Ocean Career: SF NERR Coastal Science Education Coordinator

The Coastal Science Education Coordinator for the San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) develops and leads educational programs that connect people to science and the estuary.

The SF Bay NERR program is part of the national NERR system of 30 coastal reserves. The education program engages community members, students, and teachers with the SF Bay NERR field sites and partner organizations through programs that foster scientific literacy and understanding of estuaries. The education coordinator’s primary responsibilities are to support the SF Bay NERR’s Management Plan’s goals and objectives and sustain programs that meet stakeholder needs identified in the 2022 Education Program Needs Assessment: to expand understanding, practice, and application of estuarine and coastal science and to promote public appreciation and stewardship of the SF Estuary, with a specific focus on underserved or underrepresented audiences. The position requires leadership, creativity, networking, and collaboration to develop and sustain broadly distributed educational programs; create relevant and useful educational resources; assess and track program outcomes; coordinate and mentor volunteers and interns; establish and meet program goals; and write grant proposals to enhance support for the full scope of program goals and objectives. One of the major required educational programs is an annual fully-funded NERR Teachers on the Estuary teacher-training program.

The Reserve’s sites are tied to culturally diverse communities and partner organizations and located on ancestral lands and waters of the Coast Miwok and Southern Patwin peoples. SF State serves one of the nation’s most diverse student populations, is a Hispanic Serving Institution, and has a strong social justice mission. Culturally appropriate and relevant educational outreach and relationship building in these communities, and in collaboration with the SF Bay NERR’s partner organizations, is a core component of the program and the position. SF Bay NERR sites include 3,700 acres of two of the best remaining remnants of ecologically intact tidal wetlands and associated upland habitats in the entire SF Estuary. The SF Bay NERR is hosted by SF State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center, on the 53- acre historic shoreline Romberg Tiburon Campus. The education coordinator works with the small SF Bay NERR staff, attends the weeklong annual NERR systemwide meeting held at reserves around the United States, collaborates with the education coordinators from the other 29 reserves and NOAA office for coastal management, and has opportunity to guide the direction of the education program.

Position Information

Sustain and build productive relationships and collaborations:

    • Lead and direct the launch of a green career pipeline program developed by a team of graduate fellows from the University of Michigan to develop a “pipeline” program to support students from local high schools and community colleges be ready for and pursue a four-year undergraduate degree or vocational training.
    • Work with partners within SF State, including faculty from the College of Science and Engineering and Graduate College of Education and student groups, to support the mission of SF State, including serving its diverse undergraduate population including through the pipeline program
    • Collaborate with external agencies and organizations to enhance the value and impact of the Reserve’s activities and students’ participation in the pipeline program Build a program that incorporates diversity, justice, inclusion, and equitable participation in planning and delivery of educational programs.

Develop, deliver, and evaluate education programs for the public:

      • Represent the Reserve at outreach events
      • Develop novel partnerships and ideas to engage diverse audiences with research and science
      • Write for a variety of general and technical publications, such as newsletters and website and social media articles
      • Communicate effectively about complex scientific topics, including climate change and sea level rise, using evidence-based framing and communication techniques
      • Teach, develop curriculum for, and/or evaluate field trip programs at the Reserve sites and integrate with SF State students where possible

Design, lead, and assess K-16 education programs

      • Develop and implement innovative approaches to engage teachers and students from local communities, including Spanish-speaking or under-served schools, with Reserve science programs.
      • Plan, teach, and evaluate an annual “Teachers on the Estuary” (TOTE) professional development program. TOTE is a specially funded national Reserve System program.
      • Write, teach, or adapt estuary education lesson plans using NERRS science and data, including writing lesson plans to meet the needs of a broader, more diverse audience

Assist with other Reserve programs:

      • Assist with scientific research in tidal marshes and other estuarine habitats, including assisting with long term monitoring
      • Support other colleagues with projects and tasks, such as meeting facilitation or leading tours

Perform administrative duties:

      • Track education program activities for upload to national database and narrative descriptions in semi-annual NERR progress reporting
      • Develop annual work plans
      • Complete university-required trainings at onboarding and periodically thereafter
      • Track budget expenditures for the TOTE program
      • Support purchasing of materials for outreach activities and issuance of subcontracts for TOTE trainers and honoraria for teachers attending TOTE trainings

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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