Sustainability Education Graduate Position


Sustainability Education Graduate Position

Position Description: The Macoskey Center for Sustainability Education & Research (MC) is Slippery Rock University's campus hub for sustainability and environmental education. This graduate assistant role involves developing and delivering high-quality and impactful sustainability education programming to SRU faculty, students, and staff, as well as the larger community. This role supervises undergraduate educators, collaborates with other SRU departments and student groups, collaborates with external organizations, and works to plan and develop sustainability education programming during the fall and spring semesters. In the summer, this role supervises a team of undergraduate educators and works collaboratively with another MC GA and the MC Director to deliver high-quality Summer Camps. Overall, we are seeking a highly motivated student with a positive attitude and teachable spirit who can make connections between the mission and scope of The Macoskey Center and their chosen field of study.

Weekly Work Hours: 20 (Fall & Spring 2024-2025), 37.5 (Summer 2024) 

Expected Start Date: Negotiable start date with a strong preference to start mid to late May. Must be able to work during the Summer 2024 semester. The graduate student worker position will continue through the following Fall & Spring semesters

Job Functions/Responsibilities: 

  • Create and implement sustainability education/environmental education lesson plans for MC Summer Camps (4 weeks of camp total; 2 in June and 2 in July)
  • Supervise and mentor Summer Sustainability Education Interns
  • Create and send communications emails to Summer Camp parents/guardians
  • Create, plan, and implement sustainability education programming and presentations for a variety of different audiences including SRU students, faculty, staff, community members, and children  
  • Meet and plan with SRU faculty to plan and implement curricular-tied programming and facility usage 
  • Meet and plan with SRU staff and students as well as community groups to help plan co-curricular programming and facility usage 
  • Assist MC Director with writing the MC’s Annual Report 
  • Assist in recruiting and training Sustainability Education Interns and volunteers 
  • Assist with planning and implementation of fundraising campaigns and events for the MC  
  • Supervise and mentor year-round Sustainability Education Intern
  • Supervise and mentor year-round Multimedia Communications Intern to develop marketing and public relations of special events and programs, including social media management, photography, videography, graphic design, and web design 
  • Provide excellent customer service and professional communications via email, phone, and/or in-person with various stakeholders about programming, events, updates, activities, and more.  
  • Other duties as assigned 


  • Pursuing a Park & Resource Management (M.S.) and/or Environmental Education (M.Ed.) degree at SRU  
  • Clear background check from SRU Payroll System BEFORE start date 
  • Must meet eligibility standards of the graduate school including unconditional acceptance into the graduate program and a class load of 6 credit hours (Fall & Spring) and 3 credit hours (Summer) of graduate coursework 
  • Earn a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 each semester
  • Must be available to work all hours in person
  • Must be available to work all 2024 Summer Camps (June 10th-12th, June 24th-26th, July 15th-27th, July 29th-July 31st) – Week of July 4th is a holiday week for the MC staff and GAs can work up to 15 hours (2 work days) each that week if desired. 
  • Experience with lesson planning and teaching in informal and/or formal settings 
  • Flexibility with scheduling and hours due to programming demands 
  • Comfortable with public speaking and working with groups of all ages and sizes 
  • Arrives to work on time exhibiting professionalism, a positive attitude, flexibility, an ability to adapt to new challenges, strong interpersonal skills, and a desire to learn 
  • Willingness to give and receive both constructive and positive feedback
  • Microsoft applications skills (i.e. Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook)
  • Committed to and passionate about the Mission/Vision of the MC
  • Committed to the MC’s work culture of creating an inclusive, respectful, equitable, and welcoming environment for all 

Desired Qualifications 

  • Knowledge of sustainable practices, gardening, agroforestry, and ecology 
  • Environmental/Sustainability education experience
  • Seeks tangible opportunities to connect the responsibilities of this position to coursework requirements in the student’s chosen field of study 
  • Highly organized with attention to detail 
  • Ability to work autonomously or as a part of a collaborative team 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills 
  • Professional work ethic and a teachable spirit  
  • Experience supervising others 
  • Valid Driver’s License 

How to Begin the Application Process:

  • Submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references to Samantha (Sami) Bortz, Director, 
  • Learn more about Slippery Rock University's Master's of Education in Environmental Education & Master's of Science in Park & Resource Management Graduate Programs, these graduate positions & The Macoskey Center here:   

Questions?  Please contact Samantha (Sami) Bortz, Director, at (724) 738-2498 or

Compensation Information

  • Graduate Tuition Coverage: 6 credits (Fall 2024 & Spring 2025), 3 credits (Summer 2024)
  • Semesterly Stipend/Hourly Pay: ~$3,037  (Fall 2024 & Spring 2025), ~5,527 (Summer 2024)
  • Gain experience in sustainability education/environmental education program development and evaluation 
  • Gain experience with cross-disciplinary sustainability education in an institution of higher learning 
  • Gain experience conducting program evaluations and data analysis 
  • Gain experience working collaboratively with undergraduate students, SRU faculty and staff, and community members. 
  • Share of fresh, organically-grown garden produce (Summers only)
  • Paid attendance for a National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide Training
  • Develop skills in visitor services and management 
  • Various professional development opportunities including networking with professionals in the fields of EE & PRM  
  • One-on-one mentorship with The Macoskey Center Director