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Last Updated: November 25, 2014

River Bend Nature Center offers two different naturalist fellowships and one outdoor recreation fellowship: nine-month school year Naturalist Educator Fellows and three-month Summer Program Naturalists. See below for the current status of our fellowship application processes.

Summer Program Naturalist 2014
We are no longer accepting applications for our 2014 summer program naturalist positions.

Work as part of a friendly, dynamic staff dedicated to connecting people to the natural world. Interns gain extensive experience creating and implementing programs. Summer Program Naturalists teach programs for youth environmental day camps serving children from pre-school through age 12. Programs use the outdoors for experiential activities, taking advantage of wetland, woodland, and restored tall-grass prairie habitats. Some programs are off-site, overnight sessions. Summer naturalists welcome and interact with visitors, assist with facility and habitat management, and contribute to the newsletter. The position runs from June 2 - August 22, 2014. Click here for position description.

Naturalist Educator Fellowship 2014-2015
We are no longer accepting applications for our 2014-2015 Naturalist Educator fellowship.

Naturalist Educators lead elementary through middle school field experiences, work with public programming, and participate in all aspects of the nature center operations. A well-defined, diverse curriculum offers a progression of hands-on learning experiences and professional growth opportunities. These experiences help naturalist fellows develop a foundation in interpretation, gain confidence as an outdoor educator, grow in understanding the natural world, learn skills in program development, experience managing independent projects, receive exposure to land management operations, work with volunteers, participate in special events, contribute to newsletters, design brochures and displays, and interact with the general public. The position runs from Sept. 3, 2014 through May 22, 2015. Click here for position description.

Life As An Naturalist Educator At River Bend

The text below was created and written by the 2007-2008 school year naturalists to provide information to potential and future seasonal naturalist educators of River Bend Nature Center. If you have further questions for the current naturalists please contact

At Work

  • The school year fellowship primarily focuses on elementary-aged education, while the summer fellowship works with camps and kids of all ages.
  • Besides learning about environmental education, naturalists learn about the every day workings of a nature center. This includes things like creating displays, upkeep and organization of the building, and helping visitors.
  • Faribault is a diverse community, therefore, River Bend hosts different cultural programs, in which fellows are encouraged to participate.
  • Naturalists are involved with planning, organizing, and participating in special events at RBNC.
  • As a Naturalist Educator, you will have a chance to help with other educational programs, including science classes for home school programs and waste education for the elementary schools of Rice County.
  • When you work at River Bend, you are working as a team in a close knit group.


Intern Naturalists

"River Bend has an intern program like no other I've found. The focus on training; improving skills and experience; developing new curricula, programs, and displays; and allowing interns to coordinate large events and county-wide waste education programs has honestly changed me as a person."
  - Leah G., school year & summer intern

"If it were not for all these wonderful and varied experiences at RBNC I would not have been as well prepared for my first full time job the following year nor for the many years of programming and program management that I have had in my career. The internship gave me the basic tools that jump-started my career."
   - Allison D., school year intern


At Home

  • River Bend Nature Center provides housing for its seasonal educators, including all utilities and basic cable TV.
  • The house is fully furnished, with everything from a dining room table, couches, coffee tables, a TV, and even a VCR/DVD player and stereo.
  • The house has four bedrooms and two bathrooms.
  • The kitchen is fully equipped with utensils, plates, cups, pans, and anything you could need, except a dishwasher!
  • Each bedroom has a dresser, twin sized bed, ceiling fan, closet, and a cable outlet.
  • A large backyard with apple trees, vegetable gardens, and a compost pile, is great for relaxing. There is also a back porch large enough for patio furniture and a grill, which the house has, including a second, completely vegan grill.
  • Spacious garages provide space for cars, storage, or even working out!
  • The house has a utility room with on site laundry and an extra refrigerator, which is helpful for food storage.
  • The drive way is large enough to fit four cars comfortably.

At Play

  • The Faribault community accepts River Bend Interns with open arms and is very generous.
  • Faribault has a small town feel, but it is culturally diverse. It is home to the State Academy for the Deaf, the State Academy for the Blind, Hispanic and Somali populations, and Shattuck-St Mary’s (a prep school known for its hockey program)
  • Faribault offers great mountain biking and cross-country ski trails right at River Bend Nature Center, as well as a very active bike and ski club, called The Faribault Flyers.
  • The Cannon Valley Trail is a path about 20 miles long and runs from Cannon Falls to Red Wing. Big Woods State Park, in nearby Nerstand, is also close to Faribault.
  • There are extra curricular opportunities with art classes and community theater offered at Paradise Center for the Arts located in downtown Faribault and gym and sport opportunities at Faribault's Community Center.
  • Faribault's Buckham Memorial Library has extended hours some evenings of the week, and a great collection of books, movies and music and helpful and friendly librarians to help you with all your library needs.
  • The town has a variety of restaurants, including franchises McDonald's, Burger King, Perkins, A & W, two Dairy Queens, three Subways, KFC, Jimmy John's, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Papa Murphy's, Godfather's, and Boston's; and, delicious local eateries the Depot Bar & Grill, the Cheese Cave, the Coffee Shop, El Tequila, Gran Plaza, and Mizuki Fusion. It also is home to a Wal-Mart Supercenter; Faribo West Mall; Hy-Vee, Fareway, and Aldi grocery stores.
  • Faribault is about a 45 minute drive from the Mall of America, REI, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
  • There is an outlet center about 15 minutes south of Faribault, in Medford.
  • Faribault is about 50 miles straight down I-35 from the Twin Cities metro area, which provides opportunities to attend concerts, professional and college sporting events, including Twins games.
  • There are other small communities close by, including Northfield (home of St Olaf College and Carleton College).
  • We are close to Owatonna (about 20 minutes away), which has stores like Kohl’s, Target, Fleet Farm, and Cabela’s, which Faribault does not have. It also has a lot of city parks and nearby state park to mountain bike or cross country ski. There is even the Morehouse Park Chalet where you can ice skate on the Straight River (rentals available!).
  • And we've only just begun exploring!


« Our mission is to help people discover, enjoy, understand, and preserve the incredible natural world that surrounds us. »
   River Bend Nature Center a donor-supported, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
PO Box 186, 1000 Rustad Rd, Faribault, MN 55021-0186 USA
 507.332.7151  |
©2016 River Bend Nature Center. Faribault, MN, USA.
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