The staff and volunteers at Indian Creek Nature Center (ICNC) are champions of nature. They strive to connect people to nature and create a passion for the outdoors. Indian Creek Nature Center is an amazing resource we have right in our backyard.
While many roles are needed to make things run smoothly day to day, one of the more sought-after positions at ICNC is the Naturalist. Emily Roediger shared some of the behind-the-scenes stories that made up her pathway to becoming a Naturalist at ICNC.
Roediger knew her love of outdoors and studying nature would be part of her future. “I ended up studying Environmental Studies and Biology at Gustavus Adolphus College and discovered through an internship experience that I enjoyed Naturalist type of work specifically. I worked at a few different nature centers and parks in various internships and seasonal positions before ending up here.”
John Myers, Executive Director for ICNC, says, “it’s important that candidates complete an internship in order to have experience to get their foot in the door.” Iowa has a lot of nature centers and parks, many of which offer internships or seasonal positions.
Emily said the variable schedule of this position can be difficult. “Throughout the year we keep very busy with field trips, summer camps or other programs which I like but is also challenging as every day is different from the next. Other times of the year our programs slow down which can be good to catch up on other things but can be challenging in its own way. My favorite part of being a naturalist is and has been getting to work outside in cool places, often doing things for work that other people do for fun.”
Students interested in studying nature might find a career in positions such as: Outdoor Recreation Educator, Teacher, Teacher Naturalist, Environmental Educator, Wildlife Biologist, Natural Resource Specialist, Park Ranger, Park Manager, Interpretive Naturalist, Trail Technician, Zookeeper, Education Director, Education Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, etc.
For more information about this exciting career make sure to check out the job profile on the Community Promise website.