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Summer Field Studies Program Leader

Summer Field Studies for Children (SFS) is designed to offer young people the opportunity to explore and understand the ecology of Mount Desert Island and nearby areas through an interdisciplinary, hands on and minds on approach to learning. Participants gain an understanding of the role played by humans and other organisms in their environments while working in small groups of 8–12 with two adult leaders in a caring, fun and safe environment. The program is organized through The Dorr Museum of Natural History at College of the Atlantic.

To apply for a Summer Field Studies Position, download the SFS application here. Please send application materials to sfs@coa.edu . Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled.


  • Designing, preparing, and teaching experiential and place-based education activities in collaboration with co-leaders.
  • Creating the safest possible environment for all student activities.
  • Upholding SFS program standards.
  • Contributing to program support including equipment inventory and maintenance, coordinating with other program leaders, developing SFS curriculum materials, evaluating program success, and performing similar duties at discretion of director.
  • Commit to the entire 2022 season, June 6–August 12.

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess or be in pursuit of a B.A./B.S. or equivalent experience, preferably with an emphasis in place-based education, early childhood education, life sciences, or related field.
  • Have extensive experience working with children.
  • Possess knowledge of ecology and natural history, preferably of coastal Maine.
  • Demonstrate enthusiasm, creativity, flexibility, and leadership.
  • Have current first aid, CPR, and water safety certifications or willingness to acquire prior to start of program.
  • Be able to drive a twelve-passenger van. 

$5000- $5250 for season.
Pay checks are issued every two weeks.

Program Schedule

  • Staff training: June 6–June 17
  • Program sessions: June 20–August 11
  • Closure/wrap-up: August 12

Session calendar and descriptions can be found on the SFS webpage. Participants arrive at 9 a.m. and are picked up at 3 p.m. Some 7th–9th grade programs include overnight trips. Intermittent Fridays throughout the summers are scheduled for staff planning and development. Planning and staff meetings are also scheduled before and after the participants’ day. As a part of COA’s Covid Response, the institution is requiring all staff, faculty, students, and visitors to be fully vaccinated.

Housing through College of the Atlantic is available. Please inquire for details.


Before & After Care 

We are now hiring responsible, highly flexible candidates interested in running before and/or after-care for Summer Field Studies this summer! Before-care providers spend the morning with children from 7:30– 9 am. After-care providers wind down the day with children from 3–5 pm at the Dorr Museum/on COA’s campus. Typically one person spends this time with 1 to 8 children.


  • Enthusiasm for working with children
  • Independence
  • Ability to communicate effectively with parents, children, & the rest of the SFS team
  • Healthy imagination
  • First aid/CPR certified
  • Willingness to complete water safety training

Compensation: $16/hour

The Summer Field Studies season with children begins June 20 and lasts until August 11.  Candidates may consider running only before care or only after care. Priority will be given to those who can commit to the whole summer. As a part of COA’s Covid Response, the institution is requiring all staff, faculty, students, and visitors to be fully vaccinated.

Please submit a resume to Renee Duncan at sfs@coa.edu if you are interested.