Environmental Education Intern

Expected Dates
February 13, 2023 to June 2, 2023
Prairie Wetlands Learning Center
Position ID

An incredible environmental education opportunity!  Gain experience as a Park Ranger/Naturalist and provide exciting, engaging, and educational lessons for preschool through 5th grade students. Work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, local school district, and the internationally recognized Prairie Science Class partnership at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls, Minnesota.  Develop mentoring relationships with the same students who attend school outside in the prairie daily. Witness and participate in the prairie gradually transitioning from deep winter through mid-spring. 

Prairie Wetland Learning Center Environmental Education Intern Job Description:

• Observe and assist teaching 4th/5th graders in the Prairie Science Class partnership (indoors and outside).
• Prepare and conduct seasonal and nature journaling lessons for various grade levels, preschool through 5th grade, visiting the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center for field trips in collaboration with experienced U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff.
• Develop naturalist skills including observation, questioning, patience, respect, stillness, curiosity, attentiveness, and wonder.
• Become an inquisitive student of the Prairie Pothole Region through outdoor exploration and place-based learning, phenological study, field journaling, and studying naturalists.  This innovative approach, called the Compass to Nature, was developed at the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center, and is transferrable to any geographic location, all seasons, and any age.
• Transition quickly from orientation to independently leading educational lessons using established lesson plans and curriculum that meets national lesson plan standards, state academic standards, and Section 508 compliance for people with disabilities.
• Manage Microsoft Bookings application for scheduling in spring for 2023-24 school year visits including data entry, organization, and communication with teachers.

• Help the Friends of the Prairie Wetlands’ greenhouse naturalist by watering native plants on weekends, prepping for planting days, and preparing teaching materials.
• Participate in training and cross-program experiences with the Fergus Falls Wetland Management District, and a mentoring program.
• Assist with other visitor services operations, such as…

  • Providing educational outreach at community events for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service such as the Ducks Unlimited Green Wings event
  • Monitoring winter safety by measuring and reporting pond ice thickness.
  • Staffing the visitor center front desk.
  • Independently opening and closing the learning center.
  • Monitoring nesting boxes and gourds through citizen science projects.

$300/week* Living Allowance
$1,100* To/From Travel Allowance, paid once with first paycheck
- Housing provided on-site
- Eligible for AmeriCorps Education Award of $1,718.25, received upon successful completion of position
- Eligible for the Public Land Corps (PLC) hiring authority upon successful completion of position (640hrs minimum of service)

*All Allowances are subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

It is SCA’s policy that all AmeriCorps-required background checks must return cleared results prior to the position’s start; this includes being fingerprinted for the FBI check. Otherwise, the AmeriCorps award will be removed or the position’s start date will be delayed due to non-compliance. 

For SCA’s COVID guidance, please refer to www.thesca.org/covid.

  • Prairie Pothole Region of Western Minnesota
  • First week training and orientation to site, area, and position. Ongoing on-the-job training provided through entire internship. Special training opportunities as available but not guaranteed.
  • Fishing (ice fishing and shore), cross country sking, downshill sking, sledding, tubing, camping, hiking, bicycling, birdwatching, nature photography, hunting, community theater and arts, live music, community events.
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Education and Interpretation
Education, Training & Skills Expected
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
some coursework or experience
Recreation Management
some coursework or experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Bird Identification
some experience
Customer Service
competent with supervision
Plant Identification
some experience
Public Speaking
competent with supervision
Working with Children
competent with supervision