Summer Naturalist Corps

A naturalist at work.

Interested in a career as a naturalist?

Each year, Naturalist Corps members gain valuable on-the-job, career-driven summer work experience in Minnesota state parks and on state trails. Jobs are available as college internships or for college graduates.

Naturalist Corps members will:

  • Interact with park and trail visitors of all ages.
  • Present recreational and educational programs under the mentorship of a Parks and Trails naturalist.
  • Gain experience in display development, new technology, resource management, and park and trail operations.
  • Attend required training on May 25-27, 2016.

How to apply

Applications for summer positions were posted earlier for 2016 and have now closed.


Naturalist Corps jobs are 3.5 month, full-time summer positions that are available from early to mid-May through Labor Day (flexible, varies according to school year and state park). The work hours vary, but will include afternoons, evenings, days, weekends, and holidays.

Pay is $12 per hour. No benefits, but uniforms are provided.

Major responsibilities

  • Assist the Park Naturalist in presenting and/or leading programs and activities to a variety of audiences ranging from children to adults. About 85% of the job involves public speaking to large through small groups of visitors. These programs may include nature walks, campfire talks, demonstrations, PowerPoint presentations, "outdoors skills building" and "make and take" activities that relate to the park's natural, cultural, historical, and/or recreational resources.
  • Staff the park's visitor center and answer questions received from the public.
  • Assist park staff in conducting resource management activities such as invasive species control, plant and animal inventories and research, and seed harvesting.
  • Special projects and training as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

To qualify, applicants must meet the following qualifications and state them in their resume or cover letter:

  • Must be a permanent Minnesota resident
  • Must be EITHER in an approved college internship program, OR have graduated with a two or four year degree in a natural resource related field (i.e.: biology, botany, fish and wildlife, forestry, Minnesota natural or cultural history, environmental studies, natural resources management, environmental/outdoor education, or related.)
  • Must have completed one year of post-secondary education (college/tech school, etc.)
  • Must be able to lift articles such as 50-pound bags of feed (maximum)
  • Must be able to frequently lift and/or carry objects such as heavy tools and file boxes
  • Must have a valid Class D driver's license
  • Be physically able to traverse rugged and varied terrain
  • Enjoy working with park visitors in an outdoor setting

Legacy Amendment logo Naturalist Corps Legacy Logo


This program is made possible by funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.