Science Education Specialist
Permanent, Full-time. The 3,350+ - acre Albany Pine Bush Preserve (APBP), located in New York’s Capital District, protects one of the best remaining inland pitch-pine scrub oak barrens in the world. This extraordinary fire-dependent ecosystem provides habitat for many plants and animals, which includes 78 New York State-designated wildlife Species of Greatest Conservation Need, such as the endangered Karner blue butterfly. The APBP is a National Natural Landmark, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area Site, a New York State Unique Area and Bird Conservation Area, and a National Audubon Society Important Bird Area. Characterized by rolling sand dunes and over 20 miles of trails, the APBP offers visitors many recreational opportunities including hiking, bird watching, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and canoeing. The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission (APBPC) is a public-private partnership created by the NYS Legislature in 1988 to protect and manage the APBP and provide the public with educational and recreational opportunities. The Management Plan for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve guides all aspects of creating and managing the preserve.
As the gateway to the Pine Bush, the Discovery Center at 195 New Karner Road, Albany, is a “green” certified interpretive center where visitors come to understand why the Pine Bush is rare and special. This unique destination provides for exciting exploration where learning comes naturally through interactive exhibits, an outdoor Discovery Trail, and numerous programs on the ecology, natural history, cultural history and management of the Pine Bush.
The Science Education Specialist (SES) is a member of the Education Programs staff within the APBPC Education Department. The SES collaborates with the Education Program Manager (EPM) and Lead Educator (LE) to implement a comprehensive education program for the APBP compatible with the natural resources, research and management goals of the preserve and in alignment with the APBPC Management Plan and Operating Plan (OP). The SES brings a background in research, data management and interpretation that can be applied to Education Department work including programs, publications, events and more. The primary responsibilities of the SES are to assist the Education Department in incorporating science and STEAM themes into programming, publications, online and print media, to develop ways for the public to access and interact with Albany Pine Bush data sets and to lead education and interpretive programs. The SES also has responsibility for overseeing the Volunteer Naturalist Program. The SES is supervised by the EPM.
- Under the direction of the EPM and in cooperation with the LE, work to incorporate science themes into public and school programming.
- Develop opportunities for students and visitors to access Albany Pine Bush Preserve data including on our website.
- Advise Education Department Programs staff on data collection protocol and analysis for education programs.
- Recommend/develop opportunities to incorporate STEAM into educational programming.
- Develop content and publications that communicate Albany Pine Bush science themes to the public including the APBPC website and print media.
- Coordinate aspects of teen engagement programs, such as the Teen Science Café program.
- Assist with review of previously developed programs and development of new programs with regard to scientific accuracy, research design, and incorporation of STEAM themes.
- Lead standards-based, interactive and hands-on education programs for a diversity of school groups centered on the Albany Pine Bush.
- Lead public and special interest group programs for multiple audiences centered on the Albany Pine Bush.
- Develop and manage a team of Volunteer Naturalists in coordination with the Communications Department.
- Collaborate with LE on education projects under the direction of the EPM.
- Work as a team member on inter- and intra- departmental teams to advance awareness and understanding of the Albany Pine Bush as globally rare, nationally significant and locally distinct.
- Participate in Discovery Center projects and Visitor Services operations on an as-needed basis.
- Share responsibility for the set-up and clean-up of Discovery Center classrooms and Education Department storage areas.
- Share responsibility for live turtle care.
- Contribute to budget planning and grant writing.
- Other duties as assigned by supervisor.
- Bachelor’s degree in biology, geology, environmental science, cultural or natural history interpretation, elementary/secondary education, environmental education or other related field and a minimum of one-year work experience in a nature center, teaching or other work experience related to public education.
- Experience in developing and conducting research projects.
- Knowledge of the natural environment.
- Experience working with Microsoft Office suite of software applications.
- Proficient in use of data analysis software and applications.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills, including public speaking and interpretive skills.
- Ability to effectively communicate complex scientific concepts to a wide audience.
- Experience developing and leading STEAM programs.
- Ability to prioritize and complete tasks independently with respect to timelines.
- Ability to convey mission of the APBPC to diverse audiences.
- Ability to listen and work cooperatively with others of varying backgrounds and training.
- Ability to work a Sunday - Thursday schedule as well as occasional evenings. Some travel required.
- Valid driver’s license and ability to operate a motor vehicle.
- Ability to effectively manage volunteers.
- Ability to regularly lead groups outdoors over rolling topography in a variety of weather conditions.
- Work requires minor physical exertion and infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements.
- Current certification in basic first aid and CPR preferred or willingness to become certified within first year of employment.
Supervisor: Education Program Manager
Location: Albany Pine Bush Preserve, Albany, NY
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Classification of Position: Permanent, Full-time
Date Prepared: February 2020
Closing Date: June 19, 2020
Hiring Date: TBD
Date Posted: 05-19-2020
Expire Date: 06-19-2020
Contact Name: Sara Poggi-Decker
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply send cover letter, resume and three references.
Please enter “Science Education Specialist Application” in the subject line
No phone calls please.
The Albany Pine Bush Preserve Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer.