Senior Naturalist/Education Director

Balsam Mountain Trust Published: June 9, 2022
Sylva, NC
Skill Level
Mid Level
Job Type
Education / Other / Outreach / Advocacy

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


The Balsam Mountain Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and was formed by the Balsam Mountain Preserve Company (BMP) LLC in 2000. Initially, the Trusts role was to inventory and manage the Preserves land; conduct conservation education programing for Balsam Mountain Preserve members and the general public; be a consulting resource for homeowners; and provide regional environmental leadership.

Since those early days, the Trust has expanded its reach beyond the boundaries of the Preserve to become a regional leader in conservation education. Trust staff recognized the need for quality, accessible conservation-based programming in the local school systems and partnered with the Jackson and Haywood county school boards to design curricula that addressed state science standards while inspiring students to be stewards of the incredible natural resources of the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains.

Position Overview

The Senior Naturalist/Education Director position is a full-time (40 hr/wk), appointment with a start date to be determined but as soon as a qualified candidate is hired. Schedule will include rotating weekends. This is a great opportunity to work in a small nonprofit/nature center environment with excellent immersion in environmental/conservation education, native wildlife care/handling and biodiversity interpretation of the Southern Appalachians. There will be numerous opportunities to add to the success of the Trust while working in a supportive, inclusive, nurturing and encouraging environment.


  1. Recruit, train and supervise volunteers and interns; supervise AmeriCorps member
  2. Develop, coordinate, deliver and evaluate outreach programs focused on public groups, e.g., schools, libraries, etc.
  3. Plan and deliver programs for Balsam Mountain Preserve (BMP) residents including but not limited to: naturalist hikes, live animal programs, Trust Talks (seasonal lecture series) and summer camps; meet/greet visitors to the Nature Center; assist with program reservations
  4. Assist executive director (ED)/volunteers with day-to-day animal care, e.g., prepare and deliver diets to living collection of birds of prey, reptiles and mammals; clean enclosures; handle live animal collection which will include removing for transport, physical examinations, program demonstrations, training, etc.
  5. Assist the Executive Director, Naturalist Administrator, and Board of Trustees executives with the administrative support required to meet the ongoing mission of the Trust, e. g., preparing marketing/programming materials, writing, designing, entering copy on Trust website, type copy for programs, create/edit story ideas for Trust publications, etc.
  6. Maintain awareness of administrative/physical plant needs
  7. Enthusiastically take on other assigned tasks as needed


Candidates must have demonstrated/verifiable experience with the following (including educational background below):

  1. Qualify with responsibilities listed above
  2. Excellent interpersonal communication skills
  3. Excellent organizational skills
  4. Excellent physical condition; no physical/mental condition(s)/limitations which would prevent employee from performing tasks stated in this job description or other assigned tasks
  5. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office (Word, Publisher, Excel, PowerPoint); candidate may be asked to demonstrate proficiency
  6. Be able to meet deadlines, work well under pressure, take on multiple tasks and manage time effectively towards task completion
  7. Tetanus immunization (documentation required)
  8. Be able to lift at least 25 pounds
  9. Must be able to work outside in varying weather/climatic conditions
  10. Be a team player and be comfortable working in a small-team environment
  11. Must be willing to submit to a pre-employment background check which may include the following: criminal (CORI and SORI checks), motor vehicle/driving records, employment/education verification, drug test; if, after hire date candidate is found to have falsified any information, this could be grounds for immediate termination
  12. Must be able to provide proof of eligibility for employment in the United States; must have a current driver’s license, issued from state of permanent residence
  13. Must possess a wonderful sense of humor


Education and Experience:

  • Minimum of an Associate’s Degree in natural resource management (or closely allied discipline) with a real-world experience in creating, presenting and evaluating environmental education programs;
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher preferred; functioning and demonstrable degree of working knowledge of Southern Appalachian flora/fauna, able to interpret same to diverse audiences; and
  • Must possess experience and demonstrated skills as a field naturalist.


Position is full-time exempt and rate of pay will be based on candidate’s professional fitness for the position with a salary range 0f $45K - $50K .


  • Fantastic working/learning environment; hands-on, experiential, real-world experience; chance to work/interact with amazing people and other wildlife; chance to contribute to the Trust’s success.
  • Benefits include generous time off, retirement election, healthcare stipend and opportunities for professional continuing education.

To Apply

  • Please click "Apply" to email (only) questions and/or an updated resume and cover letter stating your fitness for the position to Michael Skinner (interim executive director).
  • Include with your submission at least three (3) professional and/or academic references who can speak to your fitness for this position.

Position open until filled.

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

Related Jobs