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Job Opportunity: Arnold Arboretum Manager of Youth Education

7 Nov 2023 4:56 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Manager of Youth Education

University Administration


Job Summary

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a 281-acre museum of trees teaching the world about plants. With one of the world's most biodiverse collections of temperate woody plants, combined with world-class scientific resources, and a commitment to diverse programming, the Arnold Arboretum has been a leader in horticulture since its founding in 1872. As part of the Boston Parks system, it is free and open to all daily; we host three to four million visitors each year.

Position Description

The Manager of Youth Education plays a pivotal role in advancing the mission of the organization by managing high- quality educational programming for youth within the Public Programs department at the Arboretum. This multifaceted role involves a dynamic combination of leadership and program development, creating meaningful educational experiences for young audiences ranging in age from Pre-K to High School. All the Arboretum’s programs are free and, in most cases, include transportation.

Existing programs under the purview of the Manager include:

  • Field Study Experiences: Seasonal excursions led by dedicated volunteers for Boston Public School students from Pre-K through Grade 5.
  • Arboretum Young Scientists: A robust 5-week summer program designed for up to 20 Boston Public School students transitioning to 7th & 8th grades.
  • Self-Guided School Trips: Pre-registered, self-directed visits for local public-school students Pre-k to Highschool.
  • Summer Institute: A focused four-day workshop offering educators innovative approaches to using the outdoors as a means for teaching life science standards.
  • Arboretum Families Project: A budding early childhood initiative that will create nature-based learning experiences for families in adjacent public housing communities.
  • Family Hikes: Seasonally themed treks throughout the year, introducing families and caregivers to the wonders of nature.

Duties and Responsibilities
Functional Areas

  • Team Leadership: Supervise a team of full-time, part-time, and temporary staff.
  • Youth Education Programming:
    • Manage a comprehensive suite of youth education initiatives for Boston Public School teachers and student's Pre-K to 12, including school programs, summer programs, and teacher training.
    • Plan a year-round calendar of free family programs, including classes, workshops, and nature walks.
    • Engage the local community through outreach and co-develop responsive youth programming to meet their needs, broadening the Arboretum's impact.
    • Collaborate with the Manager of Visitor Engagement and the Manager of Adult Programs and Events to develop and implement youth-focused activities, exhibits, interpretive materials, and event programming.
    • Develop and deliver educational programs and lessons on diverse topics such as horticulture, botany, ecology, climate change, conservation, and sustainability for children in grades Pre-K to 12.
    • Perform additional duties and responsibilities as assigned.
  • Volunteer Coordination: Recruit, train, and supervise volunteer guides who lead the Field Study Experiences and grow volunteer guides for other programs as needed.
  • Strategic Planning: Collaborate with the Head of Public Programs to develop a comprehensive 5-year plan for youth education, driving the long-term vision for youth education.
  • Program Evaluation: Create and execute an evaluation strategy to assess program effectiveness, record and report on key metrics, and use data for continuous improvement.
  • Budget Management: Manage the youth education budget effectively, ensuring resources are allocated efficiently to support program goals.
  • Fundraising: Contribute to fundraising efforts via tracking and documentation and collaborate with Head of Public Programs and the Advancement team on a fundraising strategy.
  • Innovation: Identifying growth areas and new project opportunities that will enhance youth education offerings and align with the Arboretum's mission.

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications to be considered for this role:

  • Bachelor’s degree in education, museum studies, museum education, environmental studies, or related field, or equivalent experience, with at least 5 years of relevant work experience.
  • Teaching experience in public/private schools or an educational non-profit, with a working knowledge of Next Generation Science and Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering curriculum standards.
  • Demonstrated experience in staff management, including at least two years of supervisory experience.
  • Proven ability to create original content and curriculum.
  • Demonstrated experience and creativity in implementing and evaluating educational programs for youth and families.
  • Experience working across diverse age groups, with a capability and enthusiasm for engaging with youth from Pre-K to Grade 12.
  • Excellent classroom management skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to deal tactfully with visitors, students, volunteers, instructors, and staff.
  • Proficiency in Windows and Microsoft Office Suite, including Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
  • Budget management, data tracking, and reporting experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Strong knowledge of botany, horticulture, natural sciences, gardening, or agriculture preferred.
  • Experience developing and delivering engaging programs in non-traditional educational settings (e.g., museums, nature centers, botanic gardens).
  • Ability to foster a collaborative team environment with coworkers and volunteers.
  • Commitment to the Arnold Arboretum’s mission and demonstrated interest in teaching youth about plants and the natural world.
  • Ability to work with diverse groups and exercise cultural competence and inclusion.
  • Knowledge of current public garden and museum education practices and trends preferred.
  • Fluency in one or more languages in addition to English is a plus.
  • Experience with grant writing is a plus.

Physical Requirements

Must be able to work outdoors in various plant collections and habitats during all seasons. Must be able to bend, reach, stoop, and lift to 25 lbs. Must be able to walk and stand for up to two hours at a time in indoor, greenhouse, and outdoor conditions. Must be able to lead programs across a 281-acre landscape.

Working Conditions

Work takes place outdoors in rugged terrain and indoors in an office environment.

Additional Information

  • This position is 100% on-site in Jamacia Plain, MA.
  • We regret that Harvard cannot provide sponsorship for this position.
  • Please include a cover letter in your application.

We welcome interested applicants to view our website at: to learn about our youth programs at Read about our land acknowledgment at and our statement on the legacy of slavery: 

Harvard University continues to place the highest priority on the health, safety and well-being of its faculty, staff, and students, as well as the wider community. Please note that all new employees will be required to provide confirmation of primary series COVID-19 vaccination upon hire, as detailed on our COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Webpage. Harvard University Health Services employees and other healthcare individuals are also required to be up to date on vaccination as described by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. Additional information regarding this requirement, exemptions, verification of vaccination status, and other related policies and resources may be found on the University’s COVID-19 Information Website. 

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines. 

Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Jamaica Plain

Job Code

388056 Museum Professional

Work Format



Arnold Arboretum

Salary Grade



Public Programs/Arboretum


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Criminal, Education, Identity


Full time. Monday through Friday. 35 hours per week. 

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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