Employment Opportunities

Updated December 3, 2022

The Clifton Institute seeks an Educator to provide environmental education programs to children. This is a part-time position working 16 to 20 hours a week on Thursdays and Fridays, with the potential to work occasional Wednesdays and/or Saturdays. We would like the Educator to start sometime between mid-February and mid-March.


The Clifton Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located two miles north of Warrenton, in the northern Piedmont of Virginia. Our 900-acre field station, which includes forests, grasslands, shrub fields, and wetlands, is permanently protected under a conservation easement. In 2022 over 2,000 pre-K-12 students attended our environmental education programs; about half of those attended a field trip with their school. On our inquiry-based field trips, students learn about the scientific process and help collect data on ongoing scientific research projects. We also provide summer day camps, nature hikes for children and their families, and walks and workshops for adults. You can learn more about our field trips at cliftoninstitute.org/fieldtrips and cliftoninstitute.org/education-resources and about our other education programs at www.cliftoninstitute.org/events. The Clifton Institute is a small but dynamic organization and the successful applicant will play an important role in our organization. 

Duties for this position include:

  • Helping run half-day environmental education field trips for groups of up to 75 students. This includes communicating with teachers about the logistics of the field trips, setting up materials beforehand, working with other staff to give an introduction to the project of the day, helping students collect data (e.g. conduct plant surveys, conduct insect surveys, do phenological monitoring, count birds…), helping students visualize and analyze their data, and finally cleaning up after the field trip. The Educator will be trained in the research methods we use in each project and will be responsible for leading a group of up to 25 students (plus one to two teachers) on their own.
  • Depending on availability and interest there are (limited) opportunities to help with our other education programs, including Piedmont Polliwogs, Nature School, Nature Club, and summer camps. 
  • Other duties as assigned. 

The successful candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • A personal interest in natural history, conservation, and education. 
  • Knowledge of the natural history of the forests and grasslands of eastern North America.
  • Teaching experience and / or other relevant experience working with children.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, education, or related field. 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills required.
  • Ecological research or habitat restoration experience a plus.
  • Ability to walk on hilly terrain for 1-2 miles and be outdoors for 4+ hours in rain or shine.
  • Must be available to work 16 hours each week but may work up to 20 hours. The Educator must be available to work six hours on both Thursdays and Fridays, usually starting between 8AM and 9AM. The Educator may work exclusively on Thursdays or Fridays or work remaining hours on a mutually convenient schedule. Currently all of our programmatic staff work Tuesday through Saturday.  Ideally, the Educator could increase to 40 hours in the summer to help with our 4 weeks of summer camp.
  • Must be authorized to work in the US and able to work at our office in Warrenton, VA.

Wages and Benefits

  • The starting wages will be $25 / hour.
  • Part-time employees accrue .039 hour of paid time off per hour worked. 
  • In addition, employees of the Clifton Institute spend a significant amount of time outside on our beautiful 900-acre property. 

COVID-19 Policy 

Employees must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. At the moment we do not require employees to wear a mask in the office, but we regularly monitor CDC and state recommendations and do require masks when the situation warrants it. Visiting school groups sometimes request that our staff wear masks when around their students and the Educator will be expected to comply with these requests (field trips take place entirely outside). We occasionally host indoor programs for adults and we ask participants and staff to wear masks in these cases.

How to Apply:
Please send applications to jobs@cliftoninstitute.org. Please include a resume and a cover letter describing your interest in working at the Clifton Institute. We much prefer to read a cover letter about how this position fits in with your interests and goals rather than a letter trying to convince us of your qualifications. Please also provide the names and email addresses of at least three references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

We will be hiring research technicians for our American Kestrel and Eastern Box Turtle research projects in 2023. The positions will be posted in late 2022.

In the administration of its employment policies and practices, The Clifton Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, personal appearance, family responsibilities, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, veteran status, matriculation, political affiliation or genetic information.