Unusual geoscientist-educator position available - Fernbank Science Center

published Jul 23, 2014 1:58pm

A geologist-educator job at Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta becomes available September 1. This is an unusual job that provides exceptional opportunities for spreading Earth science literacy. Fernbank Science Center is an integral part of the third-largest school system in Georgia.

Dr. Bill Witherspoon, who is retiring, writes the following about the position:

"In my 17 years here, this job has provided the freedom to work with children, educators, and the public in the following ways:
  • Teach a 15-hour geology unit to a group of about 16 ninth graders (in 12 sessions per year - one of the expectations of the job)
  • Be a guest speaker in classrooms more than 100 days per year, providing hands-on and slide show geology experiences to thousands of students grades K-12 (another job expectation)
  • Provide outdoor education for single classes at local geology sites, as often as 20 days per year
  • Create geology field and lab workshops for teachers
  • Answer "ask a geologist" questions from the general public
  • Develop and teach advanced studies courses including field experiences for 11th and 12th graders (class size limited to 14)
  • Accept an invitation to serve on a state Science Education Advisory Committee
  • Work with exhibit designers to create geology exhibits
  • Work with a graphic artist creating issues of a student science newsletter
  • Learn from colleagues in nearly every area of science

This position has a two-month+ summer break, plus four weeks+ of breaks during the year. Some staff teach during summer break for additional pay; others appreciate the family time. In recent years I was able to use summer and other breaks to co-author Roadside Geology of Georgia."

The position requires an advanced geosciences degree (doctorate preferred) and K-12 experience (certificate preferred). The job's demands include maintaining a broad knowledge of the geosciences, applying energy and creativity to developing lessons, and persistently working on the flexibility and attentiveness needed to connect with a wide variety of audiences.

Pay and benefits are in a range similar to many college-level teaching positions.

Applications and resumes are submitted online at http://pats.dekalb.k12.ga.us (click on "By Locations" and expand "Fernbank Science Center").

Although the PATS posting does not specify, a geoscientist will be hired for this "instructional specialist" position.