JOB OPPORTUNITY

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Education and Outreach Coordinator

Reports to: Board of Directors Liaison
Classification: Part-time 50% (20 hours per week), exempt
Compensation: $29,000 – $31,000 annually
Locations:  Eight rocky intertidal areas (tidepools) in Laguna Beach, CA, remote office, and other locations as necessary

About Laguna Ocean Foundation:

Laguna Ocean Foundation (LOF) is a 501(c)3 non-profit founded in 2003 dedicated to optimizing the health of Laguna Beach’s vital coastal ecosystems through science, education, and community involvement.  Since 2003, LOF has played an essential role in the conservation of marine resources along the Laguna Coast. LOF came into being when citizens and the local government recognized that beach visitors better appreciate and protect delicate marine resources when they learn more about them. Today, volunteer Docents provide interpretive education at five sites in Laguna Beach, while paid Educators with marine biology and environmental science expertise staff three locations. It is one of the only free, year-round, on-site tidepool interpretive programs in the state.

LOF is also active in community outreach and participates in local events, including Coastal Cleanup Day, SmartScape, and Art & Nature, and hosts KelpFest, our flagship outreach event at Main Beach in Laguna Beach. 

In addition to Education and Outreach, LOF spearheads the Aliso Creek Estuary Restoration project, bringing together biologists and marine restoration specialists to create a plan to bring back a healthy ecosystem.

Job Summary

The Education and Outreach Coordinator (Coordinator) manages and advances the LOF Education and Outreach Program as determined by funding sources, the LOF Board of Directors, and LOF Education Committee. The Coordinator is responsible for administrative support of the Program, partner and community outreach, and oversight of paid and voluntary staff. 

The ideal Education and Outreach Coordinator prioritizes the mission of the Laguna Ocean Foundation; is responsive, reliable, and motivated; manages people with diplomacy and fairness; enjoys interacting with the public, donors, public agencies, and corporate and non-profit partners; and understands Marine Protected Area regulations and the rocky intertidal ecosystem.

Responsibilities

  • Recruit, retain, mentor, develop, and reward a dynamic, mission-driven, highly-qualified, proactive, and diverse team.
  • Oversee and support the work of two Trainers who lead the scheduling and training of paid Educators and volunteer Docents, and an Education Specialist who assists with community outreach, social media communications, and grant writing. Cross-train Docent Trainer, Educator Trainer and Education Specialist positions.
  • Provides oversight to achieve coverage goals for each cove within budget. Makes budget recommendations for educational programming.
  • Conduct ongoing training and on-site mentoring to advance the knowledge base and engagement of employees and volunteers. 
  • Guide Educator and Docent data collection efforts, ensure compliance with data collection requirements, and record data online.
  • Recruit and develop college interns to advance LOF initiatives.
  • Cultivate individual and organizational partners to raise awareness of LOF and its mission in the community.
  • Promote conservation efforts by increasing public awareness of the laws within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and the proper way to act in tidepools as defined by the “good tidepooler rules”. 
  • Participate in programmatic and strategic planning as a member of the LOF Education Committee, and chair Education Committee meetings.
  • Coordinate KelpFest, LOF’s annual flagship outreach event, and oversee participation in additional outreach events including Art & Nature, Coastal Cleanup Day and SmartScape Expo.
  • Provide data and information to support grant applications, reports for existing funding sources, and new funding opportunities.
  • Engage and maintain connections with academia, non-profits, and agencies working in marine and coastal conservation to ensure LOF is consistent with current science and educational practices and familiar with research related to marine and coastal issues with a focus on education and interpretation.
  • Develop and update materials and presentations to enable employees and volunteers to share LOF’s mission, Marine Protected Area rules, and Orange County Marine Protected Area Council guidelines with the public.
  • Participate in Orange County Marine Protected Area Council (OCMPAC) and additional meetings as requested by the Board.
  • Collaborate with the City of Laguna Beach Marine Safety Department Lifeguards and Protection Officers. Laguna Ocean Foundation does not conduct enforcement activities.
  • Perform administrative tasks to ensure the smooth running of the Program using online computer programs and spreadsheets.
  • Respond promptly to communications including e-mails, texts, and phone calls from interested parties, staff, and Board members. 
  • Oversee planning and hosting of appreciation events for employees and volunteers.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum 18 years of age.
  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in science, marine biology preferred, or equivalent experience with knowledge of marine biology, oceanography, rocky intertidal habitat, local organisms and interpretive techniques, with a combination of education and/or training and experience sufficient to qualify as an LOF Tidepool Educator.
  • Minimum one year of experience managing employees, volunteers, and/or interns, including schedule creation and maintenance. 
  • A people person with proven success in and enjoyment of public relations
  • Ability to represent Laguna Ocean Foundation and maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times.
  • Ability to communicate verbally and in written form in a clear, timely manner with a variety of audiences.
  • Experience with interpretive and other education programs and formats.
  • Ability to receive and follow direction from LOF’s Board Members and Managing Director.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Interest in the natural world and a passion to preserve marine and coastal resources. 
  • Understanding of Marine Protected Areas and coastal and marine ecosystems. 
  • Ability to read tide tables
  • Experience with non-profit organizations
  • Experience with report and grant writing
  • Proficiency with shared Google Drive documents
  • Ability to manage multiple email and social media accounts, including Instagram and Facebook

Physical Demands:

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to be outdoors for shifts or outreach events of two to seven hours long.
  • Ability to lift and transport outreach materials such as tables, chairs, canopies, banners, and materials.
  • Ability to stand and traverse over rocky, wet, and uneven surfaces. 
  • Ability to withstand extreme and/or changing seasonal weather conditions (e.g., heat, cold, and wind).
  • Ability to communicate (hear or read questions and speak or write answers) for the duration of the shift or event. 

Work Environment

The Education and Outreach Coordinator’s on-site tasks take place outdoors during low tides in the rocky intertidal areas of Laguna Beach. As such, the Coordinator is exposed to variable weather and water conditions, including sun, rain, wind, and waves. The Coordinator may at times expect to be surrounded by large numbers of people, as is typical of summer beach visitation in Laguna Beach. Weekend and some evening work will be required. Administrative tasks currently take place at the Coordinator’s remote office using personal equipment, including personal phone, computer, and printer. LOF allots a stipend to cover some expenses.

To Apply

Applicants with a strong desire and interest in marine ecosystems and protection from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Please submit an Application Form, résumé, and cover letter summarizing your experience and desire to work at Laguna Ocean Foundation to apply@lagunaoceanfoundation.org with the e-mail subject line, “Education and Outreach Coordinator Position”. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until December 20, 2021. For questions during the application process, please email apply@lagunaoceanfoundation.org.