eeCorps Nature Educator (Wild Bear Nature Center)

Organization:

Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education

Location:

Nederland, CO

Deadline:

Contact:

Erin Dreps

Program Overview: Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and environmental education providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. AmeriCorps members serving with the eeCorps provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.

Service Site Overview: This position will be located at Wild Bear Nature Center in Nederland, CO. Wild Bear Nature Center’s mission is to inspire a lifelong connection to nature and community through creative exploration of the outdoors.

Service Position Summary: Wild Bear Nature Center is seeking a highly qualified AmeriCorps member to assist with development and implementation of preK-12 nature education programs, both in-person and virtual, as well as organizational growth as we prepare to build and move into a state of the art net-zero new nature center building in the next 2-4 years.

Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities)

eeCorps members engage with their Host Site organizations to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps’ and Wild Bear Nature Center’s goals. These duties include:

  • Collaborate with our education team to plan fun and hands-on nature based programs for K-12 school age children
  • Collaborate with our partners to develop and implement all season programs
  • Plan and implement creative hands-on full day, half day, nature clubs, and other nature education programs.
  • Plan and implement existing and new virtual education programs and resources.
  • Adopt all Wild Bear policies and procedures engaging in and creating hands-on creative programs while keeping all participants safe.
  • Collaborate with the Nature Education Director and Coordinator to create program curricula, planning guides, and resources.
  • Take pride in diligently organizing and maintaining Wild Bear’s education materials
  • With the Wild Bear team, integrate new ideas into Wild Bear’s existing programs and materials.
  • Support the education team to create nature adventure enrichment kits for teachers and families
  • Assist education leadership team with program registration, coordination, and evaluation
  • Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures
  • Attend all eeCorps/AmeriCorps orientations, meetings, and trainings
  • Complete any eeCorps required National Day of Service projects
  • Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines
  • Some local travel required and occasional statewide travel possible

Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities):

  • Welcome nature center visitors and engage them in educational activities provided and other front desk duties such as counting visitors, maintaining exhibits and the gift shop.
  • Assisting with animal ambassador care and exhibits.
  • Participating in informal education events, such as weekend farmers markets.

Nature Educator Profile:

  • Aligned with Wild Bear’s mission, vision and values.
  • Child focused in teaching techniques
  • Has skills and experience in nontraditional, experiential, and creative teaching models.
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Experience and/or interest in creating and planning nature education programs and formalized lesson plans
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Natural History knowledge, skills, interest, and experience
  • Creativity and art focus for program planning and implementation
  • Adaptive problem solving and educational mindset
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to self-start and work as a member of a team
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Fun, creative, and project oriented
  • Thinks outside the box
  • People with musical and creative strengths, a sense of humor, a kind and gentle demeanor, who enjoy spending time with children, and love the outdoors!
  • Completed (or in progress) degree in the field of education, environmental studies, environmental education or interpretation, natural science or related field and/or 2-3 years of experience in leading groups of school-age children in nature.
  • Ability to work in outdoor setting in various weather conditions for up to 9 hours
  • Ability to carry and move all program, outreach, and exhibit materials to and from program sites, within the nature center, and various other locations.
  • Commitment to equity in education
  • People person willing to go out into schools and communities and engage in our mission and nature education.

Qualifications:

  • Experience and/or education in innovative full day nature education program planning
  • Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
  • High school diploma or GED required
  • Ability to pass criminal history and background checks required
  • Reliable transportation and proof of auto insurance required
  • U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required

Term of Service: This is a full-time national and community service position requiring a minimum of 1,700 hours during the year (approximately 40 hours/week). The position begins August 15, 2022 and ends July 28, 2023. Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Members may be required to serve on Days of Service that take place on certain national holidays throughout the year.

Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Michelle Witte, Nature Education Director, as well as by Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator. The 2022-23 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.

Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at Wild Bear Nature Center, 20 Lakeview Dr, Nederland, CO 80466, as well as various wilderness locations and schools within Boulder Valley School District and surrounding districts.

Benefits:

  • A living allowance of $16,502 distributed biweekly over the term dates. Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed by direct deposit to the member’s bank account. 
  • Health insurance 
  • Child care assistance, if eligible
  • An education award of $6,495 upon successful completion of term of service.
  • It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
  • Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings and program sites.
  • Non-tangible benefits include extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.
  • Ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils; option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification.

Diversity and Equal Opportunity: Wild Bear Nature Center shall not discriminate against any employee, volunteer or program participant on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, ancestry, age, disability, political affiliation, gender, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender identity, gender expression, marital, parental, veteran or military status, political service, or membership, participation or association with any employee organization. We provide equal employment and volunteer opportunities to all individuals based on relevant qualifications and abilities.

The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) recognizes the value of diversity and inclusiveness to advance environmental education. CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.

To Apply:

If you are interested in applying to this position, please send your resume and a short cover letter outlining your interest in the program and commitment to national service to Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Coordinator, at [email protected]. Please include “AmeriCorps Wild Bear Nature Educator Application” in the subject line. Please also attach a list of three (3) references, and a diversity and inclusion statement that is no longer than one page in length.

*Note: Position will be filled pending grant award.