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Outdoor Science Educator/Naturalist


Monday, December 2, 2019


Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School

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Santa Cruz Mountains


Join a team of fun, inclusive and dynamic outdoor science educators teaching youth out on trail in the redwood forest!

Under general direction, conduct an activity oriented, interdisciplinary curriculum in science field study to diverse fifth and sixth grade students in a residential camp setting; also train, supervise and evaluate high school Cabin Leaders and conduct evening activities. Overnight shifts required intermittently.


• Conduct field study classes for groups from 18-25 students in the forest.

• Insure physical and emotional health and safety of participating students

• Maintain a supportive and cooperative working relationship with staff, classroom teachers, site (Koinonia) staff and cabin leaders. Contribute to positive staff morale.

• Contribute to and maintain an atmosphere for inclusion, social growth, development and positive interaction for students and cabin leaders.

• Develop, implement, expand and evaluate Santa Cruz County Outdoor Science School’s interdisciplinary and inquiry based environmental education curriculum.

• Develop and lead large group student assemblies (up to 180 students) including, but not limited to; song sessions, meals, campfire programs and opening and closing ceremonies.

• Provide weekly training, guidance, supervision and evaluation for the high school cabin leaders.

• Instill positive support, guidance, supervision and order for your assigned cabin groups.

• When necessary, proactively seek out or invent adaptations of materials or physical resources to make learning accessible to students with special needs.

• Provide a positive role model for the preservation of the natural environment.

• Other duties as assigned.


Knowledge of:
NGSS and Inquiry Instruction (preferred)

Establishing and maintaining high standards for class behavior, for both self and students, which are fair, respectful, inclusive and ethical.

Concepts of ecological principles including the sciences of biology, geology and astronomy (preferred)

Techniques of conflict resolution

Standards of risk management in an outdoor environment

First aid and emergency response

Skill and Ability:
Establish clear and meaningful learning goals (including social, cognitive, metacognitive, and skill goals) for all students, and engage students in the achievement of those goals.

Manage and teach field study group sizes between 18-25 students.

Lead large group assemblies (of up to 180 students) in activities including educational songs, skits and stories.

Interpret and apply pertinent Federal, State, and local laws, codes, and regulations.

Analyze situations carefully and adopt effective courses of action

Work well with others of divergent view points and deal constructively with conflict

Establish, maintain and foster positive and harmonious working relationships with those contacted in the course of work

Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing.

Dress appropriately for the given occasion

Work overnight shifts intermittently (approximately one program week per month) with room and board provided during that time.


Three years of related experience teaching and/or working with youth in the outdoors.

BA/BS preferred but not required

Bilingual educators are highly encouraged to apply

License or Certificate:
Valid and current First Aid (minimum is WFA) and CPR. WFA can be obtained after an individual is hired, before beginning work.

Daily hiking with a day-pack on steep terrain (up to 5 miles). Sitting frequently, standing and walking short and long distances; occasional to frequent lifting and carrying of 20-50 lbs; bending; frequent and repetitive use of hands (keyboarding), vision, hearing, speech/language processes; ability to use computers and other technological equipment, telephone, computer.

Environmental Exposures:

• Exposure to hot and cold temperatures and a variety of weather conditions consistent with working outside at 1000-foot elevation in heavily forested terrain.
• Exposure to dust, pollen, and a variety of plant life including poison oak, and a variety of insects (including ticks and mosquitoes).

Work Atmosphere Requirements
• Workplace atmosphere is fast-paced with high pressure.
• The employee may be exposed to a variety of conditions, which may include rain, hail, sleet, and high winds for days at a time.
• Occasionally the employee may be required to go the Santa Cruz County Office of Education located in Santa Cruz.
• Continuous contact with school staff, students, partners and the general public is required

Assigned work is normally performed at Koinonia Conference Center and school site environments. Occasional travel is required to school, field and training sites in one’s own vehicle. Continuous contact with school staff, students, partners and the general public is required.

• Position begins in September, 2019 (or ASAP thereafter) and continues until the end of May, 2020 with Thanksgiving and winter breaks in between, for approximately 130-140 work days during the school year.
• Naturalists have the opportunity to continue with the program in subsequent school years, indefinitely.
• The majority of work weeks are four-day: Tuesday – Friday with a few Monday – Thursday weeks, and a few five day weeks.
• In a typical, 32 hour work week:
• Tuesday = 8am – 5pm (8 hours)
• Wednesday = 8:30am – 9pm with breaks in between (10-12 hours)
• Thursday = 8:30am – 5pm with breaks in between (6-8 hours)
• Friday = 8am – 2pm (6 hours)
• Every 4-6 weeks naturalist rotate into a “night naturalist” role for one week. This shift is from 4:15pm – 9:30am on the following day. Room and board is provided during the night shift.

Compensation Information:

• Salaries start $15.17/hour with an increase each year up to six years.
• 5% stipend for fluent Spanish speakers who pass the Bilingual Assessment
• Full (single only) dental and vision benefits
• Responsibility Stipend of $300 per month
• Lunch during the work week is provided. Room and board are not provided.
• The naturalist position is a Classified Temporary position. Sick days are accrued. Holiday pay is not available

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