Penn State Positions
Marketing and Engagement Program Director
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is looking for an organized, dedicated, and responsible individual to promote the Center and coordinate a positive, informative, and cohesive visual experience to a diversity of populations, including over 650 members, 2,000 undergraduate students, 10,000 school children, and 20,000 drop-in visitors and event participants as they visit our facility and connect to our story through print and online platforms. This position has responsibilities across many program areas at Shaver’s Creek, helping to lead the delivery of the Center’s marketing and communications program as Marketing and Engagement Program Director.
This position has a dual report to both the Associate Director for Operations at Shaver’s Creek and the Senior Director of Outreach Marketing, and facilitates effective communication across the many program areas and staff of Shaver’s Creek—between our program areas and their constituents, between our academic classes and their students, between our educators and their participants, and between our visitors and the resources that make our place unique.
This position coordinates with our partners in Outreach Marketing to implement marketing plans and develop budgets, and works closely with the Associate Director for Operations and various program directors to execute the plan to achieve strategic goals and promote the Center’s visitor center experience, internship opportunities, research initiatives, and many programs, courses, festivals, and fundraising events. Development of a wide array of print and digital media is shared by the Marketing and Engagement Program Director and other marketing/communications staff. The position serves to maintain and develop the Center’s positive image in the community and across the Colleges, the University, Pennsylvania, and the nation.
The Marketing and Engagement Program Director also helps create a rich visitor experience at the Center by developing interpretive exhibits, wayfinding signage, and a vibrant social media presence that maintains a unified voice and sense of place; within the framework of an Interpretive Plan and through the mentoring of undergraduate students in academic courses. The position ensures University editorial guidelines and visual identity standards are maintained across program areas and collaborates with other program directors to craft professional and effective messaging to their participants and donors. Successful candidates will possess a strong environmental ethic consistent with the mission of Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center.
Typically requires a bachelor’s degree or higher plus six years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
This position requires an array of marketing, strategy, and cross-collaboration skills, including:
- Digital media creation, manipulation, and management
- Writing, layout, and copy editing
- Curation of social media platforms
- Basic film editing
- Developing budgets and marketing plan
The candidate must also be comfortable answering phones and interacting with the public.
Candidates should be proficient with:
- Adobe Creative Suite
- Microsoft Office 365
Please include a link to a digital design and writing portfolio of past work along with your application materials.
This position requires the following clearances in addition to applicable background checks: PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form, and Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check. This position also requires that you operate a motor vehicle as a part of your job duties. A valid driver’s license and successful completion of a motor vehicle records check will be required.
Visitor Services Program Coordinator
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is looking for an organized, energetic, dedicated, and responsible individual to be the front-line staff for our visitor center, Weidemann bookstore and gift shop, and Litzinger Herpetarium. The Shaver’s Creek visitor services program enhances the educational mission of Shaver’s Creek for visitors looking to learn more about the natural world, and this position — the Visitor Services Program Coordinator (VSPC) — is an integral part of those day-to-day operations.
The Visitor Services Program Coordinator will be responsible for the following:
- Coordinating, developing, and maintaining the Weidemann Bookstore and Lobby as a welcoming space for 20,000 yearly drop-in visitors and facilitates a positive, educational program experience
- Daily interactions in this non-formal setting with the visiting public, answering questions and offering educational information about the natural world and our resident animals
- Managing bookstore operations by developing the yearly bookstore budget, making sales, updating inventory, managing the online store, placing orders and maintaining vendor relationships, training interns and staff on bookstore processes, coordinating local art consignment, and completing weekly reconciliations
- Working with our Program Registration Coordinator to manage Shaver’s Creek memberships and mailings
- Monitoring and assisting with Summer Camp registration
- Providing excellent customer service to our diverse population of visitor center participants, including Penn State students, nature center visitors, program attendees, camp parents, work-study students, volunteers, staﬀ, and interns
- Other duties may include assisting with the hiring process of interns, facilitating internal communications, and assisting with program marketing through website updates, community calendars, and email lists
Shaver’s Creek is open seven days a week, and the typical work week for this position will be Thursday through Monday to support our vibrant weekend visitation.
Successful candidates must have excellent customer service skills; knowledge of database maintenance and past retail experience preferred. Experience with natural history interpretation is a plus. Candidates must be proficient with e-mail, word processing, and be able to make basic website updates. Candidates should also possess a strong environmental ethic consistent with the mission of Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, situated 12 miles from University Park campus within Penn State’s 7,000 acre Stone Valley Forest.
Typically requires a high school diploma or higher plus 2 years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. This position requires the following clearances in addition to applicable background checks: PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form, and Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check.
Wildlife Education and Engagement Program Director
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center is seeking an organized, dedicated, and responsible individual to serve as the Wildlife Education and Engagement Program Director, overseeing ambassador animal education programs and visitor engagement in the Klingsberg Aviary and Litzinger Herpetarium.
A successful candidate will be able to:
- Direct the Aviary and Herpetarium program portfolio, including outreach programming at Shaver’s Creek, off-site public workshops, and academic classes that support the training of university students
- Oversee the daily operations of the Litzinger Herpetarium and the Klingsberg Aviary, as well as manage personnel and animal welfare schedules
- Supervise, train, and evaluate full-time and part-time staff
Play an active part in the recruiting, training, and management of emerging professionals, both paid and unpaid, within the animal program
- Ensure excellent welfare and educational presentation of our ambassador animals by overseeing program coordinators decisions regarding husbandry, program participation, and health evaluation
- Manage the Aviary and Herpetarium Program budgets that include program delivery and daily animal care; this includes understanding the overall Shaver’s Creek budget, proper use of gift and endowment monies and the interrelationship to other Shaver’s Creek program budgets
- Advance Shaver’s Creek development efforts by making connections and working with current and future donors relevant to the Wildlife Education and Engagement Program
- Oversee the maintenance and improvement of the facility and physical aspects of the Klingsberg Aviary and Litzinger Herpetarium to ensure safety considerations for all animal ambassadors and people (staff, volunteers, and Shaver’s Creek visitors)
- Provide daily program administration which includes serving as the primary point of contact with permitting agencies including US Fish and Wildlife Service, PA Game Commission, PA Fish and Boat Commission, and Penn State University’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)
- Be an active member of the professional industry and support local, regional, national, and international research efforts relating to wild animal welfare, behavior, training, and education
This position typically requires a bachelor’s degree or higher plus 4 years of related experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
This position requires the following clearances: PA State Police Criminal Background Check, PA Child Abuse History Clearance Form, and Federal (FBI) Fingerprint Criminal Background Check.
Environmental Education AmeriCorps Member
The Environmental Education AmeriCorps Member is an integral part of Shaver’s Creek’s School Programs team. The member teaches and assists with the development of our environmental education school day programs from August 2022 to June 2023. AmeriCorps is a National Service Movement that engages thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds in a domestic Peace Corps. This position works with Shaver’s Creek’s School Programs Director and environmental education interns to provide outdoor environmental science experiences at Shaver’s Creek and nearby elementary schools.
Since 2018, Shaver’s Creek has partnered with Juniata Valley Elementary School to support their science curriculum with outdoor experiences, both at their school and at Shaver’s Creek. Currently, each grade level K-4 visits Shaver’s Creek for one field trip, followed by three at-school lessons throughout the year based in their STEM Lab classroom and on their expansive rural school grounds. The scaffolded model of Shaver’s Creek School Programs centers around relationship-based and place-based teaching, and the Environmental Education AmeriCorps Member has a critical role in building relationships with both students and teachers.
Primary responsibilities include:
- Teaching elementary-aged children inquiry-based, outdoor environmental science lessons for one to four hours two to three days per week in school classrooms, outdoors at schools and on Shaver’s Creek’s wooded trails.
- Leading the development, design and revision of designated portions of standards- and curriculum-aligned outdoor environmental science programs.
- Communicating with teachers in order to ensure preparation prior to lessons and to increase interdisciplinarity through connected reading and math activities.
- Mentoring environmental education intern staff, as well as undergraduate students in academic courses, and providing ongoing training, feedback and observation.
- Coordinating designated pieces of an end-of-the-year “Family Science Night” in May to welcome partner school families to Shaver’s Creek and share about our science learning from the year.
Minimum qualifications include:
- U.S. citizen, minimum age 17
- High school diploma
- Demonstrated outdoor teaching experience
Desired qualifications include:
- Bachelor’s degree in a related field
- One to three years of informal or formal K–5 science teaching experience; some experience teaching outdoors preferred
- Passion for engaging with young students
- Passion for learning about and in the natural world
- Creative, energetic, flexible and dependable
- Enjoys working in a team and takes initiative
Service term: August 19, 2022–June 9, 2023; avg. 35 hours per week (1200 hours total)
AmeriCorps stipend and benefits: The 2021–2022 AmeriCorps stipend was $704, distributed biweekly over the term, with a $6345 education award upon service term completion. The 2022-2023 stipend amount has not yet been announced, but all applicants will be fully informed of updated stipend and benefits before or during the interview process. Health care benefits are available for the member, as well as income-based child care benefits, qualified student loan forbearance and qualified student loan interest accrual repayment. Learn more about AmeriCorps service.
To apply: Please email a resume, cover letter, and the contact information for two professional references (name, email, and phone number) to Alexa Sarussi at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “2022 AmeriCorps Application.” At least one reference should be able to share insights from direct supervision or observation of your teaching experience. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2022–2023 service year. Applications are being actively reviewed on a rolling basis, with a final deadline of June 30, 2022.
Outdoor School (ODS) Program Assistant Americorps Member
The Outdoor School (ODS) Program Assistant is a key member of the ODS leadership team. We are seeking an enthusiastic and detail-oriented person with experience in residential outdoor education to serve in this AmeriCorps position. The program assistant will work 40–60 hours/week when ODS is in session and approximately 24 hours/week in the off-season, working no more than 1,200 hours during their contract period of August 22, 2022–June 9, 2023.
Primary responsibilities include:
Assist the Outdoor School (ODS) Directors in the following:
- Recruit learning group leaders and cabin counselors via PSU campus/class visits.
- Train learning group leaders and cabin counselors in ODS curriculum/operations.
- Manage volunteer background checks and training paperwork.
- Create, edit, update ODS curriculum and teaching materials.
- During ODS, be on-site at camp to provide leadership to and supervision of staff and participants; respond to teacher questions and concerns; ensure safety of and provide first aid to participants when school nurse is not present; ensure the program operates smoothly (lessons, meals, and evening activities); stay overnight at camp 1–2 nights/week; when needed, instruct 5th–6th grade students in natural history and science-based lessons.
- Evaluate staff performance through direct observation and provide feedback.
Additional responsibilities include:
- Participate in staff meetings and other center-wide events as determined by the director.
- Must be energetic and have a genuine interest in working with youth and undergraduate students.
- Proven communication and interpersonal skills with youth.
- Ability to work with a small staff for long hours (16+/day) with little privacy.
- Ability to work effectively with undergraduate students, including providing feedback.
- Experience providing appropriate discipline to school students, preventing such situations from arising, and giving constructive feedback to staff in such matters.
- Must be able to provide participatory leadership in hiking and running activities on uneven ground; perform job duties in all weather conditions; respond to audible and visual emergency signals and act accordingly.
- First Aid/CPR (or above) certification or willingness to obtain.
- Must be at least 21 years of age.
- The 2021–2022 AmeriCorps stipend was $704, distributed bimonthly over the term, with a $6,345 education award upon service term completion. The 2022–2023 stipend amount has not yet been announced, updated information will be shared before or during the interview process.
- Health care benefits are available through AmeriCorps, as well as income-based childcare benefits, qualified student loan forbearance, and qualified student loan interest accrual repayment. Please visit the AmeriCorps site for additional information about AmeriCorps service.
- Professional leadership experience as a full-time staff member.
- First Aid and CPR certification, if not certified by start date.
Applicants should submit a letter of interest, a résumé, and three professional references (at least one of whom can speak to the applicant’s experience with youth) to Ellen Will, email@example.com. In addition, applicants must complete the AmeriCorps application when it becomes available this summer. Top candidates will be interviewed by phone.
Work-Study is a Federal student financial aid program for Penn State undergraduate and graduate students that allows you to earn money to help cover nonbillable educational expenses by working within your college or campus, University office, or at an off-campus, nonprofit organization. Shaver’s Creek Work-Study positions may be available for students, depending on our seasonal need! Please visit the Work-Study page for more information on the types of positions that are available and how you can apply.
Graduate students may be interested in looking into Graduate Assistantships at Shaver’s Creek. These are typically quarter-time or half-time positions with a tuition waiver and stipend. For more information, visit the Graduate Student Opportunities page.