A Little Bit About Us

Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, Rhode Island welcomes 20,000 visitors each year to our 325-acre campus.  Visitors of all ages and backgrounds explore seven miles of trails and participate in hundreds of educational programs throughout the year, from school-based environmental education and field trips for thousands of children in every school district in RI; to 40+ programs for adults, children and families; to 10 camp programs for 600+ children; to a Harvest Fair that attracts 10,000+.

With a fun and extraordinarily team-oriented staff of 13, a highly engaged board of directors, and an operating budget just over $1 million, we work to fulfill the mission of our founder, Mabel Norman, who created the Norman Bird Sanctuary through her will in 1949.  Our mission is to protect and steward the diverse habitats in our care, while providing opportunities for people from all walks of life to learn from and enjoy the largest contiguous open space on Aquidneck Island.

Executive Director

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Position Summary

Norman Bird Sanctuary is seeking an experienced and dynamic leader with a strong background in non-profit management, education, and fundraising to serve as our next Executive Director. The Executive Director will lead Norman Bird Sanctuary to the next level, while continuing the legacy of our founder, Mabel Norman Cerio, in protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitats that support them.

The role of the Executive Director is to lead innovation and creativity and inspire staff, donors, and Board members to work collaboratively to achieve the Sanctuary’s mission and strategic goals. The Executive Director leads our conservation, education, and advocacy efforts and serves as spokesperson for Norman Bird Sanctuary.

The Executive Director provides a dynamic and welcoming presence and serves as primary representative in the Aquidneck Island communities surrounding the Sanctuary. S/he actively partners with other community and environmental organizations and government agencies to promote area conservation and education objectives.

Responsibilities and Scope

  • Provides dynamic, collaborative leadership for Norman Bird Sanctuary’s mission, strategy, educational programs, and property stewardship, consistent with our strategic plan

  • Recruits, retains, manages, and inspires a high quality, effective staff

  • Maintains an excellent, collaborative and transparent relationship with the Board of Directors

  • Ensures that programmatic commitments, financial standards, and legal requirements are met

  • Assumes overall responsibility for fundraising activities and goals of the Sanctuary

  • Represents the Sanctuary’s vision in a compelling, engaging manner to internal and external audiences as lead spokesperson

  • Delivers effective and persuasive presentations to board members, staff, supporters and outside organizations

  • Ensures development and execution of a strategic multi-year plan

  • Oversees annual operations plans that are on time and on budget

  • Careful and intentional stewardship of the property, including habitat restoration without use of chemicals

  • Operational responsibilities will include but are not limited to fundraising, strategic planning, overseeing all events, staff management, annual staff evaluations, facilitating board meetings, oversight of property management, networking with state and federal agencies, etc.

Deadline for Application Submission: May 15, 2019. Open until filled.

Please read the full job description below.

NBS Summer Camp

Staff Photo 2018

Staff Photo 2018

Seining at Third Beach

Seining at Third Beach

circling up on the game field

circling up on the game field


Teacher/Naturalists lead groups of 12-16 campers in grades Pre-K through 12, plan and teach a variety of hands-on nature based camp activities; oversee camper health and safety; communicate effectively with staff and parents; and supervise high school Assistant Naturalists in Training.  Please call us to find out more!

Third Beach Summer Naturalist

The Third Beach Summer Naturalist develops and facilitates marine and coastal educational programs for the summer camp program at NBS. Programs include but are not limited to; seining, beach, dune and marsh exploration, and dissections. Additionally this position is responsible for the upkeep of the coastal education center’s aquariums.  Please call us to find out more!

Assistant Naturalists in Training

Know a high schooler looking to get valuable job experience?

ANTs assist Teacher Naturalists by reinforcing rules, themes, and concepts and help with daily camp duties.

Most ANTs gain between 70-105 community service hours.
Applicants must be entering 9-12th grade.



Join our team!

NBS is recruiting for interns to help us in a variety of positions.
All internships are unpaid, but we will work with you to obtain academic credit from your college or university.

Learn more about current internship opportunities HERE.