The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks (2) Program Educators for the PA Student Leadership Field Education Program. This is a new education program based in Harrisburg, PA and will require extensive travel in the South-Central counties of PA. This is a fulltime 3-year term position.

CBF Environmental Education

Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate each year in CBF’s education field experiences or teacher professional learning.

The Bay, and its watershed, is our classroom and CBF environmental educators are responsible for bringing the Bay alive to students.  We strive to make a lasting impression about the excitement and vulnerability of the Bay.

Each of CBF’s 15 education programs has its own individual character. The field experience options run the gamut from our urban boat programs in Baltimore and Hampton Roads to Pennsylvania canoe programs to remote island-based centers.  We use hands-on experiential teaching techniques to educate students about the health of the Bay and connect them back to their local environment.  Educators promote and develop citizen knowledge about the Bay by providing unforgettable, hands-on, experiences that inspire participants with a commitment to take action for the restoration of the Bay.

The education department is comprised of Student Field Programs, Teacher and Principal Professional Learning, and Student Leadership.  All of these components work closely to educate and empower participants to take action towards “Saving the Bay.”

Context of the Position

CBF’s Education Department supports active student leaders who represent the application stage of experiential education.  It is an important stage of the learning cycle when students plan and initiate actions based on conclusions drawn during environmental investigations.  Additionally, this program is an important component of the Education department’s contribution to CBF’s mission.  Not only will student actions support present day legislative and grassroots efforts to save the Bay, but this initiative seeks to identify and empower a new generation of talented, motivated, and passionate individuals who see themselves as catalysts for making lasting positive change. The PA Student Leadership Field Education program will deliver education programming that encourages the development of active, self-motivated, environmental youth leaders with a focus on assisting with CBF’s advocacy priorities and raising community awareness. This position will be active in promoting partnerships with student groups, networking with aligned organizations, and collaborating interdepartmentally.

Specifically, the PA Student Leadership Field Education Program Educator will develop and implement student leadership initiatives and field-based curriculum, in partnership with the other Student Leadership Field Education Program Educator and the Pennsylvania Student Leadership Coordinator.  The primary goal for this position is to expand and train a base of student leaders to promote improving water quality in Pennsylvania rivers and streams.  The program educators will develop and conduct field-based investigations for students and other participants that focus on leading students in riparian plantings, student action projects, and school led restoration projects. They will assist the Student Leadership Coordinator in developing partnerships with Pennsylvania Land Trusts and other community organizations. The Program Educators will work closely with other departments in CBF’s Pennsylvania office such as development, communications, grassroots and restoration staff to optimize student advocacy opportunities and restoration activities. Both Student Leadership Field Program Educators will report to the Student Leadership Coordinator.

Essential Functions

Student Leadership Program:

  • Recruit and manage students to participate in field programs, leadership opportunities, and Mentors in Agriculture Conservation (MAC) program
  • Support high school students who will serve as the core of the Student Leadership program in Pennsylvania
  • Design and teach programs that:
    • Provide students with a solid comprehensive understanding of local PA water quality issues and ecology through hands-on investigation and their connection to the Chesapeake Bay
    • Facilitate a student-centered learning environment where participants arrive at their own conclusions, realize their personal potential, and find motivation to take action;
    • Train students as facilitators and organizers for projects and activities
  • Organize the logistics of student leadership restoration events, as necessary, including tree plantings, clean ups, stream walks, storm drain stenciling, and invasive species removals
  • Assist the Student Leadership Coordinator in planning and/or facilitating student lobby days
  • Co-host PA Student Leadership Council meetings
  • Plan and execute multi-day, field-based summer courses for Student Leadership Program
  • Coordinate outreach and media through collaboration within the Education Department and Communication Department, and PA EPR
  • Follow up with student leaders during the school year to assess their progress on action projects and student participation in the program

Education Field Program:

  • Develop, plan & implement appropriate activities for one-day field experiences using multiple field-based methods such as canoeing, seining, conducting biological sampling. water quality testing, assessing soil health, and land-based activities for middle and high school aged students, teachers, and other audiences
  • Collaborate with the education staff and participating teachers to plan and deliver one-day field experiences that are tailored to each group attending
  • Communicate the following items to all participants: safety review, rudimentary boating skills, ecosystem & watershed concepts, wildlife observation, biological sampling, water quality sampling, and other educational activities as appropriate
  • Continually adapt program content based upon grade/age level of participants, weather, group dynamics, and feedback/evaluations from teachers and supervisors
  • Plan and execute summer courses for Chesapeake Classrooms Teacher Professional Learning program
  • Collaborate with program education partner to debrief field experiences on daily basis. Additionally, program educators are responsible for facilitating team teaching techniques in collaboration with other staff.
  • Program staff are responsible for the safety of all field participants, they ensure that all safety protocols and policies are rigorously followed, and are required to respond to medical emergencies that may arise
  • Program staff are expected to be knowledgeable about and properly operate all program equipment
  • Program staff are responsible and accountable for performing maintenance to keep all education related equipment (vehicles, trailers, boats, grounds, and gear) in proper working order
  • Complete/submit timesheets, personal expense reports, credit card reports, and all other relevant administrative tasks in a timely manner
  • Develop and implement one-year program plan that is in alignment with CBF’s strategic plan
  • Provide timely communication and updates about the program to supervisors and other CBF departments
  • Attend all safety training and internal professional development offerings
  • This physically-demanding position involves some weekend work and year-round exposure to the elements
  • Other duties, as assigned

Professional Experience and Qualifications

Successful Candidate should possess the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, environmental science, biology, environmental studies, or related field, or relevant experience required
  • 3-5 years’ experience teaching in either a formal or non-formal setting
  • ACA certified, preferred
  • A strong desire to teach in the field/outdoors (under all weather conditions) and work with students on a daily basis
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills that includes the ability to adapt to different age groups, settings, & audiences
  • Collaborative work style that includes working within a team as well as independently
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and passion for working with students and the environment
  • Creativity, humor and self-confidence
  • Desire and ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Knowledge of environmental issues facing the Bay
  • Knowledge of Chesapeake Bay Foundation & the Education Department mission, strategic plans & goals, a plus

Physical Requirements:

  • Physical ability to lift and carry heavy objects-at least 45 pounds (canoes and other equipment)
  • This physically demanding position involves year-round exposure to the elements
  • Ability to work occasional evenings and/or weekends
  • Ability to work away from home for multiple-day periods throughout the year
  • Ability to travel to attend trainings & meetings
  • Ability to have reliable transportation to travel to other CBF field programs & locations as needed


  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • Must supply a driving record and hold a current valid driver’s license with no major violations.
  • All education staff participate in a pre-employment & random drug screening program per the requirements of the US Coast Guard

Additional Information

This position is open until filled by suitable candidates.

Please note this is a campaign-funded position that is expected to be funded for multiple years.  However, as with any position that is dependent on campaign money, there is the risk of unexpected funding problems and the position can no longer being funded through the campaign.  IF that should happen, CBF will review the position at that time to determine if it can then be funded from other sources of income within the organization.”