Urban Ecology Program Developer

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San Jose, CA
United States


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Job Description:

Urban Ecology Program Developer:

Full-time, Exempt


Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature is Children’s Discovery Museum’s brand new 27,500 sq ft nature play space,designed to encourage children and their caregivers to experience the creativity, curiosity, fun, and magic of outdoor play in the middle of an urban  environment. Including a tree climbing area, hill, fort building, gravel dig pit, dry creek and vegetable garden, this fun and interactive area will encourage children and their caregivers to explore the natural world, inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards. The Urban Ecology Program Developer will have overall responsibility for Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature: developing innovative environmental programming, training and coaching part-time nature play facilitators and youth volunteers, aligning Bill’s Backyard efforts with Museum-wide initiatives, managing program materials, developing community partnerships and supporting fundraising. With support for regular maintenance, the Urban Ecology Program Developer will oversee plantings, prunings, and general health of the outdoor nature space, including seasonal planting and harvesting of the vegetable garden.

Responsibilities and Expectations:

This is a highly visible position, especially with external communities. Responsible for achieving goals and results, and focused primarily on project and/or program execution while managing impact on financials. Expectations follow:

  • Develop innovative interactive programming that provides opportunities for children and their families to connect with nature, play in anunstructured and beautiful natural environment, and learn about local habitat and creatures.
  • Design nature and garden-based activities to encourage engagement with plants, environment, habitats, sustainable food practices, home gardening, composting and connecting the Museum’s Café, FoodShed, to the Garden
  • Provide ongoing training for part-time staff and volunteers who facilitate activities, including child development and urban ecology information about the relevance and learning goals of activities
  • Oversee and continue to develop the physical site of the Museum’s expanded garden and nature play area including operations and maintenance, garden staffing , budgeting, and long-term sustainability
  • Manage materials for hands-on activities, including procurement, preparation, organization and storage, in collaboration with the Exhibits Department and the Museum’s Materials Coordinator
  • Develop youth-focused initiatives to support Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature including service learning initiatives for schools, after school programming, volunteer opportunities, and garden planting
  • Develop culturally relevant activities in conjunction with Museum-wide community events and coordinated with other facilitated spaces in the Museum
  • Identify and develop content connections to support Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards and create curricular materials to help schools connect to garden based learning
  • Create and sustain partnerships with local and regional community-based organizations with similar goals (urban ecology,  garden, and environmental organizations) to leverage services, realize mutual benefits, and expand programming
  • Plan and maintain seasonal and cultural vegetable beds for education and food production
  • Departmental duties as required, including participation as Education Department representative on cross-departmental teams
  • Fulfill other duties as assigned.


Any combination of education or experience providing the required knowledge and skills is qualifying. Minimum employment standards are:

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in environmental studies, science and/or education
  • Experience implementing hands-on gardening and/or science  curriculum for diverse ages
  • Strong commitment to inquiry-based learning and youth development
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to work with a diverse audience and staff
  • Ability to build professional relationships within the community
  • Ability to work outdoors lifting and carrying materials and equipment up to 30 pounds
  • Spanish speaking skills are beneficial but not required

Job Duration:


How to Apply:

Your application should include cover letter, references, and either a resume or completed Job Application which can be found at https://www.cdm.org/about/employment/

If you choose to complete the Application online, please send the additional items to:

Human Resources
Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose
180 Woz Way
San Jose CA 95110

Job Compensation: