Friends of Sausal Creek (FOSC) has been one of the Bay Area’s premier environmental restoration and oversight organizations for over 20 years. We are a volunteer-based, nonprofit, community organization dedicated to promoting awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of Oakland’s Sausal Creek Watershed. In addition to hands-on habitat restoration work, we educate future generations, involve the community in local environmental stewardship, and collaborate with agencies and other nonprofits to have a positive impact on the local ecosystem.

Environmental Education

The education and outreach coordinator (EOC) will be responsible for coordinating and leading all of FOSC’s environmental education programs as well as being the organization’s lead on outreach for all organization programs—education, restoration, and monitoring. The coordinator will be responsible for tracking field trip and community outreach data, will contribute to grant reporting, and will assist with grant writing and other fundraising.

FOSC’s environmental education programs encourage local youth to be environmental stewards while teaching them about the physical and ecological connection of the creek and surrounding urban areas. The coordinator will help launch new school partnerships, coordinate with teachers and volunteer docents, develop curriculum, and lead exploratory and educational field trips in urban and wild areas in the Sausal Creek Watershed. Activities will include classroom presentations, mapping and art projects, native plant gardening in urban parks, bird watching, aquatic insect monitoring, water quality testing, and removing invasive, nonnative species and planting natives in Oakland wildlands to support habitat restoration projects. During the school year, FOSC provides field trips during both the regular school day and for after-school and, occasionally, weekend programs. During the summer FOSC leads education and restoration programs for Team Oakland high school job training crews and Oakland Parks, Recreation, and Youth Development summer campers (6-15 year olds). A major focus will be continuing the expansion of FOSC’s estuary-based field trip programs for schools located in the Fruitvale district, close to the creek outlet.

Organization Outreach

Organization outreach engages the community in workdays and bimonthly environmental education presentations, informs the community about watershed issues, and provides community leadership to develop and implement urban greening projects. This includes publishing a monthly email newsletter and regular posting via social media outlets, as well as coordinating speakers for the bimonthly meetings. The coordinator will represent FOSC at outreach and tabling events, such as neighborhood festivals. The coordinator will also be the lead for the organization’s role as an outreach partner for the Bay Area Integrated Regional Water Management Disadvantaged Community Involvement Program. The focus of this program is to engage Fruitvale community members and organizations to collect information on water challenges and needs, with the goal of implementing future projects. In this role, the coordinator will attend local community meetings and events and will work with program partners throughout the region. The EOC will also seek to develop new partnerships and expand existing ones as part of implementing FOSC’s Sausal Creek Walkable Watershed Concept Plan. The purpose of the Walkable Watershed program is to engage the Fruitvale and adjacent neighborhoods with Sausal Creek in order to transform the creek from a state of obscurity to a community asset. The program seeks to catalyze urban greening and creek education projects and activities that will enhance water quality and habitat values, expand community awareness of creek health issues, and enhance public access to the creek for the environmental, cultural, and recreational benefits it can provide.

Terms and Schedule

This position is 35-40 hours per week, with a somewhat flexible schedule. The candidate must be able to work some weeknights and some weekends. The rate of pay is $18 to $22/hour depending on experience. The selected candidate will be responsible for personal transportation, including transporting tools and plants to field trip sites and materials for tabling events. Workers’ Compensation Insurance is provided and a health reimbursement arrangement is available. One hour of paid sick leave is accrued for every 30 hours worked. After three months of employment, employee begins to accrue two weeks of paid personal time off each year (based on average hours/week). Successful completion of a background check, proof of negative TB results, and proof of personal auto insurance are required. Mileage to FOSC-related activities is reimbursable.

General Characteristics and Required Skills

  • Undergraduate degree
  • Fluency in Spanish is strongly preferred
  • Experience leading indoor and/or outdoor education activities
  • Experience in community outreach/recruitment and facilitating groups
  • Excellent public speaking and presentation skills
  • Demonstrated proficiency with social media (e.g., Instagram, Facebook), email marketing (e.g., Constant Contact) and CRM software (e.g., Salesforce)
  • Knowledge of creek and watershed-related environmental issues
  • Knowledge of restoration techniques and native plants a plus
  • Knowledge of environmental and social justice issues in underserved communities
  • Experience working with youth from diverse backgrounds and with people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Strong interpersonal skills, highly motivated with strong work ethic
  • Demonstrated responsible behavior and judgment
  • Enjoy working outdoors and in the Oakland community

The chosen candidate should have the ability to:

  • Develop environmental, cultural, and natural history curriculum for classroom visits and field trips
  • Form new school partnerships and relationships with teachers and maintain existing ones
  • Plan for and lead environmental lessons with K-12 students (6-18 years old), including educating participants on the organization, the watershed, and tool and project safety
  • Purchase and maintain tools and supplies, track project budgets
  • Be a self-starter; see potential of FOSC’s programs and create meaningful partnerships in order to implement them
  • Be a positive role model, connect with others and forge strong relationships
  • Perform several tasks concurrently, meet deadlines and work with changing priorities
  • Coordinate the design, approval, and implementation of urban greening projects with local organizations, government officials, community members, and students
  • Communicate effectively and professionally both orally and in writing
  • Understand mission of programs and anticipate future needs
  • Hire, train, and supervise interns
  • Assist with grant writing and reporting
  • Facilitate and work closely with a board-level community outreach and education committee
  • Work closely with community stakeholders of the Sausal Creek Walkable Watershed Program to facilitate and expand the program
  • Lift 40 pounds
  • Use word processing, database, and spreadsheet software

Direction and Support Received

The education and outreach coordinator will receive guidance, direction, and some training from the executive director and FOSC board of directors, will collaborate with FOSC’s restoration and nursery manager, and will have support from interns and volunteer docents, as well as from FOSC’s larger volunteer base. Because there is no centralized office, it is essential that the selected candidate have the experience and motivation to work independently with minimal day-to-day supervision while keeping interested parties informed.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled, but applicants are encouraged to apply by July 1, 2019. To apply, please email a thoughtful cover letter and resume to [email protected].