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Spring 2021 Naturalist

Cambria CA

Do you love teaching outdoors, getting elbow deep in algae and digging through decomposing logs to see what you can find? Do you have a fascination with the natural world? Come teach hands-on marine science and forest ecology on the central California coast at The Coastal Institute at Camp Ocean Pines!



A Coastal Institute Naturalist serves as the primary outdoor science educator to visiting 4th-12th grade students in a residential camp setting. This includes being responsible for activity groups, supervising mealtimes and lead camp activities such as singing songs, performing skits, facilitating low ropes activities, and target sports. This position is full-time and seasonal with hours scheduled according to group attendance and assigned duties.



Must be able to perform the following functions unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation:

Teach groups of typically 10-15 students during each day about environmental sciences relative to the local region, including ocean, forest, plants, animals, and related subjects

Teach daytime lessons and evening programs of up to 100 students per week

Develop lesson plans based on the Coastal Institute curriculum

Supervise typically 2-4 meals per week when schools are present

Lead offsite trips including tide-pooling, hikes, kayaking, and beach walks

Sing songs and perform skits

Facilitate low ropes and team building activities

Lead target sports activities (archery and tomahawk throwing)

Handle/care for live specimens including non-venomous snakes, lizards, and birds of prey

Paddle a kayak long distances in ocean conditions

Lead students on hikes over rough terrain in a variety of weather conditions

Live onsite for the duration of the season in order to assist with overnight emergencies if needed

Other duties as assigned by the program director



Consistently provide friendly courteous assistance, including building and maintaining healthy professional relationships with students, teachers, staff, and guests

Support and contribute to a safe, clean environment for all guests and staff


This job description is subject to change at any time




Bachelor’s degree in science, experiential education, or equivalent work experience

Current First Aid/CPR certification prior to start date

Current CA Food Handlers certificate prior to start date

Successfully complete a background check, LiveScan fingerprinting and pre-employment drug test

Valid US driver's license

Excellent oral and written communication skills

Maintain a positive attitude in complex situations after working long hours

Adjust quickly to changes with open mind and flexibility

Recognize and respond to emergency situations

Proficiency with computer and typing



Lifeguard certification

Spanish language skills

Raptor handling experience

One or more seasons of experience working with a residential outdoor education program



Job performance will be evaluated throughout the season, both formally and informally, by the program director

Photo by Rose Hollingsworth



Coastal Institute Naturalist salaries start at $410 per week. Housing is provided in lodge bedrooms onsite (shared with 1-3 other staff) throughout the entire season. Meals are provided when schools are onsite and may be available during weekend rental groups. When groups are not onsite, staff will have access to leftovers and use of the kitchen facilities. Naturalists may be offered an increased rate to stay overnight in a student cabin or facilitate a weekend program as the need arises.



The 2021 spring season runs from January 11th, 2021 through May 28th, 2021 and includes one week of paid training along with the option to attend a one-week UC California Naturalist certification course free of charge.



Applications will be reviewed as they come in and preference will be given to earlier submissions.


To apply, please follow these steps:

1. Submit an online application here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfw_pg6GTXhUi2qBxEPh2BJnkda_Nhjbyzfu8mxHo5bwniLVA/viewform?usp=sf_link

2. Email the following to Bill Thornton, the outdoor education director, at bill@campoceanpines.org:

Current resume

Contact information for three references (phone numbers & email addresses)

Letter of interest describing who you are and why you’d like to be a naturalist with The Coastal Institute


Incomplete applications will not be considered, so please be sure to submit the application AND email the necessary materials to the director. If you have any questions about the application process, email Bill Thornton at bill@campoceanpines.org or give us a call at the office at 805-924-4015.

Posted July 28, 2020

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