Plastic Pollution Education Coordinator

Missouri River Bird Observatory

Mid Missouri, Missouri

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details 40,000
Deadline Jul 20, 2024
Required Experience 2 - 6 years

Plastics, particularly single-use disposables, have become a global environmental crisis. The extraction, production, and transport of plastic and its toxic components, as well as subsequent proliferation in the environment, has increased dramatically over the past two decades and is on track to triple by 2050. Emerging research has demonstrated that it is not just end-stage waste mismanagement that is problematic; there are serious human health and environmental concerns at all stages of the plastic life-line.  The Missouri River Bird Observatory (MRBO) and Missouri Stream Teams United (STU) have partnered with Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) to create a statewide program to help address the plastic crisis.   

The Plastic Pollution Education Coordinator (PPEC) is a full-time, salaried position housed within the Missouri River Bird Observatory.  Beginning September 3rd, 2024, this coordinator position is a three-year term position with likelihood of extension based on funding and performance. The position is based in central Missouri with office space at MRBO’s headquarters in Arrow Rock, MO but with a flexible work-from-home schedule. The PPEC’s work also requires extensive travel throughout the state to engage partners and build community conservation and education opportunities focused on plastic reduction.

The PPEC position is based on a shared vision between MRBO and STU to engage Missourians, their communities, and many organizational partners in collaborative education and grassroots advocacy work. The Plastic Pollution Education Coordinator will help MRBO and STU to shift public perception of plastics, ultimately contributing to the reduction of plastic production, use, and waste. In collaboration with a counterpart at STU, the PPEC will help lay the groundwork for people-driven, grassroots change in contaminant policy within the state of Missouri and beyond.

Main responsibilities of the Plastic Pollution Education Coordinator position include:

  • receive education from the national organization Beyond Plastics, and employ the Beyond Plastics education and organizing frameworks in Missouri (please see: https://www.beyondplastics.org).
  • develop and implement a series of 10 “Train the Trainer” workshops over three years for community members and civic groups throughout Missouri; these workshops will provide deep training on the plastic issue to empower and recruit local grassroots advocates.
  • facilitate the establishment, and engage in long-term collaboration with and support of, eight Beyond Plastics Local Chapters over three years.
  • in collaboration with other MRBO and STU staff, develop and disseminate surveys for decision-makers, students in classrooms, school district administrators, civic groups and/or general public adults to assess the current state of plastic pollution knowledge among Missourians.
  • collaborate with school district administrators and teachers to begin converting schools away from single-use plastics, to include engaging schools in Plastic Free Lunch Days and related events.
  • assist at least two schools in securing financial support for permanent conversion to reusables.
  • coordinate and implement community-wide events (e.g., festivals) aimed at plastic pollution education.
  • frequently attend and present at meetings and conferences from small to large to educate a wide variety of audiences about plastic pollution.
  • collaborate extensively with STU staff to build grassroots support for policy changes via education and outreach.
  • contribute regular articles and posts for MRBO and STU newsletters, social media, website(s), and full semi-annual reports.

Required Qualifications:

  • Undergraduate degree in environmental education, ecology, natural resources, communications or marketing.
  • An understanding of the dire significance of the plastic issue and enthusiastic dedication to addressing it.
  • Demonstrated competence in coordinating and implementing various components of education programming, including working with multiple partners at scale.
  • Willingness to engage in frequent evening and weekend work to deliver education events and public outreach opportunities.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and experience with public speaking to large groups.
  • Proficient in IT applications, such as social media, website management, and basic document, spreadsheet, graphics, and photo file management.
  • Ability to work independently, with broad direction from MRBO, in collaboration with partner organizations, and most importantly as part of a supportive team.
  • Dedication to environmental conservation and a willingness to serve this cause demonstrated by a high level of initiative, motivation, and energy.

Work Environment:
Office space will be available in Arrow Rock MO. The PPEC position can work remotely (i.e. from home) much of the time but must live in the state of Missouri, preferably the central Missouri region. 

The PPEC will be provided an Apple laptop computer, printer, relevant software subscriptions, and office supplies. The employee should be prepared to use their own cell phone for work-related business. 

The PPEC will work independently but with frequent communications with other MRBO staff and program partners. MRBO conducts weekly all-staff meetings alternating between virtual (Zoom), in person, and hybrid formats. Additionally, the PPEC will meet virtually with MRBO and STU staff approximately every other week. 


  • Starting salary of $40,000 annually, with planned 3% salary increases during Years 2 and 3.
  • Monthly health insurance stipend of $300.
  • All work-related travel will be pre-paid or reimbursed, to include hotels/Airbnbs, applicable meeting and event registrations, and mileage at the Missouri state rate for personal vehicle use.
  • Frequent professional development opportunities are provided.
  • Ten days paid vacation per year and 12 paid holidays.
  • Independence and abundant flexibility in work scheduling.

To apply for the Plastic Pollution Education Coordinator position, please send a letter of interest, current resume/CV, and three professional references to MRBO Co-directors Dana Ripper (dana.ripper@mrbo.org) and Ethan Duke (ethan.duke@mrbo.org).  Application deadline is Saturday, July 20th, 2024.  Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and interviews scheduled with qualified candidates as soon as possible.

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

Category Admin & Leadership, Environmental Education, Sustainability