People from around the country, and around the world, travel to Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center to be a part of our unique internship program. Although we are a unit of Penn State, our internship program is open to anyone interested in the fields of environmental education, raptor care and education, team development and adventure programming, or nonprofit marketing. Applications are encouraged from undergraduates, graduates, and those seeking a career change.
The time an intern spends at Shaver’s Creek is demanding and intensely rewarding. You must have a sense of purpose, love children and animals, enjoy people, and possess a willingness to communicate a joy in and respect for our natural and cultural heritage.
Interns are valued members of the Shaver’s Creek staff. You are encouraged to participate in professional development workshops and regional conferences. Interns also have a shared workspace with computer and Internet access. Career counseling, networking resources, and assistance with résumé writing are also provided.
Shaver’s Creek offers four different types of internships: Environmental Education, Raptor Center, Adventure Program, and Marketing.
Environmental Education, Marketing, and Raptor Center internships are available during the winter/spring, summer, and fall seasons, with an average work week of 45 hours (which does include some weekends). Multiple seasons are a possibility. Adventure Program internships are usually available in the summer only.
See below for a description of each position and application information.
- Summer Season: May/June–August
- Fall Season: September–December
- Winter/Spring Season: January–May
Environmental Education Internships
(six–eight interns per season, $175/week stipend)
Environmental Education interns become an integral part of the staff and participate in all aspects of the nature center’s operation. A two-week orientation and training period is followed by seasonal program opportunities in both day and residential settings. Interns work with all ages, preschool to adult, and with a variety of groups, including schools, private organizations, clubs, and the general public. Program areas provide each intern with an opportunity to work in planning, delivering, and evaluating the center’s educational and recreational programming. Observation and videotaping are used in evaluation, and interns are encouraged to keep a journal. Benefits include a weekly stipend and on-site housing at our intern house nestled in the woods away from park visitors.
Successful candidates have a strong desire to teach and share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the natural world. A background in education or the natural sciences is helpful but not necessary.
Environmental Education interns are our primary instructors for onsite and offsite education programs. Other responsibilities and opportunities include:
- assisting with live animal care and handling
- leading public natural and cultural history walks
- training and supervising volunteers
- planning seasonal festivals and events
- contributing posts to the Center’s social media platforms and Naturalist Notebook blog
- maintaining trails and restoring habitats
- interacting with nature center visitors
- collecting and submitting data for citizen science projects
- fostering sustainable initiatives at the Center
“The most successful candidates have some experience working with children. A site visit and meeting with the internship coordinator is beneficial, but not necessary. Many first-time undergraduate candidates who are not initially accepted into the internship program mistakenly fail to reapply for an upcoming season (persistence pays off, so keep trying!).”
—Doug Wentzel, Environmental Education Internship Coordinator
Environmental Education applicants must complete the online intern application form. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates. Applications are accepted until all positions are filled.
- Summer Season: March 1 (or until all positions are filled)
- Fall Season: June 15 (or until all positions are filled)
- Winter/Spring Season: November 1 (or until all positions are filled)
Environmental Education Internship contact:
Doug Wentzel, Internship Coordinator
Raptor Center Internships
(One intern per season, $300/week stipend — currently accepting applications for the fall season)
The Raptor Center internship at Shaver’s Creek involves more than caring for birds of prey. It’s also about working with a group of dedicated people who are passionately following the center’s mission of maintaining harmony between human activities and the natural systems that support all living species. Interns will work closely with the Raptor Center director to manage and care for more than 40 animals (raptors, reptiles, amphibians) and to provide educational programming with these animals, including at local hawkwatch sites. Responsibilities include facilitation of the daily cleaning and feeding of the menagerie, assisting with routine health checks, and maintaining equipment used with the animals. You will also help to train and supervise others (students, volunteers, staff) in animal handling and care. Benefits include a weekly stipend. Educational programming includes outreach programs to schools, nature centers, conservation partners, and civic organizations around the state of Pennsylvania. Successful candidates have a strong interest in working with and educating about native wildlife. An animal care background is preferred, but reliability and an enthusiasm to learn are paramount.
Raptor Center intern applicants must email your résumé, cover letter, and three professional references to Jason Beale at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates.
- Winter/Spring Season: No longer accepting applications.
- Fall Season: July 1
Adventure Program Internship contact:
Jason Beale, Program Director of Live Animal Care
Adventure Program Internship
(One intern per summer season, $225/week stipend)
The Adventure Program intern will work with a team to develop, market, and implement adventure programs, including rock climbing, team building, mountain biking, caving, canoeing, and administrative duties as assigned. The adventure intern will also co-lead four to five weeks of Rock’n River adventure camp for teens.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old, certified in WFA and CPR, and have prior leadership and outdoor experience, the ability to work closely with others, and a willingness to learn and take on leadership roles and responsibilities.
This is a great hands-on experience with quality supervision and feedback.
Adventure Program applicants must email your résumé, cover letter, and three professional references to Rod Lee at email@example.com. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates.
- Summer Season: January 31
Applications are accepted until position is filled.
Adventure Program Internship contact:
Rod Lee, Team Development Director
Marketing Communications Internship
(One intern per season, stipend varies)
The Marketing Communications intern fully participates in the marketing of our nonprofit education center, and the many programs, events, and courses at Shaver’s Creek throughout the year. The focus for the summer season is to work closely with the staff that runs Shaver’s Creek’s Rock’n River Adventures summer camp program to film and edit a high-quality, 30-minute video for all of the participants.
For the remainder of the summer season, and during the fall and winter/spring seasons, the marketing communications intern will have an opportunity to take part in other PR, marketing, and media projects for the center, including, but not limited to:
- capturing, through video and photos, the many experiences that SCEC has to offer
- creating short videos for the web that highlight programming at SCEC
- growing SCEC’s social media presence
- digitizing and organizing slides
- writing articles, press releases, ad copy
- entering data and helping with analysis of marketing surveys, ticket sales, enrollments
- projects targeting Penn State student groups that may include speaking with groups at their meetings
- contacting media, disseminating program information, follow-up calls
- producing signage, updating bulletin boards, attending display booths
- copying, folding, labeling, collating, organizing printed materials and mailings
Marketing Communication applicants must email your résumé, cover letter, and three professional references to Joshua Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates.
- Summer Season: March 1
- Fall Season: July 1
- Winter/Spring Season: November 1
Applications are accepted until all positions are filled.
Marketing Communications Internship contact:
Joshua Potter, Marketing Information Coordinator