Postdoctoral Scholar in Public Engagement in Environmental Science

Postdoctoral Scholar in Public Engagement in Environmental Science

Deadline: Open until filled. Review of applications will begin on January 21

Salary: $60,129 plus benefits

Appointment Type: Term appointment for 1 year, with a potential for renewal for a total of 3 years

Location: This position is 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, Maryland, 40 miles west of Washington D.C., and 40 miles south of Baltimore, Maryland. The SERC campus contains nearly 2,700 acres of forest, agricultural areas, wetlands, and streams, and sits directly on the Rhode River estuary.

Description: The Public Engagement Program at SERC is searching for a postdoctoral fellow to participate in a project related to professional development for environmental educators. The fellow will lead development and implementation of professional development workshops for K-12 educators related to human impacts on urban estuaries. This work will incorporate SERC research, as well as looking at the ways that policy, communities, and non-profit organizations impact the sustainability and utility of the resources and environmental services provided by these systems. Additionally, the fellow will have broad latitude to develop research related to environmental education, educator professional development, and/or intersections of formal and informal STEM education.

The fellow will join SERC’s public engagement team, which includes staff with expertise in environmental education and citizen science. They will also actively work closely with SERC research and technical staff. SERC research is focused on understanding the causes and consequences of environmental change for marine, freshwater, and terrestrial ecosystems. There will also be opportunities for this team member to collaborate with staff from other Smithsonian units, including the Smithsonian Science Education Center.

Each year, SERC engages thousands of people through its public engagement programs. The public engagement programs cover hands-on field trip opportunities for K-12 students, professional development for educators, internships for high school and undergraduate students, online, onsite, and classroom-based citizen science projects, and public programs for families and adults. The public engagement team works to find ways to make SERC research more relevant and accessible to a wide range of audiences, and to work to provide direct benefits to members of our community.

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status, and disability. The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences, and background to this position. Competitive candidates will have some, but not necessarily all, of the listed qualifications and experiences.

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • A Ph.D. in natural sciences, social sciences, STEM education, or learning sciences, with formal understanding of the principles of environmental science and environmental education.
  • Experience engaging K-12 educators.
  • Experience implementing public outreach and/or educational programs.
  • Ability to develop and implement research questions related to educator professional development, environmental education and outreach, or a similar topic.
  • Ability to relate to people of diverse backgrounds and ages.
  • Ability to work as a team member.
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing schedules and conditions.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and responsibility.

To Apply: Please send a cover letter that describes your interests in the position and relevant work experience, education, and training and a current resume to Alison Cawood ( Please also feel free to reach out with questions or to discuss the position.