Environmental Education Intern

County Of Sonoma   Santa Rosa, CA   Internship     Other
Posted on March 3, 2023
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Are you currently a student and interested in connecting with the great outdoors? 


Gain experience as an Environmental Education Intern in the Regional Parks Department!

This paid internship position will afford an undergraduate college student excellent hands-on, directly relevant work experience. To qualify for the position, you must be enrolled in a full-time or part-time academic or vocational curriculum at an accredited college or university. 

Environmental Education Interns learn about and support the following areas:

  • Learn how to and assist in delivering hands-on programs to field trip groups at various park locations (listed here)
  • Assist with setup and cleanup of program materials
  • Assist with staffing public visitation of the EDC
  • Learn how to assist in delivering summer camp programs and nature focused youth development programs
  • Support other park programs as needed, such as interpretive nature hikes and special events (which may occur during weekdays, weekends, and evenings)

The ideal candidates will possess:

  • A passion for working with children and teaching
  • High degree of energy and the ability to improvise, instruct, and ensure the safety of program participants  
  • Availability for a minimum of two days per week, up to 24 hours/week, and commit to at least 12 months of employment
  • A background in natural sciences, natural resources management, biology, or child development
  • Familiarity with teaching methodologies and current educational science standards (this is highly desired, but not required as interns will receive training in subject matter and curriculum)

Regional Parks preserves irreplaceable natural and cultural resources, and offers opportunities for recreation and education to enhance the quality of life and well-being of residents and visitors to Sonoma County. The Community Engagement Division plans and delivers a large collection of programs throughout the entire county. There are over 78,000 annual program participants in one or more of Sonoma County Regional Park’s interpretive, recreation, environmental education, outreach, volunteer, youth career pathways, and special event programs.

The environmental education philosophy at Regional Parks is that early experiences in nature support lifelong connections to the outdoors. Since 2002, school fieldtrips have increased student and family awareness, advocacy, and stewardship, furthering Regional Parks’ mission. Environmental education fosters an environmentally literate community through place-based, interactive learning experiences tied with state curriculum standards. Environmental literacy depends on skills and knowledge drawn from the sciences and humanities using inquiry-based learning strategies. We offer a diverse range of curriculum for grades K-8 in concepts related to ecology, biology, earth science, watershed health, climate change and cultural history. Field trip programs are offered at numerous parks across the county with field staff headquartered at the Environmental Discovery Center (EDC) at Spring Lake Regional Park and a developing visitor center in Bodega Bay.

If selected, students must show proof of student status or vocational program participation by one of the following:

  • Course registration material
  • Internship registration
  • Transcript

Interns are not in the classified civil service and do not have property rights to permanently allocated positions. In addition, they do not receive most employee benefits such as: long-term disability insurance coverage; accrual of vacation and sick leave; participation in the County retirement program; or eligibility to take promotional examinations. Paid interns may meet the eligibility requirements (generally worked 11 consecutive pay periods with a minimum of 440 hours and are scheduled at least 40 hours per pay period) to qualify for a County contribution toward medical coverage. Dependent coverage may also be available at employee's cost. Interns may not work in excess of 1560 hours in a twelve-month period.
This recruitment is being conducted to fill a Park Naturalist Intern position in the Regional Parks department. This employment list may also be used to fill future intern positions as they occur during the active status of this list.



Minimum Qualifications

Education: Current enrollment in a full-time or part-time academic or vocational curriculum at an accredited college or university.

Experience: None required.

License: Possession of a valid driver's license at the appropriate level including necessary endorsements may be required to perform the essential functions of the position.

Selection Procedure & Some Helpful Tips When Applying

Applications and supplemental questionnaires will be reviewed to ensure candidates meet the minimum requirements for the position. Candidates possessing these requirements will be referred to the department for further consideration. The hiring department will contact candidates who appear to best meet the requirements and needs of the position and take further steps in making a selection for the internship.