ABOUT DUNES LEARNING CENTER
With a mission to inspire lasting curiosity and stewardship with nature, Dunes Learning Center is the nonprofit education partner of Indiana Dunes National Park. Since 1998, more than 144,000 students from diverse communities and backgrounds have participated in our programs to discover, learn, explore, and reflect on the science and wonder of nature. For many, Dunes Learning Center is the gateway to Indiana Dunes National Park and the beginning of their environmental science education. These experiences support students on the pathway to science-based careers, inspiring the next generation of scientists, environmental advocates, and educators.
Looking back on 20+ years of exploration and investigation in nature’s classroom, Dunes Learning Center is proud to be at the forefront of environmental education in the Indiana Dunes. We serve a diverse community and seek a diverse workforce. Dunes Learning Center is an equal opportunity provider and does not discriminate.
Dunes Learning Center is proud to carry on a tradition of learning in the dunes that dates back more than 100 years ago by the “Father of Ecology in North America,” Dr. Henry Chandler Cowles. Our programs provide a critical and beneficial connection to nature for learners of all ages—inspiring curiosity, scientific literacy, and environmental stewardship.
Outreach Educator Interns are key members of the Dunes Learning Center team who deliver programs online, in schools, and natural areas providing meaningful experiences to over 5,000 students in Northwest Indiana. They help students create connections, build confidence, and develop a sense of place by providing opportunities to explore, ask questions, reflect and work together as a team.
Our Outreach Educator Internship provides an opportunity for next generation leaders to receive training and coaching to develop their naturalist, outdoor education, and resource interpretation skills and techniques. Outreach Educators work both as a team and independently to lead a variety of programs to a wide audience in diverse settings, often working closely with public school systems and partners throughout the year. In the summer, the outreach team leads day-camps based at Indiana Dunes National Park’s historic Chellberg Farm and assists with residential camps. Outreach Educator Interns have opportunities to extend their professional development through workshops, in-services, and networking.
- Facilitate virtual and in-person programs throughout Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties in coordination with partners.
- Assist in the development of Outreach programs.
- Communicate with school teachers and coalition staff for teacher training workshops,
and other program meetings.
- Maintain a positive mental attitude and serve as a role model for responsible environmental behavior and literacy.
- Ensure safety and well-being of program participants using sound judgement and applying appropriate decisions by following safety protocol and reporting incidents, near misses or possible hazards.
- Attend program staff trainings and professional development as needed.
- Assist in the maintenance, inventory, and data entry of all program supplies, equipment,
facilities, and grant tracking needs.
- Actively participate to support fundraising efforts.
- Comply with all Dunes Learning Center policies and represent DLC in a professional manner at all times.
- Perform all assigned duties critical to the operation of the Dunes Learning Center.
- Assist with other duties as assigned.
To qualify for the Outreach Educator Internship, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty. Dunes Learning Center aims to make reasonable accommodations to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. All Dunes Learning Center employees must submit to a background check and possible drug screening.
- Bachelor’s degree preferred or some formal education with equivalent experience, by June 2021
- Teaching experience with children in a formal or non-formal setting
- Excellent organization, communication and interpersonal skills
- Proficient in Google applications
- Commitment to equity and inclusion
- Physically able to perform duties outdoors, in all weather conditions, and hike several miles over dunes terrain while carrying a 25-lb backpack
- A willingness to be coached and to receive feedback
- Ability to work independently as well as on a team
- Ability to adapt and revise quickly
- Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings and occasional weekends
- Possess a valid driver’s license and a vehicle for reliable transportation for local travel
- Experience with environmental education and/or interpretation
- Knowledge of the local ecology of the Calumet Region
- Design and drawing skills
- Ability to speak Spanish
- Current CPR and First Aid Certification
Outreach Educator Interns are required to regularly stand for long periods of time and walk up to 5 miles per day on sandy dune terrain while carrying a 25-lb backpack in all weather conditions. Outreach Educator Interns must be able to verbally communicate and have visual abilities that allow them to deliver programs safely.
- $335 weekly stipend (average 40 hours per week)
- Paid furlough (max 1 pay period) and holidays
- Eligible for health insurance
- Shared housing (private bedroom)
- Professional development opportunities
- Meals when groups are in residence and schedule permits
To apply send a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to Erin Crofton, Education Director at