Wolf Ridge offers work experience combined with regular evaluation and graduate level coursework in collaboration with Antioch University New England – designed to help you grow as an experiential educator and naturalist. This is a 10-month program from late August to Mid June that culminates in a graduate-level Certificate in Environmental Education and Sustainability, with 12 transferable graduate credits. The total cost for the program is $250 per credit and includes a private room in our sustainable staff housing and meals in our dining hall. Work study opportunities are available to offset the out of pocket price.
Graduate naturalists teach an average of 6 half-day classes a week, attend graduate seminars, live and learn in our sustainable staff housing, and explore our 2,000 acre campus while learning how to be better educators, live in community, and co-teach with the natural world.Teaching includes exploring our 2,000 acre campus with students during 3-hour long classes, giving evening program presentations to 200+ students, doing virtual field trips, and acting as a liaison to visiting schools to make sure they feel welcome on campus. You will work daily with participants of all ages, social backgrounds, physical and mental abilities, and personal interests. You will learn how to foster nature connection through outdoor, hands-on, experiential learning in all weather conditions.
An average week consists of six half-day classes from Monday through Friday, plus an average of one weekend a month. The classes cover topics in natural history, cultural history, and adventure education. Your students from visiting schools will typically range from fourth grade to 12th grade. This is a residential (total immersion) learning program designed so that you will learn from practice – teaching, exploring, and living in community.
The graduate-level Certificate of Environmental Education and Sustainability, managed by both Wolf Ridge and Antioch University New England, serves as the core of our program. At the end of your time at Wolf Ridge, you’ll leave with 12 graduate credits that can be applied toward a Master’s program at Antioch University New England or any other program in the nation that accepts transfer credits.
Everything you do here is connected to a credit. Whether you’re teaching, attending a seminar, or walking through the woods looking at plants, you’re receiving credit. Seminars and course work may include bird banding, plant identification hikes, reading about current education research, discussing equitable learning environments, tapping maple trees, practicing place-based education, lynx tracking in the national forest, and exploring local food systems. The entire program is interdisciplinary and will put you in direct contact with professionals in education, wildlife management, storytelling, business administration, organic farming, live animal care, and more.
Able to commit to August 21st 2024 - June 7th, 2025
B.A. or B.S. degree (required to receive graduate credit)
Ability to live on-site in shared staff housing (private room)
Current CPR and First Aid certification
Must be able to travel under their power, for hours at a time, through the terrain of the entire Wolf Ridge property, including on and off trail.
Most teaching time is spent outdoors in all conditions possible in northeastern MN, at all times of the year (below freezing temperatures, snow/ice, rain, heat, humidity, bugs).
Frequent traversing of 3+ miles on uneven terrain and up/down hills.
Facilitation of indoor rock climbing walls and outdoor high ropes course.
Enthusiasm for working with Children
Growth mindset and adaptability
About Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center
Wolf Ridge ELC is an accredited K-12 school that specializes in residential school trips with a focus on hands-on experiential learning. We welcome over 12,000 students, teachers, and chaperones annually to our 2,000 acre campus overlooking Lake Superior for multi-day immersive outdoor experiences. Our mission is to develop a citizenry that has the knowledge, skills, motivation, and commitment to work together for a quality environment. We achieve this by: fostering awareness, curiosity, and sensitivity to the natural world; providing lifelong learning experiences in nature; developing social understanding, respect, and cooperation; modeling values, behaviors, and technologies which lead to a sustainable lifestyle; and promoting the concepts of conservation and stewardship.