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PARK NATURALIST I
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for conducting and assisting in the development and implementation of interpretive programs pertaining to natural history by performing entrance level work of a recurring nature in planning lectures, demonstrations, and guided tours of County Parks and making subsequent oral presentations to school groups, primarily, or any other organized group which expresses an interest in natural history. An employee in this class draws upon the resources of County Parks in planning the form and substance of lectures, demonstrations, tours, clinics, and other similar types of programs.
Individual program assignments are typically made by the Superintendent with respect to individual interest or experience in the areas assigned. When assigned to Beaver Lake Nature Center, the Park Naturalist II, who is responsible to the superintendent for the scope and direction of interpretive programming at the center, supervises the progress of an employee in this class through advice, guidance, and constructive criticism. An employee in this class does not typically exercise supervision over subordinates but may be assigned to direct and train student interns, volunteers and temporary employees. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Plans the content of interpretive programs, such as guided tours, to be delivered to organized school groups. That is, writes lesson plans to meet the objective of the visit after meeting with teacher and discussing alternative objectives; reads texts and/or periodicals to gain information pertaining to natural history and related topics; and walks trails to identify or to familiarize oneself with points of interest.
Makes verbal presentations to organized school groups to explain material or to point out features of the center, which explain the natural environment.
Leads interpretive walks of trails for adult and youth groups, on weekends, evenings, or at times when visitor interest in these walks is apparent.
Conducts specialized programming for adults and youths, such as lectures, tours, demonstrations, or clinics, on a scheduled, organized basis in areas of personal experience or interest, such as camping, backpacking, ornithology, and so on.
Provides literary or other types of reference sources, such as names of books, articles, or advice and guidance regarding questions regarding the environment, to inquiries for resource material made by visitors or telephone callers.
Assists in the development of the scope of interpretive planning by performing the following:
Plans ways, such as indoor exhibits or displays, that accurately interpret natural history of County Parks; Plans for new or improved trails and interpretive materials, such as trailside exhibits or displays; Performs field research, such as walking trails to identify locations to install interpretive materials, and performs primary research into pertinent literature. That is, performs research to identify historical or ecological factors conducive to improved interpretive programming.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the principles of environmental science, which is limited to natural history, vegetation, wildlife, ecology, and earth science.
Ability to write lesson plans, outlines pertaining to the delivery of lectures, tours and demonstrations that explain natural historical themes to youth and adult groups.
Ability to make verbal presentations of natural historical themes to organized youth and adult groups.
Ability to read and understand technical literature pertaining to natural history, environmental sciences, ecology, and recreation in natural historical settings.
Ability to write reports and plans that digest technical literature pertaining to natural history environmental science and ecology.
Ability to follow oral directions, which pertain to assignments that, emanate from conferences.
Ability to research material in textbooks and periodicals concerning natural history and related topics.
A. Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Baccalaureate Degree in Environmental Science, Resource Management, Wildlife Biology, Education, or a closely related field; or,
B. Four (4) years of full time experience in developing and implementing interpretive programs pertaining to natural history; or,
C. An equivalent combination of training and experience as defined by the limits of (A) and (B).