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Science Instructor - Annis Water Resources Institute (Temporary Hourly)

Apply now Job no: 494590
Position type: TEMP - Temporary Hourly
Location: Muskegon, Michigan
Categories: College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

The Annis Water Resource Institute (AWRI) seeks passionate and energetic environmental educators to engage students in hands-on, place-based learning experiences onboard its research vessels and in its indoor/outdoor programming. Instructors are assigned to either the W. G. Jackson (docks in Muskegon), the D. J. Angus (docks in Grand Haven), the land-based program, or may serve in a combination of roles. AWRI anticipates hiring multiple instructors for the 2024 outreach season. These positions report to AWRI’s Education Specialist.

AWRI is a multidisciplinary research organization within Grand Valley State University’s (GVSU) College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, with a mission to integrate research, education, and outreach to enhance and preserve freshwater resources. The Water Resources Outreach Education Program delivers hands-on, investigative education about water to the public, with special emphasis on youth. Our floating learning laboratories and landside programming connect people in West Michigan with local water resources through experiential learning about water chemistry, lake food webs, human impacts on water quality, and more. Participants aboard an educational cruise have an opportunity to serve as freshwater scientists, collecting data and observations about the water bodies they sail through. Since 1986, thousands of students and others have experienced hands-on science on Lake Michigan and adjoining waters through these programs.

Position Summary

  • Science Instructors are responsible for conducting educational programs in the Water Resources Outreach Education Program, including seasonal programs aboard the research vessels as well as landside programming and special events.
  • The program on the vessels is delivered by two Science Instructors that team-teach. Instructors guide participants through water quality tests and other observations to compare the physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of Lake Michigan and smaller inland lakes. Along the way, the Science Instructors also share place-based information about the history and current conditions of the lakes and their watersheds, as well as related research of AWRI scientists.
  • The AWRI indoor/outdoor program serves as a landside complement to the onboard cruises, and engages students in place-based learning on AWRI’s grounds about a variety of related water topics. The curriculum includes activities developed by AWRI staff, as well as draws from programs such as Project WET, Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS), Healthy Water Healthy People, and the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program.
  • The outreach season is from mid-April through mid-October. Training for the 2024 season commences in mid-March to early April 2024, with programs beginning in mid-April.
  • These are part-time, seasonal positions. Work hours will vary depending on the outreach schedule and instructor preferences. A typical schedule is 2-3 days a week during the spring and fall seasons, with fewer days during the summer. There are generally two cruises per day lasting 2.5 hours each. Typically, programs run during normal business hours on weekdays, with occasional evening and Saturday programs. Instructors cannot work more than 29 hours per week.

Primary Duties

  • Provide instruction during onboard aquatic science cruises on the W.G. Jackson and/or D.J. Angus for grades 4-12, college, and adult; and/or indoor/outdoor classroom programming.
  • Deliver AWRI’s established curriculum as well as offer responsive place-based/site-specific commentary and learning opportunities.
  • Ensure that curriculum objectives are met and that participants have meaningful learning experiences.
  • Adapt the program to the needs of each group, weather conditions, and any special circumstances.
  • Work with the rest of the team of Science Instructors to set up instructional materials before a program, reset educational spaces before the next program, and maintain educational supplies and materials.
  • Complete onboard safety training, assist in the safe and efficient operation of the vessel during education programs, and be prepared to assist in an emergency.
  • Participate in pre-season curriculum training and set-up, as well as post-season wrap-up.
  • Contribute to the development of support materials and continually improving the outreach program.
  • Participate in other outreach efforts such as teacher workshops, open houses, and special events when possible.
  • Stay current on water issues and continue to enrich their aquatic science knowledge base.
  • Represent GVSU and AWRI in a professional manner.
  • Abide by all rules, regulations, and requirements for GVSU employees, including COVID-19 policies.
  • Foster a welcoming and accessible learning environment for all visitors, and uphold GVSU’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Perform other duties as required/assigned by supervisor.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

  • Passion for environmental education, experiential learning, and connecting people with local waters.
  • Broad knowledge of current water and environmental issues, the natural world, the Great Lakes, and human impacts to aquatic ecosystems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with students in a group setting and adapt curricula to a variety of age levels, learning styles, abilities, and backgrounds.
  • Teaching experience in formal or informal contexts (e.g. environmental education, outdoor recreation, interpretation, classroom teaching, or related field).
  • Proficiency in best practices of outdoor education and place-based learning, and demonstrated experience in maintaining safe learning environments.
  • Commitment to the mission of AWRI.
  • For teaching on the vessels: required to participate in the Random Drug Testing Program during the vessel season, as well as pass a pre-employment drug test (per Coast Guard regulations).

Preferred Qualifications and Education

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in a field related to aquatic science (such as environmental studies, biology, natural resources, etc.) or education (such as science education, or teaching certificate).
  • Encouraged to complete CPR and First Aid certification (employer-provided).

Working Conditions

Work is primarily performed onboard AWRI’s research vessels, on site on the AWRI grounds, and in the R.B. Annis Educational Foundation Classroom. Candidates should be able to:

  • Spend multiple hours outdoors in all types of weather (including heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind) and on variable waters.
  • Stand and walk for the duration of a typical 2.5 hour program and pre/post program prep. There is no seating on the vessels and most outdoor learning spaces; seating is available in the indoor classroom.
  • Stand and walk on occasionally uneven ground, primarily asphalt and grass.
  • Lift up to 25 pounds and assist in emergency procedures.
  • Hear crew members and onboard participants that might be out of direct sight-line.
  • Have 20:20 vision (with corrective lenses) to provide oversight during onboard activities.

Compensation: This position has a starting rate of $16/hour, and is not benefits-eligible.

Campus: Muskegon, MI and/or Grand Haven, MI

Application Deadline

Priority will be given to applications received by 11:59pm on February 11, 2024. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis thereafter. The posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

How To Apply:

Apply online at https://jobs.gvsu.edu/. Applications received outside this portal will not be accepted.

Please include 1) a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for the position, 2) resume, and 3) three professional references (with names, phone numbers, and email addresses). The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically.

If you need assistance with the application, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

If you have questions regarding AWRI or the position responsibilities, please contact Christina Catanese, AWRI Education Specialist (catanesc@gvsu.edu). Also, see our website for more information about the program (www.gvsu.edu/wri/education).

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University. Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking. See www.gvsu.edu/affirmative. TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State).

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

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