The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology (WFVZ), in Camarillo, California, is a non-profit natural history museum dedicated to ornithological research, science education, and the conservation of wild birds.
In Ventura County, where the WFVZ resides, the Foundation is the only natural history museum focusing on the biological and organismal sciences. It was founded in 1956, and since that time has grown to house the largest collection of birds’ eggs and nests in the world. The WFVZ is a research institution that has contributed data on its collections to more than 4,000 bird research projects since its inception, and an education institution that is dedicated to teaching students, educators, and the public. Our primary education objectives are to (1) increase scientific literacy by providing engaging and interactive tours, classes, events, and outreach; (2) inform students and the public about the biology, conservation, and ecology of wild birds; and (3) deepen the public’s appreciation of science, nature, and the environment as a way of counteracting "Nature Deficit Disorder" and similar issues affecting people living in urban environments.
Although we have been teaching Ventura County students since 2000, the WFVZ is systematically expanding its outreach. To enhance this expansion we want to hire a Science Education Coordinator. The description of the position is as follows:
Job Description: We are seeking an ornithologist with passion for science and nature education, who can accomplish the following:
1. Grant Writing: The new hire will raise funding to support the education program. The expectation is that at least 25% of the new hire’s salary will be raised in the first year.
2. Outreach to local education professionals: The new hire will meet with school administrators, Superintendents, and faculty, as well as others involved in science education in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles counties, to encourage involvement in the WFVZ’s education programs for elementary, middle, and high school students.
3. Outreach to local students: The new hire will teach about birds of the world, and southern California birds in particular, in classroom-style labs and tours of the museum for elementary, middle-school, high school, homeschool, and adult civic groups. Additional instructors will also teach during these events, but the successful candidate will be the co-lead or lead for most of the programs. In addition, the new hire will lead a springtime introductory bird identification class for adult members of the public. The new hire will also assist with the development of science education materials and community education materials through various media. The WFVZ wants to create new educational offerings, such as a summer camp, and the potential exists for the development of additional outreach offerings at the museum. The new hire will conduct the scheduling for the above outreach. In addition, the WFVZ desires to expand its visiting hours to include Saturdays, and the expectation is that the new hire will be available at least 2 Saturdays per month after the first 6 months.
Qualifications: The successful candidate will have an advanced degree (minimum M.S.) or a minimum of 5 years experience in an ornithologically-related subject. A successful candidate must have very strong writing skills (technically and grammatically), and be comfortable with writing grant proposals to education-related foundations and organizations. Priority will be given to candidates having a proven track record of raising funds, especially for education programs. A successful candidate must be comfortable and engaging at in-person meetings with professional educators, must be outgoing and enthusiastic about education, must possess her/his own means of reliable transportation, and must be able to demonstrate strong speaking skills, organizational skills, and versatility with multiple forms of digital communication. A successful candidate must enjoy teaching students of all ages, and have teaching experience with ecological, conservation, and/or taxonomic subjects. Priority will be given to candidates having experience with , elementary, middle school, and high school students. The successful candidate must also have good birding field skills, and have knowledge of southern California birds and of the birds of the world. Fluency in Spanish is highly preferred. Candidates for this position must be willing to submit to a background check and fingerprinting for working with minors.
The position is full-time. There is potential to conduct research using the WFVZ’s specimen collection, and/or to participate in the WFVZ’s local field projects, as long as the education duties for which the candidate is hired are fulfilled.
The position starts at $35,000 per year. Benefits include a health insurance stipend and paid holidays, and the ability to vest in a retirement fund. Additional benefits will be available after a successful first year of employment.
To apply: send your CV, a list of three references (including one who can attest to your grant writing abilities, and one who can attest to your teaching experience), and a cover letter detailing your relevant experience by 1 July 2018 to: Dr. Linnea Hall, firstname.lastname@example.org, Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology, 439 Calle San Pablo, Camarillo, CA 93012. 805-388-9944 http://www.wfvz.org
The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology is an equal opportunity employer, and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. We want to have the best available person in every position. Our policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender, religion, marital status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, or sexual orientation.