LEAF Mentor


Location may be flexible within the United States


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit www.nature.org/aboutus to learn more.

The Nature Conservancy’s LEAF Program is a nationally recognized partnership effort to combine environmental curriculum in the classroom with real-world conservation work experience for urban youth.  The mission of the LEAF Program is to empower the next generation of conservation leaders.


The Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future Program (LEAF) is a month‐long 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 two primary responsibilities are: to serve as the liaison between Nature Conservancy staff and high school students participating in the program; and to help the students make the most out of their 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 students assist Nature Conservancy staff in various site management projects (i.e. trail maintenance, habitat management, exotic species control, ecological monitoring, etc.) at chapter preserves and ecologically significant sites in one of over 20 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 go between with students and The Nature Conservancy, explaining various 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 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 weekendsshould 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.

Mentor is responsible for organizing team activities, budget, equipment, required forms and evaluations.  Mentor must submit receipts and reconciliation documentation for team budget.  Mentor is also responsible for collecting forms, journals, evaluations, photos and videos from interns and submitting all documents and files to Coordinator prior to end of Season.

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 29‐July 3, 2014 (in addition to the July 7‐Aug 1 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. Strive to create a cohesive functioning team. Work with students and Conservancy staff to plan leisure activities, including but not limited to, 3 college visits and recreation activities (hiking, camping, canoeingactivities students cannot easily enjoy in the city). Guide students in journal writing and in preparation of final project and 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 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 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 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:  require considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain; present frequent possibility of injury; require long hours in isolated settings.
  • Associate’s/Technical or vocational degree and 2 years of experience working with high school students (preferably in an urban or outdoor setting), and familiarity with basic principles of positive youth development, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.
  • Experience supervising staff, students, or volunteers (i.e., leadership role and not simply peer group membership).
  • Experience performing physical outdoor work.
  • Must be 20 years of age by first day of work.


  • Experience working with high school students.Teaching experience preferred.
  • Experience working out‐of‐doors, tolerance of long hours out‐of‐doors and strenuous activities.
  • Ability to workout‐of‐doors, in all weather conditions and, at times,on difficult or hazardous terrain(e.g.steepslopes, wetlands, heavily forested or scrub land, etc.).
  • Ability and willingness to drive long distances.
  • Good team player with flexibility, strong communication and organizational skills, and a sense of humor.
  • First aid training preferableif not currently certified, training will be provided at The Nature Conservancy’s expense.
  • Must be available to interview in person at the Nature Conservancy office in the respective hiring area.
  • Must be 20 years of age by first day of work.
  • Employment term is June 29;August 1,2014


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 www.nature.org/careers.

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.


The Nature Conservancy offers competitive compensation, a 401k plan, 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.

  • $4,300 total for the five‐week period, which is paid on a bi‐weekly schedule.  Travel is required and paid by The Nature Conservancy, including rental car, lodging, first‐aid training, and stipend for group meals, travel, and recreation.

To apply to position number 41884, submit resume and cover letter as one document. All applications must be submitted in the system prior to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 23, 2014.

Failure to complete all of the required fields may result in your application being disqualified from consideration.

You must click submit to apply for the position. You may select save for later if you prefer to create a draft application for future submission. Once submitted, applications cannot be revised or edited.

If you are experiencing technical issues, please refer to our applicant user guide or contact applyhelp@tnc.org.


The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

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

DC Metro Area , Washington
The Nature Conservancy