Education Specialist – Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (9/28)

POSITION TITLE: Education Specialist
PRIMARY SERVICE LOCATION: Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s (TBNMS) Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center - ALPENA, MI RESPONSIBLE TO: Sarah Waters - TBNMS Education Coordinator

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for the nation’s system of marine protected areas. One of thirteen National Marine Sanctuaries nationwide, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is dedicated to protecting the Great Lakes and their rich history. In this 4,300 square-mile marine protected area the cold, fresh water of Lake Huron preserves a nationally significant collection of nearly 200 historic shipwrecks. Through research, education, and community involvement, the sanctuary ensures future generations will enjoy these irreplaceable underwater treasures from our past. The sanctuary engages the public primarily through its visitor center in Alpena, Michigan. With more than 10,000 square feet of interactive museum exhibits, theater, and Makerspace/Marine Technology/STEM lab, the sanctuary is able to provide educational programs to a variety of audiences. In partnership with the AmeriCorps program, we are able to offer an exciting full-time opportunity for an individual to help our organization fulfill its education mission. We are seeking a highly motivated, responsible individual who is confident and/or eager to learn how to work with the public to advance stewardship of sanctuary resources. This is a tremendous opportunity, and to fill this position we will be looking for someone who is high energy, detail-oriented, able to manage multiple tasks, and communicate very effectively through public speaking and writing. We are looking for someone who thrives in a dynamic environment, and who has interest in serving and communicating with diverse audiences that change seasonally, including K-12 students, teachers, community partners, tourists, and residents.

SCOPE AND PURPOSE OF SERVICE: The Education Specialist will greet, orient, and provide programs for audiences at the visitor center and outside on the campus bordering the Thunder Bay River. Recruit and engage volunteers, represent the sanctuary at events, and support the sanctuary’s education evaluation efforts. Service includes communicating about maritime history/archaeology & marine technology/underwater research, Great Lakes/Ocean literacy, the National Marine Sanctuary system, watershed stewardship. Service includes volunteer engagement and working with the public. On-site training is provided. The primary service location will be at the sanctuary’s visitor center and offices in Alpena, Michigan, secondary locations include public buildings, schools, regional public events/festivals, and outdoor sites such as parks and natural areas. Service may also include some opportunities to provide outreach aboard boats on Lake Huron. Occasionally other opportunities may be available to paddle, snorkel, and/or swim as part of outreach programming. Some experience working with the schools and technical knowledge of the Great Lakes is preferred but not required; on-site training will be provided. Service locations include public buildings, schools, and field sites. This position requires a 10-month commitment and is part of the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program. The program offers opportunities to develop creative education approaches to better conserve natural resources. This position does require some travel and field-based activities. Applicants should be prepared to, on occasion, traverse and carry supplies and equipment (10-15lbs) over uneven ground.

General Program: Contribute to the implementation of Thunder Bay NMS Education & Outreach Plan Goals and Objectives (see the Thunder Bay NMS Final Management Plan at
Outreach Program
● Act as a lead interpreter in the sanctuary visitor center, and at outreach events
● Develop or update materials promoting stewardship of sanctuary resources
● Promote stewardship of sanctuary resources through media and events
● Coordinate events from start to finish including messaging, promotion, day-of and follow up Volunteer Engagement Program
● Collaborate with sanctuary staff and partners to implement volunteer program. Including recruitment, training, and supporting/working with volunteers
● Lead sanctuary events and programs involving volunteers Education Program
● Coordinate programs from start to finish including messaging, promotion, day-of and follow up
● Provide lessons and activities to school groups and youth camps, and promote these programs
● Learn to use STEM Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math – based learning activities, and then provide those activities to students and adults

● Prepare and submit 2-week schedules, timesheets and mileage reimbursement forms
● Conduct at least 2 presentations to community groups about Huron Pines AmeriCorps
● Engage at least 30 volunteers in conservation activities
● Submit 4 “Great Stories”
● Provide regular project updates and photos for the website
● Represent yourself as a Huron Pines AmeriCorps member at all times
● Attend required trainings provided by the AmeriCorps Coordinator

✓ Bachelor’s Degree
✓ Ability to plan, organize and implement educational projects independently and as part of a team
✓ Strong interest in learning cultural resource management and using education to increase resource stewardship and protection
✓ Excellent verbal and written and communication skills
✓ Computer proficiency (typing, email, word processing, excel)
✓ Ability to pass a background check*
✓ U.S. citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien
✓ Commitment to conserving the forests, lakes and streams of Northeast Michigan
✓ Valid driver’s license

Additional Preferred Qualifications (some training can be provided):
✓ Ability to work in varied environments, including inside an active visitor center, in classrooms, at public events, and outside (including in adverse weather conditions)
✓ Experience or strong interest in learning about public interpretation/communication in a museum or visitor center setting
✓ Strong interest in learning about Great Lakes maritime heritage, marine technology, and marine protected areas

On occasion, service will be required at an off-site location. Use of a personal vehicle may be required to perform duties (mileage will be reimbursed). This is a 40 hour per week position and runs from January 14- November 15, 2019. Benefits include $13,732 living stipend, health insurance, $6,095 education award and student loan deferment. Applications and directions are available at and will be accepted until September 28, 2018.

Reasonable accommodations: If you need to make a request for a reasonable accommodation, due to a disability, such as obtain materials in a format that works for you or to fully participate in the application process, please contact Sarah Topp, AmeriCorps Coordinator at (989) 448-2293 x30 or
*Registered sex offenders are not eligible for AmeriCorps positions. 

Posted on the MMA website 9/11.

 The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Michigan Museums Association       313-334-7643       PO Box 5246, Cheboygan, MI 49721

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