Environmental Education and Interpretation

Phone: 715-346-4617
Email: cnr@uwsp.edu

715-346-4617
cnr@uwsp.edu

UW-Stevens Point Environmental Education and Interpretation graduates at work

  • Ben HollandPark Guide, National Park Services, New Mexico
  • Nelli WilliamsAlaska Program Director, Trout Unlimited, Alaska
  • Kristi PupakWildlife Conservation Educator, WDNR - Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area, Wisconsin

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Phone: 715-346-4617
Email: cnr@uwsp.edu

Choose Environmental Education and Interpretation at UW-Stevens Point

Environmental educators and interpreters are professionals who teach others about the natural world. The Environmental Education and Interpretation option combines coursework and hands-on learning in natural resources, biology, and specialized communication techniques to develop relevant knowledge and effective communication skills.  This option is ideal for students interested in naturalist programs, wildlife education, outdoor education, conservation education, environmental education, interpretation, and visitor services.

Hands-on learning experiences give students an advantage when applying for jobs. As part of their coursework, students develop and teach curriculum, deliver programs, create interpretive media, and work in schools and school forests. The senior capstone practicum provides real-world opportunities to practice these skills at a residential environmental education center (Central Wisconsin Environmental Station) and a local nature center (Schmeeckle Reserve).

This program is one of a few accredited by the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE).  This program also meets the requirements of the Certified Heritage Interpreter (CHI) through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI).

Career opportunities in Environmental Education and Interpretation

Environmental and Interpretation graduates find jobs as:
  • Environmental Educators
  • Interpreters
  • Naturalists
  • Outdoor Educators/Outdoor Education Instructors
  • Wildlife Educators
  • Zoo/Museum/Aquarium/Botanical Garden Educators
  • Local Food/Sustainability Educators
  • Visitor Services Specialists
  • Youth Programs Managers
  • Program Coordinators (nature centers, science centers, camps, aquariums, zoos, museums)
  • Communication Managers
  • Formal K-12 Science Teacher or School Forest Teachers (also requires teaching certification)
  • Interpretive Exhibit Designers or Content Managers
  • Land Conservation Educators
  • Environmental Education and Interpretation Consultants

Graduates work at a diversity of sites, including parks, wildlife areas, forests, schools, nature preserves, nature centers, environmental residential centers, discovery centers, camps, zoos, aquariums, museums, and historic sites.

Building your résumé

​The unique hands-on experiences and skills gained through the coursework in this program are ideal elements to build a resume that stands out from others. In addition to gaining experience through coursework, numerous opportunities are available for relevant internships and jobs during the summers (list of current jobs and internships).

Outside the classroom

Students interested in this field are encouraged to join the Environmental Educators and Naturalists Association (EENA), a student chapter of the National Association for Interpretation (NAI), to gain relevant experience. EENA regularly leads educational programs with youth at Schmeeckle Reserve and other locations, hosts the campus Eco-Fair event, and supports professional development opportunities by sending students to regional and national workshops and conferences.

Visit Campus Activities and Student Engagement for a complete list of opportunities.

Student support services

Student success is our top priority and the College of Natural Resources Academic and Career Advising Center (CNR ACAC) is an excellent resource to help students reach graduation day.

Professional advisers and peer mentors are available Monday through Friday to answer questions about classes, advising, scholarships, internships etc.

The CNR ACAC also produces a weekly e-newsletter, the CNR Reporter, with information on upcoming presentations, student organization meeting times and other important happenings on campus.