• Mackenzie Fellow

    Job Locations
    Seasonal, Part-Time
    Job Category
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



    Position Summary

    The Mackenzie Fellowship is a 6 month, full-time outdoor leadership education instructor position based at the Trinity River Audubon Center and reporting to the Manager of Academic Programs. Audubon Conservation TREKs (ACT) is an outdoor education and leadership program designed to provide intense conservation field experiences to diverse and traditionally underserved students, ages 14-18. These memorable outdoor experiences provide interpersonal growth opportunities, environmental science competency, and leadership skills while simultaneously connecting youth to Audubon’s mission to protect critical habitat for birds and other wildlife, today and tomorrow. ACT programs are multi-day camping expeditions that expose students to the incredible natural ecosystems and environments across Texas that are critical to the survival of birds.


    A Mackenzie Fellow works in a team of two and both fellows will are responsible for program logistics and provide support to the Manager in all aspects relating to the program. The Mackenzie fellow will lead youth programs during multi-day outdoor leadership excursions. Fellows must be available to undertake 5 or more trips during the summer months, and 1 trip during spring break. Trips are generally scheduled during school vacation weeks and long weekends. The goal of the Mackenzie Fellowship is to focus on providing skills for future conservation leaders. The applicant will work with the Manager and an outside evaluator to focus on building the following leadership skills: modeling behavior, communicating positively with diverse groups, critical thinking, goal setting, organization, competence, teamwork, strategic planning and handling tough situations.


    This position is considered a seasonal, full-time, non-exempt (hourly) employee. Fellows will work a full time schedule with overnights during trips and may need to work part time during off weeks where no trips are scheduled. Former participants in Conservation Treks or similar outdoor leadership program are strongly encouraged to apply.


    Audubon Texas is dedicated to building a culturally-diverse organization and strongly encourages applications from people of color and women.

    Essential Functions

    • Serve as a front-line environmental educator during Audubon Conservation Treks.
    • Camp alongside students in a supervisory capacity.
    • Supervise and guide chaperones and other adult volunteers.
    • Prepare, maintain, and repair camping, educational, and field equipment.
    • Deliver on-trail lessons to youth relating to a variety of environmental topics like ornithology and creating bird friendly communities, water conservation, and evaluating human impact on the Earth while connecting to Audubon’s core conservation strategies.
    • Assist with/lead various conservation action projects with youth; river clean up, trash pick-up, pollinator garden preparation, tree planting, and invasive species removal. These projects are intended to help Audubon achieve the mission to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for today and tomorrow.
    • Assist with developing outdoor educational curriculum intended to help students identify ways to protect native Texas ecosystems and the birds and wildlife that inhabit them.
    • Assist with purchasing of food and other gear for programs, in line with Audubon’s purchasing policies.
    • Assist Manager with logistics of trips across the state of Texas, coordinating with other center staff in Cedar Hill and San Antonio, and partners in Brownsville.
    • Assist Manager with developing marketing materials and recruiting students.
    • Assist in data collection methods for the statewide and national program evaluation by administering and collecting surveys and reflection pieces.
    • Assist with coordination of and participation in outreach materials and events to promote the program.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Recent college graduates from institutions of higher learning or undergraduate students majoring in natural sciences, biology, environmental sciences or education, conservation biology or a related field are preferred.
    • Must possess a valid driver's license and a clean driving record.
    • Ability to drive 15-passenger van for 4 - 8 hours at a time (with breaks). (Training provided).
    • Ability to haul and maneuver a kayak or covered trailer (Training provided).
    • Experience teaching, guiding and working with youth is preferred.
    • First Aid and CPR certification is preferred; training can be provided within the DFW Metroplex.
    • Should have experience with active, outdoor work that might include field work, camping, hiking, swimming, kayaking, fishing and/or observing and identifying birds and other wildlife in the field.
    • Must demonstrate a passion for working with youth, engaging them in Audubon’s conservation work, and advocating for birds, their habitats and future.
    • Must be comfortable and competent leading hiking/interpretive tours and programs while outdoors on and off-trail.
    • Must have exceptional interpersonal, organizational and communication skills including listening skills and a great sense of humor.
    • Must be self-motivated and able to both work in a team and independently.
    • Must be able to commit for the entire length of the fellowship.
    • Must have a track record with references that can demonstrate ability to be reliable and punctual.


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