Environmental Educator & Naturalist

Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Powdermill Nature Reserve, 1847 State Route 381 RD, Rector, Pennsylvania, United States of America Req #1008
Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Powdermill Nature Reserve is Carnegie Museums of Natural History's environmental research center. Located 55 mile southeast of Pittsburgh in Rector, Pennsylvania, Powdermill is a field station and laboratory where researchers do long-term studies of natural populations in western Pennsylvania. In addition to being positioned for Appalachian-specific studies in ornithology, ecology, invertebrate zoology, and botany, Powdermill is a great place to spend a fun-filled day outdoors with the family. Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is interested in candidates who, through their experience and collaborations, will contribute to diversity and excellence of the Carnegie Museums community.

The Part-Time Occasional Environmental Educator and Naturalist will join Powdermill Nature Reserve’s education team and engage visitors with the natural history of the area! Powdermill Nature Reserve (PNR), Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s environmental research center, seeks occasional naturalists to work several days per month. Interacting with visitors of Powdermill’s Nature Center will be the primary responsibility, and enthusiasm for sharing a love of nature is key for success in this position. To that end, we seek candidates with existing knowledge of Appalachian Ecology and Natural History, as well as enthusiasm for education, scientific inquiry, and nature exploration. Successful candidates should be comfortable working independently, but will need to collaborate with a diverse group of colleagues across education, science and research and facilities at PNR.

Candidates hired must have regular weekend availability.

This position has a starting rate of $12-15 per hour, depending on experience.




  • Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Botany, Entomology, Ecology, Science Education or Environmental education or equivalent experience required.
  • Additional experience interpreting science for a wide variety of public audiences preferred.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.



  • Broad knowledge of Appalachian Ecology and Natural History, as well as enthusiasm for education, scientific inquiry and nature exploration are required.
  • Ability to manage tasks independently, strong written and visual presentation skills, and knowledge of best-practices in leading accessible, inclusive learning experiences are preferred.



  • This position requires work outside in inclement weather, including crossing cold streams or carrying loads up to 50 pounds to remote locations.



  • Coordinate field trips at Powdermill.
  • Lead Powdermill field trips from scheduling, sending pre-survey, greeting upon arrival through program delivery, departure, and post-survey.
  • Use educational strategies that effectively interpret scientific content and inquiry to meet audience interest and ability.
  • Coordinate logistics in advance to ensure that education, special events, and research experiences utilize space and resources effectively, providing the optimal experience for all audiences/parties; and arrange for adequate staffing.
  • Work collaboratively with the Senior Environmental Educator and Naturalist to review and enhance Powdermill education programs and exhibits, develop new instructional material and exercises utilizing resources that have proven effective in the wider fields of formal and informal education, and evaluate program outcomes.
  • Coordinate Powdermill Summer Camp
  • Support the Senior Environmental Educator and Naturalist in camp planning and implementation.
  • Develop curricula and create lesson plans for camp that ensure camper engagement and utilize best-practices.
  • Work with seasonal staff to prepare activities for camp. Support Powdermill operations.
  • Maintain good public relations by welcoming visitors upon arrival, providing information about Powdermill and CMNH, addressing queries regarding plant and animal identification, and referring questions to the appropriate internal experts or outside resources when needed.
  • Support operations and Education at Powdermill by keeping the visitor log accurately updated.
  • Support the Director of Powdermill Nature Reserve by following established safety, security, custodial and maintenance procedures, including at times being the highest-ranking staff on-site to ensure compliance.
  • Work independently to troubleshoot immediate safety, security, custodial and maintenance concerns.
  • Assist with collaborative programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.
The following PA Act 153 clearances, or proof of application of clearances, are required beginning employment and as a condition of continued employment: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check FBI Fingerprint Criminal Background Check Obtaining the required clearances is completed as part of the new hire process.

Carnegie Museums is an Equal Opportunity-Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Females / Veterans / Individuals with Disabilities / Sexual Orientation / Gender Identity     

The above job description reflects the essential functions and qualifications for the position identified, and shall not be construed as a detailed description of all the work requirements that may be inherent in the position. The job description does not constitute an employment contract and does not alter the at-will relationship between CMP and the employee.  

*GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS:   The Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) requires employers to consider and accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  An individual is qualified if he or she can perform the essential functions of a job  with or without reasonable accommodation. An essential job function is any task that is a fundamental part of the job.  When considering essentiality, one must focus upon whether the function is essential to this particular job and not to the department as a whole. Some additional  guidance on essential functions  follows below.  Please note that the following guidelines are non-exhaustive.  If you have any questions or need additional guidance, please contact Human Resources.   A. Is the function required to be performed on a regular basis? If the function  is rarely performed, it may not be essential.   B. Is the function highly specialized? Is the incumbent hired for his/her expertise or ability to perform the function?  The need for special expertise is an indication of an essential function.   C. Does the position exist, at least in part, to perform the function?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential.   D. How much time is spent performing the function and how often?  Note that even functions performed 10% of the time could be essential if they are required on a regular basis.   E. Would elimination of the function fundamentally alter the job?  If so, the function is more likely to be essential.   F. What are the consequences of not requiring the incumbent to perform the function? If they are significant, the function is more likely to be essential.    G. Are there a limited number of employees among whom the performance of the function could be distributed if the incumbent could not perform it?  If so, it is more likely to be essential.

Other details

  • Pay Type Hourly
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  • Carnegie Museum of Natural History - Powdermill Nature Reserve, 1847 State Route 381 RD, Rector, Pennsylvania, United States of America