Executive Director

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Deadline to Apply:

Friday, March 13, 2020, 5:00pm


Huntsville, AR
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

About ONSC:

The Ozark Natural Science Center (ONSC) is a private, non-profit residential environmental education and conference facility located adjacent to the state-owned, Arkansas Natural Heritage’s Bear Hollow Natural Area. With 8 miles of hiking trails, lodges, indoor and outdoor classrooms, and dining hall the center provides quality residential science programming to the surrounding communities and states.  The Center’s primary focus is residential field science programs for public and private schools. The Center’s teaching philosphy is hands-on and experiential where a broader and deeper understanding of the natural environment is the oucome of the ONSC experience.

Position Summary:

The Ozark Natural Science Center is approaching it’s 30 year mark and is seeking an Executive Director to continue ONSC’s legacy into the future.  The director will transform ONSC into the next generation of science centers.  The Executive Director role requires both leadership and management.  This position will lead the Board of Directors and ONSC staff through short term and long term strategic planning. This position is the face of ONSC in the community is responsible for recruiting new schools, maintaining relationships with existing schools, managing volunteers, finding new partners for collaboration, and fundraising with support from the board. 

The Executive Director manages and ensures training of all teaching staff (called Teacher-Naturalists), kitchen staff, and maintenance staff and is responsible for center operations and facilities, including budget management.  This position is responsible for maintaining a superior educational program that meets national and state science education standards.  The Executive Director is responsible for creating promotional materials and marketing ONSC programs and facility rentals, maintaining consistent communications with supporters including creating a regular newsletter, and maintaining ONSC’s social media presence.  This position leads fundraising activities with support from the board,  writes grants, and looks for new funding opportunities.

Skills and Attributes:

  • Values and appreciates education, children, nature, and the natural sciences.
  • Has both leadership and general management experience and skill sets.
  • Can energize and engage staff, visitors, volunteers, and communities.
  • Has experience writing environmental education curriculum and programming that supports academic standards.
  • Can inspire Teacher Naturalists to be creative and provide a fun learning experience for students, teachers, parents, and the public.
  • Ability to quickly garner respect and partnerships in the NWA community and enjoys meeting new people in order to build beneficial collaborations.
  • Can multitask between tactical, and long term strategic planning.  
  • Can effectively manage a financial budget, and identify opportunities for cost savings.
  • Strong communication skills for a wide variety of audiences.
  • Continuous improvement mindset.
  • Is thrilled about the opportunity to commute to the on-site office which is surrounded by 15,000 acres of pristine Ozark wilderness!

Key Responsibilities:

  • Enhance, develop, refine, articulate, and implement the vision and mission of ONSC.
  • Ensure that the ONSC staff and programs operate in compliance with applicable local, state, and federal laws and regulations.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain ONSC’s staff and management team.
  • Provide leadership toward long-term strategic plans and implementation of short-term goals.
  • Develop and enhance key relationships and partnerships with external stakeholders including schools, environmental/conservation organizations, corporations and businesses, foundations and agencies.
  • Oversee the operations, management, and improvement of ONSC and its associated facilities, programs, and site.
  • Demonstrate excellent communication and delegation skills, promote an open exhange of information and ideas; accept feedback and assistance from others; provide timely, candid, and constructive feedback and take action to correct performance issues; express appreciation to staff for work well done; take the lead in celebrating successes.
  • Plan for future revenue needs and resources to sustain the ONSC programs and operations.
  • Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities.
  • Work with and supervise Education Program Manager and Teacher Naturalist staff to design, implement, and assess current and future educational programs.
  • Create and manage the organizational budget. Work closely with bookkeeper and board to create and manage the organizational budget.
  • Prepared to meet the needs of the classic last line “performs all other duties as needed/assigned.”
  • Attends bi-monthly board of directors meetings and additional calls and meetings as needed.
  • Willing to occasionally work evening hours and weekends.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in organizational management, education, biology, ecology or other natural science discipline, or management of non-profit organziations.
  • Successful grant writing and fundraising experience.
  • Experience in nature/science education or outdoor recreation.
  • Effective communicator (both written and verbal) with public speaking experience
  • Proven track record in working with partners, marketing, and community relations. Proven board leadership skills or commensurate leadership experience .
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office- Word, Powerpoint, Excel.
  • Minimum of 5 years experience supervising professional staff.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in organizational management, education, biology, ecology or other natural science discipline, or management of non-profit organzations.
  • Proven track record of growing client/school base.
  • Experience in building and executing long term strategic plan.
  • Experience in nature center or non-profit management.
  • Experience securing grant funding.
  • Experience with successful fundraising.
  • Experience teaching science or nature programming/interacting with schools.
  • Ability to take existing ideas and programs and add creative new solutions.
  • Digital/social media proficiency.
  • Marketing skills and experience.

Salary/Benefit Information: Commensurate with experience.

How to Apply:

Submit a cover letter, resume, essay (see instruction below), and 3 references to both Eric Fuselier (eric.fuselier@craftontull.com) and Adam Schaffer (adamschaffer2@yahoo.com).

Essay Instructions: Please submit a brief 2-3 paragraph essay on one of the following topics:

  1. Science/nature education
  2. Outdoor recreation
  3. Leadership

Contact Name:

Eric Fuselier

Contact Email: