Employment at the Garden

College First Instructor

Job Status:
Requisition Number:
Reports to:
Manager, Science Career Continuum
Students in College First Program
To deliver a seven-week summer, hands-on science internship program for students in grades 11 to 12. The instructor will collaborate with a co-instructor to deliver and evaluate an environmental science curriculum with an emphasis on environmental justice and STEM, and oversee student mentorship assignments and individual research projects. The instructor should be available to work 37.5 hours/week from June 27 to August 12, 2022.

College First is a seven-week high-school internship program at the Chicago Botanic Garden for 20 Chicago Public Schools students from backgrounds underrepresented in the science field. It is a paid internship that takes place in the summer and includes monthly meetings during the school year. A school bus provides transportation to bring students to the Garden from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students are eligible to receive college credit through Wilbur Wright College, one of the city colleges of Chicago.

Duties and Responsibilities:

In this role you will be responsible for the following:
•     Work with a co-instructor to teach a curriculum emphasizing environmental justice, environmental science, STEM skills, and scientific research.
•     Lead early college-level lectures, labs, youth-development activities, and outdoor field investigations at the Chicago Botanic Garden and off-site.
•     Guide student independent research projects and communicate with internship mentors to support integration and oversee progress.
•     Assist students in preparing project presentations, which will be presented the last week of the program.
•     Conduct weekly field trips to supplement the science curriculum and emphasize careers and college.
•     Administer and analyze student pre- and post-assessments, and participate in program quality assessments.
•     Act as a liaison with staff at Wilbur Wright to submit grades and other paperwork.
•     Assist with other program activities as necessary.

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 
•     Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
•     Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the 
•     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:
•     A minimum of three years combined experience teaching science in either formal 
and/or informal education settings to students of high school age. 
•     A minimum of one year conducting outdoor field and conservation science.
•     Master’s degree in environmental science, biology, or related field is required.
•     Previous experience working with underrepresented youth.
•     Integrating STEM application is a plus.
•     Bilingual (Spanish) is a plus.

*The Chicago Botanic Garden requires all existing employees to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated by October 15, 2021; hires after this date must be fully vaccinated upon hire or may request a medical/religious exemption after an offer is extended.*


Click here to apply.


Physical Demands:
Indoor and outdoor classroom setting. Frequent 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.
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.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is a M/F, Disabled, and Vet EEO/AA Employer.

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.