Foley Graduate Fellowship

Opening: Foley Graduate Fellowship and Educator in Natural Science Education
Department: Graduate Programs
318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon CO 81620
Reports To:
Graduate Programs Director and Youth Programs Director
Duration:  May 27, 2020 to August 12, 2022 (2 year and 3 month commitment)

Foley Graduate Fellowship Description:
Are you an environmental educator or classroom teacher looking to deepen and broaden your educational practice? Are you looking to gain practical and meaningful teaching experience in the field along with better understanding of educational theory? Walking Mountains Science Center is now accepting applications for our multi-faceted graduate fellowship. The Foley Graduate Fellowship in Natural Science Education is a unique and demanding 2 year and 3-month commitment through which Graduate Fellows teach summer science camps and school field science programs while they simultaneously participate in a full-time Master of Arts graduate program through University of Northern Colorado (UNC) and earn an M.A. in Science Education.

This graduate fellowship is a full-time, 2 year and 3-month professional development position that focuses on K-8 field science teaching, and helping to grow a reputable nonprofit organization, while working on earning a Master’s degree. The Fellows’ primary responsibility is the teaching of Walking Mountains’ field science school programs and summer science camps. This full-time job is intended to serve as a learning laboratory for practicing teaching techniques and implementing educational theories from the graduate coursework.

The teaching practicum aspect of the Fellowship includes teaching programs in the field four days a week, with topics ranging from geology to snow science, ecosystems, and sustainable energy to students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Summer programs consist of week-long day camps and occasional 2-night residential camps, focused on science topics, exploration, and fun for campers in grades K-8. Programs travel by van throughout the Eagle River Valley, exploring a different trail on public land each day, giving participants and leaders an opportunity to explore and find their place in the valley. The work weeks average out to approximately 40 hours per week, which includes some time in local classrooms and time in the office for program prep.

Graduate coursework is through the UNC’s Graduate Interdisciplinary Degree Program M.A. through the College of Natural and Health Sciences. Approximately half of the 30 credits required are taken in person, at Walking Mountains, and facilitated by Walking Mountains’ faculty, and the other half are taken online, through UNC’s Extended Campus. Coursework is intended to strengthen content knowledge and provide a theoretical foundation in inquiry learning, place-based education, standards-based learning, diversity and equity in education, and more. As part of their coursework, Fellows will have the opportunity to integrate and experiment with theoretical principles from their coursework on an ongoing basis. This program culminates in a year-long cycle of Action Research that will allow students to develop their expertise and understanding of specific educational strategies and theories and how they impact students, environmental education, and education as a whole.

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. Applicants must be flexible, able to juggle multiple responsibilities and communicate about and manage challenges, and ready for the academic challenges of being a full-time graduate student and teacher.

Graduate Fellow/Educator Job Description:
Click here to download the full job description.

Qualifications & Expectations

  • BA/BS in science, education, environmental science, or a related field (coursework in biology, chemistry, geology, and other hard sciences is a plus) (UNC requirement)
  • 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work (UNC requirement)
  • A minimum of 1 year of outdoor education, environmental education, and/or classroom teaching experience
  • Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications (Can be secured upon acceptance and prior to start date; must be maintained throughout the program by Fellows)
  • Positive, self-motivated, organized, flexible, and creative individual who can work independently and be a positive member of a functioning team and learning community.
  • Working knowledge of conservation issues and ecology (knowledge of the Rocky Mountain natural history desired, but not required)
  • Fluency in Spanish (desired, but not required)

Educator Benefits:

  • $14,500 annual stipend, plus housing and tuition* May 27, 2020 – August 12, 2022 (Note that housing will be changing in October 2020 as we expect to complete our on-campus staff housing by that date.)
  • Five weeks paid vacation per year to correlate with school district calendar (Includes paid holidays that occur during these weeks such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)
  • Twelve paid holidays per year (some of these occur within the above 4 weeks)
  • One sick day/month
  • Health and dental benefits
  • Ski pass (Vail and Beaver Creek resorts)
  • Avalanche Safety training
  • Certified Interpretive Guide Training

*Tuition includes the cost of all 30 graduate credits required for a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education and access to all course books and resources. Some courses are taken online through UNC’s Extended Campus and others are taken in person at Walking Mountains. Valued at approximately $17,177.

To Apply:

Applications will only be accepted through our website, form is located below. You will be required to upload:

  • Current resume
  • Cover letter
    • Describe why you think this program is a good fit for you
    • Describe where you envision this experience leading you (where do you see yourself 5 years after the Fellowship?)
  • Identify topics of interest for an action research project*
  • Walking Mountains’ application form (DOWNLOAD HERE)
  • Three professional recommendation letters with contact information
  • Copy of your undergraduate transcripts (these can be unofficial)
  • Academic writing sample (2-3 pages in length, excerpts welcome)

Important Application Notes:

  • *Graduation from UNC requires completion of an Action Research Project. An Action Research Project is not a thesis. It is a relatively short cycle of research on your personal educational practice. Projects typically extend throughout the second year of the Fellowship, where laying out the practical and theoretical groundwork for the project and developing methods is the emphasis for much of this time. Actual data collection typically only lasts for several days, and the final months of the program will be spent analyzing data, making recommendations, and sharing conclusions. Projects must align with and seek to enhance Walking Mountains’ program goals and mission.
  • 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, 2020.  

Jaymee Squires, Graduate Programs Director
Phone: (970) 827-9725 x 116

Chris Cohen, Youth Programs Director
Phone: (970) 827-9725 x 117

Application Deadline: December 8, 2019