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Park Naturalist

Educate people about the natural world.

What does a Park Naturalist do?

park _naturalist_profile_imageThe job of a park naturalist is twofold: protection and education. First, it’s your duty as a park naturalist to protect the park from vandalism and destruction caused by unruly campers and visitors, and even natural disasters. Second, and most importantly, is the educational side of your work. You’re constantly providing new information to park-goers, giving lectures on maintaining the natural environment of the park, and helping people be environmentally savvy all year.

Because of the dual nature of your job, you work both outdoors, giving tours, and indoors, giving lessons. When you’re giving lessons, your concern is less about the variety of plants and animals that a park ranger would focus on, for example, and more about the natural and scientific significance of parks.

You drum up interest in the environment by creating your own information sessions. Like a teacher, you come up with your own curriculum and lessons on the park’s history, features, and attractions. When you aren’t doing any of your usual tasks, you might stay in the county forest ranger station, welcoming visitors, answering phone calls, and handling a minimal amount of paperwork. And when you do have free time, you might spend it maintaining the grounds, keeping in mind “natural” methods of landscaping.