Seasonal Field Instructor – Sierra Streams Institute

Nevada City, California

Under the supervision of Sierra Streams Institute Education Project Manager, the Seasonal Field Instructor, hereby referred to as Field Instructor, will assist with planning and and implementation of field programs for a collaborative education and research project between Nevada County Superintendent of Schools (NCSoS) office, Sierra Streams Institute and the Center for Community and Citizen Science at the UC Davis School of Education. This project is being funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the years 2019-2023. This position is temporary and begins in January 2023 and funding will run for 5 months ending on May 31st 2023.

The Field Instructor will work closely with elementary teachers, education researchers, and other environmental educators to run educational field experiences for a community-based citizen science education program with 3rd-5th grade classes in Nevada County. As part of this program, students will investigate their local forest health by collecting, analyzing, and sharing data on forest and fire ecology. Teachers will participate in professional learning workshops which support them in leading these investigations in or near their own schools, and aligning this work with science curriculum standards. The field Instructor will be based at the Sierra Streams Institute office and will travel to school sites within the County to assist with the implementation of the program.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Guiding groups of up to 15 3rd-5th grade students in outdoor learning: teaching and assisting them with collection of forest health and fire resiliency data in a forested plot, while managing group dynamics and safety;
  • Assisting students in the classroom with entering their data into an online platform, visualizing and analyzing their data, holding scientific conversations regarding their findings, and communicating their research to external audiences;
  • Leading virtual educational activities in the case of distance learning;
  • Working with a team to lead the sharing of student research findings on forest health through community events, such as at the STEAM Expo;
  • Assisting with the setup modified forestry plots near school sites, including removing hazards (such as poison oak), creating signage, clearing trails, and marking boundaries;
  • Collecting and inputting forest ecology data for quality control of student collected data;
  • Assisting with the creation, proper maintenance, and management of curriculum tools and materials, such as laminated field instructions, forestry tools, tape measures, pencils, etc;
  • Supporting all staff and participant health and safety through following COVID-19 precautions, such as maintaining social distancing, sanitizing tools/materials between users, and supporting students in carrying out safety measures (based on current SSI policy as well as state and federal law);
  • Working a varied schedule based on program needs; will require some early evening hours for teacher meetings.

Desirable Qualifications

Knowledge of or experience with:

  • Effectively and safely lead groups of elementary students in both outdoor and indoor settings.
  • NGSS elementary curriculum.
  • Implementing science curriculum, especially project-based learning in environmental science. Writing science curriculum a plus.
  • Equitable and anti-racist education practices, such as being able to identify and support the unique needs of all students.
  • Analyzing situations accurately and adapting to challenges in implementing field programs.
  • High comfort level working with Google Apps and Microsoft Office applications (i.e spreadsheets, word processing, presentation slides).
  • Experience with database and/or citizen science database platforms.
  • Strong public speaking skills a plus.
  • Knowledge of contemporary environmental challenges as they relate to forests in Nevada County a plus.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing Citizen Science student data a plus.
  • CPR and First Aid Training a plus.

For more information and to apply, click here.

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