Summer Mentor for Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program

Arlington, VA, US

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact for people and nature around the world in 69 countries, all 50 United States, major US cities and in your neighborhood. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity. Therefore, we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, 401k or savings-plan matching for eligible employees, excellent benefits, flexible work policies and a collaborative work environment. We also provide professional development opportunities and promote from within. As a result, you will find a culture that supports and inspires conservation achievement and personal development, both within the workplace and beyond.


The Mentor for Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program (LEAF) oversees a group of high school interns, chaperoning and guiding the team while working alongside them as they perform outdoors stewardship work on our nature preserves.


The Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program (LEAF) is a month long, residential internship which provides students from Environmental High Schools with the opportunity to work alongside The Nature Conservancy staff on field based projects.

The mentor’s primary responsibilities are:

To work alongside their assigned high school student interns in the field, ensure the emotional and physical safety of their assigned interns, serve as the liaison between Nature Conservancy staff and their assigned interns; and to help their assigned interns make the most out of their LEAF experiences. For the duration of the program, mentors are required to live with the students at Conservancy provided housing and are responsible for building a cohesive team, facilitating communication and managing disciplinary issues, working with Nature Conservancy staff on any issues when necessary. Mentors and interns assist Nature Conservancy staff in various site management projects (i.e. trail maintenance, habitat management, exotic species control, ecological monitoring, urban conservation projects, etc.) at chapter preserves, with partners and at ecologically significant sites in one of over 25 states across the country. In addition, teams may be required to work in the chapter office and with other Nature Conservancy staff. Mentors serve as the liaison between students and The Nature Conservancy, explaining and demonstrating work tasks, motivating students and facilitating communication amongst the team. Mentors are expected to serve as role models, taking an active part in work and activities that students and Nature Conservancy staff perform. Mentors are given one work day off each week that will be coordinated with site based staff. Mentors must be present for all evenings (including days off) and are required to work all weekends—should the need arise, mentors may be required to transport teams from home base to the work site and back on days off. Mentors work with the team to plan various academic and recreational activities, including a minimum of three college visits. Personal visitors or pets are not allowed during the intern season, for both interns and mentors. Use of cell phones, computers, tablets and other electronic devices will be minimal for mentors. Interns are not allowed to possess these electronics during the season.

Mentor is responsible for organizing team activities, budget, equipment, required forms and evaluations. Mentor must submit receipts and reconciliation documentation for team budget in compliance with Conservancy standards and in a timely manner. Mentor is also responsible for collecting forms, journals, evaluations, photos and videos from interns and submitting all documents and files to Coordinator at the end of Season.

This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees cannot drive Conservancy owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered a “high risk driver.” Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which will include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record. Mentors are required to use the provided rental car to transport interns and cannot use their personal vehicle. For rental car purposes, it is preferred that candidates be at least 25 years of age. Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

This position also requires satisfactory completion of a criminal background check. Candidates offered positions will be provided with an electronic authorization form and employment will be contingent upon the results of a background check.


  • Attend residential orientation and training sessions held from June 28th-July 3rd, 2017 (in addition to the July 5th-August 1st intern season dates). Mentor may be required, as schedules permit, to complete a paid office day after the end of the program to process paperwork and equipment.

  • Act as the mentor and chaperone for a team of three or four high school interns, or as a co-mentor for a group of six or eight interns. Create a cohesive functioning team. Work with students and Conservancy staff to plan leisure activities, including but not limited to, 3 college visits and outdoor recreation activities (hiking, camping, canoeing— activities students cannot easily enjoy in the city). Guide students in journal writing and in preparation of final project and/or final essay. Ensure compliance with Nature Conservancy rules and regulations and work with Nature Conservancy Staff to resolve any issues that arise. Mentor must travel with interns, including first and last day travel to and from assigned work location.

  • Assist chapter stewards in various site management projects at the chapter preserves (trail maintenance, habitat management, biological and botanical monitoring, exotic species control, etc.) Motivate students to participate fully in all projects.

  • Communicate with the chapter stewards and assist in demonstrating and explaining the work to the interns.

  • Proactively seek feedback from Nature Conservancy staff on student/team performance and concerns. Relate concerns of students and Nature Conservancy staff to one another. Facilitate weekly team meetings and mid-term and final evaluation process.

  • Responsible for managing team budget (receipts and reconciliation) and equipment. Assist and instruct interns in managing budgets, buying groceries, cooking meals and other general housekeeping responsibilities. Facilitate equitable division of “household” chores.

  • Facilitate communication among team members and help resolve any problems that may arise between the interns or between interns and Nature Conservancy staff. Assist in conflict resolution and inform Nature Conservancy Chapter staff of any potential issues before they arise. Seek assistance in resolution when necessary. Participate in weekly conference calls with Nature Conservancy Staff.

  • Fill out necessary paperwork, including tracking expenses, to ensure proper administration and evaluation of the program.

  • Mentors are expected to participate in pre and post program surveys and focus groups about their experience.

Work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain and under physically demanding circumstances. These conditions: requireconsiderable physical exertion and/or muscular strain; present frequent possibility of injury; require long hours in isolated settings


  • Associate’s/Technical or vocational degree (or equivalent combination of education and experience).

  • Work experience of either 2 years of cumulative experience working with high school students (preferably in an urban or outdoor setting) OR 9 months of cumulative experience leading residential wilderness trips for high school students, OR equivalent combination of the two.

  • Experience with basic principles of positive youth development.

  • Experience supervising staff, students, or volunteers (i.e., leadership role and not simply peer group membership).

  • Must be 20 years of age by first day of work.

  • Must have a valid driver’s license and meet Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program guidelines


  • Teaching or residential experience with high school students preferred.

  • Experience and ability working out-of-doors, in all weather conditions and, at times, on difficult or hazardous terrain (e.g. steep slopes, wetlands, heavily forested or scrub land, etc.), performing strenuous activities, for up to eight hours per day.

  • Ability and willingness to drive long distances.

  • Good team player with flexibility, strong communication and organizational skills, and a sense of humor.

  • Preference for candidates residing in or near the same cities in which interns are hired, namely:

Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; New Haven, CT; Wilmington, DE; Denver, CO; Lithonia, GA; Louisville, KY; Newark, NJ; Plainfield, NJ; Albany, NY; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Central Falls, RI; Tacoma, WA

  • Current Wilderness First Aid (WFA) or higher certification- if not currently certified, training will be provided at The Nature Conservancy’s expense prior to the start of the program


This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


June 28– July 3rd and July 5th- August 1st, 2017 (all dates required)

**Note: Mentor is required to accompany interns until they are returned to their parent/guardians. In rare occasions, this may extend the end of work until August 2nd, due to travel delays


$4,700 total for the five-week period, which is paid ona bi weekly schedule. Travel is required and paid by The Nature Conservancy.


To apply to position number 44910, submit resume (required) and cover letter separately using the upload buttons. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on June 28, 2017.

Click “submit” to apply for the position or “save for later” to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited. Failure to complete required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

If you experience technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact [email protected]*LI-

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of men and women of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

The successful applicant must meet the requirements of *The Nature Conservancy’s background screening process.*

Job Title: Summer Mentor for Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program

Location: DC Metro Area

Job ID: 44910

Regular/Temporary: Temporary

Full/Part Time: Full-Time