Whiting Forest Interpretation Assistant – Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens

Supervisor(s):                      Whiting Forest Program Manager

Employment Type:              Full time

Compensation:                    Commensurate with experience. Benefits include 401k, health, dental, and vacation.

Application:                          Please submit a cover letter, resume, and three references (including email addresses).

Mail to:                                 Kyle Bagnall
Whiting Forest Program Manager
1018 W. Main Street
Midland, MI 48640


Position Summary

The Whiting Forest Interpretation Assistant will serve as an integral part of a team that will create and implement all aspects of interpretation at Whiting Forest as we actively engage guests with nature. The successful candidate will have experience with research and interpretive writing for signage and exhibits, designing and leading public programs for all ages, and an ability to coordinate simultaneous projects with other staff, instructors, consultants and contractors. Creativity, a demonstrated ability to work well with others, and excellent communication skills are essential for this position.

Interpretive Exhibits and Signage

In the startup phase of Whiting Forest, the Interpretation Assistant will help design and create interpretive exhibits in the Visitor Center, The Lodge, and outdoor signage in Whiting Forest. Responsibilities will include research, interpretive writing, obtaining images, and working with exhibit design firms to successfully implement our ideas. Over time, responsibilities will transition more to other aspects of drop-in public programming.

Drop-In Public Programs

Programs will be developed that support the mission of Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest on topics including (but not limited to): nature education, environmental stewardship, farm-to-table, orchard management, artistic expression, and creative outdoor play. The Interpretation Assistant will:

  • Create and implement drop-in public programs for all ages and abilities
  • Lead tours and other drop-in programs
  • Work with other staff and guest instructors to create world-class experiences for our guests. Work with staff to develop an annual program calendar and advertise programs
  • Identify, schedule and coordinate guest instructors
  • Work selected evenings and weekends
  • Train part-time seasonal staff
  • Evaluate program offerings
  • Complete other duties as assigned

Documentary Videos

Short interpretive videos will be a part of the visitor experience in the Whiting Forest Visitor Center. The Interpretation Assistant will help design and create these pieces, including research and writing, gathering images and video, and final production. Other responsibilities may include conducting interviews, taking photos, and working with consultants to produce the final products.


  • Excellent communication skills, including writing, proofreading skills, and speaking.
  • A demonstrated love for the outdoors and passion for environmental education.
  • Experience with handling contracts and financial accountability.
  • Excellent organizational skills and experience with project management.
  • Ability to manage multiple simultaneous projects and work assignments.
  • Fantastic customer service ethic and high expectations for quality.
  • Bachelor’s degree or 3+ years of related work experience.
  • Proficient using the Web to conduct research, event administration and procurement.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Proficient with social media and associated technologies.
  • Experience with photography, videography, and digital editing software a plus.

About Dow Gardens and Whiting Forest

Founded in 1899, the 164-acre Dow Gardens is operated by the Herbert H. and Grace A Dow Foundation. More than 130,000 annual visitors enjoy an Estate Garden, Exploration Garden, and Whiting Forest. Major projects are currently underway at Whiting Forest, a 54-acre parcel of Dow Gardens. These include construction of a 1,400-foot canopy walk, visitor center, apple orchard, playground, café, and more. Visitors will enjoy new perspectives of nature as they rise 40 feet above the forest floor on the longest fully-accessible canopy walk in the nation. For more information, visit: http://www.dowgardens.org/whitingforestproject

Posted on the MMA website 12/13.

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721      lcbrisson@michiganmuseums.org

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