Minnesota Master Naturalist Program Coordinator

Title: Minnesota Master Naturalist Program Coordinator
Capacity/Program Area: Extension Center for Food Agricultural and
Natural Resources Sciences- Environmental Science Education
Application Deadline: Initial review of applications will begin
September 19, 2011. Applications accepted until position is filled.
Location: Saint Paul, MN
University of Minnesota Extension is a major outreach arm of the
University of Minnesota, a land grant institution with a mission to
serve the public through applied research and education. The mission
of the University of Minnesota Extension Service is: “Making a
difference by connecting community needs and University resources to
address critical issues in Minnesota.” To learn more about Extension,
go to: TUhttp://www.extension.umn.eduUT
Master Naturalist Explorers will address the problem that children are
spending increasingly less time outside and, consequently, know less
about their environment and world. It responds to the needs
identified in Minnesota’s 2009 Outdoor Education Legislative Report to
increase outdoor learning opportunities for children and to train
educators who are often uncomfortable taking youth outside for
lessons. It also addresses outcomes outlined in the Minnesota
Greenprint to provide increased environmental education opportunities
for youth both at school and during play.
The goals of the project are 1) to create a series of outdoor,
sequential, earth and life science-based lessons with targeted
learning outcomes that address the new MN K-12 Science Standards, 2)
to prepare adult volunteers to deliver these lessons in after-school
programs for 4th and 5th graders with the aim of improving their
performance on the 5th grade Science MCA exams and 3) to establish a
permanent program to offer these lessons throughout Minnesota. The
weekly lessons will focus on the physical changes in the seasons and
their effects on plant and animal life i.e. phenology. These lessons
will be divided into three units linked to The Minnesota Weatherguide,
a natural history calendar.
Other state and national programs focus on outdoor exploration, play,
and reflection with an emphasis on natural areas. This program will
emphasize targeted science learning outcomes and use of the schoolyard
as a means of investigating the environment. The curriculum will be
developed and tested in schools with large minority enrollments. MN
Master Naturalist staff will then train, place, and support volunteers
offering the program in at least 50 sites statewide.
The Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund is
financing this project and position for three years. For a copy of
the proposal to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota
Resources (LCCMR) that resulted in the grant, please contact
info@minnesotamasternaturalist.org. This proposal uses an earlier name
for the program, Junior Master Naturalist, which has been replaced
with Master Naturalist Explorers.
This position is accountable to the University of Minnesota Extension
Program Leader for Environmental Science Education in the Extension
Center for Food Agricultural, and Natural Resources Sciences.
The person chosen for this position will join a statewide team of
regional and campus-based individuals focused on the Minnesota Master
Naturalist Program, which is a joint endeavor of the University of
Minnesota Extension and the State of Minnesota Department of Natural
This position will be dedicated to developing a new program under the
Minnesota Master Naturalist umbrella: Master Naturalist Explorers.
This new program will pair current adult Minnesota Master Naturalist
Volunteers with staff in existing after-school programs to offer fun,
outdoor, science-based educational opportunities for 4th and 5th
graders to learn about the ecology and natural history of their
schoolyard, neighborhood, nearby natural areas, and the entire state.
Minnesota Master Naturalist is a volunteer program that teaches adults
about Minnesota’s natural resources, empowers them to educate others,
and provides them opportunities to do conservation projects. The
mission of the Minnesota Master Naturalist Program is to promote
awareness, understanding, and stewardship of Minnesota’s natural
environment by developing a corps of well-informed citizens dedicated
to conservation education and service within their communities.
The position will be housed with the Environmental Science Education
(ESE) team in Extension. The goal of the ESE team is to improve
environmental literacy among Minnesota citizens through design and
delivery of high quality environmental science education. The focus of
ESE programming is research-based instructor training that emphasizes
effective teaching methods, informative curricula and citizen science.
Priority audiences include organizations and individuals providing
non-formal education on the environment.
The position will be located on the Saint Paul campus of the
University of Minnesota.
o Follow an established work-plan to develop, implement, and evaluate
a research-based after-school program for 4th and 5th graders that
pairs Master Naturalist volunteers with staff in existing after-school
programs across Minnesota.
o Recruit, train, and support Master Naturalist volunteers to deliver
the after-school program.
o Develop and maintain collaborations and partnerships with
after-school programs offered by schools, parks, libraries, and other
venues throughout the state.
o Work closely with personnel in the Department of Natural Resources
to develop the program.
o Work with program leaders to garner funds, sponsors, and resources
to support the Explorers program for long-term sustainability.
o Maintain records and prepare reports on program activities,
outcomes, and grants.
o Ensure that Explorers program serves new, diverse, and historically
underserved audiences.
Required Education: A completed Bachelors degree at time of
appointment with five years of experience related to position
responsibilities. A completed Masters degree is preferred. At least
one degree in Education, Natural Resources, Environmental Education,
Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, or a closely related field.
Preferred Coursework: Natural resources, environmental sciences,
education instructor-training, adult education, facilitation methods,
environmental education and interpretation, communication theory,
program evaluation, teaching methods, and non-formal science
Preferred Experience:
• Experience in adult education, youth development, and non-formal education.
• Experience in volunteer recruitment, training, and support.
• Experience in developing and adapting non-formal science curricula for youth.
• Experience in evaluating program outcomes and impacts.
• Experience in developing and administering external funding sources.
• Experience with current science education standards and testing.
• Experience with digital media and communication technologies.
Required Skills And Abilities:
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.
• Ability to develop, deliver, and evaluate educational programs.
• Evidence of skills in developing and maintaining effective working
relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.
• Ability to work effectively with new and diverse audiences.
1. This full-time Program Coordinator position has an annual
University academic professional appointment.
2. The appointment is reviewed for renewal annually, with continuation
dependent on performance, results, availability of funds, and program
3. University of Minnesota appointment and benefits.
4. Reimbursement for travel and subsistence is available in accordance
with University policy. Must provide own means for traveling
throughout the state and legally required vehicle insurance.
5. Salary commensurate with education and experience.
Please submit resume or vita and also submit a written narrative
stating 1) why you are interested in the position, 2) your vision for
the Master Naturalist Explorers program, and 3) a description of how
your experience, qualifications, and professional interests relate to
this position at
https://employment.umn.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=97118. Submit
these documents to “Require Document” section.
Transcript(s) for all college work (unofficial transcripts are
acceptable); ask three individuals to submit reference letters on your
behalf are also required to complete your application. Submit these
documents to “Optional Document” section
Three professional letters of reference and your unofficial
transcripts that cannot be submitted online should be sent to or if
you have questions about applying online please contact: