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Environmental Interpretation Internship (12-month)

Environmental Interpretation Internship 2020-2021

  • Do you have a passion for nature?
  • Do you enjoy hiking and spending time outdoors?
  • Do you enjoy helping both children and adults learn about new things?
  • Does it thrill you to employ creativity and innovation to your projects by thinking outside of the box?
  • Would you like to develop yourself as a professional with a wide range of experiences?
If so, the Environmental Interpretation Internship at Cincinnati Nature Center might be for you!
Cincinnati Nature Center is offering three highly selective environmental interpretation internships at the Rowe Woods site in Milford, OH. The Nature Center views today’s interns as tomorrow’s leaders. We love the energy, talent and creativity that interns bring to our team, and we strive to provide the kinds of real-world experience that will make each intern highly effective in their career. To this end, the Nature Center provides well-rounded training, on-the-job practice, and appropriate levels of challenge at one of the largest and most well-known nature centers in the country. We also provide time for evaluation and reflection, along with portfolio and resume building and interview practice. We want our interns to move on to positions of influence and leadership throughout the country.
The 2020-2021 internship is a paid, full time, 12-month internship beginning June 1, 2020 and will continue through the end of May 2021. On-site housing is provided, free of charge, for those interested.
What does it mean to be an environmental interpreter? Interpreters connect visitors to important natural, cultural, and historical resources at parks, nature centers, historical sites, aquariums, zoos, and anywhere that people come to learn. NAI defines interpretation as "a mission-based communication process that forges emotional and intellectual connections between the interests of the audience and the meanings inherent in the resource." Cincinnati Nature Center provides each intern the opportunity to become a Certified Interpretive Guide through NAI. For additional information please visit
General Information
Position Title:
Environmental Interpretation Intern
Director of Human Resources
Human Resources
Approximately 40 hours/week
March 2019
The Environmental Interpretation Intern Program is designed to train tomorrow’s environmental education and natural history, interpretation leaders. This 12-month residential program provides well-rounded, continuous learning, hands-on skill development and appropriate levels of challenge at one of the nation’s largest nature centers. This program exposes interns to real world experiences and allows them to learn in a safe environment.
Learning Objectives
Working with on-site and off-site groups to develop teaching techniques and facilitation skills including: group management; front loading; safety on and off trails; scaffolding; bringing ideas back to the lesson/theme; using developmentally and age appropriate practices; working with children and guests who have various needs and abilities; questioning strategies; guided inquiry methods; and exposure to curriculum development.

  • Experience gained in leading school groups utilizing the tools listed above.
  • Interaction with teachers and chaperones.
  • Experience teaching a wide variety of different nature topics which adhere to state and federal teaching standards. 
  • Exposure to nature-based early childhood education at CNC’s Nature Preschool.

  • Develop and deliver public programs, drop-in enrichment stations and special event programming for a variety of audiences, including Scouts groups, homeschool groups, Nature PlayScape groups, and drop-in guests of all ages.
  • Facilitation of registered youth programs including children’s series, community outreach, and spring break camp.
  • Creation and evaluation of interpretive exhibits and materials.
  • Develop and facilitate interpretational Trailside Kit on local natural history topic for use with drop-in guests of all ages.
  • Develop and deliver Natural History Workshop presentation to CNC staff, volunteers, and potentially the public as a culminating project near the end of the internship.
Learn to provide high quality customer service by being trained in safety, risk management, incident response, and customer service skills, including front desk naturalist training.
The intern team will receive training in the following areas: soft skills training (giving and receiving constructive feedback, working as a team, etc.); hard skills training (local natural history, time management, etc.); career guidance (resume building, interview practice, etc.); interpersonal communication (MBTI/social styles, StrengthsFinder, etc.); as well as a variety of other trainings as requested/needed. 
Additional Job Responsibilities

  • SPECIAL EVENTS: Provides support for special community/fundraising events as needed. 
These job responsibilities represent only the essential and most significant duties of the position. These duties may fall after hours and/or on weekends. This job description does not exclude other work assignments, directives and responsibilities not mentioned herein.
Education and Competencies:

  • Associate’s degree or higher (Bachelor’s degree preferred)
  • A strong desire to work with children, families and the public in a nature setting

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Must maintain confidentiality of sensitive and confidential information

  • Collaborative working style
  • Great customer service skills
  • A sense of humor, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit
  • General interest in nature and working with youth
  • Must pass a background check
Computer Skills:

  • Proficient in Word, Power Point, Excel and other related software
Work Environment:

  • The work is performed on-site, indoors in an office environment and outdoors in the nature preserve.
  • Local travel may be required. Some travel to regional conferences may be required. When a Nature Center vehicle is not available, the use of personal vehicle (reimbursed at IRS recommended rate) may be needed for Cincinnati Nature Center business.
Physical Demands:

  • This position requires the following physical activities: pushing, pulling, climbing, bending, stooping, kneeling, twisting, reaching, sitting, standing, walking, lifting, finger dexterity, grasping, repetitive motions, talking, hearing and visual acuity.