Foley Graduate Fellowship in Natural Science Education 2023-2025
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Deadline to Apply:
Tuesday, November 1, 2022, 5:00pm
This full time, 2 year and 3-month position at Walking Mountains Science Center is responsible for serving the organization with a personal commitment to awakening a sense of wonder and inspiring environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education. The Graduate Fellow position requires dedication to experiential learning, environmental education, natural science education, and life-long learning. The Graduate Fellows teach natural science programming both in the classroom and in the field during our summer science camps, school field programs and afterschool programs. In addition to teaching responsibilities, Graduate Fellows simultaneously participate in a fully funded Master’s program and are enrolled in courses taught at Walking Mountains Science Center and online through the University of Northern Colorado (UNC). Upon successful completion of all required coursework and job responsibilities of the position, Fellows will earn a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education from the University of Northern Colorado. Foley Graduate Fellows report directly to the Youth Programs Director (YPD). The Graduate Programs Director (GPD) oversees all aspects of the Graduate Fellowship component of the position.
- School Programs: Teach standards-based natural science topics during mostly one-day field programs to a group of 10-12 students in grades K-8, in all weather conditions, utilizing inquiry-based, hands-on teaching methods.
- Teach occasional residential programs including some meal preparation, evening programming and overnight supervision.
- Conduct pre-classroom visits prior to students participating in a field science program for all age groups.
- Summer Programs: Co-Teach weeklong day camps and occasional 2-night residential camps focused on science topics, exploration and fun for up to 13 campers in grades K-8.
- Afterschool Programs: Lead one afterschool Girls in Science or STEM Curiosity Lab program each week throughout the second school year of the fellowship.
Program Preparation and Logistics:
- Engage in reflective teaching practices including regular preparation and review of curriculum, development of science content knowledge, and ongoing adaptation of teaching techniques following field experiences and feedback.
- Rotate ‘Lead Educator’ responsibilities and assist with program logistics, coordination, and teacher/parent communication.
- Contribute to creation and maintenance of teaching materials for school and summer programs.
- Maintain database of student participation, assessment data, and evaluation.
- Take program photos and collect student work to be used for website updates and development efforts.
- Attend or conduct occasional evening and weekend programs and events.
- Work as a productive team member with other educator/fellows, instructors and coordinators in the office to organize, develop and improve curriculum and materials utilizing an ongoing program evaluation, curriculum review, and revision process.
- Contribute to a positive team dynamic within the graduate cohort and larger youth programs department.
- Be a productive member of a supportive learning community by sharing your knowledge and expertise and being willing to learn from others.
- Be a positive, responsible, and respectful member of the on campus housing community and follow all housing policies.
- Contribute to the local community through researching, writing, and submitting one Curious Nature article per year.
- Complete five required formal observation/coaching sessions in the first year of fellowship and three in your second year.
- Assist in ongoing program evaluation, curriculum review, and revision based on Walking Mountains’ program goals and objectives, Eagle County Schools’ needs, Colorado Academic Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
- Develop or revise existing summer camp or school field curricula as part of graduate coursework.
Special Events & Assignments:
- Participate in organization-wide fundraising events outside of normal work hours (i.e. A Taste of Nature, Fright at the Museum, Climb it for Climate, etc.)
- Participate in community events outside of normal work hours (i.e. Wild West Days, etc.)
- Research, write, and submit one blog post for the Youth Programs blog per year.
- Complete a passion project each year of the fellowship (assigned to further learning within fellow’s area of interest)
Operations & Risk Management:
- Serve a Walking Mountains Staff Committee during your first year.
- Evaluate environmental conditions and make safety decisions that incorporate Walking Mountains’ emergency protocol and current wilderness emergency medical procedures.
- Maintain a clean workspace and fulfill facility cleaning responsibilities.
- Assist with upkeep and maintenance of WMSC vehicles and program resources, including first aid supplies, teaching supplies and equipment, field gear, specimens, and library books.
- Safely transport students in 15-passenger vehicles during summer months.
- Responsible for financially covering and maintaining required medical certifications.
- Participate in rotating campus security duties and on-call responsibilities for alarm issues per housing guidelines.
Professional Development and Graduate Fellowship:
- Participate in a combination of face to face and online courses in science and environmental education, leading to 30 graduate credits and a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education.
- Participate in all classes and complete your coursework outside of your 40 hour work week teaching school, afterschool and summer camp programs.
- Participate in five to seven weeks of staff training and professional development opportunities.
- Attend the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education annual conference, paid for and coordinated by WMSC.
- Engage in ongoing reflective teaching practices including regular discussion, exploration of interesting topics, and sharing of new ideas and insights.
- Conduct an action research project as part of the degree program that is in line with the goals and mission of Walking Mountains Science Center.
- Fellows must earn grades of B or better in all coursework in order to earn their degree.
All other duties as assigned.
Qualifications & Expectations
- BA/BS in science, education, or an environmental science-related field (coursework in biology, chemistry, and other hard sciences is a plus)
- A minimum of 1 year of outdoor and/or classroom teaching experience
- Current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications (Can be secured upon acceptance and prior to start date; need-based financial support is a possibility if this is a barrier to participation)
- Positive, self-motivated, organized, flexible, and creative individual who can work independently and as part of a team.
- Spanish Language Skills (desired, but not required)
- 3.0 GPA in undergraduate work (required by UNC, special circumstances may be considered)
- Working knowledge of conservation issues, ecology, and natural history
- $16,000 annual stipend, plus housing and tuition* May 24, 2023 – August 8, 2025 (tentatively flexible based on graduation and programming needs)
- Tuition includes the cost of all 30 graduate credits required for a Master of Arts Degree in Science Education (upon completion with a grade of B or higher in each course) 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.
- Five weeks paid vacation per year to correlate with school district calendar (Includes paid holidays that occur during these weeks such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break etc.)
- Ten paid holidays and two floating holidays per year (some of these occur within the above 5 weeks)
- Twelve sick days per year
- Eligibility for company supplemented health insurance, including dental, as well as group vision insurance on the first day of the month following 60 days of employment
- Flexible Spending and Healthcare Savings Account options
- Company provided life and short-term disability insurance
- Ski pass (Vail and Beaver Creek resorts)
- Professional Development Opportunities (Examples Include: Graduate Coursework, Snow Science/Avalanche Training, Certified Interpretive Guide Training)
Important Application Notes:
Those who have had historical and systemic barriers to the field of outdoor education and consequently the workforce are encouraged to apply.
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.
- UNC will require two letters of recommendation.
- If you want to apply for financial aid to help offset living costs, be sure to apply for your FAFSA by the deadline.
How to Apply:
You will be required to upload in the Walking Mountains’ online application form (below):
1. Current resume
2. Cover letter – please include the following:
- identify your graduate education goals
- identify how this program will support your future career goals
- identify scientific knowledge and teaching skills you are looking to strengthen
- identify topics of interest for an action research project
Applicants are encouraged to include and describe any pertinent personal and professional experience in their cover letter when applying.
3. Walking Mountains’ application form with a list of three professional references.
4. Copy of undergraduate transcripts from all universities attended (these can be unofficial during application period, official transcripts required of accepted applicants)
5. One Letter of Recommendation (you will need 2 for UNC)
6. Academic writing sample (3-5 pages in length)