Naturalist Internship

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Published: December 4, 2023
United States of America
Skill Level
Entry Level, Internship / Volunteer
Job Type
Full-time Internship

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!


The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center is a sanctuary dedicated to preserving Alaska’s wildlife through conservation, education, research, and quality animal care. AWCC takes in injured and orphaned animals year-round and provides them with spacious enclosures and quality animal care. 

Most of the animals that arrive at the AWCC become permanent residents and will always have a home here. The Center maintains over 200 acres of spacious habitats for animals to feel at home and display their natural wild behavior. Visitors may see brown bears cooling off in the water, a bull moose strutting, wood bison roaming on pastures and more.

Naturalist – Internship: 

Under the direction of the Director of Education, Naturalist Interns will provide interpretation and educational opportunities for guests, aid in maintaining sanctuary presentability and safety, have training in and assist with animal care duties, as well as support year-round education staff as needed.

Full time, Summer seasonal, paid @ $11/hr. 20-week opportunities starting in May and ending in September. 16-week and 22-week options may be considered for the right candidate.

Job Duties

  • Interpretation and Education
    • Perform daily talks about AWCC and Alaskan wildlife to a diverse audience of guests
    • Conduct daily walking tours
    • Be a step on guide for motorcoaches driving through AWCC
    • Provide opportunistic informal interpretation to guests
    • Give animal presentations to school groups and private groups
    • Provide interpretation and facilitate positive guest experiences at information stations
    • Write interpretive program outlines to be presented to the public and AWCC staff
    • Facilitate animal encounters with porcupine, Sitka black-tailed deer, reindeer, moose, and bears
    • Facilitate positive guest experiences by maintaining a positive attitude, smiling, and enforcing guest viewing and animal safety expectations
  • Sanctuary Presentability and Safety
    • Planting, weeding, and harvesting in garden beds
    • Ensure trash does not find its way into animal habitats
    • Help inventory and pull invasive plant species on property
    • Facilitate service-learning groups
    • Clean interpretive signs and buildings
  • Assist Animal Care Department
    • Cleaning enclosures
    • Collect browse, prepare diets, and wash dishes
    • Husbandry and feeding duties as assigned
  • Research
    • Opportunity to assist with the Alaska Beluga Monitoring Program as an Cook Inlet beluga whale observer
    • One intern participating in beluga observations my start as early as April and/or extend as late as November. Please indicate interest in your application.
  • Workdays and hours assigned by Director of Education will vary by week; full 40 hours and 5 days per week, maximum 8 hours per day.
  • Other duties as assigned

Necessary Skills

  • Public speaking to large and small audiences while professionally representing AWCC
  • Work in a team environment to help achieve AWCC’s goals and objectives
  • Exemplify a professional, positive, and respectful attitude and strong work ethic
  • Be comfortable working around animals in human care
  • Open to participating in fun, sometimes silly group and team building activities
  • Ability to work outdoors in drastically changing weather including extreme wind, temperatures, pouring rain, and winter conditions
  • Ability to work long hours on your feet and walk long distances over uneven terrain while providing interpretive talks and information
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks such as cleaning and moving up to 40 pounds
  • Ability to work directly with the public and diverse audiences providing information and assistance as needed
  • Willingness to learn areas of interest to visitors including local history, geography, geology, and more
  • Must be able to work a highly variable schedule as needed, including all weekends, early mornings, and nights
  • Strong time and task management skills
  • Current driver’s license
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States
  • Must have received or be willing to receive tetanus and COVID-19 vaccinations by date of hire to be considered. Proof of both vaccinations required

Additionally Considered Skills: (These additional skills will be considered, but are not required for this position.)

  • Preferred internship length is 18-21 weeks with end dates in Mid– September
  • Preferred Start Date: May 6th
  • Some college or graduate coursework in a related field. Some examples may include Education, Interpretation, Wildlife Biology, Environmental Studies, Natural Resources, Zoological Sciences, Ecology, Animal Science, or other related topics of interest
  • Application Demonstrates how this opportunity will be a career building opportunity
  • Application demonstrates knowledge of AWCC programs
  • Experience with Alaska’s wildlife and environment
  • This position is eligible as a credit earning opportunity in the University of Alaska system along with several other universities. If you are interested in earning credit for this opportunity, please inquire in your application packet.
  • Rabies vaccine: depending on the animals in our care at the time of the internship having this vaccination may lead to more animal care opportunities
  • Fluency in multiple languages
  • First Aid and CPR Certified

Area and Housing Specifics

  • Housing is provided as a benefit for seasonal team members with a $300 security / cleaning deposit.
  • Housing is on-site and is dormitory style with multiple shared bedrooms as well as shared bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and laundry machines. Wi-Fi is provided. Ability to courteously live with other team members is essential.
  • Staff living on-site with a valid driver’s license and safe driving record have occasional access to an AWCC vehicle for group grocery and supply runs.
  • Portage, Alaska is located 45 miles southeast of Anchorage, and 10 miles past Girdwood, a small ski-town. There is one small grocery store in Girdwood; Anchorage has the closest typical city amenities.
  • This position does have uniform requirements, and there is specific clothing/gear you will need to have to be comfortable working outside in highly variable weather, such as waterproof rain gear.
  • AWCC is surrounded by beautiful scenic mountains, as well as the ocean, rivers, and glaciers.

To Apply

Please click HERE  to submit an application. 

Please submit a single page resume, a cover letter detailing why this position is an appropriate fit for your career path as well as how you meet the position requirements, phone and email contact for three professional or academic references, the date range of your availability, and where you found the position listed. The deadline to submit an application for both internship opportunities is Wednesday, January 31, 2024.

When you apply for this position, please say you saw this job on Green Dream Jobs!!

(Visited 1 times, 84,615 visits today)