Internships

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People from around the country travel to Touch of Nature Environmental Center to be a part of our internship program. Our internship program is open to anyone interested in the fields of outdoor education, recreation therapy, team development and adventure programming, or hospitality services. Applications are encouraged from undergraduates, graduates, and those seeking a career change.

Interns are valued members of the Touch of Nature's staff. You are encouraged to participate in professional development workshops and may even be provided onsite trainings as part of your internship. Interns also have a shared workspace with computer and internet access. Housing opportunities are available.

Outdoor Education Internships

Outdoor Education interns become an integral part of the staff and participate in all aspects of our 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 our educational and recreational programming. Observation is used in evaluation. Benefits include a weekly stipend and on-site housing at our intern house away from visitors.

Successful candidates have a strong desire to teach and share their knowledge of and enthusiasm for the natural world. A background in recreation, education, or the natural sciences is helpful, but not necessary.

Outdoor Education interns are our primary instructors for onsite and offsite education programs. Other responsibilities and opportunities include:

  • Develop and implement program curriculum for residential Outdoor School (grades 7-8), school day programs (K-12), and summer day camps (ages 7-14)
  • Assist with live animal care
  • Lead public nature hikes or paddles and team building programs
  • Plan and work at seasonal festivals and events
  • Contribute to the Center’s social media outlets
  • Restore habitats through trail stewardship

  • You'll experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff and students who contribute to the climate of inclusivity. If you have experience with diverse communities, we encourage you to emphasize that in your cover letter.
  • SIU Carbondale, member of the SIU System, is an anti-racist community that opposes racism, discrimination and inequity in any form, and embraces diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice for all people.
To find out more information, contact Erik Oberg at eriko@siu.edu.

Season Dates

Summer: May/June–August
Fall: September–December
Winter/Spring: January–May

Internships have an average work week of 45 hours (which can include evenings and weekends). Multiple seasons are a possibility. Interns should apply for a specific program area BUT be aware that they will be asked to assist in other areas as needed.

Apply Now

Internship applicants must complete the online form. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates. Applications are accepted until all positions are filled.

Internship Application


Application Deadlines

Internship applications must be submitted by dates listed below or until all positions are filled.

  • Fall: July 1
  • Spring 2022: December 1
  • Summer 2022: April 1