Environmental Education Intern

Expected Dates
August 5, 2019 to May 29, 2020
Sandia Mountain Natural History Center/Valle de Oro NWR
Position ID
Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and Sandia Mountain Natural History Center (SMNHC) work to teach students across New Mexico about the varied ecology within the state. The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center (SMNHC) is located in Cedar Crest, New Mexico, just 22 miles from downtown Albuquerque on the eastern slopes of the Sandia Mountains. SMNHC is at 6,900 feet in elevation with a temperate climate and beautiful pinon juniper woodlands. SMNHC is a unique partnership between Albuquerque Public Schools, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Service. SMNHC, New Mexico’s largest environmental education center, teaches about 17,000 students, teacher and parents about the interconnectedness of nature through fun, exciting and education activities. Valle de Oro NWR is located in the Rio Grande Valley 7 miles from downtown Albuquerque and is the Southwest’s first Urban Wildlife Refuge. The property, 570 acres, over the next few years will be restored to upland, grassland, wetland and bosque habitat. Valle de Oro NWR strives to provide a diversity of education opportunities and experience for a diversity of audience. SMNHC and Valle de Oro NWR are connected ecologically by the Tijeras Creek Watershed, which originates in the Sandia Mountains and exits into the Rio Grande, and by similar visions to bring quality education to students throughout Albuquerque.  

During this year long position the SCA intern will assist with education and outreach efforts at Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge and SMNHC. Duties at Valle de Oro NWR will consist of assisting refuge staff with high school intern mentorship program, field trip and classroom visits with local schools (k-12), assisting visitors at the front desk, and assisting weekend outreach and service events, on and off site of the refuge. At the SMNHC the SCA intern will teach 4 hour field ecology programs to fifth grader students. The programs consist of field based stem activities while on a 1.5 to 2 mile hike in the Sandia Mountains. The intern will also work to facilitate collaboration between the two organizations and incorporation of the refuge into the SMNHC’s education programs for Albuquerque youth.

Position Requirements:  
  •          Requires SCA intern to have transportation
  •          Require SCA intern to live on site at SMNHC


  • On a former dairy farm just a few miles south of New Mexico’s largest metropolitan area, the refuge works to create a conservation stewardship legacy by working with community partners to establish a 21st century conservation ethic and reconnect people, especially young people, to the natural world. The new refuge was established due to the partnership efforts of many in the community that recognized the importance of having a wildlife refuge in this urban setting.

    Valle de Oro offers a unique environmental education and recreation opportunity in a highly populated area while promoting a wildlife conservation message. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.

    The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center is located in Cedar Crest, NM just 22 miles from downtown Albuquerque on the eastern slopes of the Sandia Mountains. The Center is at 6900 feet in elevation with a temperate climate. The pinon juniper woodlands of the high New Mexico desert are bathed in over 300 days of sunshine each year. New Mexico’s unique blend of Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures combine for an interesting life experience.

    New Mexico is an outdoor person’s paradise. The Sandia Mountains alone have over 200 miles worth of trails that are perfect for hiking, mountain biking and cross country skiing. The Rio Grande River, running through Albuquerque, provides even more recreational opportunities. New Mexico is home to 5 National Forests, 15 National Park sites, 9 Wildlife Refuges and 35 State Parks. The University of New Mexico, the state’s largest university, is located in Albuquerque. By virtue of this position’s affiliation with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, you will have free access to all state museums and monuments.

  • Most of the training provided is on the job and hands on. There may be opportunities for First Aid, CPR and Wilderness First Aid.
  • No
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
Social Media
competent with supervision
Community Engagement
competent with supervision
Public Speaking
competent without supervision
Trail Maintenance
some experience
Working with Children
competent without supervision