Summer Naturalist Corps

A naturalist at work.

Interested in a career as a naturalist?

Naturalist Corps and MinnAqua interns gain valuable on-the-job, career-driven summer work experience in Minnesota state parks and on state trails.


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.

How to apply

Note: Naturalist Corps internships are posted each year in January.

  1. Log onto Minnesota Careers.
  2. Enter "intern" in the Keywords field on the Job Search Page.
  3. Select "Natural Resources Dept" in the "Agency" column on the left side of the page.
  4. View internship postings.
  5. Click the apply button to submit your application.


Naturalist Corps and MinnAqua internships are three and one-half 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). Selected applicants will be REQUIRED to attend a mandatory three-day training held in May at Lake Carlos State Park. The work hours vary, but will include afternoons, evenings, days, weekends and holidays.

Pay is $19 per hour. No benefits, but uniforms are provided.

Major responsibilities

  • Present and/or lead 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 and outdoors skill-building activities that relate to the park's natural, cultural and 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.
  • Complete special projects and training as assigned.

Minimum qualifications

To qualify, applicants must meet the following qualifications and follow the application directions in the job posting:

  • Must be in an approved college internship program.
  • Effective verbal/written communications skills.
  • Must have completed one year of post-secondary education (college/tech school, etc. in a natural or cultural history related field, environmental outdoor education, natural resources management, or environmental studies).
  • Ability to occasionally lift articles such as 50-pound bags of feed (maximum) and 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.

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