Graduate Fellowship in Natural Science Education: NATURAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR, Click here for detailed Fellowship Program information.
Department: Youth Programs
Location: Avon, Colorado
Position Duration: May 31, 2016 to August 17, 2018 (2 year and 3 month commitment)
Application Deadline: February 1, 2016
Compensation: See below
Application Instructions: See below for details. The online form to submit your application is at the bottom of this webpage.
Contact Person: Beth Markham, Youth Programs Director
Phone: (970) 827-9725 x 117
This multi-faceted graduate fellowship at Walking Mountains Science Center is a full-time, 2 year and 3 month professional development program that focuses on K-12 field science education, leadership, and helping to grow a reputable nonprofit organization. This position is responsible for serving the organization with a personal commitment to awakening a sense of wonder and inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability though natural science education. The Natural Science Educator position requires dedication to experiential learning, environmental education, natural science education, and life-long learning. The Natural Science Educator coordinates and teaches natural science programming both in the classroom and in the field during our summer science camps and school field programs. In addition to teaching responsibilities, Natural Science Educators simultaneously participate in a Master of Arts graduate program through University of Northern Colorado’s School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences and Extended Campus. Natural Science Educators are enrolled in courses taught at Walking Mountains Science Center and online. Upon successful completion of all required coursework and responsibilities of the 2 year and 3 month position, Natural Science Educators will earn a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education from the University of Northern Colorado. The Summer Programs Coordinator and the School Programs Coordinator are responsible for the primary supervision of the Natural Science Educators during their respective seasons. The Graduate Programs Director oversees all aspects of the Graduate Fellowship component of the position. This is a newly forged partnership that is providing Natural Science Educators the opportunity to complete their Master’s degree in its entirety throughout the duration of the fellowship. Applicants for this first cohort of educators must be flexible, able to communicate about and manage challenges, and willing to provide feedback to help improve the program as it grows.
- Program Development:
- Organize and maintain pre-existing curriculum and lesson plan files and materials.
- Participate in ongoing program evaluation, review, and revision.
- Maintain teaching materials for school and summer programs.
- Assist Program Coordinators and Youth Programs Director in creating and implementing school program curriculum as needed that meets the Walking Mountains’ program goals and objectives, Colorado Academic Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
- During one of the graduate courses, each educator will be solely responsible for creating curriculum and materials for a completely new summer camp or school program.
- Field and Classroom Instruction:
- Work as a team member with other instructors and staff in the office, co-teach during the summer, and lead your own group of 8-12 students during the school year.
- Prepare and teach mostly pre-existing natural science and environmental education lessons, field science programs, and summer science camps.
- Lead field experiences throughout the year for all age groups, K-12, in all weather conditions.
- Conduct pre-classroom visits prior to students participating in a field science program for all age groups.
- Co-teach 9 weeks each summer of summer science day camps in the field primarily for students in grades 1-6 with a few middle and high school programs in all weather conditions.
- Co-lead and teach at least one residential summer camp program based out of a backcountry hut for students in 3rd-8th grades. There is potential to co-lead a high school backpacking trip as well.
- Provide occasional overnight supervision of students during summer camp and for school programs in the winter and spring.
- During the second school year, facilitate instruction for an after school science program.
- Attend or conduct occasional evening and weekend programs and events.
- Program Coordination:
- Rotate ‘Lead Instructor’ responsibilities and assist School Programs Coordinator with program logistics and coordination.
- Participate in regular program team meetings and all-staff meetings.
- Maintain database of student participation, assessment data, and evaluation.
- Assume leadership role in the 2nd year of the Natural Science Educator position.
- Take program photos and collect student work to be used for website updates and development efforts.
- Assist in training incoming Natural Science Educators during 2nd and 3rd summer training.
- Mentor incoming Natural Science Educators in 2nd year of Educator position.
- Maintain professional appearance and behavior.
- Special Events:
- Participate in fundraising events outside of normal work hours (i.e. A Taste of Nature, Fright at the Museum, etc.)
- Participate in community events outside of normal work hours (i.e. 4th of July Parade, Wild West Days, etc.)
- Operations & Risk Management:
- Evaluate environmental conditions and make safety decisions that incorporate Walking Mountains’ emergency protocol and current wilderness emergency medical procedures.
- Maintain a clean workspace and fulfill facility cleaning responsibilities.
- Assist with upkeep and maintenance of WMSC vehicles and program resources, including first aid supplies, teaching supplies and equipment, field gear, specimens, and library books.
- Safely transport students in 15-passenger vehicles during summer months.
- Responsible for financially covering and maintaining required medical certifications.
- Professional Development and Graduate Fellowship:
- Participate in a combination of face to face and online courses in science and environmental education, leading to 30 graduate credits and a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education through University of Northern Colorado’s School of Biological Sciences, College of Natural and Health Sciences
- Participate in the classes and complete your coursework both inside and outside of your 40 hour work week teaching camp and school programs.
- Participate in 7 weeks of staff training and professional development opportunities.
- Attend the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education annual conference, paid for and coordinated by WMSC.
- Personally maintain and develop natural history and ecology background knowledge for programs outside of WMSC trainings.
- Conduct an action research project as part of the degree program that is in line with the goals and mission of Walking Mountains Science Center.
All other duties as assigned.
Qualifications & Expectations
- BA/BS in science, education, or an environmental science-related field
- 2 years of outdoor and/or classroom teaching experience
- Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications
- Working knowledge of conservation issues, ecology and natural history of the Rocky Mountains
- Positive, self-motivated, organized, flexible, and creative individual who can work independently and as part of a team.
- 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work (required)
- Fluency in Spanish (desired, but not required)
- $225/weekly stipend + housing May 31, 2016 through August 31, 2016
- $22,000 annual stipend (no housing) for September 1, 2016 through August 17, 2018
- Coursework and tuition for 30 graduate credits at University of Northern Colorado
- Master of Arts Degree in Science Education (upon completion with B or higher grades in each course)
- 4 weeks paid vacation per year to correlate with school district calendar
- 12 paid holidays per year
- 1 sick day per month
- Health and dental benefits
- Simple IRA matching program
- Ski pass (Vail and Beaver Creek resorts)
- Avalanche Safety training
1) Read over fellowship program details on THIS PAGE.
2) Please upload the following documents:
- Current resume
- Cover letter
- identify scientific disciplines you are interested in strengthening
- identify your education goals
- identify topics of interest for an action research project
- Walking Mountains’ application form | click here to view
- 3 professional recommendation letters with contact information
- Unofficial copy of your undergraduate transcripts (these can be mailed to Walking Mountains Science Center, c/o Beth Markham, PO Box 9469, Avon, CO 81620 if you are unable to upload)
- academic writing sample (3-5 pages in length)
Important Application Notes
- Once accepted by Walking Mountains Science Center and in order to finalize the application process, chosen applicants will need to submit a formal application to UNC as well.
- You will need to send official transcripts to UNC.
- If you want to apply for financial aid to help offset living costs, be sure to apply for your FAFSA by March 1, 2016.