People from around the country travel to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center to be a part of our unique internship program. Although we are a unit of Penn State, our internship program is open to anyone interested in the fields of environmental education, team development and adventure programming, or nonprofit marketing. Applications are encouraged from undergraduates, graduates, and those seeking a career change.
The time an intern spends at Shaver’s Creek is demanding and intensely rewarding. You must have a sense of purpose, love children and animals, enjoy people, and possess a willingness to communicate a joy in and respect for our natural and cultural heritage.
Interns are valued members of the Shaver’s Creek staff. You are encouraged to participate in professional development workshops and regional conferences. Interns also have a shared workspace with computer and Internet access. Career counseling, networking resources, and assistance with résumé writing are also provided.
Shaver’s Creek’s primary internship opportunity is an Environmental Education internship. A Marketing internship is also occasionally available.
Environmental Education internships are available during the winter/spring and fall seasons, with an average work week of 45 hours (which does include some weekends). Multiple seasons are a possibility.
See below for a description of each position and application information.
- Fall Season: September–December
- Winter/Spring Season: January–May
Environmental Education Internships
(six–eight interns per season)
Environmental Education interns become an integral part of the staff and participate in all aspects of the nature center’s operation. A two-week orientation and training period is followed by seasonal program opportunities in both day and residential settings. Interns work with all ages, preschool to adult, and with a variety of groups, including schools, private organizations, clubs, and the general public. Program areas provide each intern with an opportunity to work in planning, delivering, and evaluating the center’s educational and recreational programming. Observation and videotaping are used in evaluation, and interns are encouraged to keep a journal. Benefits include on-site housing at our intern house nestled in the woods away from park visitors.
Successful candidates have a strong desire to teach and share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the natural world. A background in education or the natural sciences is helpful but not necessary.
Environmental Education interns are our primary instructors for onsite and offsite education programs. Other responsibilities and opportunities include:
- Develop and implement program curriculum for residential Outdoor School (grades 5-8), school day programs (K-12), and summer day camps (ages 4-15)
- Engage in Visitor Center operations and interact with visitors
- Assist with live animal care and training
- Lead public natural and cultural history walks and team building programs
- Plan seasonal festivals and events
- Contribute to the Center’s blog and social media
- Restore habitats through trail stewardship
- Collect and submit data for Citizen science projects and foster sustainable initiatives
The most successful candidates have some experience working with children. A site visit and meeting with the internship coordinator is beneficial, but not necessary. Many first-time undergraduate candidates who are not initially accepted into the internship program mistakenly fail to reapply for an upcoming season (persistence pays off, so keep trying!).
Environmental Education applicants must complete the online intern application form. This form includes four essay questions, contact information for three professional references, and a place to attach your resume.
For questions, contact:
Doug Wentzel, Internship Coordinator
Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates. Applications are accepted until all positions are filled.
- Fall Season: June 15 (or until all positions are filled)
- Winter/Spring Season: November 1 (or until all positions are filled)