Shaver’s Creek is a great place for Penn State students to earn money through Community Service Federal Work-Study during their time at Penn State. Federal Work-Study is a student financial aid program that allows Penn State undergraduate and graduate students to earn money to help cover non-billable educational expenses by working for their college or campus, a University office, or at an off-campus, nonprofit organization.

Please check with the Penn State Office of Student Aid for information on eligibility and the application process.

Once you have been awarded a work-study grant by the Office of Student Aid, you can put your skills and talents to work at Penn State’s nature center by contacting the listed staff about positions in the following areas.

Undergraduate Work-Study Positions

Animal Caretaker and Educator (up to four positions)

Note: Our Animal Caretaker and Educator work-study positions are filled for the 2023–2024 academic year.

Assist with the daily operations and educational presentation of Shaver’s Creek’s animal ambassadors: amphibians, reptiles, and raptors. Gain hands-on experience in husbandry, enrichment, interpreting behaviors, and training animals using positive reinforcement. Develop your public speaking and conservation interpretation skills through engaging diverse audiences. Weekend work will be required.

Email Paige Sutherland at for more information.

Landscaping/Trail Maintenance Assistant (multiple positions)

This work-study position assists full-time facility staff with the upkeep of trails and landscaping. This may include watering plants, flowers, and grass on property by hand, sprinkler, or other methods as needed; mowing and trimming lawn areas using gas-powered mowers and weed-eaters; assisting with the maintenance of flower beds and garden areas by weeding, planting, mulching and replacing stones; assisting trail maintenance using weed-eaters, pruners, loppers, handsaws, and mowers; helping volunteer groups to work on landscaping and trail maintenance projects; keeping all related equipment clean, maintained, and stored properly; keeping equipment storage room neat, clean, and organized; keeping grounds free of litter; and other duties as needed.

Must be able to reach, bend, stoop, and frequently lift up to 40 pounds and be able to work in a standing position for long periods of time (up to 8 hours). Knowledge of horticulture and native plants is a plus.

Email Joshua Potter at for more information.

Bookstore/Reception Assistant (two to three positions)

This work-study position will help greet visitors, answer phones, and operate the bookstore within our Visitor Center, which is open seven days a week, from 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Additional opportunities include helping with Shaver’s Creek’s social media platforms, developing interpretive signage, taking photographs, and writing blog entries about the natural world. Work hours (between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) and day of the week (including weekends) can generally be tailored to student schedules. Tuesdays and/or Wednesdays are preferred.

Email Joshua Potter at for more information.

Citizen Science/Outreach Position

This position will help collect and organize data to contribute to on-going citizen science projects like Project Feederwatch, iNaturalist, and Monarch butterfly tagging. Additional opportunities include helping with Shaver’s Creek’s social media platforms, developing/updating interpretive displays, and writing blog entries about the citizen science projects. Work hours (between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.) and day of the week (including weekends) can generally be tailored to student schedules. 

Email Doug Wentzel at for more information.

Graduate Work-Study Positions

Education Program Assistant (three positions)

Teach and lead nature education, team building, adventure, school, youth, and community programs. Greet visitors and work in the bookstore. Develop curriculum and teach children at summer camp. Prior teaching experience preferred; excellent work habits and people skills; self-motivation.

Project Coordinator (two positions)

Supervise undergraduate work-study students. Schedule, supervise, and manage projects at Shaver’s Creek. Perform various set-up, support, clean-up, and other duties as assigned. BA/BS in RPTM or related field; requires past program delivery, managing groups, strong customer service skills, and own transportation.

More Information

For more information about our work-study positions at Shaver’s Creek, please contact Doug Wentzel via email at or by calling Shaver’s Creek at 814-865-4123.