Great Hollow is seeking a dynamic and passionate Preserve Steward & Naturalist to maintain its grounds, facilities, and trails, manage its preserve for native species, and develop and lead engaging outreach programs. Approximately two thirds of the position will entail property and facilities maintenance while the remainder will entail education/outreach, field research, administrative tasks, animal care, and other miscellaneous responsibilities.

Position Description

The Preserve Steward & Naturalist position is very multifaceted and has a wide range of responsibilities that require intimate knowledge of local natural history along with facility maintenance and groundskeeping abilities. The person in this position plays a critical role in the day-to-day operation of Great Hollow and works closely with Great Hollow’s executive director and education coordinator.

As Great Hollow’s land steward and head of facilities maintenance, s/he will be directly responsible for (1) the maintenance of Great Hollow’s buildings, which include historic houses and barns; (2) groundskeeping/landscaping of Great Hollow’s campus; (3) maintenance of a 4-mile trail network; (4) helping to care for Great Hollow’s collection of non-releasable birds of prey; and (5) management of habitat in support of native plants and wildlife.

The selected applicant will also contribute to Great Hollow’s education, outreach, and research initiatives by (1) cultivating and maintaining relationships with local conservation groups, land trusts, regulatory agencies, schools, community organizations and the general public; (2) developing and leading outreach programs; (3) helping to organize large community events; (4) providing support to children’s environmental education programs and camps; and (5) assisting with field research.

Weekend and evening work is sometimes required to lead or support programs and events, accommodate renters of Great Hollow’s property for private functions, respond to urgent matters (e.g., storms, power outages), care for education animals, and other reasons. Weekend and evening work will be compensated for by taking time off during normal working hours the following week(s).

Primary responsibilities of the position include:

  • Maintain Great Hollow’s hiking trails, including removal of fallen trees and other debris, mowing and weed whacking, replacement of trail markers and other signage, temporary closure of trail sections due to flooding or unsafe conditions, etc.
  • Manicure and maintain Great Hollow’s campus, including landscaping, lawnmowing, weed whacking, weeding of flower beds and pollinator garden, snow plowing and shoveling, leaf removal, litter removal, etc.
  • Maintain facilities, including basic repairs, heating and cooling system maintenance, gutter cleanouts, winterization of seasonal housing, and light janitorial work (e.g., trash/recycling management; sweeping/vacuuming; upkeep of restrooms, main work areas, and program rooms).
  • Maintain and operate gas-powered equipment including but not limited to zero-turn and push-lawnmowers, Kubota UTV, portable generator, chainsaw, weedwhacker, leaf-blower, etc.
  • Set up and break down tables and chairs, and reset bathrooms for private rentals of Great Hollow for weddings, birthday parties, and similar functions.
  • Help care for Great Hollow’s non-releasable birds of prey, including management of food supplies, feeding, and cleaning and maintenance of enclosures.
  • Develop and lead engaging outreach programs and interpretive hikes focused on Northeastern natural history.
  • Steward cooperative relationships with diverse groups, including schools, land trusts, community organizations (e.g., Scouts), local businesses, adjacent landowners, conservation NGOs, government agencies, colleges and universities, and the general public to promote and further Great Hollow’s education, outreach, land management, and research initiatives.
  • Assist Great Hollow scientists with field research and biodiversity inventorying and monitoring.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities for habitat enhancement around the preserve, including but not limited to invasive plant management.
  • Provide written and photographic content for Great Hollow’s website, social media outlets, annual reports, and other outreach and marketing materials.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in natural resources management, conservation biology, environmental education, or a similar field.
  • Manual labor experience involving landscaping, habitat restoration, groundskeeping, and/or building maintenance and light repair work.
  • Ability to maintain and safely operate power equipment such as a zero-turn lawnmower, UTV, gas-powered chainsaw, gas-powered leaf blower, gas-powered weedwhacker, and pressure washer.
  • Experience with land stewardship, nature interpretation, environmental education/outreach, field biology, nature center work, or similar.
  • Intimate knowledge of northeastern U.S. natural history, including ecosystems and biological communities.
  • Familiarity with basic field biology methods (e.g., vegetation surveys, bird surveys, radiotelemetry) and current principles of wildlife and habitat management.
  • Outgoing and engaging personality, strong interpersonal skills, and ability to design and deliver inspirational interpretive programming to all ages.
  • Experience working with partners such as local NGOs, land trusts, schools, community organizations, and local and state government agencies.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, punctuality, and ability to meet deadlines.
  • Strong self-direction and successful experience meeting goals with a high degree of autonomy.
  • Ability to communicate well with diverse audiences, verbally and in writing. English fluency required.
  • Proficiency with common software such as Microsoft Word and Excel, web browsers, social media applications, etc.
  • Ability to work under variable and inclement weather conditions, on challenging terrain, under physically demanding circumstances, climb ladders, and lift heavy objects.
  • Valid driver’s license.
  • Current CPR-First Aid certification or willingness to obtain.
  • U.S. citizenship or current authorization to work in the U.S.
  • Ability to start no later than July 15, 2023.


The Preserve Steward & Naturalist will receive a competitive compensation package that includes a starting salary of $45,000 – $55,000 (DOE), an annual performance-based bonus, 10 paid vacation days and 5 paid personal/sick days per year, fully employer-covered health insurance, and a 401k retirement plan with an employer match of up to $2,500 per year. Short-term, on-site housing will be temporarily available for anyone moving long-distance until they are able to make their own living arrangements.

How to Apply

As a single PDF, please email (1) a cover letter that summarizes your most relevant experience with facilities and property maintenance, land stewardship, and nature interpretation/outreach, and what attracted you to the position (2) a resume/CV, and (3) contact information for at least two relevant references to Chad Seewagen at . Please put “NATURALIST/STEWARD_[last name]” in the subject line. We are looking to fill this position immediately, so applications will be reviewed as they are received and accepted until the position is filled.



Our Eco-Discovery Camp CIT program is an exciting leadership training opportunity for rising 9th-12th graders (14-17 years old) who enjoy spending their days outdoors and are interested in working with children. Functioning as junior, unpaid members of the counselor team, CITs gain valuable volunteer experience while strengthening their leadership skills in a fun camp setting. They can also apply their hours at Great Hollow towards their high school’s community service requirements.

CITs work alongside the Camp Director and Camp Instructor to provide a week of fun and educational outdoor programming for our campers. CITs, supervised by the Camp Director and mentored by both the Director and Instructor, have the opportunity to explore their interests in environmental education while gaining valuable experience working with children outdoors. As comfort and skills grow, CITs are given opportunities to lead or help lead a variety of camp activities. Interested CITs may also be offered the chance to be trained in handling and presenting our education program reptiles. Please click here for additional information about requirements and qualifications, and an application to apply. Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2023 and will be considered in the order in which they are received. Please contact camp director Tara Ewers at  with any questions.



Great Hollow is pleased to announce a two-year fellowship to support a visiting post-doctoral scientist in residence at our preserve in New Fairfield, Connecticut. The Fellow will: (1) conduct independent field research at Great Hollow and/or other appropriate study sites in the region, (2) assist with other research projects of Great Hollow’s, (3) assist with the coordination of Great Hollow’s summer internship program, and (4) contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow as a member of our small staff, including, but not limited to, occasional assistance with education and outreach programs. The ideal candidate will be an ecologist whose research is field-based, integrative, innovative, has a conservation application, and will complement Great Hollow’s current areas of study. Candidates may work in any discipline that is relevant to the biodiversity and ecological communities of the northeastern U.S.  The fellowship is primarily intended for early-career scientists who have completed their PhD within the past 5 years, but post-doctoral researchers at any career stage are eligible to apply. Please click here for additional information and instructions on how to apply.


PAID RESEARCH INTERNS (posted 01/18/2023)

Great Hollow is currently accepting applications for up to two paid internships for undergraduate or graduate students who are majoring in the natural sciences, have a strong academic record and interest in field biology, and have demonstrated experience with the identification of northeastern U.S. forest plants, arthropods, and/or birds. Interns will mainly assist with the first year of a 3-year study of the effects of invasive Japanese barberry removal on plant, arthropod, and bird species composition. To be able to conduct the necessary field work for the project, applicants must be skilled at identifying plants, arthropods (to order), and/or birds of northeastern U.S. forests. We do not expect each applicant to have experience with all 3 taxa, so those with experience with only 1 or 2 of the taxa are still encouraged to apply. We will attempt to partner 2 interns with complimentary skills (e.g., one person with bird ID skills and another with plant and arthropod ID skills). Aside from working on this project, interns will also be occasionally asked to help with invasive plant removal, trail maintenance, miscellaneous office duties, facility maintenance, care of our non-releasable birds of prey and other education animals, community events, and kids’ education programs, and otherwise contribute to the general day-to-day operation of Great Hollow as members of our small staff. Internships begin in mid- to late May and last 8 weeks. Interns receive a weekly stipend of $400 and free on-site, shared housing.

Minimum Qualifications

-Completion of at least 2 full years of a 4-year university program, majoring in natural resources, conservation biology, ecology, wildlife management, or a similar field.

-Strong identification skills for Northeastern forest plants, arthropods, and/or birds. Experience gained solely from the lab section of a college course is insufficient. Applicants must demonstrate other sources of experience (e.g., prior field positions, atlasing efforts, volunteer work, etc.).

-Ability to enjoy working outdoors for several hours, sometimes under adverse (e.g., hot, buggy) conditions.

-Physically fit and able to work long days on rugged terrain.

-English fluency.

-Ability to communicate effectively.

-Ability to work both independently and as part of a team.

​-Ability to live in shared, drug-free and smoke-free housing with respect for others.

-Proof of current health insurance coverage (not provided with internship).

-U.S. citizenship or current authorization (at the time of applying) to work in the U.S.

The deadline for applications is April 15, 2023. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received, so do not wait until the last minute. To apply, please submit as a single PDF (1) a cover letter that includes a clear description of your relevant experience with Northeastern forest plant, insect, or bird ID; (2) your CV; and (3) contact info and your relationship to at least two professional references. Email your application package to Great Hollow’s executive director Chad Seewagen at . Please label the PDF as “Last name_first name” and put “Last name_2023 Internship Application” in the subject line of your email. Applications that fail to follow these basic instructions may be disqualified. Please do not expect a confirmation that your email has been received or send an additional email asking for confirmation. All applicants will be notified of our decision by May 10th at the latest.


Great Hollow is an equal opportunity employer. We are dedicated to providing a non-discriminatory and harassment-free environment for all employees, volunteers, members, and program participants. Discrimination or harassment because of age, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, nationality, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status is not tolerated and is strictly forbidden.