Sarett Nature Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to environmental education for schools and the community. Intern naturalists play an active part in achieving this goal by participating in all aspects of operating the Nature Center.
Sarett is visited by 25,000 school children each year. The majority of an intern's time is spent teaching a variety of natural history programs. Program topics include: ornithology, entomology, geology, forest succession, dune formation and ecology and wildlife habitats. In the fall we spend a lot of time exploring fresh water ecology while paddling on the rivers and lakes of the area in our 34 foot replicas of the French-Canadian voyageur canoes. We also have fall programs that concentrate on pond study, tree I.D., fall wildflowers and nature preparing for winter. During the winter we explore the out of doors on cross country skis and snowshoes. Spring once again brings out our voyageur canoes as well as spring wildflowers, natural communities, wildlife habitats and once again, pond study. Summer gives you an opportunity to design and implement classes on natural history topics of your choice. This summer our titles included: nature photography, Sarett survivors, rock and roll, water wonders, starry starry nights, and our favorites, mucking in the marsh and things that go bump in the night. If you love nature and kids this is the place for you.
Teaching natural history to children and adults requires good communication skills, creativity, a desire for knowledge, and a willingness to face new challenges. Since most teaching is done while hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, or climbing dunes, interns need to be in good physical condition.
While at Sarett Nature Center, interns are encouraged to develop and present a weekend program for the public and/or to complete a project of their own such as design and construct an interpretive display or a new nature trail system, or to engage in field research. Interns are also expected to lead interpretive walks, maintain trails, and to help care for our resident animals.
Sarett will offer regularly scheduled staff training sessions to introduce interns to the natural systems of Southwest Michigan and the material covered during our educational programs. However, the best training is achieved by observing other naturalists at work and actively participating in the daily activities of the Nature Center.
Internships are for a minimum of one season and no longer than three seasons. Our seasons are: summer (June-August), fall (September-December), and winter/spring (January-May). Interns can expect to work forty hours per week. This includes weekend hours. You will receive an hourly salary plus housing.
To apply for an internship with Sarett Nature Center, send an updated resume, cover letter, and three references to: Dianne Braybrook - Naturalist, Sarett Nature Center, 2300 Benton Center Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Please indicate the season(s) you are interested in. For more information about the Nature Center or our internship program, please call Dianne at (269) 927-4832.