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Budburst Manager

Requisition Number: 
Job Status: 
The Chicago Botanic Garden is looking for a creative thinker who is excited about providing opportunities for the public to engage in authentic science research through citizen science. The Budburst Manager will lead this phenology-based citizen science project, working with scientists at the Garden and across the country to develop a portfolio of critical ecological research projects that bring researchers, horticulturists, and citizen scientists together on a shared journey to uncover the stories of plants and animals affected by human impacts on the environment and tell those stories in ways that inspire conversation and action.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Develop, implement, and manage Budburst research projects in collaboration with Garden and other research staff, including promoting to broad audiences, developing opportunities for public engagement, and developing and supporting collaborations with local and national partners. 
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of Budburst and the Citizen Science Academy, including website content, research projects and seasonal campaigns, learning resources, data collection, outreach, online course instruction, and promotion. 
  • Work with research staff to develop additional Budburst research projects to create a portfolio of projects that provides opportunities to participate in citizen science that appeal to a range of interests and timeframes.
  • Oversee Budburst social media presence, including newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, etc., in collaboration with the Marketing & Communications department.
  • Work with database manager to ensure the Budburst website and data collection process stays functional and up to date.
  • Maintain relationships with existing members of the Budburst community. 
  • Serve as a principal point of contact for all Budburst and Citizen Science Academy activity. 
  • Assist in grant-writing activities.
  • Participate in other Chicago Botanic Garden education, outreach. and research activities as necessary.

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 


  • Master's degree in science education or communication, learning science, ecology, botany, or related field; Ph.D. preferred 
  • 2+ years of experience in research, science education, citizen science, community science, or public engagement projects
  • Demonstrated ability to write and edit scientific information for a general audience 
  • Fluency with current generation social networking tools (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.) to create a community and engage participants in desired activities
  • Ability to communicate effectively with internal and external partners
  • Ability to work independently while being an effective member of an interdisciplinary team 
  • Strong problem solving and analytical skills and ability to be detail oriented
  • Proven organizational and time-management skills
  • Expertise in Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)


  • Scientific research experience
  • Basic familiarity with Drupal
  • Experience in developing and facilitating online courses, preferably with Moodle online course delivery platform
  • Knowledge of best practices in online citizen science programs including relevant technology for data analysis and visualization
  • Knowledge and experience working with plant-based observations, data, educational materials, and/or citizen science initiatives
  • Grant writing experience
Physical Demands: 
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 lighter than 30 pounds. Exposure to varied outdoor weather conditions.
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.