Port Isobel Captain/Educator

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Captain/Educator for our island environmental education center on Port Isobel, next to Tangier Island, VA. This position is residential and the Captain/Educator must stay on site for all field programs during our education season from March through December. This is a fulltime position that is exempt from overtime.

About the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional non-profit conservation organization working solely to save the Bay. Established in 1967, CBF has a staff of approximately 185 employees working in offices in Annapolis Maryland; Richmond and VA Beach, Virginia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C., and in 15 field education program locations. Our staff and volunteer corps work throughout the region educating students and adults, advocating for clean water polices, restoring waterways, and litigating when necessary.

CBF's headquarters office in Annapolis, MD is the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the world’s first U.S. Green Build Council’s LEED platinum building. In 2014, CBF opened The Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, VA. The Brock Center is one of the most energy efficient, environmentally smart buildings in the world.

CBF has an annual budget of approximately $21 million and is supported by more than 200,000 members and e-subscribers. For more information on CBF please visit www.cbf.org

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 the urban boat programs in Baltimore and Hampton Roads to Pennsylvania canoe programs to remote island-based residential 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, student lead experiences that inspire them with a commitment to take action for the restoration of the Bay.

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

Context of the Position

The Port Isobel Education Center is a 250-acre island that is situated in the heart of the Tangier Island archipelago.  The island showcases a variety of estuarine habitats such as: marshes, a pine forest, and a ¼ mile beach.  The program is focused on understanding the delicate relationship between the ecosystem and the watermen’s’ community of Tangier.  The full-time, on-site staff consists of a Captain, Program Manager, and Assistant Manager.  All program staff serve as co-educators who plan and facilitate the field experiences for students.  Using a 50-ft USCG inspected vessel, canoes, and the surrounding marshes, the participants explore various ecosystems, examine plant and animal species, analyze water quality, and discuss the socio-economic issues facing residents of the Bay watershed, in general, and the local watermen communities.  The Port Isobel Captain is responsible for maintaining the USCG inspected vessel and providing educational experiences for participants that includes activities such as setting crab pots, dredging for oysters, and scraping the nearby underwater grass meadows.    

During the fall and spring seasons, the Port Isobel Center staff typically lead 3-day field programs for students traveling from within the watershed.  In the summer, and occasionally during the rest of the year, the center hosts a variety of trip participants including adult groups, teacher groups, and student leadership programs.  Housing is provided and the captain must live on-site for education programming during the Spring, Summer, and Fall field program seasons. The centers are winterized from December – February and no housing is provided during that time

Essential Functions

Education Program Essential functions include:

  • Safely & professionally serve as Captain and Educator
  • Maintain 50 foot USCG inspected vessel.  Ensure safe operation of the boat.  Inform passengers of safety precautions 
  • Maintain/repair the education programs 6-pack Carolina Skiff, equipment, center buildings, and educational gear
  • Participate & manage regular inspections and safety checklists
  • 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, and group dynamics and feedback/evaluations from teachers and supervisors
  • Assist in running summer courses for Chesapeake Classrooms Teacher Professional Learning program and/or Student Leadership Program
  • Program staff are responsible and accountable for performing maintenance to keep all education related equipment (buildings, boats, grounds, and/or gear) in proper working order
  • Program staff are responsible for the safety of all field participants, ensure that all safety protocols are rigorously followed, and are required to respond to medical emergencies that  may arise
  • 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 professional development offerings
  • This physically-demanding position involves frequent weekend work and year-round exposure to the elements
  • Housing is provided and the captain must live on-site during education programming in Spring, Summer, and Fall field program seasons. The centers are winterized from December – February and no housing is provided during that time

Professional Experience and Qualifications

Successful Candidate should possess the following:

  • Minimum 25-ton Master of Inland Waters USCG Captain license with a FCC certification
  • 3-6 years’ experience operating & maintaining a USCG inspected passenger carrying vessel
  • Experience with boat maintenance and small repairs
  • 1-3 years’ experience teaching in either a formal or non-formal setting
  • A strong desire to teach in the field/outdoors (under all weather conditions) and work with students daily
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills
  • Collaborative work style
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and passion for 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 fishing/crabbing/oystering, a plus
  • Knowledge of Chesapeake Bay Foundation & the Education Department mission, strategic plans & goals, a plus
  • Strong commitment to safety and maintenance


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 live on-site at the Port Isobel Center from March through December
  • Ability to work evenings and weekends
  • Ability to travel to attend trainings & meetings
  • Ability to have reliable transportation to travel to other CBF field programs & locations as needed

Other:

  • Must pass a criminal background check
  • All education staff participate in a pre-employment & random drug screening program per the requirements of the US Coast Guard

Position will remain open until filled.

How to Apply

To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for (3) references to:


                                                                                   PI_Captain/Education Jobs
                                                                                 Chesapeake Bay Foundation
                                                                                     Educationjobs@cbf.org

CBF offers a comprehensive benefits package to include: 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, health, vision, dental, life insurance, and a tax deferred annuity plan. 

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.   

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