Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 315-acre educational nature center located in Knoxville’s Urban Wilderness just three miles from downtown Knoxville. Originally a bird sanctuary in the early 1900’s, Ijams Nature Center has grown to provide a wide variety of educational programs, events, recreation, community outreach, and conservation opportunities that inspire people to celebrate, participate, and protect nature. Ijams Nature Center offers high quality education experiences to all ages, abilities and walks of life that encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging and meaningful experiences.
Located on the Tennessee River, Ijams is positioned to offer expansive recreational opportunities featuring 12+ miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, high adventure, and more. In addition to recreation, Ijams has grown into a regional leader in educational engagement, offering hundreds of educational programs annually, from school field trips, to nature preschool, service-learning, homeschool, teacher education, rehabilitative animal programs, nature playscape, volunteer events, to name just a few. In addition, Ijams is building robust off-site programs and partnerships that are extending our impact into the local community.
Teacher Naturalist (year-round, full time)
Supervisor: Jennie McGuigan, Education Director
Hours: Full-time (40 hrs/week), Non-exempt
During school year: Tuesday-Saturday between the hours of 8:00am - 4:30pm
During summer season: Monday - Friday between the hours of 7:30am - 5:00pm
Supervisory Responsibilities: Under the direction of the Youth Programs Manager, this role has the potential co-supervise seasonal staff during Summer Nature Adventure Camp (8 weeks)
Staff Training Dates: During camp season, all camp staff are expected to be available for Staff Training (May 27-28 and May 31-June 4) and entire camp season (June 7 - July 30)
Pay Rate: Commensurate with experience
Benefits: Retirement and health care package, Ijams outdoor gear discounts, and the opportunity to work in the great outdoors, work with children, and work with a dynamic team of educators that will help you develop your strengths and build new skill sets.
The Teacher Naturalist position at Ijams is a full-time, year-round position responsible for developing, coordinating, implementing, and evaluating engaging outdoor experiential education programs for a wide variety of audiences including but not limited to these groupings: K-12 (ages 5-18), Adult and Family, and Preschool (ages 3-5)
The Teacher Naturalist will provide programming using Ijams Nature Center’s educational approach to providing high quality programming in the East TN region that is relevant, impactful, and builds community through place-based, student-centered, and multi-layered experiences.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Develop and deliver youth education programs, including school field trips, outreach and after-school offerings.
2. Develop, coordinate, implement, and evaluate camps; Summer Nature Adventure Camp (8 weeks), Spring and Fall Break camps (1 week each), and Single-Day Camps (Holidays throughout the year). Duties will also include additional summer camp program leadership and coordination responsibilities during the Summer Nature Adventure Camp.
3. Develop, promote, and deliver family and public programs on various natural history topics and phenomena. Programs include but not limited to: Tennessee Naturalist Program, Homeschool Ed-Ventures, Educational Festivals, Evening programs, Speaker Series, and other public programs.
4. Deliver programming with live animals (small raptors, reptiles, and mammals). Programs: Public Outreach, Field Trips, Public Programs, Weekend Pop-up and Creature Feature, Fundraisers, etc.
5. Present and exhibit at community events, education fairs, educational conferences, and other outreach opportunities to market programs and expand engagement opportunities with the public.
Other Duties and Responsibilities:
1. Assist Volunteer Coordinator with volunteer recruitment and training
2. Assist Animal Coordinator with tasks related to Ijams Animal Teammates (Rehabilitated wild animals that are used for education); tasks include but not limited to feeding, caring for, handling small raptors, reptiles and mammals, administering medicines, veterinary visits, etc.
3. Assist Director with preparing and tracking the Education Department budget, tracking program participation and feedback, preparing information for grant proposals and reports, and marketing and advertising of educational programming
4. Ability to curate a positive, collaborative, energetic, and innovative attitude and approach to the professional community at Ijams.
5. Other duties as assigned.
Education and/or Experience:
Bachelor's degree in a field related to natural history, education, outdoor recreation or environmental science. Two to four years of experience and/or training, or equivalent combination of education and experience
Experience teaching and coordinating programming for adults, especially in an informal science setting
Experience teaching school programs in museum or other nontraditional education settings preferred
Experience working with audiences who are diverse in culture, age, race and physical abilities
First Aid/CPR certification, or the ability to obtain certification upon employment
Must have the energy and desire to work with diverse audiences
Must have a passion for nature and the ability to deliver programs in a pleasant, tactful and enthusiastic manner
Must have excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to work collaboratively with many different partners
Must be highly organized with strong attention to detail, accuracy and deadlines
Must have the ability to work a flexible schedule, which may include evenings and weekends
Must have a valid driver license and reliable transportation to/from work
Must be able to pass a criminal and vehicular background check
Must have or be willing to gain minimum experience using computers and virtual platforms for internal and external communications.
This position will spend approximately 60-75% of the time outdoors, in all weather conditions. While performing the duties of this job, this employee may be exposed to dust, temperature variance, weather variance, noise, pollens and fumes. The person in this position must be comfortable maintaining a positive learning atmosphere in all conditions, and must make sound judgments about safety. While performing the duties of this job, this employee is frequently required to sit, talk, hear, use keyboard, view computer monitor and use phones. The employee occasionally will be required to lift and/or move up to 40 pounds and may need to carry it for approximate distances up to 50 feet, bend, reach with hands and arms, use fingers to write or type and handle or feel, walk, carry documents, crouch, stoop, kneel, climb stairs and use a step ladder in lifting and lowering materials. The position requires use of office equipment such as computer, copier, calculator, fax machine, postage machine and point-of-sale system. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
How to Apply
Email or mail a cover letter, resume, and a list of 3 references to Jennie McGuigan, Education Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Deadline to apply: End of the day Friday, March 19th. Note: Interviewing will begin asap and this position may be filled prior to this deadline if an exceptional candidate is found.
Ijams Nature Center is an equal rights employer committed to diversity in staff, Board of Directors, volunteers, visitors and program participants without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability.