ESC is currently hiring for our fall Salmon Heroes season!

Position Description: Salmon Naturalist

The Environmental Science Center (ESC) is a non-profit organization offering experiential environmental education programs at local beaches, streams, forested areas, and in classrooms throughout south King County. Our goals are to foster environmental stewardship actions in all participants of our programs, and to offer knowledge and resources for communities to deepen their relationship with their local environment. ESC recognizes that many communities in south King County – particularly Black, Indigenous, People of Color, immigrant/refugee, and low-income communities – have been systematically excluded from safe, positive outdoor experiences, and we are striving to change that. We aim to remove some of the barriers to these experiences by providing free or low-cost programs, and by working to create a safe and affirming space within our programs and in the broader community.

We are currently hiring Salmon Naturalists for our fall 2021 Salmon Heroes Program. Depending on local restrictions and current health guidelines, naturalists will be teaching both virtually and on-site at field sites and in schools around south King County. Program locations include Normandy Park Cove in Burien, the Cedar River at the Renton Community Center, Mill Creek EarthWorks Park in Kent, and Mary Olsen Farm in Auburn.

Because this position includes working in-person with elementary school students, applicants will be required to share their vaccination status as well as proof of vaccination (a picture attached to your application), if applicable. Being vaccinated is not a requirement of the position.

The three-part Salmon Heroes program introduces students to the life cycle and habitats of Pacific salmon, as well as their importance to local ecology, food webs, economy, and the culture and lifeways of Indigenous Peoples. A 1-hour Introductory Lesson (virtual or in the classroom) gives students an overview of the salmon life cycle, habitat challenges, and food web importance. The 3-hour on-site Field Lesson features activities for students to connect with the subject in diverse ways, including water quality testing, scientific illustration, guided observations, and a salmon dissection. The third component is a Synthesis Lesson (virtual or in the classroom) in which students analyze the data they gathered in the field, discuss challenges facing salmon, and brainstorm solutions for watershed and community health. ESC curriculum for each component of the program is provided.



  • Teach lessons and facilitate activities for 4th-8th grades about salmon life cycle, anatomy, habitat needs, ethnobotany, watershed health, and human impacts on salmon habitat.
  • Model appropriate stewardship behavior.
  • Guide groups of 10-15 students during in-person Field Lesson programs.
  • Give feedback on programs and contribute to staff debriefs.


  • Experience teaching youth in outdoor or informal settings.
  • Knowledge of the western Washington riparian ecosystem, human impacts on watershed health, and the lifecycle, habitat needs, and ecological importance of salmon.
  • Willingness to work outdoors in most weather conditions.
  • Exceptional interpretive skills.
  • Ability to teach in a language other than English a plus, with weight given to languages commonly spoken by the students we work with (Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic).
  • Must have reliable transportation.
  • Must be able to pass a Washington State background check.


Compensation: $18.00/hour – $20.50/hour DOE


Time Commitment:

  • Part-time/seasonal, based on demand from schools; no set hour average. Will be scheduled primarily for Field Lessons, with potential for other work.

The Salmon season starts in September and runs through mid-December. Field studies are 3 or 4 hours and are typically scheduled Monday – Friday between 9:00am and 2:00pm. Salmon naturalist time commitment per shift is typically 4 hours for Field Lessons: 3 hours of instruction and 1 hour of set-up/clean-up/debrief.

Attendance is required at two in-person training days, which will occur September 14th-17th (exact dates to be determined by naturalists’ availability). Training will be approximately 14 hours, with 12 in-person hours taking place at our field sites in Renton and Kent. Additional training days will occur throughout the season.


Supervisor: Rosie Wilson-Briggs, ESC Program Coordinator


On-site Work Locations:

  • Normandy Park Cove (1500 SW Shorebrook Drive, Normandy Park, WA 98166)
  • Renton Community Center (1715 SE Maple Valley Hwy, Renton, WA 98057)
  • Mill Creek Earthworks Park (742 E Titus St, Kent, WA 98030)
  • Mary Olsen Farm (28728 Green River Road, Kent, WA 98030)


How to Apply:  Please fill out the Salmon Naturalist application Google form and send a current resume with subject line “Job Opening Salmon Naturalist” via e-mail to ESC’s Program Coordinator by emailing


Applications due by Friday, August 27th. For more information, please email Rosie.


We are an equal opportunity employer and value equity, anti-racism, and hiring staff who reflect the communities we work with.

All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.

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