Program Overview: Led by the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), the Environmental Education Corps (eeCorps) AmeriCorps Program places AmeriCorps members at organizations throughout Colorado to focus on increasing environmental literacy for PreK-12 students and implementing the goals outlined in the Colorado Environmental Education Plan. eeCorps works directly with teachers, schools, and environmental education providers to support them in expanding reach and increasing impact of EE programming, while providing access to equitable learning experiences for all PreK-12 students. eeCorps members provide direct service to improve outcomes in Environmental Stewardship and Education. AmeriCorps provides opportunities to improve lives and foster civic engagement all across the country.
This position will be located at The Outdoor Wilderness Lab (OWL) in Gateway, CO., with member housing located in Grand Junction. OWL provides outdoor learning opportunities to Mesa County Valley School District’s students. Their ultimate goal is to “engage every learner in unique learning experiences that explore conservation of natural resources in our local environment and empower health and wellness for our learners.”
Service Position Summary: This position functions as an Instructor for the District’s Outdoor Wilderness Laboratory (OWL) Classroom activities and programming. This role implements current standards and best practices bringing outdoor experiential learning to students. Instructors work directly with the OWL Lead Teacher, other D51 Teachers, OWL support staff and volunteers to build a collaborative and robust experiential learning support network for students. In addition, this role may work with student’s primary teachers and school sites as they bring OWL programming into their classroom(s). OWL programming includes overnight trips for middle school students in the fall and spring, day trips for 3-12 students during times of the year when there are no overnight trips, and virtual instruction with student groups, teachers, and parents.
Essential Functions (Primary Responsibilities): The eeCorps member will engage with the Outdoor Wilderness Lab to develop, implement, and enhance programs, projects, and activities that will create progress towards eeCorps and Outdoor Wilderness Lab’s goals. These duties include:
● Collaborate with OWL lead teacher, instructors, guest instructors, and high school student counselors to provide program instruction
● Present science and related subject matter using best instructional practices
● Participate in, as requested, D51 teacher meetings at alternative locations while promoting the OWL program mission
● Collaborate with a network of guest instructors and presenters that can help provide experiential and academic supports
● Assist in the training and development of OWL high school student leaders
● Implement appropriate risk-management systems and procedures including First Aid and CPR
● Use de-escalation skills (training provided by the district) to diffuse and manage stressful and fluid situations
● Lead, communicate, and interact effectively and cooperatively with people from diverse ethnic and educational backgrounds
● Track progress and collect evaluation data for the program’s performance measures
● Attend all eeCorps AmeriCorps trainings and orientations
● Complete all eeCorps required National Days of Service projects
● Complete and submit all necessary eeCorps paperwork and reports by predetermined deadlines
● Some local and out of town travel required in Mesa County
Marginal Functions (Secondary Responsibilities): Additional tasks include:
● Assist with the check-in/departure process
● Overnight & sleeping supervision (Monday through Thursday during OWL sessions)
● Assist in serving and clean-up of meals
● Assist site medical staff in implementing medical protocols during school trips
● Maintain campus communication protocols (radios, cell phones, etc.)
● Transport students in D51 activity buses as needed (small vehicle permit and training offered through district)
Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands:
● Position holds an expectation for overnight stays during the OWL overnight sessions
● Position requires observational, prioritization, and strong listening skills, as well as tact and attention to detail in order to determine the urgency of situations and to accurately assess events in a timely manner
● OWL instructor must have an understanding of social-emotional behaviors, cultural diversity, learning-centered environment, and be able to lead peers in a common mission
● OWL Instructor also holds an expectation to possess a working knowledge of and promote and enact federal, state, and district education policies, standards, and procedures (training provided by district)
● Position is considered moderately physical and requirements can vary depending on the task-at-hand, time of year and work site conditions
Term of Service: This is a three quarter time national and community service position requiring a minimum of 1,200 hours during the year (approximately 35-40 hours/week.) The position begins October 1, 2021 and ends June 15, 2022 (start/end dates may be adjusted slightly later if needed). Flexible hours are required, including occasional evening and weekend commitments. Member must serve on Days of Service that take place on certain national holidays throughout the year.
Training and Support Provided: eeCorps members receive significant training and experience in community engagement, project implementation, leadership, diverse populations, and more. Up to 20% of total hours served may be spent in applicable, approved training and professional development. Members will be supervised and supported by Mark Allen, OWL Principal, as well as by Erin Dreps, eeCorps Program Director. The 2020-21 cohort of eeCorps members serving throughout the region will act as additional resources and support for each other.
Location and Service Conditions: This position is based at Gateway School (42575 CO-141, Gateway, CO 81522) and may involve service at other schools in the Mesa County Valley School District.
Benefits: Three-Quarter Time eeCorps members receive:
● A bimonthly living allowance of $692.65 (totaling $11,775 for the term). Taxes are deducted and the living allowance is distributed twice per month by direct deposit to the member’s bank account.
● Housing options to live on site outside of student sessions is available at no cost.
● An education award of $4,441.50 upon successful completion of term of service. It is possible to defer student loans while serving as an AmeriCorps member.
● Mileage reimbursement for travel to required trainings, days of service, and program sites
● Non-tangible benefits including extensive training, valuable experience, networking, and the opportunity to serve the local community in a crucial area of need.
● Ability to participate in regional EE leadership councils; option to obtain CAEE’s nationally-recognized Professional Environmental Educator Certification.
Diversity and Equal Opportunity:
Mesa County Valley School District subscribes to the principles of the dignity of all people and of their labors. It also recognizes that it is both culturally and educationally sound to have persons of diverse backgrounds on the District's staff.
The Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) recognizes the value of diversity and inclusiveness to advance environmental education. CAEE defines diversity in its broadest sense and welcomes everyone to the field of environmental education and the Alliance, including but not limited to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, gender expressions, sexual orientations, abilities, ages, national origins, socioeconomic status, religious affiliations, languages, and heritages.
If you are interested in applying to this position, please send your resume and a short cover letter outlining your interest in the program and commitment to national service to Erin Dreps, AmeriCorps Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also attach a list of three (3) references, and a diversity and inclusion statement that is no longer than one page in length. Include “AmeriCorps OWL Application” in the subject line, and combine all application materials into a single PDF.
● High School Diploma or GED required, college graduate preferred (especially in education, science, or other related field of study)
● Previous experience working with and/or coaching students K-12 especially using experiential learning practices
● Preference given to applicants with working knowledge of Next Generation Science Standards, STEM, and outdoor learning instruction
● District’s Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), First-Aid, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training is required/provided for this position
● Ethic of national and community service and a strong desire to create positive change
● Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; computer literate
● Ability to pass criminal history checks (required)
● Reliable transportation and proof of auto insurance
● U.S. Citizenship or lawful permanent resident status required
● Any experience with web development or social media and photo downloading a benefit