Position Website and Application Information
Facilitates the Kayak for Conservation program, which aims to connect the public to the Chicago River and other local natural areas through an immersive experience on the water and hands-on stewardship including wildlife and litter monitoring. Two facilitators work together to co-lead kayak programs, maintain program equipment and supplies, communicate with program participants and partner organizations, track metrics, and complete other duties to support programs.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND Demonstrate commitment to Shedd’s vision, mission and values.
- Facilitate and co-lead kayak-based conservation programs on the Chicago River.
- Instruct community science activities and wildlife monitoring in a clear, engaging, and approachable manner.
- Assist with program registration and communication with participants and partners, both in person and online, as needed.
- Organize program supplies and equipment.
- Track metrics for achieving program goals in an organized and timely manner.
- Support collaborative efforts with other Shedd departments, including but not limited to the Corporate Partnerships and Learning Programs teams.
- Represent Shedd’s Kayak for Conservation programs for internal and external audiences, both on the river and at various events.
- Set-up and breakdown program materials.
- If needed, drive a Shedd, rental, and/or personal vehicle to program locations.
- Ensure best practices and safety protocols are followed at all times during programs to ensure fun and safe experience.
- Deliver compelling and relevant information through programming to audiences of all ages and backgrounds.
- Engage in friendly conversation with people of all different ages and backgrounds.
- Build expertise on Chicago River, local water conservation issues, and other related topics. Share related news on these topics with Shedd teams.
- Serve as Shedd spokesperson for media and other public appearances as assigned.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- BS degree in environmental science or other applicable field preferred. Related experience is accepted in lieu of a degree.
- At least two years of successful experience with program facilitation, community engagement, and public outreach, or education, preferably in a non-profit, informal setting. Preference for applicants with outdoor education experience.
- Experience in education or leading environmental/conservation programming required.
- Experience kayaking and/or canoeing required. Experience leading water-based programming a plus.
- Experience with citizen science, outdoor volunteers, and/or stewardship preferred.
- Aware of current, local, national and international conservation issues, with the ability to effectively and clearly communicate them to various audiences.
- Awareness of Chicago region plants, animals, ecology and restoration practices a plus.
- Experience with customer-relationship management software a plus.
- Highly organized with an attention to detail.
- Demonstrated ability to handle large workload in a fast-paced, collaborative environment preferred.
- Excellent written communication skills and a talent for planning and tracking data and activities.
- Proficient with Microsoft Office suite.
- A love of the outdoors and working with people is necessary.
- Ability to work as a team member is a must.
- Comfortable handling wildlife, including fish and crustaceans
- Positive attitude and supportive of colleagues in a team-based environment.
- Driven, self-starter.
- Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and remain flexible and positive despite challenges (e.g., weather conditions, changes in group size, etc.)
- Poised, articulate professional with charisma, a sense of humor, and a positive attitude.
- Must be a confident kayaker and able to provide guidance for less experienced paddlers.
- Must be comfortable working outdoors in all weather conditions with minimal amenities.
- Ability to lift heavy objects (up to 50 lbs), including kayaks
- Must be able to work flexible hours including early mornings, evenings, and Saturdays.
- Must be able to walk/stand/sit for extended periods of time.
- Must have valid driver’s license and willingness to drive company vehicle in city, if needed.
- Must be able to do heavy lifting (up to 50 lbs.).
- Advanced wilderness/outdoor training a plus.
- Technology experience beyond basic computer skills and willingness to learn new technologies.
- A personal vehicle to travel to/from program sites is preferred but not required.
- Kayak/water-based safety training preferred
- CPR and first aid certified preferred. Wilderness first aid certification a plus.
- National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide or Host status a plus.