Public Engagement Assistant/Environmental Educator
Tenafly Nature Center is an independent non-profit member-supported 400 acre nature preserve, located in Tenafly, NJ, five miles north of the George Washington Bridge. With over seven miles of trails and a 3-acre pond, TNC is the largest privately-run nature center in Bergen County. The Public Engagement Assistant/Environmental Educator (reports to the Public Engagement Coordinator and Camp Director) are responsible for teaching our increasing demand of programs both on and off site throughout the year and assisting in the oversight of all public program coordination. Curriculum is hands-on and geared toward helping children and adults to develop awareness, appreciation and stewardship for the natural world.
The Public Engagement Assistant/Environmental Educator position is classified as Regular Half-time Nonexempt. This positions will mainly consist of a total of 30-36 hours, typically consisting of 4-5 workdays of 7.5 hours with a half-hour lunch. Seasonal flexibility as required during busiest program months are April/May, June/July/August, and Oct/Nov. TNC conducts programming seven days a week between the hours of 9:00 am – 9:00 pm on weekdays, weekends, holidays, school breaks, after school, and evenings.
Summary: Reports to, and work closely with, the Public Engagement Coordinator with all aspects of the public program coordination (September 15-June 15). Assists the Camp Director with all aspects of the summer camp program and other summer education department needs (June 16-September 14). They are responsible for implementing and helping to develop a dynamic, high quality environmental education curriculum for our increasing demand of on and off-site, year round programs, for a variety of groups and age levels. Programs are taught to schools, scouts, youth groups, seasonal camps, and birthday parties. Public activities and exhibits are provided to children, families, and adults, including drop-in hikers and visitors. They are responsible for implementing and helping to develop a dynamic, high quality environmental education summer camp curriculum on and off-site, for 10 -12 weeks between the end of June and Labor Day (Monday–Friday; 8:00 am to 4:00 pm) for a variety of age levels. Curriculum is hands-on and geared toward helping children and adults to develop awareness, appreciation and stewardship for the natural world.
Duties & Responsibilities:
- Learn our environmental education curriculum and implement the purpose, goals and objectives of each program.
- Teach programs for on and off site groups of Pre K-12th grade school children, scouts, birthday parties, families and adults including special needs individuals and groups, following best practices. This includes all aspects of programming, including set up, clean up, evaluation, and follow up.
- Help to prepare and maintain program curriculum materials.
- Learn and fully utilize Wild Apricot, TNC’s registration and membership database.
- Support Public Program Coordinator as needed to organize and administer program registrations. Process program and membership payments through online registration system, paper, and phone (PayPal, check, or cash).
- Assist Public Program Coordinator as needed by maintaining and providing program attendance and registration pages (paper versions).
- Assist Public Program Coordinator with program logistics and preparation, including program promotion, registration, pre-visit communication, development of props and materials, classroom maintenance, and curriculum development.
- Acquire, create and maintain educational props, equipment and supplies. Duties may include researching, building, purchasing, maintaining, storing, collecting and caring for collections. When ordering, review costs prior to purchase with Public Program Coordinator.
- Support TNC events, staff tables, exhibits, and special programs as needed.
- Prepare and maintain program curriculum materials including pre- & post-lessons.
- Provide educational support including documenting program evaluations, database management, mass mailings, event planning and promotion, phone calls, etc.
- Help develop and teach outdoor activities for different age groups for 10 week-long day camp sessions for students ranging in age from 4-14. This includes all aspects of programming on and off site, including set up, supervision, clean up, inventory, evaluation, and follow up.
- Assist Camp Director with program logistics and preparation, including program promotion, registration, pre-visit communication, development of props and materials, classroom maintenance, and curriculum development.
- Prepare and maintain camp program curriculum materials.
- Conduct off-site activities as appropriate.
- Complete post-camp evaluation, report, inventory and clean-up.
- Create and maintain a safe, fun, learning atmosphere for children while projecting a knowledgeable & confident image to parents and teachers.
- Work with other staff to supervise and provide support to both indoor and outdoor volunteers, as needed (ex. CIT’s).
- Support education team in keeping meticulous records for the education department, so the information and organized records can be used as attendance sheets, seasonal use, budgeting, the annual audit, and archived records.
- Responsible for the care and handling of captive live education animals, including but not limited to: amphibians, reptiles, invertebrates, and birds of prey.
- Greet and engage visitors; articulate TNC’s mission and project a helpful and positive attitude when interacting with the public, including TNC members, parents, teachers, and group leaders in person & on the phone.
- Help coordinate and perform seasonal outdoor grounds and facilities maintenance and, with volunteers and other staff, in order to maintain safe, clean and inviting conditions (ex. recycling, leaf removal etc.)
- Answering phones, as needed, and answer questions about programs including TNC’s scheduled presentations, camps, lectures, hikes; field natural history questions from the public, and direct questions to appropriate experts.
- Provide or assist with first aid and emergency care as needed.
- Maintain positive working relationships with other staff, volunteers and TNC board members.
- Prepare for and participate in staff training and meetings.
- Keep Public Program Coordinator apprised of program feedback and written evaluations including verbal praise and complaints.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Currently enrolled in or have graduated from a college/university. With at least 2 years prior experience in environmental education, outdoor education or early childhood education.
- Mastery of Microsoft Office and common office equipment. Able to learn new computer programs. E-mail and internet skills required. Experience with data entry/registration software a plus.
- Knowledge of and passion for the natural world.
- Enthusiastic, outgoing, patient, and flexible when working with children and adults.
- Ability to work both independently and on a team with minimal supervision.
- Comfortable handling or learning to handle reptiles, invertebrates and raptors (training provided).
- Ability to communicate effectively and interact well on the phone and in writing.
- Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
- Ability to walk all the trails of TNC and climb one flight of stairs. Ability to lift and move up to 50 lbs.
- Available for 21 weeks with no vacation days (May-August, to cover spring programs and summer camp sessions).
- Willingness to work outdoors in variable weather conditions and variable terrain.
- Current first aid/CPR certification or ability to obtain certification prior to first day of solo-teaching.
- Criminal history background checks will be required, consistent with all applicable laws.
- Currently be eligible to work in the USA.
- Valid Driver's license and personal transportation. Ability to drive to off-site programs may be required.
The attitudes and personal characteristics demonstrated in all educator positions are:
- Enthusiasm, patience, understanding, flexibility, and energy for working with children and adults.
- Projecting a positive and professional image.
- Self-motivated, detailed-oriented with the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
- Ability to multi-task and make decisions requiring good judgment in the absence of specific directions.
Public Engagement Assistant/Environmental Educator: Position starts February 1. Year-round position (average of 36 hours a week) weekend and evening availability required. Competitive hourly pay rate and benefits package offered. Weekday commitment from June 22-September 11 required for summer camp.
Send cover letter, resume, and three professional references by January 20, 2019 to Alexander Braunstein, Public Engagement Coordinator. No calls please.