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Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy

  • 1 Cove Road, Avalon, CA
  • www.emeraldbayoutdooracademy.org

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Resident Naturalist – Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy

The Emerald Bay Outdoor Academy is a youth science education program based at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island and operated by the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of environmental stewards through overnight science programs and Educational Outreach Partnerships. Our students come from public, private, charter, and homeschool organizations. We serve students in grades 5th through 12th every Spring and Fall.


min experience

salary range

$18 - $18 / hour

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Job Dates:

  • This is a seasonal position.
    • Spring season is March 3 – May 29, 2024.
  • Average of 40 hours per week with opportunities for overtime.

All-Staff Responsibilities:

  • Provide exceptional customer service to all student and adult chaperone program participants.
  • Maintain professionalism in the workplace and around camp.
  • Attempt the American Red Cross Lifeguard certification provided on-site during staff training week.
  • Instruct courses for students attending 3, 4, and 5-day overnight outdoor education programs.
  • Provide lifeguarding for Outdoor Academy and other Emerald Bay programs.
  • Provide basic first aid.
  • Clean and maintain camp equipment and course materials.
  • Assist with the general cleanup and cleaning of camp.
  • Participate in staff trainings.
  • Participate in weekly staff meetings.
  • Assist with meal serving when assigned.
  • Provide retail help in the Ship’s Store trading post when assigned.
  • Other duties as assigned in camp may include work projects and providing staff assistance for non-Academy groups such as YMCA weekend groups.

Naturalist Specific Responsibilities:

  • Instruct courses for students attending 3, 4, or 5-day overnight outdoor education programs. Instruction includes course and material setup/cleanup, managing group dynamics, being knowledgeable in content and lesson plans, and managing group safety.
    • Course Training is provided.
    • Courses include (but are not limited to):
      • Kelp Forest Exploration (classroom and activity component of kayak, paddleboard, or snorkel)
      • Environmental Stewardship
      • Island Biogeography
      • Astronomy
      • Nocturnal Wonderland
      • Science labs: Ichthyology (fish dissection), oil spills cleanup, plankton lab
      • Marine Invertebrates & Intertidal Zonation
      • Hiking
      • Archery
      • Team Building
    • Oversee instruction for one animal group at a time with an average of 16 students. Instruction also includes group management such as ensuring students are prepared, engaging students in the activities and curriculums, and collaborating with chaperones and the Outdoor Academy Leadership Team when difficult youth behaviors arise.
    • Assist with curriculum development when needed.
    • Actively grow in knowledge of relevant science content and natural history of Catalina Island.

Additional Job Information:

  • Staff must reside on-site at Camp Emerald Bay in staff housing.
  • Staff are employed by the Western Los Angeles County Council, Boy Scouts of America. A current BSA membership is required and can be completed online during onboarding. The annual BSA membership fee is $75 plus a $2.25 administration fee.
  • Pets are not permitted in camp.
  • Paid leave is not provided however off-island travel for personal needs may be accommodated with advanced notice.

To Apply:

  • Send the following to Program Director Burton Miller at [email protected]
    • Resume
    • Cover Letter
    • Three professional references

Special Benefits


  • First and last boat ticket to and from Catalina Island are provided.
  • Hourly pay rate is $18 per hour with opportunities for overtime.
  • Housing and meals provided subject to a weekly salary deduction of $218.59.
  • Access to world class waterfront and the rugged West End of Catalina Island.
  • Use of facilities and recreational equipment during off hours.
  • Training opportunities include American Red Cross with CPR/First Aid/Waterfront components and Catalina Naturalist.

Minimum Requirements


  • College degree (or near completion) in environmental or marine sciences, recreation, education, or related field.
  • 21+
  • Passion for outdoors and education.
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Certified preferred (training provided if not certified).
  • Previous experience working with youth in an outdoor or STEM setting.
  • Flexibility as job demands can change quickly.
  • Ability to work long, physically and mentally demanding days which include a variety of land and water-based activities.
  • Self-starter, able to work independently and in a group.
  • Desire to learn and grow professionally and contribute to a growing program.
  • Ability to pass background check.

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