Position Profile

Job Title:  Engagement Programmer

Work Unit:  Strategy, Strategic Relationships and Engagement, Education and Outreach, Bow Habitat Station

Ministry:  Alberta Environment and Parks

Competition Number:  1040364

Date:  February 2017



Bow Habitat Station (BHS) is the Ministry's premiere environmental education facility that fosters an appreciation and understanding of the value of Alberta's natural resources and the Government of Alberta's efforts to advance world leading resource management. BHS is comprised of the Discovery Centre, Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery, Kids Can Catch Trout Pond and Pearce Estate Park Interpretive Wetland. Through interactive displays, education programs and community outreach initiatives, the team at BHS directly connects and motivates more than 50,000 Albertans annually to become stewards of our natural resources and landscapes.

The School Program Coordinator utilizes theoretical knowledge of youth and adult education to plan, develop, deliver and evaluate education programs that explore the complex issues associated with managing Alberta's air, land, water and biodiversity. Many of these programs are designed to align with the outcomes identified in Alberta's Kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum; requiring the position to routinely conduct research and understand the need of formal educators (teachers) in order to develop and improve programs to meet target audience needs. This work is ongoing as education goals are adjusted to ensure the appropriate approach and methodology is being utilized to align with client needs and changes to the Ministry's environment and resource management programs.

The School Program Coordinator is also responsible for the ongoing development and delivery of BHS's Fish in Schools: Raise to Release (FinS) program. This provincially-delivered program is currently administered in approximately 40 schools across Alberta, engaging over 7,000 students annually. The program facilitates the opportunity for teachers and students to raise trout from egg to fry in the classroom, and release the fry into a provincial water body. With program support from Ministry staff and community members across Alberta, this unique fisheries outreach initiative provides an extraordinary connection between the program participants and the environment. The position requires extensive knowledge of technical equipment and fish health issues to ensure the best possible fish survival rates for each project.

In addition to these core responsibilities, the position provides support to BHS's visitor services and public outreach initiatives. The position is also an active participant on broader education standing committees that develop strategies, programs and tools to support broader ministry priorities. The School Program Coordinator supervises two seasonal programming staff.

Responsibilities and Activities


Leads the development and delivery of BHS' audience-specific education programs that align with Alberta's environment and natural resource management, land use, regional planning and stewardship policies.


  • Routinely assesses the needs of BHS program clientele to identify programming needs (i.e. teachers, students, families, enthusiast groups.).
  • Utilizes youth and adult education methodologies to guide the development of tailored programs that explore complex issues associated with managing Alberta's air, land, water and biodiversity (with the goal of fostering action and personal stewardship). This work includes the development of program plans, activity guides, and scripts education resources.
  • Applies specialized knowledge of Alberta's K-12 curriculum learning outcomes and cross-curricular competencies in the planning and development of education programs.
  • Coordinates and maintains booking procedures and matrixes lo ensure programs are booked efficiently and based on staff availability.
  • Organizes and delivers education programs to BHS program clientele.
  • Designs quantitative and qualitative approaches to evaluate the effectiveness of BHS education programs. Interpret and assess results to identify opportunities where programs can be adjusted and improved.

Coordinates the provincial Fish in Schools program.


  • Creates the standards and processes used to screen and accept program applications and project recruitment.
  • Coordinates the approval process with the department's Resource Managers; facilitating the issuing of each project's annual fish research licenses.
  • Manages and maintains the sale, inventory and distribution of relevant program equipment to individual projects.
  • Establishes and trains project support team members (approximately 150 positions annually).
  • Organizes and coordinates egg delivery with fish culture facilities and project support teams.
  • Troubleshoots technical equipment and fish health issues with project teams.
  • Coordinates fish release events for projects within the Calgary region.
  • Annually reviews the program; preparing summary reports and implementing changes or updates to ensure optimal fish survival rates while continuing to meet the program budget.

Participates as a member of the Ministry's standing education committees (i.e. water, fish and wildlife, public lands) and special education task teams (i.e. Alberta Education curriculum redesign).


  • Contributes to the development of provincial literacy strategies and creation of education tools for use by department staff and external partners.
  • Leads the work of task teams created to manage specific education projects and priorities (where appropriate). Work often includes: developing terms of reference, creating a work plan, overseeing product development, evaluation.
  • Collaborates with other functional u nits in the ministry (i.e. Strategic Relationships, Corporate Communications, Fish and Wildlife Policy) to align education and literacy activities with the department's broader external relations activities.

Coordinates the work of BHS' seasonal Education Programmers.


  • Coordinates the recruitment, training and allocation of work for two seasonal Education Programmers.
  • Manages and assesses the performance of seasonal education programmers, and oversees the development and delivery of performance agreements and learning plans.
  • Oversees scheduling, time sheets, and other administrative tasks associated with the position's supervisory responsibilities.
  • Provides leadership, direction and guidance to Bow Habitat Station's seasonal education programmers.



The School Program Coordinator has the freedom to develop the systems, processes and approaches associated with BHS' education programming. The position draws from the education section's strategic plan and Ministry priorities to create BHS's education programs. There is a significant amount of complexity in creating curriculum-based programs that align with the Ministry's education priorities, while also addressing contentious issues and that are often the source of considerable public debate (for example balancing land use practices to limit impacts on habitat for biodiversity). The School Program Coordinator exercises significant creativity and problem solving in order to address contentious topics in a meaningful way while also illustrating resource management challenges and approaches. In addition, all programs this position creates must integrate approaches for advancing the facility's vision of creating a province populated by environmental stewards.

Due to the complex visitor and client-oriented environment in which BHS operates, effective and efficient management of BHS' education and FinS programs are critical to achieve successful results. The success of BHS and this position is dependent upon an individual who values and is able to champion innovation and high standards for the facility and its programs, initiatives and services provided. The magnitude of this facility and position is high and affects the GOA, Ministry, sponsors, and partner organizations, and influences the public through its public displays and education programs.

This position routinely identifies and provides recommendations to BHS' Managing Director that influences staffing and resource allocations at the facility. The impact of delivering successful education programming is cumulative and, over time, can be substantive and widespread; potentially influencing public support for government policy, increasing measurable stewardship activities by the public, and increasing environmental literacy among target populations.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


The School Program Coordinator requires a degree in a related field (e.g. Science, Education or Arts with a focus on conservation, environmental sciences, biology or natural resources) supplemented by at least two years of experience developing and delivering environmental education programming.

The School Program Coordinator requires knowledge of:

  • Environmental education and literacy theory, practices and tools
  • General sciences such as wildlife biology, ichthyology, entomology and botany
  • Education pedagogy - including program development and delivery for people of varying ages and abilities
  • Natural resource stewardship philosophies and practices, particularly with respect to Alberta's management of air, land, water and biodiversity
  • Evaluation methodology and application
  • Team leadership and mentorship
  • Knowledge and ability to build relationships with various stakeholder communities
  • Government strategic direction and how it relates to the Ministry's policies and mandates
  • Ministry business plan goals
  • WHMIS and general laboratory safety procedures
  • Software and point of sale systems relevant to position responsibilities (i.e. Microsoft Office products including Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint; relevant internet / web applications)

The School Program Coordinator must demonstrate:

  • Strong interpersonal and facilitation skills with the ability to communicate effectively (verbally and in writing) with staff, stakeholders, and the general public. The ability to establish and maintain positive and professional relationships with a variety of partners and stakeholders
  • Strong leadership and supervisory practices
  • The ability to deliver education and outreach programs to groups of all ages in complex environments
  • The ability to identify and analyze complex problems as they arise to make the best possible decision for BHS, its visitors, staff and stakeholders
  • The ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects with tight timelines
  • The ability to act with independence and confidence
  • Analytical skills to compile, summarize and coordinate information; identify and analyze issues; and develop associated recommendations
  • A continued desire to learn and adapt to a changing environment

Other requirements:

  • Valid Standard First Aid (including AED) certificate
  • Clear criminal record check with vulnerable sector completed
  • Valid Class 5 Alberta driver's license


Clients Frequency Nature and Purpose of Contact

Bow Habitat Station Staff (Managing Director, Program Coordinators, Education Programmers and Administrative Support)

Daily, ongoing contact

Support BHS operations and ensure visitor services, education and public outreach programs are delivered in an effective and high quality manner.

Operations Division (Fish Culture and Water Operations, provincial Fisheries Biologists, additional staff as required in education program development

Daily, ongoing contact

Maintain a cooperative working environment to ensure the safety of all staff and visitors in the building. Ensure program messages are accurate. Communicate issues and recommendations on standard operational measures.

Building Operators (Alberta Infrastructure, SMC Lavalin and onsite contractors)

Daily, ongoing contact


Education and Outreach Staff (including Graphic Designers, Provincial and Regional Education and Outreach Staff)

Regular, ongoing contact

Develop relevant resources to complement BHS programs and educational opportunities. Review BHS promotional material. Participate as a member of relevant education committees (Fisheries Education group).



Regular, ongoing contact

Engage and educate members of the public through a variety of visitor services, programs, events and community outreach initiatives.

Provincial Organizations (Stakeholder groups, non-profit organizations, tourism groups, sponsors)

Regular, ongoing contact

Collaborate and develop partnerships with organizations at special events on-site and at community outreach events. Engage sponsors and potential sponsors with opportunities.

Other GoA Ministry Staff

Regular, ongoing contact

Alignment of education and outreach programs with government standards and protocol.

BHS Volunteers

Regular, ongoing contact

Train and work with volunteers for education program and FinS.



Work with BHS staff to review content for interviews, commercials and other media opportunities that promote BHS services, program and events.


Regular, ongoing contact

Engage and educate teachers to successfully facilitate the FinS program in their schools and classrooms.

Supervision Exercised

  • Two: Seasonal - Education Programmer


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