Naturalist Educator

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Summary

The Naturalist Educator, an AmeriCorps member, will be an essential member of the team for this young non-profit organization. This person will primarily implement and support the Student Stewards Program.

Position Description

Member Supervisors:

Hannah Lansverk, Student Stewards Program Manager

hannah@tmparksfoundation.org

(775) 360-6068


Devin Genovese, Student Stewards Program Director

devin@tmparksfoundation.org

(775) 360-6068


Member Schedule & Service Location:

Monday - Friday 8:30am - 5pm, some weekends and evenings for special programs and events.

Reno, NV


Mission:

The mission of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation (TMPF) is to support the parks departments operating in Truckee Meadows, including Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County. We do this primarily by providing in-park programming and opportunities for citizen engagement. TMPF is an independent, nonprofit organization that began operating in 2013. Our current programs focus on improving community health and wellness and developing peoples’ appreciation for the natural and cultural history found in local parks.


Position Description:

The Naturalist Educator, an AmeriCorps member, will be an essential member of the team for this young non-profit organization. This person will primarily implement and support the Student Stewards Program. The Student Stewards Program uses public parks within walking distance of under-served schools as learning laboratories. Students engage in hands-on citizen science research with a goal of improved academic engagement and better preparation for educational success. This will include teaching a three part class to underserved schools, developing and maintaining relationships with Washoe County schools administration and teachers, and developing and writing curriculum. This AmeriCorps member will also develop and implement the Student Stewards Spring and Summer Camps, a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) camp for economically disadvantaged students.


Timeline for Service: September 2021 - August 2022


Term of Service & Time Requirements:

Member's term of service begins on September 7th, 2021 and will be completed by August 12th, 2022. This is a full-time AmeriCorps member position. Members must complete 1720 hours of service.


Statement on Supplementation, duplication, or displacement of staff:

This position does not duplicate work of previous or existing employees or volunteers, supplant the hiring of workers, or include service of duties that have been performed or were performed by a current employee, an employee who recently resigned or was discharged, an employee subject to a reduction in force, or an employee who is on leave.


Service Environment Description and Inclusive Member Position Description Statement:

Persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The above functions may be completed with or without reasonable accommodations. No persons involved with the program will discriminate based on race, religion, creed, color, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation or disability. This position has recurring access to vulnerable populations.


Host Site Agency Mission:

The mission of Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation (TMPF) is to support the parks departments operating in Truckee Meadows, including Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County parks. We do this primarily by providing in-park programming and opportunities for citizen engagement. TMPF is an independent, nonprofit organization that began operating in 2013. Our current programs focus on improving community health and wellness and developing people's appreciation for the natural and cultural history found in local parks.


Program Mission:

The Student Stewards Program engages K-12 students in park-based, citizen science projects that encourage higher learning in science subjects.


Additional Guidelines or Expectations:

AmeriCorps members are required to wear at least one piece of AmeriCorps gear (AmeriCorps button), provided by the Parks Foundation, when serving during their term of service. When the member is facilitating a program, they should wear the t-shirt their site supervisor provides them with the AmeriCorps button pinned on this shirt. AmeriCorps members must participate in a minimum of three National Days of Service during their term of service and may participate in additional service projects. The AmeriCorps member must disclose all criminal convictions during application process and undergo National Service Criminal History Check and have no statutory exclusionary offenses to AmeriCorps service reported. The AmeriCorps member must be at least 17 years of age, and a US Citizen, US National, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.


Evaluation and Reporting:

Members will receive a mid-term and end-of-term performance evaluation from their site-supervisor and the AmeriCorps Program Director. Members will submit their biweekly Member Service Logs (timesheets) to their supervisor to be approved. Members are also responsible for reporting performance measures to their site supervisor and AmeriCorps Program Director every month during their term of service.


1

The AmeriCorps member will have a profound impact on the overall goals of the Student Stewards Consortium and mission of the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. The Student Stewards Consortium is designed to increase economically underserved students' interest in and love of science. The AmeriCorps member will be providing STEM-based (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) lessons in and out of the classroom with the goal of improving student understanding of STEM subject matter and to increase their academic engagement.

In the short-term, the AmeriCorps members will engage 2,500 K-12 students in programs under the Student Stewards Consortium. At least 1,550 of those students will demonstrate academic engagement as measured by pre- and post-surveys. Long-term goals for the Consortium include creating and implementing accredited teacher training workshops, creating a more robust curriculum for the Consortium's programs, and creating and implementing adult programming for parents of students, as well as for the general public.


2

The AmeriCorps program primarily seeks to address the relationship between poor academic achievement and low socioeconomic status in the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area. In northern Nevada, this relationship bears out as a substantial achievement gap illustrated by a 2013 ranking of Washoe County schools showing low test scores correlating to high rates of poverty. Based on student test results in math, reading, and science across the school district, the 13 lowest ranking elementary schools all qualified for Title I assistance under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The US Department of Agriculture found that during the 2015-2016 school year, 47% of Washoe County's 65,000 students qualified for free and reduced lunch at their school. These numbers are especially striking given the fact that Nevada continues to rank last or near last in the nation in terms of quality of education as reported by the National Center for Education Statistics.

AmeriCorps members serving in the Student Stewards Consortium will help to address the poor academic success of economically underserved students, which falls under the Education National Focus Area. Members will create, expand, and implement a STEM-based curriculum primarily at Title I and 50.1%+ free and reduced lunch schools in Washoe County. Members will provides K-12 students with additional STEM lessons designed to help them find academic success.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Facilitate the Student Stewards Program;

  • Write new and enhance current STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) curriculum using Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards;

  • Develop and maintain partnerships with school administrators and teachers;

  • Create, write, and implement STEAM and recreational camp programming for the Student Stewards Summer Camp and school break camps;

  • Facilitate TMPF’s Junior Naturalist Program.


Secondary Responsibilities:

  • Facilitate other interpretive programs such as Truckee Meadows Trails Challenge and Discover Your Parks walks;

  • Community outreach for the Student Stewards Program;

  • Create new adult education programs and events.

Qualifications

  • Passionate commitment to TMPF’s mission and vision;

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, science, or a related field;

  • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment;

  • Exceptional writing skills;

  • Strong communication skills;

  • Strong organizational skills;

  • High degree of initiative and spirit of service;

  • Experience working with students, teachers, and volunteers;

  • Preferred: strong understanding of education standards and experience in curriculum development;

  • Preferred: experience teaching in formal or informal settings;

  • Preferred: experience working at or managing summer camp programs;

  • Preferred: Reading, writing, and speaking competency in Spanish language.


Required Academic and Experience Qualifications:

Must have a high school diploma or equivalent, or agree to earn a high school diploma or equivalent before using an educational award. It would be useful if members have a Bachelor's degree in education, science, or a related field.

Compensation and Benefits

In return for their service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance of $16,000/year, health benefits during their service, and will receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $6,345.00 upon successful completion of service.

To apply:

Send cover letter and resume to Student Stewards Program Director, Devin Genovese at devin@tmparksfoundation.org


Visit the TMPF website, www.tmparksfoundation.org or email/call Devin at (775) 360-6068 for more information.