Summer 2014 TA Position: Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program

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Job ID#: 77486
Closes On: 4 April, 2014
Salary: Based on standard UW rates determined by student standing.

The College of the Environment is seeking a Teaching Assistant for the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at University of Washington (DDCSP@UW) “Classroom in the Field.” The program is housed at the University of Washington, but draws undergraduate students from across the nation. This is an outstanding opportunity for a graduate student in conservation or related fields who plans to pursue a career in teaching, outreach and/or community engagement. This summer course spans 23 Jun 2014 to 15 Aug 2014. However, TA responsibilities span 2 Jun to 29 Aug (13 weeks; see below).

Teaching team:

  • Instructor: Sean M. Watts, Director, DDCSP@UW;
  • Student Services Coordinator: Leah C. Quinn;
  • Co-Instructor: TBD;
  • Teaching Assistant: TBD

Course Description:

The Classroom in the Field is the initial course of a transformative, 3-year summer immersion program to increase participation of groups that are traditionally underrepresented in conservation. In this 8-week course scholars will explore five iconic Pacific Northwest landscapes and learn about the diversity of issues facing today’s conservation community. Our ultimate vision is to shift the demographic landscape at major conservation institutions to more accurately reflect the multicultural and multiethnic society of today and tomorrow. We envision tightly-bonded cohorts from a wide range of socio-cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds entering the workforce and redefining conservation in their own image.

The Classroom in the Field has an urban-wild-urban format. We begin in Seattle by investigating the ways four themes (biodiversity, water, food and climate) are expressed in green spaces, urban farms, water supply and climate. We then expand investigation of these themes to the contrasting ecosystems of our four field sites: Olympic Natural Resources Center, North Cascades Institute, Moses Coulee Field Station, and Pack Forest Experimental Station. In the final week we return to Seattle to synthesize insights and experiences across the wild-urban continuum and discuss how to apply the knowledge and skills the students have gained to projects at their home institutions and in their communities.

Course Schedule and TA Responsibilities:

The TA will be responsible for at least 220 hours of course-related work allocated between 2 Jun and 29 Aug. However, due to the full immersion format of the course, the total time committed may be up to 275 hours. Additional hourly compensation will be made for any work in excess of 220 hours; travel time is not compensated.

  • 2 – 22 Jun Pre-course development (10-15hr/wk)
  • 23 Jun – 11 Jul Three weeks in Seattle and surrounding areas (20-25hr/wk)
  • 13 Jul – 9 Aug Four weeks traveling to field sites across the state (30-35hr/wk) *
  • 11 – 16 Aug Wrap-up week in Seattle (20-25hr/wk)
  • 16-29 Aug Post-course evaluation (10-15hr/wk)

* Note: The teaching team will be in the field and housed with the group from 13 Jul to 10 Aug (room and board is provided). During this field period we will have internet/cell access for most of the time and we will have at least one “down day” per week in Seattle.

The primary duties of the TA will be: grading exercises and exams, co-leading discussions, labs and field exercises. There will be additional course-specific duties as required by the instruction team, which may include helping managing electronic resources, meeting with students, supporting program evaluation and reporting and creating (formally or informally) a positive learning environment for students.


  • Candidates from all disciplines are welcome
  • Strong background in fundamentals of conservation science and/or diversity & inclusion
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
  • Previous teaching (TA) experience (field and/or experiential learning courses preferred)
  • Currently registered UW graduate student
  • Eligibility to hold a Graduate Student Assistantship
  • Safe driving record and the ability to safely drive a van long distances across varying terrain

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.

Compensation: Based on standard UW rates determined by student standing

Applicants should submit:

  • Current CV/resume;
  • Two references (name, title, phone, email) familiar with your teaching abilities and work in a field setting;
  • Cover Letter, no more than 2 pages of text, stating what strengths you would bring to serving as a teaching assistant in an interdisciplinary, field course focused on the intersection of conservation and diversity, as well as your strengths and background relevant to the specific activities outlined in the position and course description.

Application Timeline:

Application review begins immediately. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. For priority consideration, apply by 4 April 2014. Notification by 9 May 2014.