Long Lake Conservation Center

Seasonal (N.E.A.T.) Naturalist

Long Lake Conservation Center is seeking candidates for seasonal naturalist positions.  The Seasonal (NEAT) Naturalist Position at Long Lake is more than just a job; it is educational and professional experience in the NEAT program. NEAT is Nature Education and Applied Teaching; a program that assists naturalists in learning and practicing accredited teaching in nature education.  In the program, NEAT Naturalists both learn and teach. They learn through observation of and interaction with Long Lake’s creative and dynamic staff of Lead Naturalists. They teach by sharing knowledge with students, and also by bringing fresh insights and individual expertise to the Long Lake community.


Long Lake Conservation Center is a Residential Environmental Learning Center located in the North woods of Minnesota, only a couple hours from the Twin Cities, and in the heart of Aitkin County. Long Lake provides unique, hands on learning experiences. With environmental education opportunities for students of any age; Long Lake encourages the exploration, conservation, education, and appreciation of nature.

Long Lake is Minnesota’s original environmental learning center. Since 1963, Long Lake has been dedicated to youth environmental education and offers school programs for beyond the classroom learning. “The Long Lake Field Study” school program is tailored to individual visiting student groups with fully accredited classes taught by professional naturalists. Beyond the school year, Long Lake hosts a variety of week long summer camps focused on nature and offered to students throughout MN ages 11-16.


In addition to “The Long Lake Field Study,” Long Lake provides opportunities to explore and admire the natural world for all audiences. Long Lake offers facility rental, retreat accommodations, and/or educational programming to interested parties. Furthermore, as the flagship of Aitkin County’s park system, Long Lake is open to the public for adult and family classes, community programming, and access to miles of hiking and ski trails. There is always something to see, do, and learn at Long Lake!


Seasonal Naturalist responsibilities:

  • Teach environmental education programs to groups of Pre-K through college age students, families and adults including special needs individuals and groups, following best practices. This includes all aspects of programming either on or off site, including set up, clean up, evaluation, and follow up. Types of programs include, but are not limited to, forest and lake ecology, reptiles, outdoor survival, recreation, MN history, etc.

  • Learn our environmental education curriculum and implement the purpose, goals and objectives of each program.

  • Help to develop new programs.  

  • Prepare and maintain program curriculum materials.

  • Create a safe, fun, learning atmosphere for participants while projecting a knowledgeable & confident image to parents and teachers.

  • Assist with care of captive live animals.  

  • Articulate Long Lake’s mission and project a helpful and positive attitude when interacting with the public, teachers, and group leaders in person & on the phone.

  • Learn and assist with other duties in operating Long Lake Conservation Center, including but not limited to; administrative support, data entry, inventory, marketing assistance, grounds upkeep, firing furnaces, etc.

  • Demonstrate teamwork and work closely and professionally with other staff members.

  • Know and follow all safety guidelines set out by Long Lake Conservation Center and Aitkin County.


Seasonal Naturalist Benefits:

School year long stay (September to June)  at Long Lake Conservation Center, located in Minnesota’s Northwoods in Palisade, MN.

Training in environmental education from experienced, professional naturalists.

Teaching experience; Seasonal Naturalists teach environmental education, outdoor recreation, and skills classes to Long Lake participants. The typical Long Lake student audience is elementary to middle school students.

Facilitate community programming; Long Lake Seasonal Naturalists have the opportunity to develop and share interpretative programs geared for the public and members of Long Lake.

Professional development; with Long Lake’s unique training program, Seasonal Naturalists can develop their own projects to complete in their time at Long Lake to advance their learning and contribute to Long Lake; from creating a new class program to developing a self guided trail, the opportunities are limitless. In addition, Seasonal Naturalists receive First Aid/CPR training, go on staff field trips, and have the opportunity to attend workshops. Lastly, they receive formal evaluations to guide their learning process and develop their teaching methods and interpretation skills.


  • Learn about all aspects of a residential learning center, including food service, maintenance, and administration.

  • Live on campus in a private apartment at the south end of the North Star Lodge. (The apartment has private sleeping quarters, and shared living space. Computer with internet access is available.)

  • CPR and standard first aid certification will be provided if so needed


Seasonal Naturalists come to Long Lake for an academic year, September to June. Seasonal Naturalists may also return for an additional year and/or apply to stay in the summer at Long Lake summer camps.


Seasonal Naturalists are often recent graduates or students with bachelor’s degrees (or pursuing) in biological sciences, environmental education, recreation, or related fields.  We also consider applicants from a wider variety of fields. Responsibilities/privileges may vary according to prior experience. Candidates are considered as applications are received (first-come, first-served basis).  Positions are now available for FALL 2019.

How to apply: Please complete this online application with Aitkin County, Long Lake's parent organization. 

Stay in touch with news from Long Lake!

Email: info@longlakecc.org  |  Phone: 218.768.4653  |  Address: 28952 438th Lane, Palisade, MN 56469  | 

Copyright Long Lake Conservation Center 2018