Education Assistant – Ijams

Location of Service: Ijams Nature Center – 2915 Island Home Ave, Knoxville, TN 37920

About Ijams Nature Center:

Located three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams Nature Center is a non-profit environmental education center visited annually by more than 160,000 people from around the world. With 315 acres of forests, meadows, wetlands, and creeks, Ijams is perfect for students, families, and nature lovers of all ages. Ijams educational programs include: camps, field trips, outreach, homeschool, animal encounters, low and high ropes course, volunteer opportunities, Nature Preschool, and a variety of year-round programs and events for families and adults. Ijams offers educational engagement opportunities no matter the age and level of experience in the outdoors.

Ijams Mission: To encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences.

Ijams Vision: Through direct experience with the outdoors all people will appreciate and care for the natural world.


The Education Assistant position at Ijams Nature Center will help with several aspects of the education program at Ijams Nature Center. During the work week, this position will assist with leading hikes and live animal programs for school field trips and other youth and adult programming. In addition, this member will assist with outreach presentations at local schools and youth organizations, hikes and outdoor educational programming for ages 3-5 at Ijams Nature Preschool, and adult and family education throughout the year. This member will help with preparing activities, teaching emergent student-centered pedagogy, maintaining safety, assisting with program development and marketing, and have the opportunity to develop new initiatives with the Education Team.

This position will be trained to handle, care for, and present animals that are part of our Education program, including snakes, turtles, spiders, and birds of prey. This position will also be trained to deliver student-centered educational pedagogy and strategies, risk management policies, and aspects of public engagement techniques.
The AmeriCorps member filling this position should be ready to provide excellent customer service for visitors and program participants. The member will be expected to provide supervision, group and behavior management, and instruction to participants. The member will also monitor and ensure participant safety and well-being during all programs.

Other Duties:

  • Provide public relations/customer service to parents, guardians, and participants to ensure a positive impression of education programs
  • Working closely with Education team members to assist with scheduling, administrative, marketing, and evaluation tasks of various program areas, when appropriate
  • Communicate with supervisor regularly
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Bachelor’s degree in a field related to natural history, education, outdoor recreation, or environmental science, or two to four years of experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Basic knowledge and experience regarding natural history of East Tennessee desired
  • General knowledge of biology, ecology, natural science, cultural history, and/or teaching methods
  • Public speaking skills and the ability to work with people of all ages
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills, with attention to detail, accuracy, and deadlines
  • The ability to multitask, prioritize and display excellent time management skills
  • Responsible, creative, relational, enthusiastic, flexible, self-motivated and resourceful team player
  • Ability to speak, read, and/or write Spanish a plus
  • Must successfully complete a pre-service, post-offer background screen, and motor vehicle record screen (MVR).
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Passion for nature and the ability to deliver programs in a pleasant, tactful, and enthusiastic manner
  • Pass a background check with Department of Health, complete a physical, and complete 6-8 hours of DHS training (for work with ages 3-5)
  • Must adhere to Ijams Nature Center’s COVID-19 policies and procedures that involve wearing masks for long periods of time, distancing with participants, and disinfecting educational equipment.

While performing these duties, the member is frequently required to sit, talk, hear, use keyboard, view computer monitor for potentially long periods and use phones. The employee occasionally will be required to lift and/or move 15-40 pounds and may need to carry for approximate distances up to 50 feet, bend, reach with hands and arms, use fingers to write or type and handle or feel, walk, carry documents, crouch, stoop, kneel, climb stairs, and use a step ladder in lifting and lowering materials. The position requires use of office equipment such as computer, copier, hole punch, calculator, fax machine, postage machine and Point-of-Sale system. Specific vision abilities required by this position include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus. This position requires a candidate in good physical condition, with the ability to stand, walk, and hike for extended periods of time. This position requires being outside in all conditions, including inclement weather and a wide range of temperatures. While performing the duties of this position, the member may be exposed to dust, temperature variance, weather variance, noise, pollens and fumes.

  • A modest living allowance of $18,000*, or, $765.95 bi-weekly (pre-tax), paid over 47 weeks. *Pending Grant Funding
  • Education Award of $6,495 (pre-tax) that can be applied to student loans and/or future education expenses
  • Up to $250 Relocation Reimbursement if relocating over 50 miles for service
  • A Health insurance subsidy is available for members covered through
  • 80 Hours Personal Leave
  • 10 Holidays
  • Worker’s Compensation
  • Child Care Reimbursement
  • May be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In-house SNAP benefits specialist available to provide assistance in determining eligibility.
  • May be eligible for utility bill assistance. In-house specialists available to provide assistance with determining eligibility.
  • Professional development and networking opportunities.
  • Optional opportunity to enroll concurrently in Carson Newman MBA in Nonprofit Leadership

Equity and Inclusion: The Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will take action to ensure that members and employees are treated equally without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, gender, romantic/sexual orientation, age, handicap, cultural or religious convictions.  CAC AmeriCorps provides reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees.  Applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodation at any point in the recruitment / employment process.