job posting - Nature PlaySpace Specialist with NC Museum of Natural Sciences

Nature PlaySpace Specialist


Prairie Ridge Ecostation at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is seeking an individual who is passionate about connecting families to nature to join our team! Position will facilitate nature play and exploration while keeping an outdoor learning environment well-maintained and running smoothly.


This position is a North Carolina state 11-month temporary position for 30 hours/week. Position will report to Head Prairie Ecostation and coordinate with the Early Childhood and Elementary Education staff of the North Carolina Museum of Nature Sciences.


Pay: $13.00/hour


Work schedule: Tuesday through Saturday: approximately 8:30 to 2:00pm; at least one day to 4pm.


Location:  Prairie Ridge Ecostation (PRE), 1671 Gold Star Drive in Raleigh



About the Nature PlaySpace:


The Nature PlaySpace (NPS) is designed to celebrate the importance of outdoor play in the lives and education of children.  It is a perfect backdrop for young children first learning how to care for our natural resources. Families can explore the otter slide, groundhog tunnel, mini-prairie maze, and areas for art, digging, and water play. Children can climb over logs and boulders, roll in the grass, make mud pies, observe nature, and dig for fossils.  The NPS is targeted for preschool to early elementary aged children.




  • Coordinate Nature PlaySpace programming, volunteers and maintenance.
  • Interact professionally with parents and staff
  • Reset area using NPS protocols at least 2 days per week
  • Maintain good communication with the staff of PRE, facilities, and the Early Childhood and Elementary (EC/EE) Unit
  • Keep accurate records for program and attendance data
  • Coordinate and lead Nature PlayDays and Nature Stories programs along with volunteers and interns
  • Manage all aspects of the NPS volunteer program including workdays for NPS maintenance
  • Take a leadership role in two featured events each year at the Nature PlaySpace such as Gnome & Fairy Day and Take a Child Outside Week.
  • Develop early childhood family programs/school programs for NPS and PRE and lead special populations programs as requested.
  • Assist Museum staff as needed with program design, instruction, or activities for NPS, PRE and early childhood professional development workshops
  • Attend Nature PlaySpace Committee meetings and PRE unit meetings; occasional EC/EE Unit Meetings.
  • Help Education Specialist with leading field trips and programs for K-12 on occasion
  • Open, close and maintain safe and smooth operations of PRE as scheduled.
  • Assist with daily operational tasks which may include customer service, cleaning bathrooms, trash and recycling removal, and other such tasks.
  • If available, assist with other Museum early childhood spaces and assisting with programming such as summer camp and outreach as needed.



Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Enthusiasm for science education and community engagement
  • Experience working with young children and their families in nature environments
  • Experience working with diverse audiences
  • Excellent communication skills, especially with young children
  • Demonstrated success in working independently, and as a member of a team and developing effective working relationships with staff, and the general public of all ages.
  • Knowledge of the principles of play work and environmental education
  • Able to hike 2-3 miles on unpaved trails, work outside in inclement weather
  • Comfortable working with a diversity of wildlife. 
  • Ability to adapt quickly and positively to unexpected changes such as inclement weather and wildlife encounters.
  • Ability to use basic garden and wood working tools
  • Ability to do basic landscaping tasks; lift 30 lbs.
  • Familiar with Microsoft Word, Excel, etc.
  • Must be dependable and punctual



Minimum Education:

High school or General Educational Development (GED) diploma and one year of experience as related to knowledge, skills, and abilities in area of assignment; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.


Preferred Education:

Earned or working towards a degree with a focus in education, psychology, biology, or natural science related to the area of assignment and one year of experience as related to knowledge, skills, and abilities in area of assignment;


To Apply: Email resume and cover letter to Bonnie Eamick,       

Application Deadline:   July 25, 2021


Melissa Dowland
Coordinator of Teacher Education
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W Jones St
Raleigh, NC 27601