Title: Staff Naturalist

Job Description:

The North Branch Nature Center (NBNC) staff naturalist will connect people of all ages to the natural world — at the nature center and beyond. The naturalist will have the skills to engage the public in the field, in the lecture hall, online, and with the force of the written word.
The staff naturalist reports to the NBNC executive director. This is a three-year, full-time position with the potential for extension and advancement. The staff naturalist, reporting to the NBNC executive director, is paid an annual salary of $35,000 to $37,500 with benefits (including health insurance and vacation leave).

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
An innovator and leader, the staff naturalist will develop educational and engaging programs and outings that connect people of all ages to nature. Consistent with NBNC’s strategic plan and mission, the naturalist’s duties fall into three major program areas:

  • Natural History Programming
    The staff naturalist will develop and lead natural history field outings and events for the public on the NBNC preserve and at other destinations. At NBNC, for example, the naturalist will coordinate annual events such as BirdFest and CaterpillarFest, ensuring that NBNC reaches people of all ages and interests. Similarly, the naturalist will:
    • Lead birdwatching outings and programs, and expand NBNC’s songbird and owl banding programs.
    • Design and guide (or recruit guides for) outings and events connecting people to plants, insects, reptiles and amphibians, and other biological diversity.
  • Citizen Science
    The naturalist will develop and supervise new citizen science programs, designed to highlight the importance of data collection in the interest of conservation. Examples might include:
    • Organizing and supervising BioBlitzes.
    • Recruiting volunteers for ongoing citizen-science projects, such as iNaturalist, eBird and e-Butterfly.
    • Developing new citizen-science opportunities, potentially in partnership with other organizations.
  • Stewardship
    The naturalist will supervise stewardship activities on the nature center campus, and design and lead activities that foster awareness, action and conservation. Examples include:
    • Developing public programs about the benefits of controlling invasive species at NBNC and elsewhere.
    • Recruiting and leading volunteers to help improve the biological diversity and integrity of the NBNC property.

In each of these major aspects of the NBNC mission, the staff naturalist will provide support for grant-writing and fundraising. The naturalist will also play an active or lead role in marketing and public communications for programs and events, including social media.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Broad knowledge of northeastern natural history, including birds, plants, amphibians, insects and other groups.
  • Strong birding skills (essential) and birding banding skills (a major plus).
  • All the tools necessary for effective public engagement: writing, public speaking, exuberance, and mastery of presentation software (such as Keynote, Prezi or PowerPoint).
  • Confidence and ability to be an effective public, statewide voice (in the news media, for example, or at a public hearing) for NBNC and its mission.
  • Knowledge and vision to assist in the design of a new NBNC web presence.
  • Skilled in performing field photography.
  • Despite an eagerness to be outdoors, the dexterity and “smarts” to use computers and necessary software to accomplish the objectives of the NBNC staff naturalist (and to leave the desk and get outside again).


  • An MA or MS in a natural resources or related field, or a BA or BS with extensive field and professional experience relevant to the staff naturalist position.
  • Proven experience designing and leading a variety of public programs, including natural history talks and walks, overnight field trips, and workshops.
  • A deep commitment to the mission of NBNC.

To Apply
Mail or email a cover letter and resume (nothing else) on or before September 7, 2017 to:
            Chip Darmstadt
            North Branch Nature Center
            713 Elm Street
            Montpelier, VT 05602
Candidates applying by email will receive an email reply to confirm that we received the submission. Interviews will begin on or around October 7, 2017; if you haven’t heard from us by then, we’re sorry to say that you won’t be under consideration for the position. During interviews, candidates will most likely be asked to show us around in the field.

Questions? Contact Chip Darmstadt at 802-229-6206.





North Branch Nature Center
713 Elm Street, Montpelier VT 05602
(802) 229-6206

Open Monday - Friday, 9am to 4pm
Trails open every day
Directions to the Nature Center
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