Posted: Open to internal and external applicants.
Reports to: Field outreach coordinator.
Status: Part time, hourly, non-benefitted position.
Hours of work: Variable, between 60 and 100 hours in total, March–November 2020. Leads are required to attend volunteer training sessions as laid out below.*
Date needed: March 2020.
Posting expires:Open until filled.
Field program leads work with and support volunteer naturalists in place-based field programs such as the Beach Naturalist and Cedar River Salmon Journey programs. Leads help train naturalists during volunteer training and supervise teams of volunteer naturalists during public program shifts on local beaches and rivers during the summer and fall. Leads also support the efforts of the Aquarium’s community engagement section to reach the “community” goal as expressed in the Seattle Aquarium Strategic Plan 2011–2030: “Ensure that we are inclusive and welcoming to all segments of the community.”
Field program leads are part of the Seattle Aquarium Community Engagement team, which strives to connect all people with the marine environment in support of our mission: Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. Environmental degradation disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income communities, and environmental challenges will not be solved without bringing to bear the knowledge, skills and diverse views of the entire human community. The Aquarium engages with the community through a variety of marine-conservation-focused outreach programs, including our field-based programs—the Beach Naturalist and the Cedar River Salmon Journey programs—as well as the Seattle Aquarium Connections program and field conservation activities.
Ideal candidates will have experience working with volunteers either in leadership roles or as volunteers themselves and be skillful at interacting and communicating with the public in a positive way through one-on-one, small family group or larger group interactions, such as school field trips or summer camp groups. Field program leads rely on strong interpretation skills, knowledge of marine science and conservation, and the ability to engage diverse audiences in an inclusive and welcoming manner. Leads must be organized, self-motivated and able to work independently while supporting teams of field-based volunteers.
The Community Engagement team uses a culturally responsive approach to connect with learners’ prior knowledge. We value and respect the diversity of experiences that visitors bring to the beach, river or other field sites. We work to create an inclusive and welcoming space for everyone to connect with the marine environment and with one another in service of our mission.
*Field program leads can expect to work 60–100 hours (hours are spread out over an eight-month time frame, with the bulk of hours falling during summer months). Hours are variable and dependent on low tides, which occur every two weeks, and include weekdays and weekends. Days of work include the following:
- Field staff trainings:
- One evening training on March 5 or March 10.
- One or two other weekday evening trainings during the field season (dates TBD).
- Beach naturalist volunteer trainings:
- Five evening trainings (March 24, April 7, April 21, May 5 and May 19).
- Three field trainings (April 11, April 26 and May 9).
- One season celebration in August (weekday evening, date TBD).
- During the beach season, leads can expect to work every two weeks, several days in a row, depending on availability, for approximately three to five hours per shift (please see the attached schedule for 2020 beach dates).
- Leads may have the opportunity to join the salmon-based field programs (exact dates TBD) for the following events:
- One two-hour evening training in June.
- Three two-hour weekday evening trainings in September.
- Two eight-hour Saturday trainings in September.
- Up to six weekend dates at outreach events and/or on October weekends.
A. Essential functions:
- Support field-based volunteers by providing knowledge and resources about intertidal animals, salmon and watersheds, instructing etiquette for gentle beach exploration in support of our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, and modeling welcoming and respectful interactions with all program visitors.Opens in New Window
- Attend all training dates and public program shifts according to an agreed upon schedule.
- Work independently in the field at sites that include Puget Sound beaches, the Cedar River and occasionally local community events.
- Responsible for field shift duties, including supervising volunteers, volunteer sign-in/out, managing supplies, completing required paperwork and responding to any volunteer and/or visitor issues that arise during the shift.
- Weekly email and phone communication with staff coordinators about program details and during the field season with volunteers to remind them of shifts, communicate about absences or other issues that arise.
- Assist in training field-based volunteers.
- Meaningfully and respectfully engage community members of all ages with marine conservation activities.
- Other duties as assigned.
C.Required skills, abilities:
- Interest and expertise in marine science and/or environmental science and conservation.Opens in New Window
- Interest in and demonstrated commitment to environmental justice and desire to serve communities that are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation.
- Respect for and appreciation of volunteers. Be able to interact positively with all volunteers and be willing to teach and be supportive of their abilities.
- Strong interpersonal, collaboration and team-building skills.
- Strong communication skills; ability to effectively communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures; and ability to engage all audiences in a positive, inclusive and welcoming manner.
- Ability to convey information about marine science and conservation to the public with flexibility and strong listening skills, and ability to connect with and be respectful of learners’ prior knowledge and experiences.
- Ability to communicate in a language in addition to English is a plus.
- Ability to solve problems, be flexible and work successfully without close supervision.
- Ability to handle a variety of situations that may arise with volunteers and the public with grace, empathy and above all, a sense of humor.
- Willing to work varied hours that include weekends, weekdays and evenings.
D. Experience, education and certifications: We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.
- High school diploma or equivalent.Opens in New Window
- Three months’ experience working as a volunteer and/or working with other volunteers in an education- or outreach-focused position.
- Knowledge of Pacific Northwest intertidal marine invertebrates (identification and natural history).
- First aid and CPR/AED certification; proof required by first day of paid work. Red Cross online courses are not accepted.
- Washington state driver’s license or other state’s valid license and good driving record.
- Must have access to a vehicle for transporting supplies to field locations.
- Must have access to a cell phone for communication while at field sites.
- Must have access to email from home.
- Must be able to attend beach naturalist trainings and be available for a minimum of eight beach shifts.
- Experience working or volunteering in an informal science institution—such as an aquarium, zoo, environmental or nature center, camp, or community-based organization. Opens in New Window
- Associate degree and/or two years of college-level courses.
E. Working conditions:
- Washington state drivers’ license, or willingness to obtain one, and good driving record required for local travel.
- Majority of work is performed in a normal office setting. Semiprivate work area. Also requires duties to be carried out in exhibit areas, possible outdoor field excursions and off-site training and travel.
- Must be able to lift 30 pounds or more on occasion.
- Requires flexibility for evening or weekend visits, activities and events throughout the year in support of development events and activities.
- High energy needed for long hours on event days, which can include some lifting and intense physical activity.
Payand benefits: $15.75/hour + additional $0.75/hour for transportation assistance. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time.
How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply by uploading a résumé and one-page letter detailing interest and relevant experience in our online application.
Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.
*Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.
About the organization:
The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment through a variety of channels, including a compelling exhibit experience and engaging daytime and evening events; conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds; community outreach to underserved populations; research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild; advocacy and policy work; an award-winning volunteer program; strong and consistent marketing efforts; and more.
We’re noted for our collaborative, communicative and team-oriented working environment. Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices; creating awe-inspiring experiences; constantly learning and improving; fostering an inclusive community; maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices; and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.
Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we’re the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and we welcome over 850,000 people through our front doors each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’ve developed a master plan to substantially increase in size and impact by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion. Our current annual budget is $18 million.