Butterflyweed at Eagle Bluff

Professional Naturalist Fellowship Program
An Experiential Environmental Educator Training Program

Hone your talents! Improve your skills! Learn from professionals! Leave your mark as a participant in the Professional Naturalist Fellowship.  Spend a year facilitating amazing experiences for students while you develop teaching, public relations, or an Environmental Education Certificate that will prepare you for success as an environmental educator.

 

The fellowship begins and ends in August and Naturalists are exposedto a wide variety of audiences and classes during the year. They learn by doing, through direct teaching experience guided by staff support, classes and trainings, and a series of evaluations which are conducted throughout the year.

 

Eagle Bluff's primary audience is 4th through 8th grade students who participate in our K-12 Overnight Program.  Visiting students can however range from Kindergarten through 12th grade. Other audiences include scout troops, church groups, at-risk youth, corporate groups, family and adult weekends, and college classes.  To learn more about our programs visit the Programs page »

The 2014-15 Fellowship begins August 18, 2014 and ends August 14, 2015.

Program Details

Teaching Opportunities l Fellowship participants teach up to 8 three-hour-long ecology, natural history, culture, challenge skills, and outdoor recreation classes per week.  Each participant also presents a one-hour "naturalist program" to large groups usually in the evenings. Naturalists choose a topic from developed slide shows, demonstrations, or character programs.  

 

Liaisonships l Professional Naturalist Fellowship participants make personal connections and experiences for students/visitors as their group host or "liaison." The liaison must prepare for the group's arrival, give an orientation, lead a few activities or classes, prepare for evening group activities, and serve as the primary Eagle Bluff representative.  The liaison remains on call throughout the nights when their group is in residence.

 

Professional Development l The Fellowship is keenly focused on providing numerous opportunites for development as professional educators and naturalists. Along with teaching and public relations, below are the other primary professional development opportunities. In addition, First Aid/CPR training, staff field trips, and off-site workshops are also offered when time allows.

 

Weekly Seminars l Seminars on Natural History, Interpretation and Instructional Techniques are conducted on Friday afternoons by Eagle Bluff year-round staff and others in the EE field.  Additionally, seminars can be taken for credit as coursework toward a CIG Certification through the National Association for Interpretation and/or a Certificate in Environmental Education through Hamline University (See below).

Evaluations l Professional Naturalist Fellowship participants are formally evaluated throughout the course.  Feedback is positive and specific and includes a follow-up meeting with the evaluator. Naturalists will also participate in a self-evaluation and a peer observations as part of the learning process.

Optional Certifications l All Fellowship Naturalists are required to attend weekly seminars and participate in evaluations but have the option of earning two certifications through their participation. Pursuing either certification requires additional responsibilities and costs compared to those who choose not to earn credits.

 

Environmental Education Certificate l Fellowship participants may

opt to apply a portion of their stipend toward earning an Environmental Education certificate through the Office of Continuing Education at Hamline University.  Naturalists have the option of participating for no credit, earning as few as two or as many as ten for the full certificate. The cost for earning the full certificate (10 credits) is approximately $1,650.


Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) Training l Naturalists may become Certified Interpretive Guides (CIG) through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) through their attendance at a four-day training.  The CIG training also counts as 2 credits toward the EE Certificate. The cost for earning the CIG certificate is approximately $150.

Environmental Education Certificate Coursework & Timeline
Dates:      
FALL WINTER SPRING SUMMER
Course
Title:
Fundamentals of
EE Instruction

Principles of
Interpretation

Program
Development

Natural History of

Southeast Minnesota

Credits: 3 cr. 2 cr. 2 cr. 2 cr.

Compensation and Amenities l Participants receive an $850/month stipend for living expenses and to apply toward the cost of graduate credit or certifications. In addition, participants live in a private wing of the dormitory. Bedrooms are private with a bathroom/suite shared with one other person.  All 12 participants share a common living room, dining room, kitchen, and laundry. As additional compensation, meals are provided when visiting groups are in residence as are food staples for use in the staff kitchen. Along with room and board, Naturalists are offered paid sick time, 9 paid holidays, personal voicemail, internet access, staff gear, and use of Eagle Bluff's recreational equipment.

After the Fellowship l Upon completion of the Fellowship, Naturalists will recieve a comprehensive portfolio summarizing their progress throughout the program. Credits earned may be applied toward Masters Programs such as the Master of Arts in Education: Natural Science & Environmental Education at Hamline University or most other accredited Institutions.  Graduate Naturalists positions may also be offered as a continuation of the Fellowship Naturalist experience. Graduate Naturalists have the opportunity to further their study and practice of Residential EE as well as focus on an area of interest or education during their second year at Eagle Bluff.