Bear Sanctuary Visitor Center Manager

American Bear Association
Job Category
Temporary/Seasonal Positions
$375/ week, all meals and housing provided
Start Date
Last Date to Apply
Many years ago, Minnesota logger made a decision that would greatly affect black bears and the attitudes people have towards this often-misunderstood animal. It was then that Vince Shute chose to stop shooting the bears that broke into his cabins. He tried a more peaceful approach and the strategy worked – no more break-ins. Vince claimed, “the bears aren’t mean, just hungry!” Thus, began Vince’s long and celebrated life with black bears in a tiny corner of the north woods near Orr, Minnesota. Generations of black bears still visit his former homestead, now designated as The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. The American Bear Association, a non-profit organization, was formed to manage the sanctuary in order to promote a better understanding of the black bear through education, observation and experience. The ABA provides an unprecedented opportunity for visitors to observe and study black bears at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Through education, the ABA raises awareness about the needs of black bears and promotes increased tolerance and appreciation for this often, misunderstood species. We are seeking highly skilled, passionate and motivated applicants for a seasonal Manager position. This position is for a duration of at least 3-5 months, beginning roughly on May 1st. The actual dates of employment will be identified when a candidate is selected as they are dependent on weather and bear behavior. Since the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique place, training and equipping the individual that fills this position is a high value and will be given priority. The duties to be performed by the manager will include, but will not be limited to: ABA Visitor Center Gift Shop and office administration: • General office administration • Maintain regular office hours (1 week in office, 2 weeks on sanctuary grounds) • Coordinate ABA events and special projects; i.e. breakfast with the bears, photo workshops, private photo sessions, group visits, etc. • Prepare educational material for our followers on Facebook and Instagram and our email subscribers via • Managing store finances and reconciling daily receipts • Managing On-line Gift Shop • Work closely with director to develop future education programs to be run from visitor center • Maintaining and oversee visitor center gift shop and employees Sanctuary Responsibilities: • Participate with three other management staff to educate and lead 20 VSWS interns in the areas of sanctuary operations, bear safety and public wildlife education • Picking up and/or unloading supplies, including 50-pound bags of seed and 35-pound bags of fruit and nuts. Heavy lifting is often a part of the job and is therefore required. • Daily cleanup of feeding areas and scat removal • Preparing and distributing bear food mixtures • Maintain records on bear activity and behavior • Photograph individual bears for records • Educating the public about black bears, ecology, behavior, practical environmental conservation and land stewardship This position requires weekend and night work. Housing and all meals are included. A company vehicle will be provided for sanctuary use only. Accommodations are somewhat rustic, we have little to no electricity, little running water and phone service and internet are limited.
Preference will be given to those that have a B. S. degree in Wildlife Biology, Field Biology, Conservation, Wildlife Management or a closely related field and to those who have had at least ONE year of experience in the field and/or have previous management experience. Ideal candidates should be physically fit, have experience working with and educating the general public, be enthusiastic in learning new skills and techniques, have great problem solving skills, be proactive, have excellent communication skills, note-taking and organizational skills, be comfortable working alone or with a small team, able to effectively manage stress and engage in continuous learning, motivate self, and others to overcome obstacles and achieve goals, be able to multi-task, take direction well, adapts well to constant change, have the ability to work well under pressure, and to prioritize and balance sometimes heavy workloads to achieve goals while keeping up with a highly changing environment. The ability to adapt to a variable work schedule is very important. This position requires long days in the field and a flexible schedule, so a positive attitude, patience, and strong safety consciousness are essential. Hours and Compensation: Work schedule will generally be 50-60 hours per week; however, hours and days worked will be dictated by bear behavior and, therefore, will sometimes require longer days. Compensation is salaried. Application Procedure: Submit a single MS Word document containing a cover letter, your current resume, proof of health insurance and contact information for at least 3 professional references to
Contact Person
Steph Horner
Contact Phone
Contact eMail
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