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Seasonal Island Educators- Spring 2016

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks (3) seasonal field educators for the fall field season.  This position will start in the beginning of March and end the beginning of June (dates can be negotiated).  The seasonal field educators will live and teach at one of our four island centers.  The position includes housing and a stipend.  This is an ideal position for a recent college graduate looking for experience in environmental education.


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


CBF’s education program has been operating field experiences for students of all ages since 1972.  Approximately 35,000 students and teachers participate each year in field experiences or teacher training.  The Bay and/or its tributaries are our medium and CBF environmental educators are responsible for bringing the watershed 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.  We stress patient, careful, and individual observation by participants.  The senses---sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch---are the most valuable tools for studying the Bay.   Other tools are useful supplements: trawls, seines, cast nets, field guides, binoculars, and water chemistry equipment.  We use hands-on teaching techniques to motivate and educate the students.  The field experiences take place from the inner cities of Baltimore and Hampton Roads to remote Fox Island and the far reaches of the Susquehanna watershed.  The education department is administered from our Annapolis office.  

The education department is comprised of field programs, teacher and principal professional learning, and student leadership.  All of these components work closely to encourage and lead students to take action toward “Saving the Bay.”  

There are two field seasons during the fall and spring of the academic year.  Summer is reserved for conducting extended trainings and field experiences for teachers and students. The fall and spring field seasons typically entails leading a total of approximately 40 three-day experiences for middle and high school students, decision makers and donors.  The summer season typically entails leading at least 10 three-day experiences for teacher groups and student leadership groups.    

The staff continually adapts program content based upon grade/age level of students, weather, seasons, and group dynamics. This physically demanding position involves fairly frequent weekend and evening/overnight work, and year-round exposure to the elements. 

The program staff is accountable for the safety of all field participants and for keeping all equipment (buildings, boats, grounds, and/or gear) in proper working order. They ensure that all safety protocols are rigorously followed and respond to medical emergencies that may arise.  The staff function as a team to plan and facilitate field experiences.  

Educators promote and develop citizen knowledge about the Bay by providing unforgettable, hands-on experiences to 800+ students and their teachers each season and inspire them with a commitment to the restoration of the Bay. 

The seasonal educator will live and work at one of the following centers:

The Fox Island Education Center is located on a remote salt marsh island in the lower Chesapeake Bay, where the Tangier and Pocomoke Sounds converge.  The island is compromised completely of tidal salt marsh, with no trees or high ground.  This center provides participants access to some of the Bay’s most pristine areas.  Two hundred and forty-five acres of unspoiled marshland and surrounding water that teem with life provide opportunities for exploration by foot, canoe and workboat.  Access to Fox Island requires a 45-minute boat trip from Crisfield, MD (pop. 2,500).  Built in 1929 as a hunting and fishing lodge, the center operates a residential program for 6th - 12th grade students and teachers.  This rustic education center houses up to 24 people and is the only structure on an uninhabited island.  The lodge’s location, history and simple nature make it a truly magical experience for students and teachers.  The full-time, on-site staff consists of a Program Manager, Captain, and seasonal educator who are all responsible for conducting all field experiences. 

The Smith Island Education Center is located in Tylerton, Maryland, the largest inhabited offshore island in the Bay.  It is an 8-mile x 4-mile island consisting primarily of virgin estuarine marsh crisscrossed by a maze of guts, creeks, and thoroughfares.  The three island communities have a total population of 500 people.  CBF owns two houses in the community of Tylerton, from which we operate a residential environmental education center for groups of up to 30 students and/or adults.  The center incorporates canoes, a skiff, and a 40-foot workboat into the program.  The full-time, on-site staff consists of a Program Manager, Captain, and seasonal educator who are all responsible for conducting all field experiences. 

The Karen E. Noonan Center for Environmental Education at Bishops Head (Crocheron, MD) Bishops Head is a 20-acre site on a peninsula in Dorchester County, south of Cambridge, MD.  The site is part of a 2,278-acre parcel of land owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The main building was once one of the famous gunning clubs on the Bay and the staff house was transported from its original location on nearby Holland’s Island over 100 years ago. The center has a 40-foot workboat, canoes, a pier, and approximately 100 feet of beachfront.  The full-time, on-site staff consists of a Program Manager, Assistant Manager, and Captain who are all responsible for conducting all field experiences.  

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 serves 6th-12th grade students, teachers, and other adult groups.  The program is focused on understanding the delicate relationship between the ecosystem and the watermen community of Tangier.  There is also a pier, 42-foot workboat and a fleet of canoes that are used with all participants.  The center utilizes a dormitory, a dining/meeting hall, and staff housing.  Three environmental educators oversee the program: a manager, assistant manager, and captain.  


Each field experience varies in content but some of the common activities include:Canoeing, marsh exploration, night paddles or hikes, sunrise activities, fishing/seining/trawling/dredging, interviews with the community members of the area islands, meal preparation, art and journal activities, story-telling, skits, and some free time. Each (3) day experience is planned with the teacher/leader a few weeks before the participants arrive so that classroom content can be incorporated or complemented.  


  • Ability to live at one of CBF’s Island Residential Centers for the term of the position.
  • Conduct three-day ecology and environmental science field experiences for school aged groups (grades 6-12 typically) and adults.  
  • Assist in the planning and implementation based upon state standards and the needs of the teacher.
  • Teach aboard a CBF education workboat, in canoes and along the water’s edge.  The residential island center serves as the base for the program.  
  • Teach a wide array of participants (students, teachers, donors, media representatives, politicians, members)
  • Help with routine maintenance, upkeep, cleaning and projects to keep the center in top notch condition.
  • Develop and update field activities and curriculum.
  • Recruit new teachers and schools for program. Promote and market education programs to new audiences.
  • Ensure safe learning environment for participants.  
  • Create a fun, experiential environment for all participants.
  • Understand and convey the mission of the Foundation.
  • Be a role model for students and participants.
  • Develop and maintain education materials and equipment. 
  • Work as a team within the individual field program and the education department.  


Successful candidate should possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree (or in the process of completing a BA or BS). Background in education, biology, environmental science, marine biology, or the liberal arts is helpful but not required. 
  • A strong desire to teach in the field/outdoors (under all weather conditions) and work with students on a daily basis.
  • Experience working with students preferred.
  • Knowledge of aquatic habitats. 
  • Canoe/boat and water safety experience.  
  • Some travel, evening, overnight and weekend required.
  • Creativity, humor and self-confidence.
  • Energy, enthusiasm, and passion for students and the environment.  
  • Strong desire to learn and to teach.
  • Exceptional communication and interpersonal skills.  
  • Initiative, creativity and collaborative work style.
  • Desire and ability to relate to people of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Experience with tools, tractors, and completing small repairs. 
  • Knowledge of the natural and cultural history of the Chesapeake.  
  • Knowledge of environmental issues facing the Bay. 
  • Physical ability to lift and carry heavy objects (canoes and other equipment).
  • Strong commitment to safety and maintenance related to trucks/trailers/boats/center facilities.

Must participate in a criminal history check and drug-testing program.  Candidates should have a car for this position as there are times when staff leave the center and transportation is needed. There is no public transportation in these areas.


Additional details regarding the education programs can be found on CBF’s web site: 

To apply, please email a resume, cover letter and contact information for three references by February 15, 2016 to:

Claire Jaeger, Assistant Director of Education Operations

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

 The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


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