Public Engagement Program Assistant

Posted Date
Nov 1, 2017
Application Deadline
November 17, 2017
$36,281/year plus benefits

Open immediately until filled, with application reviews beginning 17 November 2017. This is not a federal position.

Location: The positions are based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland. SERC is a research center of the Smithsonian Institution, located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, approximately 10 miles south of Annapolis, 40 miles west of Washington D.C., and 40 miles south of Baltimore. The 2,650 acre SERC campus contains a laboratory and office complex, as well as educational and waterfront facilities.

Description: We are seeking two public engagement program assistants to facilitate the day-to-day activities of the SERC Citizen Science and Education programs. Duties will include:

  • Implementation of public and educational programs across a variety of audiences and topics. This will include leading classroom, laboratory, and outdoor activities. Topics will include archaeology, estuarine and fisheries ecology, forest ecology, plant ecology, watershed dynamics, and wetland and water quality.
  • Assist with the conduct of various environmental science projects undertaken by citizen scientists, interns, students, scientists, and educators. This may involve prolonged fieldwork in various ecosystems from urban and agricultural systems to forests, wetlands, and estuaries.
  • Coordinate volunteer activities such as training, scheduling, tracking, and recognition for volunteers of various ages and backgrounds.
  • Implementation of evaluation tools to determine the effectiveness of individual projects, as well as overall program impact. Ability to perform basic analysis of collected data.
  • Develop content for communication materials including webpages, newsletters, brochures, and other written materials. May also include demonstrations, table exhibits, and videos.
  • Incorporate SERC research into programs and content for a variety of external audiences. This involves working with a team of educators, senior scientists, technicians, undergraduate interns, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists. Interfaces with scientific researchers to interpret environmental science concepts and research concepts and methods for non-scientists.
  • Implementation of various promotional events and activities, such as tours, lectures, open house events, demonstrations and exhibits designed to increase program visibility as well as to engage members of the community and recruit volunteers.
  • Occasional care of live animals such as turtles, fish, and crabs that are used as part of educational activities.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in natural sciences, social sciences, or education, with formal understanding of the principles of environmental science.
  • Ability to relate to people of diverse backgrounds.
  • Experience implementing public outreach and/or educational programs.
  • Demonstrated initiative, independence, and responsibility.
  • Working knowledge of computer programs for word processers and data files. Experience with video/photo editing and website maintenance are desirable, but not required.
  • Ability to work as a team member.
  • Skill in public speaking and English composition.
  • Ability to speak and write English fluently.
  • Possess a valid U.S. driver’s license.

To Apply: Applications should include a cover letter that clearly describes your work experience, education, and training as it relates to the position, a current resume, and an unofficial copy of college transcripts. Applications should be submitted to by email to or mailed to SERC Public Engagement Program Assistant, 647 Contees Wharf Road, Edgewater, MD 21037. Email submission preferred.

The Smithsonian Institution is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages a diverse workforce.

Click here to view the PDF version of the job ad.