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Job Class Specification for:
NATURALIST

Class Specification Schematic Number: 2250004


Class Summary:

Positions in this class, under general supervision, plan, develop, coordinate, and implement natural science educational, interpretive, and informational services programs, such as nature walks, workshops and courses at City parks. They develop and conduct interpretive presentations for community groups, volunteers and teachers; identify and study the fauna, flora, climate and geological features of a park, their interrelationships and how they are influenced by people; research, write and coordinate production of interpretive educational and program promotional materials. Positions in this class occasionally have lead responsibility for positions such as Education Aides, Recreation Leaders, Recreation Attendants, volunteers, or other staff assigned to specialized program area.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Class:

This is the journey level class in the Naturalist series. This class differs from that of Naturalist, Sr. in that the latter class has supervisory authority over other Naturalists.

The work of this professional class requires a specialized knowledge of educational program development, and teaching experience in natural science, cultural history, or outdoor skills that interpret the site or collections of the assigned program specialty, such as a zoo, aquarium, park or museum.

The work requires making decisions on program content and method of presentation. Guidelines exist in the form of department policies and procedure manuals. However, the employee must use judgment when developing programs and materials for diverse age groups. Goals and objectives are usually set by the employee and supervisor, and the employee is responsible for resolving typical problems. Personal contacts are with department staff and staff of other City Departments to coordinate work activities and with the general public, community groups, and organizations for the purpose of providing program information.

Examples of Work:

  • Plans, develops and implements public education programs for various groups and age levels, including nature walks and interpretive programs related to natural and cultural features of a park.
  • Provides technical information for instructors, volunteers, or other staff who provide educational and interpretive service at the site.
  • Assigns, leads and evaluates Recreation Leaders, Recreation Attendants, Educational Aides, volunteers and interns involved in program support and delivery.
  • Evaluates interpretive programs and classes and recommends revisions as necessary.
  • Researches, writes, and coordinates the production of interpretive educational material in support of education programs including scripts, curriculum material, handouts and slide programs.
  • Writes, edits, and coordinates production of program promotional materials including brochures, fliers and posters.
  • Develops and conducts interpretive presentations to community groups, volunteers and teachers.
  • Assists in organizing, directing and coordinating activities of advisory council.
  • Maintains animal specimen collection and incorporates its use in education programs.
  • May patrol park grounds to ensure security and the public's observance of park rules and regulations, provide education, and respond to questions.
  • Maintains records of program activities and prepares a variety of reports as requested.
  • Assists in preparing budget recommendations for program area; monitors budget expenditures and instructor contracts as needed.
  • Performs other related duties of a comparable level/type as assigned.

Work Environment/Physical Demands:

When conducting nature walks and park patrol activities, incumbents are required to spend long periods of time standing or walking in all types of weather conditions; however, most work is performed in a normal City office environment.  May be required to work evenings and weekends.

Minimum Qualifications:

Requires a minimum of two years of experience in a zoo, aquarium, museum, park, or a similar facility performing, preparing and/or coordinating interpretive educational programs, and a baccalaureate degree in natural sciences, natural resource management, education, or related field (or a combination of education and/or training and/or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the class).

Licensing and Other Requirements:

Current State of Washington driver's license or evidence of equivalent mobility.  First aid and CPR certificate within six months of hire.

Comments:

This description was prepared to indicate the kinds of activities and levels of work difficulty required of positions in this class. It is not intended as a complete list of specific duties and responsibilities.

Class History:

Class adopted January 2, 1991.


Date posted 4/29/1999

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