Bear Educator Intern Position Summary

Position Title:
Bear Care Intern

North American Bear Center (NABC)

Ely, MN  55731 USA

Reports To:
Intern Mentor (Spencer) and Senior Bear Keeper (Sharon)

Time Commitment:
Total of 500 hours

We provide housing at a designated location

A stipend of $1500 (taxable) for meeting 500 hours


Summer Internship 6 Positions: 

All Summer Positions Have Been Filled For 2022

Approximate dates: May 2022 to August 2022
Exact dates can be flexible based on applicant’s school schedule.

Fall Internship 3 Positions: 

Applications deadline is Feb. 28, 2022 or until filled

Approximate dates: August 2022 to October 2022
Exact dates can be flexible based on applicant’s school schedule

[email protected]

The North American Bear Center Mission Statement: “The mission of the non-profit North American Bear Center is to advance the long-term survival of bears worldwide by replacing the misconceptions with scientific facts about bears, their role in the ecosystems, and their relations with humans.” (

Goal of the Internship Program: The goal of the North American Bear Center Internship program is to give interns a strong background in black bear biology, ecology, behavior and captive care as well as Northwoods ecology, biology and small animal care in order to accurately educate the general public. This program is intended to directly support the mission statement of the North American Bear Center. This internship program is ideal for undergraduate and graduate students exploring careers in wildlife biology, zoology, environmental sciences, ecology, wildlife management, natural resources, and animal behavior. These fields of study will be given preference in the selection process.

Position Summary: Educate NABC visitors about the four ambassador bears (via on-site programs and Q&A) and wild black bear behavior (via videos, exhibits, and Q&A). You will be required to conduct programs and give tours to visitors. This position will be responsible for all aspects of bear care including maintaining a clean bear enclosure, bear foraging and feedings, bear enrichment activities, and food preparation. All aspects of small animal care, feeding, handling, and guest interaction will also be conducted periodically in this internship. This position will require giving visitors information on local flora and fauna. Some additional research on these animals may be required to effectively lead a program. Additional and miscellaneous duties as assigned.

College Credit for Internship: We are happy to work with a college advisor so the intern can receive credit for this program, if requested prior to beginning the internship.

Expectations for all Interns:
1.) Represent the NABC in a positive manner with member, donors, visitors, vendors, and the community.
2.) Uphold the Mission Statement of the North American Bear Center.
3.) Interact effectively with a diverse group of staff, interns, volunteers and visitors.
4.) Arrive to work on time and strictly adhere to the NABC dress code.
5.) Learn and follow all NABC protocol.
6.) Maintain up-to-date knowledge on Ambassador Bears and wild bear behavior.
7.) Maintain up-to-date knowledge on local wildlife and our captive small animals.
8.) Work 45 hours (sometimes more) per week including weekends and holidays.
9.) Continued learning of all information at the NABC.
10.) Good observation, judgment, and problem solving skills
11.) Be reliable and motivated.
12.) Successful completion of NABC training course.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
1.) Assist in captive black bear care by: feeding, food preparation, maintaining and executing feeding schedule, documenting diet and behavior, enclosure maintenance, and other caretaker procedures.
2.) Engage our guests in conversation, answer questions, and help direct them to info and exhibits within the NABC.
3.) Lead and assist in programing for our guests in a professional manner guests by guiding tours, Q & A sessions, online broadcasts, and other programs.
4.) Assist in maintaining the exhibit hall areas so that they are clean and presentable to guests.
5.) Assist in native small animal care by: feeding, documenting diet and behavior, enclosure cleaning and maintenance, handling for and with guests, and conducting programs.
6.) Research and utilize relative wildlife information to use for programs, guests learning experience, and future or updating exhibit information.
7.) Daily closing business procedures.
8.) Learn all the information at the NABC and .

Required Abilities/Skills-
• Work under supervision
• Stand for long periods
• Lift 50 pounds
• Navigate efficiently over uneven ground
• Improvise, adapt and overcome to new and unforeseen situations
• Able to get along with people that are different than yourself
• Able to work and live with others
• Strong communication skills

Required Personal Traits-
• At least 18 years of age
• Fluent in English language
• Willing to work in pairs and teams
• Willingness to learn
• Comfortable working with diverse groups of people
• Eagerness and willingness to learn new information

Also Required
• Valid driver’s license
• Social Security Number
• Current Passport (only if not US citizen)