Urban Ecology Educator - Independent Contractor

(Paid Opportunities) Return to Paid Opportunities

Start Date: February 2020

The GCC Urban Ecology Educator will be the lead curriculum developer and instructor in spring 2020 to support the pilot season of Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s (GCC) new Urban Ecology program for elementary school students and teachers.

Urban Ecology Program Description
In 90-minute visits, elementary school students pot plants in a native plant nursery at the Salt Lot, an eco-industrial site along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. Through hands-on field studies and authentic multi-disciplinary essential questions, students investigate biodiversity in an urban ecosystem as they explore human impact on a former salt marsh. Students learn actionable ways they can have a positive impact as stewards of the local environment.

The Educator works primarily with the GCC Education Coordinator, GCC Education Director, and GCC Horticultural Manager. The Educator will receive coordination, logistical and instructional support from the Education Coordinator and will collaboratively develop curriculum with the GCC Education Director, Horticultural Manager and Education Coordinator.


  • Assist the GCC education team in refining a strong vision and implementation plan for the new Urban Ecology program using the Salt Lot and Lowlands native plant nursery as a unique outdoor education site (35 hours)
  • Building on existing GCC curriculum and best practices, develop engaging, hands-on, field-based, and age-appropriate activities (grades K-5) and materials that complement students’ plant propagation activity (50 hours)
  • Serve as the lead educator for school programs with instructional support from the Education Coordinator and a team of interns/volunteers for up to sixteen (16) 90-minute sessions on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from April - June 2020 (50 hours)
  • Co-produce and co-facilitate trainings, including a volunteer/intern training in late March and a teacher workshop during the school day on Feb 26, 2020 for 8-10 elementary school teachers. Workshop will be designed to equip teachers with the background knowledge and materials they need to enhance students’ field studies back in the classroom (20 hours)



  • Strong professional background and experience in native plants, horticulture, urban ecology and/or environmental science
  • Experience teaching students in outdoor field work settings
  • Collaborative, creative, generative, efficient team player who is able to meet deadlines
  • Passion for cultivating environmental stewardship among youth


  • Experience teaching elementary school students preferred, though an understanding of developmentally appropriate, engaging activities is more important
  • Experience developing environmental curriculum and embedded assessments for elementary school students
  • Adept at creatively using low-cost, up-cycled or no cost materials
  • Graphic design experience using Adobe Creative Suite

Additional Information

This is a part-time, grant-funded independent contractor position with a flat rate of $5,000 for an estimated 165 project hours.

This position will start with curriculum development and planning in February 2020 at the GCC office. Teaching will take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from April 1 - June 12, 2020 9am-12pm at the Salt Lot. Team meetings will be coordinated with consideration of contractor availability, and most curriculum development work can be done remotely and with flexible hours.

Send your resume or CV and a 1-page proposal describing how you would achieve the project deliverables to education@gowanuscanalconservancy.org by January 15, 2020. Optional: include relevant educational materials or curriculum from your portfolio.

Contact Information

Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Email: education@gowanuscanalconservancy.org
Phone: 7185414378
Website: Apply Online