Unique Jobs at Mass Audubon
This article was featured in the Winter 2020 issue of Explore, our quarterly magazine for members.
Behind the scenes of any great organization are the employees, working with little fanfare to keep the gears turning. From education to advocacy to IT, the diversity of roles at Mass Audubon may surprise you.
Here are five jobs held by "Mass Audubon-ers" that we couldn't do without.
If you've ever taken a program at one of our wildlife sanctuaries or sent your child to one of our camps or nature preschools, then you've likely met a teacher naturalist. These outdoor experts are passionate about connecting people to the natural world. They lead hikes and wildlife walks, engage youth in nature games and fun science experiments, and teach skills like animal tracking and plant identification at our sites, in school classrooms, and at community events across the state.
Chelsea Gutierrez, Camp Director and Teacher Naturalist at Boston Nature Center in Mattapan, says she takes pride in her work because she learns right alongside the kids. "While they may be learning the names of trees and how to identify leaves from me, I am learning new ways to appreciate my surroundings through them. I get to help kids climb, run, take risks, make mistakes, and learn, all while they think they are just playing."
User Services Specialist
"Technology can empower us to do some incredible things. But when it stops working, it can become a major hindrance," says User Services Specialist Olivia Quinn, who monitors the Mass Audubon IT Helpline to support her fellow employees as they encounter the inevitable technological hiccup or two.
The modern world turns on technology, and it takes a terrific IT team to manage complex software platforms, monitor cybersecurity issues, and so much more. As Quinn explains, "The Mass Audubon IT Helpline enables us to quickly address issues and allows staff and volunteers to get back to what we’re all here for—protecting the nature of Massachusetts."
Land Information System Specialist
Mass Audubon is known for its robust land conservation efforts, which involve navigating a dizzying array of partnerships; wading through a tangle of legal language; jumping through various hoops to protect land; and overseeing the ongoing upkeep required to meet Land Trust Alliance accreditation.
Land Information System Specialist Evan Marshall has an additional facet to his job—at regular intervals, he walks the boundaries of our properties to ensure they are properly posted, check for violations, and train sanctuary staff on using GPS equipment. He regularly encounters the wildlife that call our sanctuaries home, once ending up on the opposite side of a river from a 400-pound black bear (who thankfully ran away).
"This organization has given me an opportunity to help protect land for the Massachusetts of today and also to ensure its continued care well in the future."
Nature needs artists, too! Responsible for crafting beautiful brochures, advertisements, posters, and even the publication you are now reading, Kristin Foresto has been Mass Audubon’s crackerjack graphic designer for more than 10 years.
Juggling projects for our distinctive sanctuaries and aspects of our mission, she also uses her exceptional photography skills to capture wildlife, landscapes, and people enjoying nature. Recently, as part of an organization-wide branding initiative, she created an impressive (and growing) collection of nature illustrations for our print and digital media.
At Tidmarsh Wildlife Sanctuary in Plymouth, Stephen Kemmett readily acknowledges that his work "may not always be glamorous, but at the end of the day, covered in muck, sweat, sawdust, and grease, it certainly is a lot of fun!"
Kemmett is part of a network of property staff that pour their hearts into caring for our wildlife sanctuaries across the state—whether it's managing volunteer groups in planting native vegetation to support rare pollinators, bushwhacking through thickets to remove invasive plants, or the "humdrum" tasks of maintaining trails, every day they set their hands to work brings our vision that much closer to fruition.
Want to join this amazing team of people who protect the nature of Massachusetts every day? Check out our job listings at massaudubon.org/jobs.