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Part-time Naturalist - Patoka Lake

Date Posted:  Sep 19, 2022
Requisition ID:  371746

Birdseye, IN, US, 47513


Work for Indiana

Grow your career with the State of Indiana! With more than 50 executive branch agencies, the State of Indiana is a diverse workforce offering employees stimulating and challenging projects across a broad scope of career opportunities. As a State of Indiana employee, you impact the well-being of Indiana’s communities every day.


At the State of Indiana, we don’t just talk about diversity and inclusion – Our goal is to create a welcoming, accessible, and equitable workplace, with a workforce that is representative of the State of Indiana population. As a proud equal opportunity employer, reasonable accommodations may be available to enable individuals with disabilities to interview and to perform the essential functions of a role.


About the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:


The mission of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources is to protect, enhance, preserve, and wisely use natural, cultural, and recreational resources for the benefit of Indiana's citizens through professional leadership, management, and education.


About Patoka Lake:


Patoka Lake is the second-largest resevoir in Indiana.  The 8,800-acre lake provides habitat for freshwater jellyfish, bald eagle nesting sites, river otters, and osprey.  The property is home to one of only two resident, non-releasable bald eagles at a DNR state park or reservoir.  Activities include archery, boating, cross-country skiing, fishing, disc golf, hiking, hunting, swimming, and waterskiing.


Role Overview:


The Naturalist provides a variety of interpretive programs for guests, staff, and community.  You will assist with interpretive center management, promote events and services, and participate in natural and cultural resource management projects.  You woll also work with volunteers.


This is a part-time position with hours that are arranged with park managment.


A Day in the Life:


The essential functions of this role are as follows: 

  • Prepare and present various educational programs for property visitors as well as the community. 
  • Assist in the operation of a nature center and/or related facilities, including, but not limited to, center maintenance and cleanliness, exhibit production, and related electronics associated with programs.  
  • Assist in development and maintenance of brochures, flyers, and bulletin boards. 
  • Assist in creating media releases concerning property activities and, in some circumstances, assist with posts and responses on any property social media and online platforms. 
  • Assist senior Naturalist with volunteer and partner coordination. 
  • Assist in resource management endeavors such as (but not limited to) habitat restoration, prescribed burns, and invasive and exotic controls. 
  • Recommend purchases for the interpretive services and for resource management projects. 
  • Follow guidance in proper handling, storage, and documentation of historical artifacts on the property. 
  • Care for live educational animals housed at the property, including aquarium environment/care, animal health, and use/protection of animal during programs. 
  • Maintain records associated with program statistics, attendance numbers, and evaluative information.  Prepare and submit numbers. 
  • Participate in property and division-wide interpretive training programs and statewide projects. 


The job profile is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee. Other duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time.

What You'll Need for Success:

You must meet the following requirements to be considered for employment: 

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources, Biology, History, Interpretation (Cultural and/or Natural), Outdoor Recreation or related field is preferred. 
  • Be willing to travel with reasonable accommodation. 
  • Knowledge of interpretive and recreational philosophy, interpretive techniques, and recreation leadership skills as they relate to both cultural and natural history of the region. 
  • Ability to work independently and provide self-motivation but accept guidance from a supervisor. 
  • Communication skills that encompass speaking, writing, and relating to a broad range of audiences. 
  • Organizational skills in project planning and coordination. 
  • Must have working knowledge of audiovisual equipment, word processing, graphic layout/design and record keeping. 
  • Working knowledge of the principles of cultural resources management and the application of those principles at the assigned park or reservoir. 
  • Working knowledge of the principles of natural resources management and the application of those principles. 
  • Ability to work outdoors and in a variety of weather conditions. 


You must satisfy the following requirements to continue employment: 

  • Certification as a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association for Interpretation, or willingness to obtain certification within first year of employment.​ 

Supervisory Responsibilities/Direct Reports:

This role does not provide direct supervision to direct reports.




This position traditionally starts at $14.69 per hour.  Salary for this position may be commensurate with education and job experience.


Benefits of Employment with the State of Indiana:


The State of Indiana offers a comprehensive benefit package for part-time employees which includes: 

  • Paid vacation, personal and sick time off 
  • Competitive leave policies covering a variety of employee needs 
  • 12 company paid holidays, 14 on election years 
  • New Parent Leave 
  • Free Parking 
  • Free LinkedIn Learning 


Equal Employment Opportunity:


The State of Indiana is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Current Employee? Click here to apply.

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