Program Coordinator and Facilitator

The rare Charitable Research Reserve is an urban land trust and environmental institute situated in the Waterloo Region of South-Western Ontario, one of the fastest growing areas of the country. It’s first three properties comprise over 900 acres, including 24 different habitats and more than 3,300 species. These conservation lands provide a natural laboratory for scientific study, research and related educational programs. We work to protect sensitive lands and, believing that conservation involves people, we also actively engage the public.

Because of artefacts found on the property, we know that the first peoples to make use of these lands lived more than 10,500 years ago. And while we acknowledge the Chonnonton people (“people of the deer”) on whose traditional territory we live and work, and offer respect to our Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe and Métis neighbours as we strengthen our relationships with them, we are also actively looking to a future where Indigenous traditional knowledge and world views are valued and further integrated into our organization. We are especially interested in what traditional ways of knowing and being can bring to our unique method of conservation; called the rare Chain of Learning, we undertake research to further the science that will result in best practices, train the next generation of conservationists and create an entire community of support for them and for conservation goals.

Reporting to the Executive Director, and as part of the program management team, the Program Coordinator and Facilitator is responsible for program planning and liaison, particularly but no exclusively for the educational programs at rare, both school-based and for the public. The Program Coordinator and Facilitator works collaboratively with the Gill-Ratcliffe Educator, Education Advisory Committee (EDAC), Education Summer Student and other key staff and volunteers to ensure that all educational programs at rare are firmly based on the Chain of Learning concept, where information is passed from senior researchers and Elders to even the youngest community members. The incumbent will be setting the stage for experiential, hands-on environmental learning that embraces diverse world views, training the next generation of conservationists, all based on solid science and Indigenous traditional knowledge.

Together with other Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners, you will participate in leading the way in our vision to protect our lands in perpetuity and to create the best models of education, research and conservation for use around the world. By working collaboratively, rare will move from talking about “three pillars” (conservation, research and education) to instead following the lead of our Indigenous colleagues to develop “four strands of a braid” by adding traditional knowledge to our rich tapestry. We will pair Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers, scholars, community leaders and students to create hybrid processes for research and conservation that take advantage of the lessons we’ve all learned from the past — for a better tomorrow where all people stand united for a healthy planet.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Support all departments at rare in their process of building relationships with Indigenous communities and in integrating Indigenous ways of knowing and being in their work
  • Lead all education activities on the nature reserve by developing and implementing education priorities that include Indigenous traditional knowledge, and by building partnerships with appropriate national and international partners to undertake joint and independent projects
  • Identify priorities and trends in environmental education by keeping current and gathering information on key regional, provincial, as well as national and international education issues
  • Lead education planning and implement education priorities as identified in rares Strategy and Plans
  • Bring ideas and concerns forward to discuss with EDAC, ED and other or relevant staff and partners
  • Closely work with Program Scientist to ensure that education-related activities are research-based and include research components as well as Indigenous knowledge as the beginning of a Chain of Learning
  • Together with Program Scientist, translate research at rare into curriculum-based inclusive modules covering the full spectrum of inquiry (including science, art and Indigenous wisdom and knowledge)
  • Develop other educations programs that highlight and feature different forms of inquiry and their value
  • Make the organization’s education work known to potential collaborators, various groups, other organizations, universities and the community at large, including the school boards, acting as point person for external education partners and supporters
  • Build capacity by researching and seeking out opportunities for collaboration and partnership with a wide variety of diverse people
  • Ensure that education and safety policies and procedures are followed; develop and maintain policies and procedures, best practices and training materials for effective education processes and administration
  • Oversee administration, selection process and further development of ECO camp participants and other education-related program participants, such as school groups
  • Oversee and implement data collection for record-keeping and statistics on education programs
  • Develop, implement and oversee evaluation of education programs
  • Develop annual budget for education program
  • Act as point person to keep track of education projects and their relation to one another; ensure that education information on website current and updated
  • Supervise education interns, volunteers and other junior education staff; lead hiring and selection process of interns and volunteers or other junior staff who support education programs
  • Develop volunteer roles and assignments to meet program needs
  • Lead educational hikes, education programs etc. for school/public groups as required and appropriate
  • Provide and/or assist with public lectures, media announcements and workshops related to environmental education programs
  • Assist with general rare events where required and appropriate
  • Develop and write funding proposals and complete final reports to granting agencies or individuals

Required skills:

  • Extensive familiarity with Indigenous knowledge, wisdom and world views; ideally relevant lived experience is considered a strong asset
  • Strong and demonstrated interest in the environment, conservation and science/technology
  • Excellent people skills, authenticity, genuine interest in interacting with diverse people from all walks of life and with all abilities
  • University degree in Environmental Science, Biology, Ecology, Geography, Forestry, or a related field OR related comparable knowledge or experience is required
  • A minimum of a Bachelor of Education and good standing with the Ontario College of Teachers, or relevant comparable teaching or education experience is required
  • Minimum 6 years of experience in hands-on environmental, arts or Indigenous education, preferably in Southwestern Ontario in outdoor settings, or comparable qualification
  • Extensive knowledge of current issues in environmental science, reconciliation, the arts and education
  • Experience in the school system as well as not-for profit organizations preferred
  • Experience and excellence in writing and public speaking
  • Working knowledge and understanding of national and international education funding and collaboration opportunities at different levels and with different partners
  • Staff management experience, excellent interpersonal communication skills
  • Proven ability to liaise and negotiate with diverse groups of people
  • Tact, sensitivity and diplomacy in dealing with diverse people and staff
  • No fear of big ideas and ability to embrace change
  • Ability to simplify messages, while understanding the power of the complexity of rare as an organization
  • Ability to work in a collaborative team environment
  • Ability independently to produce ideas, and to write plans outlining priorities/strategies/tactics
  • Creativity and can-do attitude; ability to develop new initiatives for the educational success of the organization
  • Proven ability to develop and implement successful projects from start to finish
  • Ability to manage a large volume of work; comfortable with competing priorities
  • Flexibility to meet emerging deadlines and changing priorities
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends when required to support special events and major projects
  • Full clean driver’s license and access to vehicle

The appointment:

  • This position is full time (35 hours/week), commencing as soon as possible pending approval of funding.

Applications including a cover letter, resume and contact information for three references should be emailed in ONE file (.pdf) and will be accepted until May 1, 2017 at 5:00 pm. Please address applications to:

Stephanie Sobek-Swant

Executive Director

rare Charitable Research Reserve

1679 Blair Road, Cambridge ON N3H 4R8

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rare Charitable Research Reserve
1679 Blair Road
Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
(519) 650-9336
Charitable Registration:
#8776 15914 RR0001