while meeting program learning objectives and itinerary requirements
- Manage program logistics, maintain equipment and supplies, plan and deliver curriculum
- Provide leadership in risk management before, during, and after programs insuring the safety of sites, activities, and participants; report any injurie and/or safety concerns
- Assis with recruitment, training, supervision, and mentorship of other youth interns and volunteers of all ages
- Provide good customer service to Fontenelle Forests visitors and promote our mission
- Maintain cleanliness, safety, and organization of program and oﬃce spaces
- Handle and teach with select animals (including but not limited to snakes (non-poisonous), turtles, rabbits, and ferrets) in accordance with Fontenelle Forest procedures and ethics
- Effectively communication, coordinate, and build respectful relationships with all members of the Fontenelle Forest team to ensure overall success of Fontenelle Forest programming
- Work in all weather conditions with a positive attitude
- Attend required training, staff meetings, and events
- Work in collaboration with other departments and contribute to the development of a comprehensive interpretive plan
- Work with general public to answer nature-related questions
- Represent the organization in public forums by writing articles/papers and/or conducting presentations
- Assist with the coordination of staﬃng and scheduling of on-site educational programming
- Other duties as assigned
- Knowledge of basic scientific principles and how to teach them
- Enthusiasm for learning and teaching about the natural world
- Experience and passion for teaching and leading young children and teens
- Commitment to equity and promoting diversity and inclusion
- Ability to work ﬂexible hours including evenings, weekends, and overnight camping
- Strong written and verbal communication skills, including ability to effectively communicate with diverse audiences, public speaking skills, and to communicate with enthusiasm
- Ability to drive Fontenelle Forest and personal vehicles to off-site programs
- Experience and proficiency using computers
- Demonstrated ability to positively engage with other staff and visitors from diverse backgrounds
- Ability to work as a member of a team and to build strong working relationships with supervisor and co-workers
- Valid driver’s license
- Ability to pass a criminal background check
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree (any field) or 2 years experience in environmental education, interpretation, recreation, natural science/resources, education or related field is desirable. Previous experience working with youth is a plus.
- Knowledge of Nebraska’s natural history or similar ecosystems and ability to learn quickly
- Ability to work outside in all weather conditions, walk long distances on uneven ground and lift at least 50 pounds
- Ability to work in an environment which includes exposure to environmental allergens including but not limited to dust, mold, pollen, live birds, insects, and other animals
Bellevue is located just 10 minutes from the Old Market in Omaha, NE. It is a hub for entertainment of all kinds and the center of major events like the College World Series, outdoor summer arts and music festivals, and the Henry Doorly Zoo and the botanic gardens.
Founded in 1913, Fontenelle Nature Association is one the Nebraska’s oldest conservation organizations and one of the largest private nature centers in the nation. FF owns and manages two nature centers, Fontenelle Forest Nature Center and Neale Woods Nature Center; both are located within the greater metropolitan area of Omaha, Nebraska.
• Conservation: Fontenelle Forest maintains a comprehensive land management policy, directed by a fulltime ranger staff. Conservation initiatives and activities include oak savanna, American elm, and prairie restoration; erosion control; wildlife management; trail maintenance; and invasive species control. Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery rehabilitates and releases wild migratory birds of prey throughout Nebraska and in Western Iowa. Fontenelle Forest is also home to Raptor Woodland Refuge, Nebraska’s only exhibit of non-releasable birds of prey.
• Preservation: Notable historic sites that are located within FF properties include over 70 Nebraska Phase Indian lodge sites; the trading post of Manual Lisa and Lucien Fontenelle; and a portion of the Mormon Trail. There is also reference in the journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to a five day encampment along the Missouri River which is widely held to be located in Fontenelle Forest.
• Recreation: Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods are beautiful natural settings that provide our urban community with a haven for physical activity, relaxation, reﬂection and enjoyment. The 26 miles of maintained trails and the mile long ADA accessible boardwalk, allow visitors to enjoy the beauty of the ever-changing natural setting as they hike, walk, push strollers, pull wagons or use wheelchairs.
• Education: Fontenelle Forest educational opportunities include early childhood programs that serve children and their parents; extensive school district partnerships and out-of-school STEM and nature-based activities; scouting programs; nature camps; programs for adults and senior citizens, as well as informal education programs, activities, and exhibits.
Fontenelle Forest provides professional development opportunities to staff and interns. Educational opportunities include trainings and workshops offered through the Omaha Stem Ecosystem, NE Master Naturalist, and Audubon Society and more.
Our location offers vast nature-based including recreation hiking, canoeing, camping, and birding. Local state parks offer swimming and fishing too. Other entertainment options include nearby museums, concerts, and restaurants.
- some coursework or experience
- some coursework or experience
- competent with supervision
- Working with Animals
- some experience
- Working with Children
- competent with supervision