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Every year, ACES offers an intensive Summer Naturalist program based out of ACES Hallam Lake visitor center and preserve in the heart of downtown Aspen. Summer Naturalists receive valuable training and guiding experience, focusing individual interests through the lens of mountain ecology and environmental issues. Naturalists guide hikes and lead programs at Aspen Mountain, Hallam Lake, Snowmass, the Maroon Bells, North Star Nature Preserve, and other iconic locations around Aspen. 
Many ACES employees first come to the organization through the Summer Naturalist position, including many of our small administrative staff.
The Summer Naturalist program has two goals. First, ACES aims to provide the best possible learning and working experience for Naturalists. The second goal is to offer informative and inspiring educational interactions to the public through ACES’ tours and programs.
Since 1985, over 400 Naturalists have participated in this program, many moving on to meaningful careers as program directors, writers, public teachers, wildlife biologists, university professors, public land managers, environmental lawyers, veterinarians, non-profit administrators, and sustainability experts. Over the past 25 years, more than 80% of all ACES employees have come through the Summer Naturalist position, including some of our administrative staff.
  •  Lead interpretive nature walks at Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, and the Maroon Bells in the White River National Forest
  •  Assist with the management of the Hallam Lake visitor center and 25-acre nature preserve
  •  Learn about Rocky Mountain ecology
  •  Teach environmental education programs for all ages
  •  Conduct bird of prey programs with ACES’ resident injured birds of prey
  •  Educate the public on ACES efforts to combat climate change through community engagement. 
  •  Involvement in special projects including indoor plants and live animals, indoor trout stream and rearing troughs, garden, and guided trails, and birds of prey program
  •  Degree or focus of study in the natural sciences, environmental studies, or related field
  •  Strong communication skills
  •  Self-motivated with a sincere interest in the environment
  •  Experience working with the public
  •  First Aid & CPR certification (completed by June 5, 2023)
  •  Must be a US citizen
Dates of Employment
June 5 – September 4, 2023 (June 5 – 16 mandatory staff training)
  •  $300 weekly stipend
  •  Shared housing is provided within walking distance of ACES
  •  Weekly food box from ACES Rock Bottom Ranch
  •  Tuition-free participation in one or more of ACES Naturalist Field School courses
Naturalist Summer Assistance Program
  •  Hired Summer Naturalists may be eligible for an additional $250-$2500 of funding to help with expenses associated with the position.
Application Deadline

Apply by February 15, 2023
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is an Equal Opportunity Employer. ACES does not discriminate based on race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided based on qualifications, merit, and organizational need.