Director of Research and Science Education

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Job Category:

Job

Job Type:

Full-time

Job Description:

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a historic glasshouse and public garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been inviting visitors to discover and enjoy the natural world since 1893. In recent years, Phipps has transformed into one of the world’s greenest public gardens, serving as a model of sustainability for the next century and expanding its campus to include the first LEED certified visitor’s center in a public garden; the first LEED certified greenhouse (LEED Platinum EBOM); a revolutionary, energy efficient Tropical Forest Conservatory; and the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, a net-zero energy and water building that is the first in the world to meet four of the highest green building standards:  the Living Building Challenge, LEED Platinum, Four Stars Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES), and Platinum WELL Building certifications. Through a dynamic slate of science education programs and outreach initiatives targeted to all ages and demographics, Phipps inspires and engages people to recognize the beauty, wonder and irreplaceable value of the natural world.  In all its services to the public, Phipps upholds a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

Phipps seeks a Director of Research and Science Education to develop and oversee all research, science education and science communication programs at Phipps. The Director of Research and Science Education will lead in the development of the Phipps Research Institute for Biophilia and Science Engagement.

The Director of Research and Science Education will focus on the following areas:

Research

  • Focus on cutting-edge on original research in the fields of human health and wellness, ecological health and wellness, education and social justice, and communication and outreach.
  • Conduct and publish original research on biophilia and human and ecological wellness, particularly at the intersection of the built environment and nature.
  • Conduct and publish original research in environmental psychology or in a related area relevant to Phipps.
  • Increase the number of relationships and collaborative efforts with research scientists in sustainability, conservation, education, public health and psychology.
  • Position Botany in Action as a national model for research and science communication.
  • Explore and enhance opportunities for collaborative activities and partnerships with local academic and medical communities.
  • Foster associations with professional and amateur botanical communities on regional, national and international levels.
  • Lead and promote research to bring the science of nature to individuals of all education levels, with a strong emphasis on children.
  • Advise and facilitate development of research programs at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes.
  • Emphasis will be placed on the continuation of research collaborations now underway with local universities and organizations

Science Education

  • Use the botanic garden, historic and modern structures, and other informal learning venues to enhance knowledge and understanding of the intersection of the built and natural environments and its effect on human and environmental health and well-being, and to increase community engagement in these areas.
  • Incorporate social science research practices into science education programming, in order to evaluate program impact on learning and behavior, and, based on this evaluation, further improve and expand these programs and share results in the field.
  • Build the Botany in Action program as a national model for research and science communication with the public.
  • Increase the number of relationships and collaborative efforts with research scientists in such areas as sustainability, conservation, education, public health and psychology, including publications, presentations, on-site research projects, and advisory activities.
  • Create original, research-based sustainability and environmental education programs for children, families and communities, connecting them to nature, promoting healthy and sustainable lifestyles, and increasing knowledge and awareness of science and the environment.
  • Incorporate science education into all interpretation and programming.
  • Build cutting-edge programming in science and environmental education focused on using the botanic garden and other informal learning venues as platforms for imparting knowledge and inspiring behavior change.
  • Incorporate social science research practices into science education programming in order to evaluate its impact on learning and behavior.Based on this evaluation, further improve, expand and develop these programs and share results in the field.
  • Position Phipps as one of the premier organizations in the United States for children, connecting them to nature and fostering an appreciation of science and the environment.

An example of some of our current programs:

  • The Fairchild Challenge
  • High School Internship for Under-Resourced Youth
  • Green and Growing
  • Youth Seasonal Camps

Other

  • Pursue funding from governmental agencies and national and local foundations which support innovative and creatively integrated research and science and community engagement programming.
  • Assist and collaborate with all departments at Phipps in all areas of Phipps’ activities, with a particular emphasis on education, evaluation, interpretation, messaging and research.
  • Develop and oversee programs designed to teach scientists on how to communicate to the public.
  • Help write grants and solicit funding to support Phipps’ research and discovery-based education.
  • Serve as spokesperson and advocate of science education programs and research on regional, national and international levels.
  • Assist with the development and growth of the Biophilia Network.

Education and Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in environmental education, eco or environmental psychology, the ecological or conservation-focused biological sciences or environmental social sciences, a plant focus is preferred.
  • Relevant experience in the field of science education in an informal learning environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with children and adults in a pleasant and courteous manner to convey a positive message of activism and responsibility for the conservation of plants and ecosystem integrity.
  • Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills, including public speaking.
  • Proficiency with computer software packages including Microsoft Office.
  • Excellent organization skills.
  • Experience managing multiple simultaneous projects and supervising staff in a team environment.

Job Duration:

Permanent

How to Apply:

Application Instructions:  To apply, please send cover letter (including salary history), curriculum vitae and three professional references to hr@phipps.conservatory.org.  The search will remain open until the position is filled.  EOE.

 

Job Compensation:

Salary