As Penn State University's outdoor learning laboratory, Shaver's Creek offers environmental education programs, natural history exhibits, a raptor center, discovery room and miles of hiking trails.

Are you looking for an excellent springboard to a career in cultural/natural history and the environmental education professions?

Shaver's Creek is Penn State University's nature center and environmental education laboratory seeking to enhance the quality of life by providing exemplary outdoor learning opportunities. Located twelve miles south of State College and the main campus of Penn State University, this multifaceted center offers environmental education programs for group visits, natural and cultural history exhibits, live birds of prey, amphibians and reptiles, hiking trails, native plant gardens, and more. The Raptor Center, providing perpetual care and housing for eagles, falcons, hawks and owls, is one of the few federally and state-licensed raptor facilities in Pennsylvania.

What You Can Do

Environmental Education Interns become an integral part of the staff and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the center's operation.

Environmental Education Internships
(6-8 Interns per season)

Environmental Education Interns become an integral part of the Shaver's Creek staff and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the Center's operation. A two-week orientation and training period is followed by seasonal program opportunities in both day and residential settings. Interns work with all ages, preschool to adult, and with a variety of groups, including schools, private organizations, clubs, and the general public. Program areas provide each Intern an opportunity to work in planning, delivering and evaluating the Center's educational and recreational programming. Observation and videotaping are used in evaluation, and interns are encouraged to keep a journal.

Internship Program Areas:
School day programs for grades K-12
Residential Outdoor Education program for grades 5-8
Summer Day Camps for ages 4-15
Visitor Center operations
Live animal care and handling
Public natural and cultural history walks
Volunteer training and supervision
Adventure and recreational programs
Weekend festivals and events
Team building programs
Curriculum and program development
Contributing posts to the Center's blog
Trail stewardship & invasive plant removal
Citizen science projects

Penn State Outdoor SchoolDid you know?
Interns play a huge part in the Penn State Outdoor School, a four-day, residential program for upper-elementary school students run by Shaver's Creek. Environmental Education Interns will provide children with a positive, outdoor education experience as they learn about the natural world through hands-on lessons and guided exploration. Check out current and former Interns who help out with the program by visiting the Penn State Outdoor School Facebook page.

Interning at Shaver's Creek literally changed my life. The community here was the most heartfelt, loving community I have ever had the pleasure of being apart of. The support was huge, and the Outdoor Director gave us room to try, learn and experiment on our own. I did not feel like an Intern, but rather, I felt like an important part of the family. Like I mattered. Now I realize that I have great potential for impact. —Cat Cici

Raptor Interns will manage and care for over forty animals (raptors, reptiles, amphibians) and provide educational programming.

Raptor Center Internships
(1 Intern per season)

The Raptor Center Internship at Shaver's Creek is more than birds of prey. It's also working with a group of dedicated people who are passionately following the center's mission of maintaining harmony between human activities and the natural systems that support all living species. Raptor Interns will work closely with the Director to manage and care for over forty animals (raptors, reptiles, amphibians) and provide educational programming with these animals. Responsibilities include facilitation of the daily cleaning and feeding of the menagerie, assisting with routine health checks and maintaining equipment used with the animals. You will also help to train others (students, volunteers, staff) in animal handling and care. Educational programming includes outreach programs to schools, nature centers and civic organizations around the state of Pennsylvania.

Please contact Jason Beale to check on internship availability for the season you are interested in applying to.

Second Chances — Raptor Center at Shaver's Creek
The Shaver's Creek Raptor Center provides a home for a variety of birds of prey that have suffered an injury and cannot continue to survive in the wild. Interns and staff provide support for the animals, and in return the birds of prey provide a rare learning experience. Learn more about the Raptor Center »

An Adventure Intern leading a rock climbing class.

Adventure Program Internship
(1 Intern per summer season)

The Adventure Programs Intern will work with a team to develop, market and implement adventure programs, including rock climbing, teambuilding, mountain biking, caving, canoeing and administrative duties as assigned. The Adventure Intern will also co-lead four weeks of Rock 'n' River adventure camp for teens. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, certified in WFA and CPR, have prior leadership and outdoor experience, the ability to work closely with others and a willingness to learn and take on leadership roles and responsibilities.

This is a great hands-on experience with quality supervision and feedback.

Time Commitment

Teaching a summer camp stream study course.

The time an Intern spends at Shaver's Creek is demanding and intensely rewarding. You must have a sense of purpose, love children and animals, enjoy people, and possess a willingness to communicate a joy in and respect for our natural and cultural heritage.

Environmental Education internships are available during the winter/spring, summer and fall seasons, with an average work week of 45 hours (which does include some weekends). Raptor Center internships are available during the winter/spring and fall. Multiple seasons are possible. Adventure Program internships are summer only.

Perks & Rewards

Staff participate in an interlocking hoops challenge!

Interns are valued members of the Shaver's Creek staff. Benefits include a weekly stipend (EE Intern–$175/week; Raptor Center Intern–$300/week; Adventure Intern–$300/week) along with on-site housing nestled in the woods away from park visitors, with a private bedroom (at this time, there is no housing available for the Adventure Intern). Interns are encouraged to participate in professional development workshops and regional conferences, and each season includes a three-day staff trip to another environmental center or a facility of interest. Interns also have a workspace with computer and Internet access. Career counseling, job listing resources, and assistance with resume writing are also provided.

The Essentials

People from around the country travel to Shaver's Creek to be a part of this unique internship program.

Individuals from around the country travel to Shaver's Creek to be a part of this unique internship program. Successful candidates have a strong desire to teach and share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world. A background in education or the natural sciences is helpful but not necessary. Applications are encouraged from undergraduates, graduates and those seeking a career change.

Did You Know?

An Environmental Education Intern holds a bag of trash—the only one that could not be recycled or composted after a weekend festival of over 500 visitors!

Shaver’s Creek is a Zero Waste Facility!
Zero waste means that Shaver's Creek will reduce, reuse, recycle, or compost nearly all of the materials that is used on the property, with an ultimate goal of sending no garbage to the landfill. In the above photo, an Environmental Education Intern holds a bag of trash—the only one that could not be recycled or composted after a weekend festival of over 500 visitors. Now, that's amazing! Learn more about the Zero Waste Facility Initiative »

Your First Move

Spider Intern!

To begin the application process, email or fax your resume, cover letter and three professional references to the specific internship contact noted below. Environmental Education applicants must also complete the online Intern application form. Phone interviews are conducted with top candidates.

Internship Program Dates & Application Deadlines:
Adventure Program Summer (May/June–August): January 31st
EE and Raptor Summer (May/June–August): March 1st
EE and Raptor Fall (September–December): June 15th
EE and Raptor Winter/Spring (January–May): November 1st

Applications are accepted until all positions are filled—so apply early!

Insider Tips for Environmental Education Interns
The most successful candidates have some experience working with children. A site visit and meeting with the Intern Coordinator is beneficial, but not necessary. Many first-time undergraduate candidates who are not initially accepted into the internship program mistakenly fail to reapply for an upcoming season. Persistence pays off so keep trying! —Doug Wentzel


Never Stop Discovering entrance to Shaver's Creek Environmental Center.

Summer 2018 Internships
Now accepting applications for a summer Adventure Program Intern through January 31st and Environmental Education Interns through March 1st (or until 6-8 positions fill). Work from May/June–August.

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center
Penn State Outreach
3400 Discovery Rd.
Petersburg, PA 16669
(814) 863-2000
(814) 865-2706 fax

Environmental Education Internships
Doug Wentzel, Internship Coordinator

Raptor Center Internships
Jason Beale, Program Director of Live Animal Care

Adventure Program Internship
Will Wise, Program Director

Internship Program Overview »

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