Job Opening: Family Nature Educator at the Arnold Arboretum

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Sarah Coyne

Dec 4, 2023, 9:45:01 PM12/4/23
to Massachusetts Environmental Education Society

Business Title: Family Nature Educator
Job Code:  LTE
Hours per week: Less than 14

Arnold Arboretum
University Administration

Job Summary

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a 281-acre museum of trees teaching the world about plants. With one of the world's most biodiverse collections of temperate woody plants, combined with world-class scientific resources, and a commitment to diverse programming, the Arnold Arboretum has been a leader in horticulture and botany since its founding in 1872. As part of the Boston Parks system, it is free and open to all daily; we host three to four million visitors each year.

The Family Nature Educator will develop and implement nature-based programming for families with children in preschool and elementary school, who reside in two nearby Boston Public Housing communities: Archdale Village in Roslindale and South Street Development in Jamaica Plain. Through collaboration with these communities, the Family Nature Educator will create programming that fosters a greater understanding and appreciation of the natural world and establishes a stronger connection with the Arnold Arboretum. Programming will take place either outside at the Arboretum or at Boston Public Housing communities.

Time Commitment

The Family Nature Educator position is a one to two year-long, part-time, position. A variable hour employee, the Family Nature Educator works as needed on a weekly basis, not exceeding 14 hours per week. While program development hours are flexible, program delivery must take place when families from the target audience are available; this will most likely be on the weekends and on weekdays after work.

Duties and Responsibilities

·       Develop and implement creative and developmentally appropriate nature-based activities for families with young children who live in nearby Boston Public Housing communities: Archdale Village in Roslindale and South Street Development in Jamaica Plain.

·       Promote programs and recruit families from the target audiences to participate in programming.

·       Manage all aspects of programming including set up, clean up, evaluation, and follow up.

·       Create and maintain a safe, fun learning atmosphere for children and parents at the developments and in the Arboretum.

·       Maintain positive working relationships with the target audiences and nearby community center staff.

·       Report on family attendance and maintain records.

Basic Qualifications

·       At least 4 years of teaching experience in early childhood education at a public/private school, a community setting, or an educational non-profit.

·       Cultural and linguistic competency appropriate to the community being served. Bilingual in Spanish/English.

·       Knowledge of the natural world, botany, horticulture, natural sciences, gardening, agriculture, or related field.

·       Work experience in a nature-based or outdoor setting required.

·       Ability to communicate effectively via phone and email.

·       Proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel and Word.

·       Ability to work early evening and weekend hours on a variable schedule.

·       Experience with classroom management.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

·       Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.

·       Experience working with under-resourced families and individuals from diverse backgrounds, including people of color, is highly valued.

·       Experience developing and delivering engaging programs in non-traditional educational settings (e.g., museums, nature centers, botanic gardens) highly desired.

·       Enthusiasm, patience, understanding, flexibility, and energy for working with children and adults.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to work outdoors in various plant collections and habitats during all seasons. Must be able to bend, reach, stoop, and lift to 25 lbs. Must be able to walk and stand for up to two hours at a time in indoor and often rugged outdoor conditions. Must be able to lead programs across a 281-acre landscape.

Working Conditions

Work takes place outdoors in rugged terrain and indoors in an office environment.





This is not a benefits-eligible position.

How to Apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume to Please begin each file with your last and first name.


Additional Information

We welcome interested applicants to view our website at: to learn about our youth programs at Read about our land acknowledgment at and our statement on the legacy of slavery: 

Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and well-being of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees will be required to provide confirmation of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage. Harvard University Health Services employees and other healthcare individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website. 

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