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Mid-Hudson YES Teacher Fellowship

The MH-YES Teacher Fellowship is an opportunity for a high school educator to conduct environmental research and mentor teams of students.


Application Deadline: EXTENDED to May 6

The MH-YES Teacher Fellow is an innovative, local high school teacher interested in strengthening their teaching, research, and mentoring skills. They will join a professional learning community focused on engaging a diverse group of students and community members in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Please read the position description and required qualifications below before applying.

MH-YES group photo at Innisfree Garden
MH-YES 2021 program participants at Innisfree Garden for an enrichment field trip (Millbrook, NY). Photo: Kaila Hastings.

The MH-YES Teacher Fellow is an integral part of the program in mentoring twelve high school students, in partnership with two undergraduate students and advised by the scientists. These student teams will collaborate to design and carry out research projects on terrestrial and aquatic ecology in both rural and urban landscapes during the summer program.

Drs. Berkowitz, Lucas, and Klos have extensive experience working with high school teacher fellows. The Fellow will also be mentored by Ashley Alred (Cary Education Program Leader) in the education component of the experience.

Through hands-on field and lab studies and mentorship from expert scientists, the Fellow will be able to apply what they learned through MH-YES to facilitate ecological research by their own high school students during the school year. They will also contribute to MH-YES by documenting participants’ experiences in the form of video interviews in collaboration with the Cary Institute communications team.

Work with scientists and educators to mentor students in authentic research!

MH-YES students dissect macroinvertebrates to search for microplastics
Teacher fellow Dr. Deb Kravchuk (FDR High School) mentors MH-YES participants in how to dissect macroinvertebrates collected from the Wappinger Creek (Millbrook, NY) and the Fall Kill Creek (Poughkeepsie, NY) to search for microplastics, an emerging pollutant in waterways.

MH-YES Teacher Fellows will spend three weeks this summer working with an undergraduate to co-lead research teams made up of 4 high school students, under the mentorship of Cary Institute and Marist College scientists and educators.

Both research teams will focus broadly on current watershed-related issues in the Hudson River region, including but not limited to: 1) impacts of microplastics and other micropollutants of emerging concern in Hudson River tributaries 2) habitat modification in streams, 3) influences of contaminants on the ecology and hydrology of soils, and 4) habitat modification influences on the ecology of terrestrial animals. 

While the general research topics are set, the MH-YES Teacher Fellows will work closely with the high school students, undergraduate researcher, and participating scientists to develop specific questions and experiments. We are especially interested in a local teacher who has experience working with diverse groups of students.

MH-YES Program Description

The Mid-Hudson Young Environmental Scientists (MH-YES) program is a tiered mentorship field research experience for twelve high school students local to Dutchess County, New York. Students are mentored by two undergraduate students, one high school teacher, and two scientists from Cary Institute and Marist College. Teams conduct research on pertinent issues concerning the ecology of watersheds in the Hudson Valley, such as emerging pollutants in Hudson River waterways, influences of contaminants on the ecology and hydrology of soils, and habitat modification in streams. MH-YES takes place at Cary Institute along the Wappinger Creek in Millbrook, and Marist College and field sites along the Fall Kill Creek in Poughkeepsie.

Position Description

The MH-YES Teacher Fellow will spend three weeks this summer working with undergraduates to co-lead high school research teams, under the mentorship of Cary Institute and Marist College scientists and educators. The MH-YES Teacher Fellow serves as a mentor to the undergraduate and high school students, fulfilling an integral role in cultivating a supportive, positive learning environment while performing field research about watershed ecology. The MH-YES Teacher Fellow will be an innovative, local high school teacher interested in strengthening their teaching, research, and mentoring skills. They will join a professional learning community focused on engaging a diverse group of students and community members in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

Position Duration

Approximately four weeks (37 hours per week)

  • 3-week program full-time (16 days): August 8-27
  • Up to 2 days between April 1 and August 1, 2022 to help with program planning, student selection, and orientation activities for students and mentors (flexible schedule)
  • Up to 1 ½ days after the program to help document, evaluate, and report on the program

Primary Benefits

  • Be trained in scientific research and mentoring  practices. Drs. Berkowitz, Lucas, and Klos have extensive experience working with high school teacher fellows. The Fellow will also be mentored by Ashley Alred (Cary Education Program Leader) in the education component of the experience.
  • Experience collaborating with undergraduates on leadership and mentoring.
  • Experience conducting lab and field research in aquatic and terrestrial ecology.
  • Network with and learn from scientists, educators, and students.
  • Ability to apply skills and knowledge gained in MH-YES to facilitate ecological research by high school students during the school year.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Help plan and prepare for the program (equivalent of 2 days between April 1 & August 1, 2022):
    • Provide guidance and support for the students’ science learning during the program, student selection, and team-building activities.
    • Attend a one-hour MH-YES participant orientation in July.
    • Attend a Cary-led mentorship workshop in July with students and scientists.
  • Support high school students in environmental science field research during the program (August: 3 weeks):
    • Help maintain a healthy and safe environment for all participants.
    • Facilitate clear communication and understanding among scientists, educators, and students.
    • Monitor students’ data collection and accurate recording.
    • Cultivate positive relationships among students.
    • Work collaboratively with students, undergraduates, scientists, and Cary educators.
    • Advise students in preparing their final project, especially with regard to effective communication and product design (e.g., a scientific poster, slide presentation, etc.).
    • Encourage and motivate students, as well as create a welcoming and inclusive environment for what may be their very first field experience.
  • Support the carpooling of students before and after the program each day in a Cary Institute-provided vehicle.
  • Help complete and evaluate the program (1-1.5 days):
    • Complete documentation, evaluation, and reporting of the program.

Required Qualifications

  • Current high school science teacher at a school in or near Dutchess County, New York
  • Formal high school teaching experience
  • Experience teaching students with diverse backgrounds
  • Ability to communicate with a wide range of audiences
  • Desire to mentor and serve as a positive role model for high school and undergraduate students in field environmental science research about watershed ecology
  • Demonstrated ability and desire to collaborate effectively in a team setting
  • Willingness to work outdoors the majority of the three-week program
  • Ability to provide own transportation throughout the fellowship (onsite shared housing for a reasonable fee may be available)
  • Finalist candidates must complete a background check.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Field research experience from college, internships, or jobs
  • Interest in aquatic and terrestrial components of a watershed (e.g., water quality, hydrology, soil microbial ecology, soil chemistry, etc.)
  • Spanish language skills: Proficiency (conversational) or Fluency

Compensation

This is a paid fellowship opportunity. The selected teacher fellow will be paid bi-weekly and will receive a total stipend of $3,800. The four weeks consist of the 3-week program, 2 days pre-program, and 1.5 days post-program.
*Some travel support is available for the teacher fellow.

Reports to: Ashley Alred, MH-YES Program Coordinator
Questions? Email alreda@caryinstitute.org

Apply

MH-YES participants at Innisfree Garden (Millbrook, NY)
Teacher fellow Kaila Hastings (Arlington High School) enjoys the unique ecology of Innisfree Garden with the MH-YES students on an enrichment field trip in Millbrook, New York. Photo credit: Kaila Hastings