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Temporary Naturalist

Alexandria VA

Job Number: 2019-00033


The City of Alexandria is located in northern Virginia and is bordered by the District of Columbia (Potomac River), Arlington and Fairfax counties. With a population of approximately 150,000 and a land area of 15.75 square miles, Alexandria is the seventh largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Alexandria has a charming waterfront and is a unique and historic place to live and work. About one-quarter square miles in the city have been designated as a national or local historic district. We proudly embrace our rich history and seize the endless opportunities that lie ahead. If you are interested in working for the vibrant City of Alexandria, we invite qualified candidates to apply for our Temporary Naturalist position.


What we do and how we do it is driven by our 4 Guiding Principles:

Aligning the work we do with our strategic plan

Executing against our strategy and ensuring accountability for our results

Promoting and encouraging a culture of leadership and ownership at all levels of the organization

Promoting a culture of service excellence, creativity and entrepreneurship



In pursuit of service excellence, the Temporary Naturalist will greet and assist nature center patrons; prepare for and lead various nature-based programs in the Nature Buddies afterschool program; help care for the Nature Center's live animal collection; and support the administrative needs of the organization. This position is located at the Jerome "Buddie" Ford Nature Center, 5750 Sanger Avenue in Alexandria, VA 22311. This position is for the afterschool Nature Buddies program; therefore, you must be available to work 2-6 pm Monday-Friday. Applications for this position will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


What You Should Bring

As a member of our team, you are accountable for the outstanding delivery of services to the community. You will ensure that all activities are fun, safe, age-appropriate and orderly. Your experience providing nature-based programming or having classroom management skills is a must. Your ability to plan and implement activities and programs for a wide range of audiences will help you be successful. Your excellent customer service skills are crucial, as is your ability to comfortably interact with customers of all ages and backgrounds. The Nature Center is a seven-day per week operation, therefore, your flexibility to work on weekdays and/or weekends will be highly desired. Your ability to be responsive, professional, courteous and accountable will be highly-valued in this role and our organization.


The Opportunity

Develops, plans, and conducts nature-oriented programs and activities for the afterschool program;

Keeps nature center and equipment clean and safe;

Assists with the care of the center's live animal collection;

Ensures safety precautions and guidelines are followed;

Participates in staff meetings and training;

Leads hikes and activities in the park on rough, uneven terrain;

Performs front desk and administrative tasks;

Performs related work as required.


About the Department

The mission of Recreation, Parks & Cultural Activities is to enrich the City of Alexandria by creating meaningful experiences through public spaces, cultural activities, and programming. The Department's vision is to improve the well-being of every person in our community by connecting them to each other and their environment. The Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities received national accreditation from the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). National accreditation requires park and recreation agencies to meet 155 standards representing elements of effective and efficient park and recreation operations.


Minimum & Additional Requirements

High School Diploma or GED; some experience as a Recreation Leader I, First Aid training, valid driver's license issued by state of residence; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.


Preferred Qualifications

Successful completion of college level courses in Environmental Science, Biology, Early Childhood Education; some experience caring for and handling live animals including birds, reptiles and amphibians; experience conducting nature-based programs for youth; some knowledge of common flora and fauna of the Eastern Woodlands; or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Additional Requirements: Must be able to lead daily hikes and activities in the park on rough, uneven terrain. You must also be comfortable with the care and handling of live animals such as reptiles and amphibians or be willing and able to learn these skills.



This is a seasonal, at-will employment opportunity, and is limited to a maximum of 1,500 hours per year. There are no employee benefits for retirement, hospitalization, or other benefits. Work hours may vary and can range from 0-40 hours per week; Successful completion of a drug screening and criminal record check will be required.

This position is for the afterschool Nature Buddies program; therefore, you must be available to work 2-6 pm Monday-Friday. Having additional weekday/weekend availability is highly desirable, but not required.




Posted October 9, 2018

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