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City of Torrance
Class Code: 9024

Class Designation: Non-Civil Service/At-Will

July 2001

Representation Unit: Certain Full-Time Salaried and Hourly Employees 


Nature Center Manager/Naturalist

Position Summary

Under direction, responsible for developing and implementing exhibits, educational programs, activities and classes at the Madrona Marsh and Nature Center; and performs related work as required.

Reporting Relationships

Receives direction from the Recreation Services Administrator; provides oversight of restoration and maintenance functions assigned to the Senior Groundskeeper; and exercises supervision over part-time support positions and volunteers

Job Duties

  • Develops, plans, organizes, implements, evaluates and oversees educational programs, activities and exhibits at the Nature Center and Marsh, including comprehensive educational, interpretive and volunteer programs;
  • Responsible for overseeing the ongoing restoration and maintenance functions of the Nature Center and Marsh; and makes recommendations for site enhancements;
  • Monitors and manages the ecosystem to ensure natural balance is maintained including taking inventory of animal and plant life;
  • Develops, implements and evaluates Division and Department plans, policies, and procedures to achieve annual goals, objectives and work standards;
  • Plans and directs the work of staff including training, assigning work, planning and reviewing work, evaluating work performance and completing performance evaluations, selecting new employees, acting on employee problems and recommending employee discipline;
  • Develops and implements strategies to promote public access and awareness of the Nature Center and Preserve programs and activities;
  • Interfaces with a variety of community groups, volunteers, City employees, members of the media, the public, and other agencies;
  • Promotes interest in the study and appreciation of nature and conservation through preparation of exhibits, articles, and publicity releases and through giving or arranging for nature tours or talks;
  • Assesses monetary needs, prepares and monitors Nature Center and Marsh annual budget;
  • Sets hours of operation and enforces safety and operating rules and regulations;
  • Performs liaison functions with local schools, community colleges and universities regarding program and activity planning, educational opportunities, and research projects;
  • Prepares a variety of written reports, proposals, and other materials;
  • Represents the City at various boards and commissions;
  • Performs related duties as assigned.
  • Knowledge And Abilities

    Knowledge of:
  • Educational Program development;
  • Principles of wildlife and plant management;
  • Natural Resource Management with emphasis on wetlands restoration;
  • Operations and maintenance procedures in a public facility such as a Nature Center, Nature Park, Nature Preserve, or Nature Museum;
  • Principles and practices of effective employee supervision;
  • English usage, spelling, grammar and punctuation;
  • City policies and procedures;
  • Principles of public relations and customer service.
  • Ability to:
  • Analyze complex issues, evaluate alternative solutions, develop sound conclusions and recommend solutions;
  • Research, develop, and prepare exhibits, reports, oral presentations, publicity releases and other materials;
  • Utilize and maximize available resources to meet Nature Center and Marsh program and service goals;
  • Manage the ecosystem to ensure a natural balance is maintained;
  • Supervise the work of subordinate staff including coordinating, assigning, monitoring and evaluating work, hiring, training, counseling and disciplining staff; and processing grievances;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with City employees, volunteers, community groups, members of the media, the public, and other agencies;
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing;
  • Apply and interpret policies and procedures;
  • Problem solving/conflict resolution;
  • Use computer applications provided by the City.
  • Special Requirements

    Performance of the essential duties of this position includes the following physical demands and/or working conditions.
    Requires the ability to exert a small amount of physical effort in sedentary to light work involving moving from one area of the office to another; requires sufficient hand/eye coordination to use standard office equipment. Tasks require visual perception and discrimination, as well as oral communications ability; may require the ability to operate a motor vehicle. Tasks regularly performed without exposure to adverse environmental conditions.
    A valid Class 3 California Driver's License


    Any combination of education and experience that would provide the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and skills would be:
    Graduation with a Bachelor's Degree in the natural sciences, environmental studies, education, or related field. Three years of progressively responsible experience in the management of a nature center, nature park or nature preserve including experience and knowledge in natural resource management with emphasis on wetland restoration. Teaching credentials are desirable.