Thursday, October 9, 2008

Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant - Program on the Environment

The Program on the Environment (PoE) was established in 1997 to foster and promote interdisciplinary environmental education at the University of Washington (UW). PoE offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies, a Minor in Environmental Studies, and two graduate certificate programs. Program on the Environment also coordinates the undergraduate certificate in Restoration Ecology, in cooperation with the Restoration Ecology Network. In addition, PoE serves as a focal point for information exchange on environmental education opportunities at the UW. PoE's programs provide students knowledge in four domains of inquiry: natural sciences; social sciences; law, policy, and management; and ethics, values, and culture. PoE merges these fields through rigorous coursework and hands-on learning within the community to provide a unique opportunity for students and faculty to explore complex environmental issues from multiple perspectives. As a focal point of environmental studies at UW, PoE is well positioned to bring campus and community together and to educate future environmental leaders.
PoE is not a traditional academic department and does not have a faculty of its own. Instead, it plays a networking role, bringing together faculty and students from across the University to augment existing programs and offer integrated, interdisciplinary programs that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries. PoE consists of a Director, an Associate Director, an Undergraduate Program Coordinator, an Undergraduate Adviser, a Graduate Program Coordinator and a Program Operations Specialist. PoE is overseen by an Advisory Board consisting of faculty, staff, and students representing a wide range of departments, colleges, and service units from all three UW campuses. Administratively, PoE is a unit that reports to the Council of Environmental Deans representing the Evans School of Public Affairs and the Colleges of Architecture & Urban Planning, Arts & Sciences, Engineering, Forest Resources, and Ocean and Fishery Sciences.

We have an outstanding opportunity for a part-time (50% FTE), temporary Research Assistant (January 5 – March 20, 2009) AND Teaching Assistant (March 30 – June 12, 2009). This position will have two areas of responsibility:

ENVIR 450, “For Your Information (FYI): Sustainability Seminar”

Research Assistant - Winter Quarter: 1/05/09 to 3/20/09

Teaching Assistant - Spring Quarter: 3/30/09 to 6/12/09

Course Information:
The Program on the Environment (PoE) is an interdisciplinary program emphasizing undergraduate education in environmental studies. In addition to a set of disciplinary-based foundation requirements and an interdisciplinary set of core courses, PoE requires a set of electives selected to deepen a student’s knowledge and skill set, as well as ready the student for an individualized real-world internship (the Capstone Experience). A central focus of the Environmental Studies major is to give students tools to critically assess environmental claims while simultaneously motivating them to contribute to problem-solving, rather than simply problem identification.

Beginning in 2009, PoE will develop and launch an elective course designed specifically to address issues of sustainability and the skill sets of information mining and presentation, within an active learning framework.

PoE is looking for a graduate student with a commitment to:
•teaching in the context of experiential learning,
•interdisciplinary environmental education, and
•environmental sustainability

To lead both the design and inaugural delivery of FYI in the 2008-2009 academic year. Although the disciplinary pursuit need not be explicitly environmentally-oriented, we expect that the student’s expertise will add to the depth of knowledge presented within FYI.

This applicant pool will be used to recruit one candidate to serve as
1) a graduate student Research Assistant during Winter 2009 to work closely with the Director of the Program on the Environment, Julia Parrish, and the UW Sustainability Manager, JR Fulton, to design the course, and
2) a graduate student Teaching Assistant to deliver the course during Spring 2009.

Course Number and Name: ENVIR 450: FYI Sustainability Seminar
Quarter Offered: Spring 2009
Course Schedule for Spring 2009: TBD

TA responsibilities include:

Winter 2009: Course Design
•Work closely with the Director of the Program on the Environment, Julia Parrish, and with the UW Sustainability Manager, JR Fulton, to design the course framework, including:
o selection of readings
o guest lecturers
o course syllabus and assignments
o lecture content
o specific sustainability sectors for class research

Spring 2009: Course Delivery
•Lead class lectures and discussions.
•Arrange lecture and discussion logistics and activities.
•Prepare course materials.
•Grade course assignments and evaluate final course grades.
•Additional course-specific duties as required by Program on the Environment Director.

FYI Course Description:
FYI (or, For Your Information) focuses on communication of sustainability-related issues and efforts at the UW campus. Sustainability is a concept pervading our educational and student life offerings at the University of Washington: everything from corn-based cutlery to green building design to obtaining a graduate certificate in Environmental Management. This seminar will examine how students can find out about what’s going on, place that information in the larger context of sustainability, and become an active part of the UW community working towards environmental solutions.

FYI is a 3-credit, 400-level seminar course targeted for undergraduates, where participating students will:
•through reading, lectures, guest lectures, and discussion, learn about the concept of sustainability and how it is put into practice across a range of disciplines
•conduct team-based research on sustainability efforts at the University of Washington
•create and update student-friendly information on UW sustainability efforts in a web-based format

Each quarter, the class will choose a “sustainability sector” of the University to examine, for instance:
•Engineering courses incorporating sustainability
•Sustainable programs in dormitory food service
•Recycling programs
•Wildlife use of campus habitat
•Energy budgets of particular buildings
•Sustainable transportation options
Students will report on UW efforts in the context of best available practices on university campuses and elsewhere.

The long-term product from FYI will be a central web-based source of current information on campus-wide sustainability efforts, as well as the potential for other forms of communication (e.g., blogs, print material, participatory learning). Faculty and students from the UW Information School will assist with the design of the web-based venue for publicizing campus sustainability initiatives. Enrollment will be limited to 15-20 students to facilitate discussion, group work, and in-depth work between individual students and the instructor.

This position provides opportunities to work with the Program on the Environment team who was recognized with the 2007 Brotman Award for Instructional Excellence.
•Currently registered UW Graduate Student in good standing and eligibility to hold a Graduate Student Assistantship
•Availability for full appointment timeframe (1/5/2009 to 3/20/2009 AND 3/30/2009 to 6/12/200)
•College teaching experience
•Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills
•Ability to bring interdisciplinary experience and perspective to environmental education context

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.
Condition of Employment:
# Currently registered UW graduate student

A satisfactory outcome from a criminal background verification may be required prior to hire.

A 50% FTE Research Assistantship position pays a stipend, health insurance and an operating fee waiver, which covers most of tuition. The salary schedule is available at: Graduate Student salary Schedule.

Research Assistants are required to register for a minimum ten credits per quarter (2 in summer).


Application Process:
Part of the application process for this position includes completing an on-line cover letter assessment as well as the Employment Eligibility Assessment to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. The assessments will appear on your screen for you to complete as soon as you select "Apply to this Position" on this job announcement. Once you begin the assessment, it must be completed at that time. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until the assessment is complete.

In the cover letter assessment, please:

# state what strengths you would bring to serving as a Teaching Assistant in an interdisciplinary environmental studies course, as well as your strengths and background relevant to the specific activities outlined in the course description for ENVIR 450
# provide contact information for 2 - 3 references (name, title, phone, email) familiar with your teaching abilities.

Preference will be given to applications received before/by Monday, October 20, 2008. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Decisions and notification to all applicants will be communicated by November 7, 2008.