Budburst Education Manager

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
This position will support the educational initiatives of the Budburst Community Science program. In this position, you will develop curriculum, train teachers, and support school districts, schools, teachers, and students as they participate in Budburst and Budburst research projects. You will work with partners in the Forest Preserves of Cook County to implement the program at three nature centers (Sagawau, Little Red Schoolhouse, River Trail) and support delivery of online classes through the Community Science Academy. 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: 

  • Act as primary contact with districts and schools, including administrators and teachers, to develop and support long-term, meaningful, partnerships that allow for successful participation of students and teachers.
  • Act as primary contact for formal education partnerships, including Scholastic, Seed Your Future, and other botanic gardens and museums working in a formal education context.
  • Identify and develop new formal education partnerships with both K-12 and higher-education partners.
  • Develop classroom and field-based activities and curricula for both formal and informal learning contexts that engage individuals of all ages in participating in the Budburst Community Science project.
  • Train participating formal and informal educators so they are prepared to implement activities in their classrooms and programs.
  • Support participating teachers and other program delivery partners in implementing Budburst curricula on-site at their locations, including in-class support, management of dedicated Google groups, and availability by email and phone.
  • Develop and deliver online classes for educators through the Community Science Academy.
  • As appropriate, support the Budburst director and vice president of learning and engagement in with fundraising and donor stewardship.
  • Work as a team member with the Budburst director, vice president of learning and engagement, director of science, Budburst community engagement 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:


  • Master’s degree or minimum three years of experience in environmental education, K-12 STEM education, teacher STEM learning, environmental science, conservation science, or related field
  • K-12 STEM curriculum-development experience
  • Familiarity with and fluency in applying the Next Generation Science Standards in activity design; familiarity with other learning standards, including Common Core
  • Experience providing professional development to K-12 educators and informal educators of both youth and adults
  • Experience teaching in K-12 classrooms and/or working in formal education settings with late primary through middle school focus
  • Experience teaching in informal learning contexts (e.g. museums, community organizations, or after-school programs)
  • Ability to travel to regional off-site locations, currently throughout Cook and Lake Counties to support curriculum implementation, but area may expand


  • Experience participating in community science and/or using community science in a classroom context
  • Scientific research experience
  • Experience managing complex, multi-partner projects
  • Experience teaching/managing online courses, familiarity with Moodle online course delivery platform
  • Understanding of professional use of social media platforms for promotional purposes including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Spanish language proficiency
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 teaching 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.