Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist 10 Months

The Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist assists the Lead Educator (LE) and the Education Department with implementing interpretive experiences and educational programs for the APBP compatible with the ecological resources, research, and management goals of the preserve and in alignment with APBPC Management Plan and Community Connection Initiative. The primary responsibility of the seasonal interpretive naturalist is to promote a greater public awareness and understanding of the Albany Pine Bush and the Albany Pine Bush Preserve. The Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist leads Pine Bush-centered interactive, hands-on interpretive and educational programs for a diversity of audiences including school groups from grades pre-K – university, special interest groups, and the public and participates in the creation and planning of education programs. The seasonal interpretive naturalist also has regular shifts operating the Discovery Center which will include directing visitors to services and facilities; providing information about the preserve including recreational opportunities and educational events; answering visitor questions and resolving complaints; operating the gift shop, making sales and following cash handling procedures; and caring for our live animal collection.

The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP) and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities. The Management Plan for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve guides all aspects of creating and managing the preserve.

The 3,400+ - acre APBP, located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals, including more than 20 percent of New York State’s wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, such as the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Maurice D. Hinchey Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, National Recreation Trail Site, a New York State Unique Area, Birding Trail Site and Bird Conservation Area, and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area.  Characterized by rolling sand dunes and over 20 miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors with a variety of interests many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing.

As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany, is a “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. This unique destination provides for exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on ecology, natural history, cultural history, and management of the Pine Bush.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Lead Pine Bush-centered, standards-based, interactive and hands-on education programs for a diversity of school (and home school) groups from grades pre-K – university level. 
  2. Create and assemble materials to accompany education and interpretive programs.
  3. Participate in creating and leading Pine Bush–centered interpretive programs for the public, including programs geared towards families and special interest groups.
  4. Support guest public education program leaders by attending programs and provide assistance with needs that arise.
  5. Share responsibility for program set-up and clean-up including Discovery Center classrooms.
  6. Assist with interpretive writing including creation of brochures and other publications. 
  7. Provide technical support for virtual programs and webinars on Zoom and Google Classroom.
  8. Provide interpretive (educational) services for Discovery Center visitors connecting them to and sparking their interest in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve.
  9. Track visitor attendance throughout the day.
  10. Monitor and respond to general information email account.
  11. Operate the gift shop including opening and closing the register, filling out daily revenue report forms, following and adhering to established cash and merchandise handling procedures, receiving deliveries, pricing, and labeling merchandise and organizing shop inventory for display.
  12. Monitor, clean, open, and close the Discovery Center and exhibits.
  13. Receive and route all main line phone calls.
  14. Provide animal care for the Discovery Center’s captive turtle collection.
  15. Work alongside and lead volunteers.
  16. Share coverage of weekend and evening interpretive programs.
  17. Communicate with supervisor to resolve any unforeseen problems or questions.
  18. Other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree preferred with a major in environmental education, environmental science, cultural or natural history interpretation, biology, elementary/secondary education or other related field preferred and a minimum of one-year work experience in a nature center, teaching or other work experience related to education.
  • Experience delivering education programs to a diversity of audiences.
  • Knowledge of natural sciences and/or ecology.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public-speaking skills.
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office’s suite of software applications.
  • Able to use technology in interpretation and environmental education programming.
  • Comfortable using an iPad and related products.
  • Experience creating and editing videos.
  • Ability to prioritize and complete tasks independently with respect to timeline(s).
  • Attention to detail and ability to self-start.
  • Work effectively and collaboratively as a member of a team.
  • Valid driver’s license and willingness to travel locally in personal vehicle with mileage reimbursement when work vehicle is not available, work flexible hours, including some weekends and evenings.
  • Current certification in basic first aid and CPR preferred or willingness to become certified.
  • Work requires physical exertion and infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.

Job Title: Seasonal Interpretive Naturalist
Department: Education
Supervisor: Jackie Citriniti, Lead Educator
Location: 195 New Karner Road, Albany, NY
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Classification of Position: Seasonal, Full Time
Dates of Employment: February-Mid-November (10 months)
Compensation and Hours Per Week:
$16.00/hour through March 31, 2024
$17.00/hour starting April 1, 2024
37.5 hours/week (Tuesday – Saturday)
Housing: Available as taxable benefit
Date prepared: October 2023

APBPC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

APBPC does not discriminate in its employment opportunities or practices on the basis of an individual’s actual or perceived race, color, sex, national origin, ethnicity, hairstyle and hair texture, military or veteran status, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, sexual and reproductive health decisions, gender identity, transgender status, genetic information/predisposition or carrier status, age, religion, creed, domestic violence victim status, and any other classification protected by federal, state or local law.

APBPC is an at-will employer.

Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of APBPC for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Deadline: 4:00pm December 8, 2023
Please e-mail cover letter, résumé, and three references to:
Jackie Citriniti
No phone calls please.


Date Posted: 11-08-2023

Expire Date: 12-08-2023

Contact Name: Jackie Citriniti

Contact Email:

Additional Instructions:

Please e-mail cover letter, résumé, and three references to: Jackie Citriniti No phone calls please.

Documents:  Job Description  |