Summer Naturalist in Idaho


Sawtooth Interpretive & Historical Association

Job Category

Job Type

Job Duration

Job Compensation Type



Contact Name

Lin Gray

Contact Email


Stanley, ID
United States

Spend your days doing interpertive programs and visitor services and your off time exploring the Sawtooth National Recreation Area - two wildernesses in the "Heart of Idaho" where rugged peaks, alpine lakes, free running streams, and breath-taking scenery abound. This stunning landscape inspires quiet introspection and observation as well as offers unlimited opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, boating, and many other recreational activities.


TIME COMMITMENT: Full-time/seasonal; May 26, 2023 September 13, 2023 (Flexible end date and potential to work weekends through September)
SPONSORING ORGANIZATION: Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association (SIHA)
MISSION: The Sawtooth Interpretive and Historical Association’s mission is to protect and advance the natural and cultural history of Idaho’s Sawtooth and Salmon River Country through preservation and education. SIHA is a non-profit 501(c)(3) association. For more about the Association please visit

LOCATION: Working in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA) in Stanley, Idaho offers a special opportunity for someone seeking a summer experience in a unique and spectacular setting. The Sawtooth NRA encompasses 756,000 acres including two wildernesses in the "Heart of Idaho" where rugged peaks, alpine lakes, free running streams, and breath-taking scenery abound. This stunning landscape inspires quiet introspection and observation as well as offers unlimited opportunities for hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, boating, and many other recreational activities.

POSITION SUMMARY:Naturalists provide interpretive services, including Junior Ranger programs, nature walks, patio talks, discovery stations, and evening programs to visitors of all ages to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. They create interpretive displays and answer visitor questions from behind the desk at the Redfish Visitor Center & Gallery and the Stanley Museum. Naturalists staff trailhead portals where they interact with public land users before they hit the trail, teaching Leave-No-Trace principles and providing area information. Naturalists coordinate one SIHA special event. Most often, naturalists are the faces representing the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and perhaps the only “staff” visitors come in contact with.

COVID-19 or other unforeseen events may require that SIHA modifies the duties listed below for the health and safety of our naturalists, our community, and our visitors.


  • Attend and participate in training sessions/seminars.
  • Research, develop, and present specialized interpretive programs relevant to the visiting public of the Sawtooth NRA, including but not limited to guided walks, Junior Ranger activities, discovery stations, Leave No Trace talks, patio talks, boat tours, and evening programs. Locations may include the Redfish Center, Stanley Lake, the Stanley Museum, or other venues. Assess and modify programs as necessary.
  • Document/record programs so others, including volunteers, can present them at a future date.
  • Observe peer programs and provide feedback.
  • Meet with the coordinator monthly to review programs.
  • Research and create educational brochures that complement Junior Ranger program, blog posts for the SIHA website, and interpretive exhibits to be displayed at the Redfish Center or the Stanley Museum.
  • Provide information about the area and trip planning assistance at the Redfish Center and Stanley Museum. Provide area information, trail conditions, Leave-No-Trace principles, and Wilderness regulations to visitors at trailheads throughout the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.
  • Assist with sales of SIHA books and related items at the Redfish Visitor Center and Stanley Museum.
  • Co-coordinate one SIHA event (assigned at beginning of season). “Blueprints” for each event are available. Events include History Day, Smokey Bear’s Birthday Party, and the Sawtooth Salmon Festival
  • Advertise for SIHA events on a regular basis (creating and posting fliers, social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, and blogs, and word-of-mouth).
  • Participate in SIHA community events focused on providing education on natural and cultural resources and environmental awareness.
  • Assist in selling raffle tickets for our yearly fundraiser, potentially after regular work hours.
  • Attend Forum & Lecture Series each Friday evening.
  • Participate in outreach to develop and maintain partnerships.
  • Complete SIHA paperwork accurately and on time (time sheets, program number records, etc.).
  • Participate in daily, weekly, and seasonal cleaning/maintenance procedures to keep everything in working order. This includes seasonal opening and closing duties.
  • Wear face mask during working hours and follow all procedures, regulations, and safety measures put in place related to COVID-19.
  • Other duties, as assigned.


  • Have an enthusiastic, friendly, people-oriented personality.
  • Hold a degree in, or at minimum be a college junior or senior pursuing studies in, natural or cultural resources, interpretation, education, history, environmental sciences, biology, anthropology, recreation or related fields.
  • Self-motivation and flexibility are required. Be resourceful, reflective, and mature in the work environment.
  • Have the ability to work effectively on a team as well as alone.
  • Demonstrate good communication skills, both orally and in writing. Must be comfortable with public speaking.
  • Be able to walk/hike two miles and lift, at minimum, 20 pounds.
  • Have basic knowledge of interpretive techniques.
  • Possess valid state driver’s license; have access to a personal vehicle.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office and social media platforms, or willingness to learn.
  • Be willing to work some evenings and weekends.
  • Be comfortable living and working in a remote location.
  • Have a commitment to the mission of the Sawtooth Association!

SUPERVISION AND MENTORING: While naturalists work at the various visitor facilities, they will be supervised/trained in specific site protocols by the Summer Programs Coordinator or Stanley Museum Docent. The SIHA executive director and summer programs coordinator will ensure adequate training is provided. The SIHA summer programs coordinator will provide feedback on interpretive programs/displays throughout the summer and meet with naturalists monthly to ensure professional development.

TRAINING: The Sawtooth Association will provide training for the naturalist regarding interpretation, natural & cultural history of the Sawtooth NRA, and SIHA’s mission, partners, and policies. If possible the Sawtooth National Recreation Area will include the naturalists in their annual seasonal employee orientation (covering safety, community, policy issues, etc.).


  • 4 ¼ days – Interpretation and Desk Time – alternate between presenting interpretive programs at various locations to audiences throughout the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and providing information about the area to visitors at the Redfish Center and/or Stanley Museum. Some days will focus more on interpretation, depending on the 2023 program schedule.
  • ¼ day – Maintenance – as a small non-profit we rely on naturalist to help with cleaning, building maintenance, and outdoor projects.
  • ½ day – Prep Time – visit and study at different locations within the SNRA to encourage area familiarity, create or modify interpretive programs, or accomplish tasks related to coordinating SIHA event.
  • 2 days off (these two days will be scheduled together but may not be Saturday & Sunday (i.e. days off may be Monday & Tuesday or Wednesday & Thursday, etc.).
  • A half-hour lunch is built into the schedule each work day.

TO APPLY: Email cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 professional/academic references to

Positions are open until filled. Once you submit your complete application SIHA will contact you within a week to schedule an interview.

Compensation Information


  • $1000/month
  • Shared housing is provided free of charge at the Stanley Ranger Station compound or the Sawtooth Valley Work Center.
  • Personal vehicle mileage is reimbursed (at $0.55/mile) for project work (NOT including traveling to and from work).
  • SIHA polo shirts, sun shirt, jacket, and name tag will be provided. Required PPE is provided including face masks, hand sanitizer, and other items to keep naturalists safe on the job.
  • Supplies and project materials are provided.
  • Weekly professional development lectures.
  • Feedback regarding interpretive programs and development.
  • SIHA membership and 20% discount on full priced SIHA bookstore items.
  • A beautiful location for a seasonal position!