Education Manager, Philadelphia Discovery Center

Posted by National Audubon Society on June 25, 2018

The National Audubon Society (Audubon Pennsylvania) and the Philadelphia Outward Bound School are joining forces to save and sustain a vital part of our natural heritage in a unique partnership. Their missions converge in the East Park section of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park—just blocks from the neighborhood of Strawberry Mansion—where a century-old abandoned reservoir has become a unique wildlife sanctuary and an important stopover location for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway.

This groundbreaking venture, known as the Discovery Center, will be a national model for partnership and collaboration, reaching more than 15,000 children, youth and adults per year between the two organizations. The Center will protect and interpret a unique habitat rarely found in a major urban area and will provide education and adventure programs that inspire self-discovery, foster personal achievement, and build community across Philadelphia.

The National Audubon Society will use The Discovery Center as a facility for research, conservation efforts, and educational programs throughout the Philadelphia region. Audubon will engage individuals and communities by offering the resources and tools necessary to analyze, preserve and restore our natural environment. Audubon’s education programs will challenge both young people and adults through hands-on exploration of the natural world in their own backyards and neighborhoods. The Discovery Center will also allow visitors to connect to Audubon’s national and international conservation initiatives, as it serves as a major migratory stopover on the Atlantic Flyway for nearly 150 species of birds and as a premier destination for bird watching throughout the region.

As part of this vision, the Education Manager will play a critical leadership role in developing, implementing and overseeing all environmental educational programming for Audubon at the Center. Reporting to the Vice President and Executive Director of Audubon Pennsylvania, s/he will be also be responsible for engaging the constituents of the area with lively and innovative environmental programming. There will be a major focus on developing lasting partnerships in order to further embed Audubon’s presence in the adjacent community and throughout the Philadelphia region.

Essential Functions

  • Develop a comprehensive education program and strategies that aligns with Center, State and National conservation plans and goals. Develop conceptual frameworks, support materials, assessment tools, and other elements as needed.
  • Develop, implement, oversee and deliver creative and engaging nature science and conservation education curriculum appropriate for elementary grades.
  • Oversee all aspects of summer camp including the development and delivery of age-appropriate conservation education curriculum.
  • Responsible for program promotion, registration, scheduling, pre-program communication, development of props and materials, and program evaluation for both in-school programs and outdoor field trips.
  • Plan and implement environmental science, field research, natural history, and ecology programs for school groups, youth, family, college students, teachers and adults.
  • Maintain and develop partnerships with local community leaders and groups, public and private schools, and youth organizations to cultivate youth conservation leaders and junior volunteers.
  • Develop partnerships with state and federal agencies, colleges, universities, research institutions, and other conservation organizations.
  • In collaboration with Center/State staff, develop effective promotional materials and marketing strategies for school, summer camps and community programs, including regular updates to the website and helping generate new and robust social media and other strategies to engage schools and the community.
  • Interact and work with the general public, Audubon members, teachers and school officials, Board Members, other conservation groups and government officials.
  • Serve as an ambassador for the Center and NAS throughout the community, specifically, at education conferences, meetings, advisory boards, teacher conferences, festivals and other public events.
  • Work with Audubon Pennsylvania conservation and advocacy program staff to integrate education components into each program.
  • Maintain inventory, condition and organization of educational materials, supplies and equipment.
  • Under the direction of the VP/Executive Director, assist with fundraising efforts including organizing special events, cultivating donors; and assisting with submission of grant proposals.
  • Develop volunteer program and oversee volunteer coordinator (to be hired); deliver staff and volunteer educator training sessions. Responsible for recruitment and marketing, communication with and stewardship of staff, interns and volunteers.
  • Assist staff and volunteers in the daily operating and maintenance activities.
  • Write articles for the E-newsletter, newsletter, and other print media.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in the natural sciences, education or related field and 3-5 years’ demonstrated experience in teaching and curriculum development required. An equivalent combination of education and experience will also be considered.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of educational program design and assessment, knowledge of wildlife conservation issues, and ability to articulate them and inspire participation.
  • General knowledge of the natural history of the City of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, and the ability to pass on that knowledge to members of the public through creative programming at the Discovery Center.
  • Capacity to work effectively with a wide range of people, build relationships, be diplomatic and exhibit sensitivity to and understanding of the dynamics of a complex organization.
  • Attention to detail, excellent time-management and organizational skills, sound judgment under pressure.
  • Excellent communication and writing skills essential. Bilingual in English and Spanish a strong plus, but not
  • Strong interpersonal and social skills with a positive attitude and good sense of humor.
  • Ability to work independently and in dynamic, fast-paced environment.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications; experience with GIS preferred.
  • Willingness and ability to work a flexible schedule; some travel, as well as evening and weekend hours, will be required. Access to a personal vehicle preferred, but not required.
  • Interest, understanding and commitment to the mission and vision of both The Discovery Center and the National Audubon Society.

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