Great Hollow Nature Preserve & Ecological Research Center

New Fairfield, Connecticut

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details See Job Description
Deadline Oct 10, 2019

Great Hollow is seeking a dynamic and passionate Education Coordinator to further develop and strategically lead its environmental education programing and summer day-camp. Great Hollow is a newly established non-profit organization in New Fairfield, Connecticut that is dedicated to biodiversity conservation, applied ecological research, experiential environmental education, and the promotion of passive outdoor recreation. Our nature preserve consists of 825 acres of forest, wetlands, and freshwater streams, with a 4-mile trail network and staff housing, offices, a wet lab, and two indoor teaching spaces on site.

The Education Coordinator will be responsible for creating and instructing experiential environmental education programming for K-12 students, and directing our 8-week summer day camp. Our primary demographic is 5-12 year-olds. The previous person in the position developed many popular and successful programs over the three years since our founding that the new Education Coordinator will be responsible for taking over while also developing new program content and curricula, particularly for upper grade levels. There will be extensive opportunity and a wide range of creative flexibility for the selected person to design new programs of his/her own. The programs should be science-based, directly relevant to the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Northeast, incorporate multiple disciplines, including ecology, conservation biology, and environmental science, and often include introductory field research experiences/outdoor labs. Most importantly, the programs should be dynamic, engaging, and immersive, and ultimately inspire a conservation ethic in the participants. Great Hollow’s programs are currently offered as field trips for local schools, school break camps, weekend community events, weekday homeschooling, occasional children’s birthday parties, and more. The ideal candidate will have a background in both field biology and science/nature education, and an ability to teach across a wide age range and variety of subjects such as ecology, wildlife biology, plant biology, freshwater biology, natural resources conservation, human impacts to the environment, climate change, and wilderness safety and survival.

The Education Coordinator will solicit interest from local elementary, middle, and high schools in Connecticut and New York, and develop opportunities for education programs to be delivered in schools as well as during field trips to Great Hollow. The Education Coordinator will also continue Great Hollow’s existing homeschool program and seek opportunities to expand it to higher grade levels and broaden its subject matter. The Education Coordinator will serve as the director of Great Hollow’s Eco-Discovery Camp, an 8-week summer day-camp for children ages 5 to 12. He or she will be responsible for all marketing, planning, coordination, and program development, state license and record-keeping requirements, management of CITs from area high schools, hiring and supervision of 1-2 paid camp instructors, and all aspects of the general day-to-day operation of the camp.

The Education Coordinator will also care for Great Hollow’s small collection of education animals that includes 6 birds of prey, a corn snake, two red-bellied turtles, and a marbled salamander. This involves daily feeding, frequent cleaning, ordering of supplies and food, record-keeping, and management of food inventories. Previous experience handling birds of prey for group presentations is a strong plus.

Primary Requirements and Responsibilities:

  • Reside on-site in provided housing.
  • Create and instruct environmental education programming and outdoor labs for K-12 students that are rooted in the science of ecology, conservation biology, and similar fields.
  • Teach to and expand upon Great Hollow’s existing program catalog (view at https://greathollow.org/school-programs/)
  • Direct and serve as the lead instructor for Great Hollow’s summer day-camp; develop weekly session themes and topics.
  • Maintain detailed records of all Connecticut state day-camp license requirements; coordinate with the CT Office of Early Childhood Development on all matters related to camp licensing.
  • Help to market and advertise Great Hollow’s education programs and summer camp to schools and the general public through social media and other outlets.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with school administrators and teachers.
  • Create and lead fun and interactive weekend community events.
  • Represent Great Hollow at community fairs and other local events.
  • Generate and post content for Great Hollow’s social media platforms and local community social media outlets.
  • Write descriptions of events and other programs for advertisement on Great Hollow’s website, email newsletter, etc.
  • Handle program registrations and payments, and maintain participant records (health forms, waivers, etc.).
  • Care for birds of prey and other education animals, including feeding and cleaning.
  • Handle and present education animals to program participants.
  • Manage inventory of all teaching materials, supplies, and equipment.

Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in environmental education, biology, ecology, natural resources, or other appropriate field; applicants with only bachelor’s degrees and significant prior work experience will also be considered.
  • Demonstrated experience developing and instructing youth environmental education programs for schools, nature centers, natural history museums, zoos, etc.
  • Familiarity with Next Generation Science Standards.
  • Knowledge of the flora, fauna, and habitat types of the northeastern U.S.
  • Outgoing, engaging personality and an ability to deliver programs to children in a manner that is fun while educational.
  • Ability to develop relationships with children and parents that will foster high levels of student retention.
  • Ability to work closely and well with a small staff.
  • Great organizational and interpersonal skills.
  • High levels of initiative and creativity.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to write grant proposals.
  • Comfort with, and ability to handle and present, program animals that include birds of prey, snakes, turtles, and amphibians.
  • CPR-First Aid certification or willingness to obtain; Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness First Aid, or willingness to obtain is highly preferred.
  • Waterfront lifeguard certification or willingness to obtain is desirable.
  • High level of comfort in the outdoors, camping/backpacking experience, and an ability to hike long distances while leading others, including young children, in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Knowledge of and ability to teach wilderness survival skills, including map and compass use, is desirable.
  • Computer literacy and proficiency with basic programs such as Excel, Word, and PowerPoint; graphic design and/or GIS skills are a plus.
  • Proficiency with Facebook and other social media platforms.
  • Written and spoken English fluency.
  • U.S. citizenship or authorization to work in the U.S.

Compensation:

The Education Coordinator will receive a compensation package that includes a starting salary of $25,000 – $30,000 (DOE), annual performance-based bonus, 10 paid vacation days per year, ConnectiCare health insurance, and a 401k retirement plan with an employer match of up to $2,500 per year. On-site housing with full utilities (heat, electric, cable tv and internet) is also provided.

HOW TO APPLY

Please email as a single PDF a cover letter, C.V., and contact information for 3 professional references to Chad Seewagen at cseewagen@greathollow.org. Please put “EDUCATION COORDINATOR_[last name]” in the subject line and also label your PDF as such. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received and accepted until October 10, 2019.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.