|Title:||Curriculum Coordinator and Wildlife Specialist|
|Reports to:||Outdoor School Manager|
|Date updated:||August 2021|
Eagle Bluff’s Wildlife Program utilizes multiple permanently disabled, captive birds of prey, skunk, and reptiles in educational programming. This position is responsible for managing all aspects of their care, as well as training and overseeing other staff involved in wildlife care and handling. The Curriculum Coordinator and Wildlife Specialist is part of a team of educators responsible for maintaining and teaching programs to Eagle Bluff users, primarily in the residential Outdoor School. This position is scheduled to teach for ~40% of their time, and maintain programmatic equipment ~10% of their time.
Founded in 1978, Eagle Bluff is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization located in rural southeastern Minnesota, just a few miles from the small historic town of Lanesboro in Fillmore County. As a year-round environmental learning center, we provide accredited education programs to over 16,000 children, adults, and families each year in our Outdoor School, Summer Camps, college j-terms, public programs, and Nature Preschool.
Eagle Bluff’s primary education program is the Outdoor School, an accredited residential program. Schools attend the Outdoor School September through June, with most trips being three days, two nights. Students take a variety of student-center, nature-focused classes, during which we aim to provide them with experiences that foster a sense of respect, stewardship and community; impart life skills such as teamwork and problem-solving; and promote positive outdoor experiences.
The Curriculum Coordinator and Wildlife Specialist is a part of the Curriculum Team, which is overseen by the Outdoor School Manager and made up of two Curriculum Coordinators, one Curriculum Coordinator and Wildlife Specialist, and two seasonal Curriculum Assistants. This team is collectively responsible for maintaining curricula used in Outdoor School programming, including lesson plans, class materials, adventure equipment, teaching sites, course inspections, etc. In addition, this positions oversees all aspects of wildlife at Eagle Bluff. Currently, Eagle Bluff has five raptors, one skunk, five snakes, one turtle, frogs, aquatic river animals, and cockroaches; two of these raptors were acquired recently and are currently in-training to be a part of programming. Example weekly tasks include: setting the feeding schedule, training new raptor handlers, ordering animal food, and cleaning enclosures.
Eagle Bluff’s Environmental Education Fellowship Program begins each August. This person is heavily involved in the training of these new educators; from training new staff to prepare wildlife food to observing live animal programs to leading class trainings. Although the Curriculum Coordinator and Wildlife Specialist does not supervise any staff, they are responsible for mentoring these new staff members as they learn to care for and work with live animals. They are also part of the Education Department team responsible for mentoring new staff on how to teach effectively, especially in the Fall.
In addition, this person is one of twenty-two Education Department members which teach education programming. Responsibilities vary by season; fall and spring are busy times for this role, as animal care training and teaching load are heavier due to the influx of new staff and high occupancy of the Outdoor School. Occupancy is lower during the summer and winter, which often functions as an in-depth training, curriculum design, and project implementation time. During the summer, this position is responsible for overseeing and facilitating the use of live animals during summer camps, especially Wildlife Camps.
35% – Wildlife Care:
- Oversee all aspects of wildlife care: diet planning, enrichment, health monitoring, enclosure maintenance, equipment maintenance, etc.
- Perform animal husbandry tasks (feed, clean, train, etc) for educational animals, primarily raptors and reptiles.
- Create and execute care plans (behavioral, project, medical, etc).
10% – Coordination of Wildlife Care and Handling
- Present, observe, and provide training assistance for scripted, live-animal based Naturalist Programs; including handling, feeding, free-flight, etc.
- Coach staff in animal behavioral training program; commit to learning Eagle Bluff’s training techniques
- Help wildlife handlers to stay motivated, set goals, and minimize barriers to success.
40% – Education Department Duties
- Teach science, adventure, and social science classes to residential, day-use, summer camp, and outreach groups. Includes giving interpretation-focused, on-stage Naturalist Programs with live animals. Teaching responsibilities will be higher in the fall/spring. Primary Audience: 4th-8th grade, residential.
- Mentor staff in program logistics and expectations; be kind, patient, and empathetic to the experiences of peers.
10% – Maintain Program Curricula
- Maintain and purchase education equipment and supplies related to Eagle Bluff’s classes/activities.
- Participate in collaborative curriculum development, review, and revision for the Outdoor School’s science, adventure, and social science programs; align curriculum with NGSS and state academic standards.
5% – Wildlife in Summer Camps
- Oversee the scope and use of wildlife during all summer camps; set limitations for wildlife experiences.
Other duties as assigned.
Minimum Education & Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree, or equivalent experience
- 2 years’ experience in caring for and handling raptors
- 1 year experience in behavioral raptor training (operant conditioning emphasizing positive reinforcement) theory and practical application
- 2 years teaching K-12 youth or equivalent experience
- Experience with and knowledge of outdoor teaching
- Experience or willingness to gain experience with handheld power tools (drill, dremel, etc.)
- Experience with or willingness to learn Microsoft Publisher
Minimum Qualifications & Skills
- Comfortable handling and caring for wildlife, including snakes and invertebrates
- Willingness to work up to one weekend and four evenings per month
- Strong empathy/emotional intelligence and the ability to connect and build successful working relationships. Demonstrated traits of maturity, kindness, and compassion under pressure
- High degree of organization, attention to detail, clear communication, efficiency, and self-motivation
- Willingness to vary work hours as wildlife needs dictate, including weekends, holidays, evenings, etc.
- Comfortable in moving water and able to hike long distances. Willing to operate and participate in adventure activities such as: high ropes courses, canoeing, rock wall, etc.
- General scientific and environmental literacy
- Computer, radio, and audio-visual equipment literacy
- Current CPR and standard First-Aid certification or willingness to obtain prior to start date
- Current driver’s license and willingness to drive Eagle Bluff’s vehicles
- Ability to pass a background check
Preferred Experience, Qualifications, & Skills
- Experience working with non-raptor wildlife
- Experience training staff on wildlife care and training
- Residential environmental education experience
- Any experience in: bioactive enclosures, snake care, wildlife rehabilitation, animal curation, beak coping, or new raptor training
- Knowledge of B.E.E.T.L.E.S. techniques and/or cultural interpretation pedagogy
- Prior experience facilitating high/low challenge courses, rock climbing, river canoeing, and/or snowshoeing experiences
- Experience writing lesson plans and developing curriculum, especially in alignment with academic standards
- Master’s degree with an experiential component in environmental education
An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.
Base Annual Salary: $32,000 – 33,500
Other benefits include: health insurance with HSA, retirement contribution without required match, generous PTO policy, dog-friendly workplace, discounts on outdoor gear, daily lunch, paid professional development, personal use of equipment/rock wall/etc., and more!
Email PDF of your resume and a cover letter to Stacy Wilhelm, Business Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
First review of applications will begin on November 1, 2021.
This position has an expected start date of January 3, 2022, assuming normal operations for the Fall 2021 school year considering COVID-19.
Applications will receive consideration for employment regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, or status with regard to public assistance. (EOE/AA)