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Park Naturalists Career

Career Description

Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.

What Job Titles Park Naturalists Might Have

  • Environmental Education Specialist
  • Naturalist
  • Park Naturalist
  • Park Ranger

What Park Naturalists Do

  • Conduct field trips to point out scientific, historic, and natural features of parks, forests, historic sites or other attractions.
  • Prepare and present illustrated lectures and interpretive talks about park features.
  • Plan and organize public events at the park.
  • Provide visitor services, such as explaining regulations, answering visitor requests, needs and complaints, and providing information about the park and surrounding areas.
  • Develop environmental educational programs and curricula for schools.
  • Research stories regarding the area's natural history or environment.
  • Perform emergency duties to protect human life, government property, and natural features of park.
  • Confer with park staff to determine subjects and schedules for park programs.
  • Assist with operations of general facilities, such as visitor centers.
  • Plan and develop audio-visual devices for public programs.
  • Construct historical, scientific, and nature visitor-center displays.
  • Prepare brochures and write newspaper articles.
  • Compile and maintain official park photographic and information files.
  • Take photographs and motion pictures for use in lectures and publications and to develop displays.
  • Plan, organize and direct activities of seasonal staff members.
  • Survey park to determine forest conditions and distribution and abundance of fauna and flora.

What Park Naturalists Should Be Good At

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

What Park Naturalists Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Park Naturalists Need to Learn

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Median Salary: $61,810

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.