Budburst Community Engagement Manager

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
This position will support the community engagement initiatives of the Budburst community science program. In this position, you will develop outreach materials, train educators, and support community partners (e.g. nature centers, youth clubs) as they participate in Budburst and Budburst research projects. You will work with partners in the Chicago Park District and Forest Preserves of Cook County to engage their staff, volunteers, and visitors in the program. You will represent Budburst at community events and science festivals, leading hands-on activities and workshops. You will communicate news and spread program awareness through the Budburst e-newsletter and social media channels. You will be a key member of a team of passionate scientists and educators dedicated to engaging the public with plants, science, and ecology.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Develop outreach materials and field-based activities for primarily informal learning contexts that engage individuals of all ages in participating in the Budburst community science project.
  • Lead rollout of Chicago EcoFlora, a regional launch of New York City EcoFlora, with partners in the Forest Preserves of Cook County, among others.
  • Train participating educators so they are prepared to implement activities in their classrooms and programs.
  • Support participating educators and other program-delivery partners in implementing Budburst at their locations, including on-site support, regularly scheduled check-ins, and availability by email and phone.
  • Work with the Budburst director to develop and implement the Budburst communications strategy (including e-newsletter and social media and seasonal campaigns).
  • Work with the Budburst director and the Garden’s interpretive programs staff to create and implement on-site opportunities for visitors to participate in Budburst during their visit to the Garden.
  • Represent Budburst at community events, science festivals, and environmental education meetings.
  • As appropriate, support the Budburst director and vice president of learning and engagement in fundraising and donor stewardship.
  • Work as a team member with the Budburst director, vice president of learning and engagement, director of science, Budburst education manager, and database manager to support and grow the Budburst project.

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:


  • Bachelor’s degree in ecology, botany, environmental science, education, science communication, community development, sociology, cultural anthropology, or related field
  • A minimum of five years of experience in environmental education, community engagement and development, informal education, or K-12 STEM education
  • Demonstrated ability to work with and in communities of all kinds
  • Experience recruiting and collaborating with community-based organizations, supporting program participation, and implementing community-based projects
  • Experience teaching in informal learning contexts (e.g. museums, community organizations, or afterschool programs)
  • Experience providing science-based professional development to informal educators of both youth and adults
  • Fluency with Microsoft Office suite and standard workplace technologies
  • Understanding of the professional use of e-newsletter and social media platforms for promotional purposes, including Constant Contact, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Ability to travel to regional off-site locations, currently throughout Cook and Lake Counties to support program implementation, but area may expand
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally to recruit new partners, and represent the work of Budburst at conferences and professional meetings



  • Master’s degree and three years of experience in environmental education, K-12 STEM education, environmental science, conservation science, or a related field
  • Experience managing complex, multi-partner projects
  • Background in environmental science, conservation science, or a related field
  • Experience participating in citizen and community science (CCS) and/or using CCS in a classroom context
  • Spanish language proficiency
  • Scientific research experience
Physical Demands: 
Primarily office setting, with some fieldwork required. Frequent sitting, standing, walking, bending, listening, speaking, and keyboarding. Use of office equipment including computers, telephones, copiers, scanners, and fax machines. Some requirements for lifting, pushing, or pulling items less than 30 pounds. Some requirements for active outdoor gardening and teacher activities, including digging, planting, and shoveling.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability, or any other federal, state, or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.