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Marine Science Instructor

Seattle Aquarium
Seattle, WA
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • Temporary
Job Description


Marine science instructor - seasonal

Posted: Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to: School and public programs coordinators

Status: Part-time, hourly, temporary position working 10 – 24 hours per week. Weekly hours vary by season depending on programming needs; temporary staff may work up to 1,000 hours per year.

Hours of work: Work shifts are 4 to 8 hours in length, typically falling between 7 am–6 pm, 7 days a week. Staff will most likely be scheduled for 2 to 3 shifts each week in the spring, with the busiest months being May and June. Preference given to staff who are available a minimum of 2 weekdays per week and have some flexibility to work weekends.

Duration: March 1, 2023 to July 1, 2023. There will be a possibility for some staff to stay on through the summer and fall of 2023, depending on programming needs.

Date needed: March 2023

Posting expires: Open until filled; preference give to applications received by Wednesday, February 15.

Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium, a leading marine conservation organization, is looking for a 6 to 8 seasonal marine science instructors (MSI’s) to join the Conservation Engagement and Learning team. MSI’s work with a professional team of marine educators under the guidance of SPP Coordinators and the SPP Manager to provide in-depth informal science programs serving K-12 students, teachers, families, community groups, and lifelong learners in the greater Seattle area and beyond through both on-site and outreach opportunities.

Duties include instructing a diverse group of students and families in varied topics related to marine sciences and One World Ocean conservation at the Seattle Aquarium, off-site locations, and online. Topics include data collection and scientific literacy, familiarity with the Pacific Northwest marine biome, core principles of marine sciences, communication and interpretation of species and exhibits at the Seattle Aquarium, empathy for wildlife, and marine conservation in line with the goals of ocean stewardship programs of the Seattle Aquarium and its partners.

Successful candidates will bring enthusiasm for marine science and education, an ability to work collaboratively in a team setting, strong communication abilities in informal science education, and excellent interpersonal skills for working with teachers, students, and the general public. Marine Science Instructors work to ensure that programming goals are met in an equitable and inclusive way. We view this work through an equity lens, with the goal of removing barriers where they exist for members of the community to meaningfully engage with the Aquarium, to foster authentic, mutual relationships between the Aquarium and the community, and to bring diverse audiences together to achieve our mission. This work supports our Strategic Plan goal of inspiring conservation and making the Aquarium and its programs accessible and welcoming to all. This role is instrumental to the Seattle Aquarium’s mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment.

Key functions:

  • Responsible for the daily instruction of on-site school programs, distance learning programs, school outreach programs, and year-round public programs for a diverse audience, including Pre-K to college students, families, Seattle Aquarium members, community groups, and more. Work with SPP staff to ensure that the highest level of programming is consistently delivered to our audience.
  • Teach lessons on field-based data collection methods, identify Pacific Northwest intertidal species, scientific practices, and presentation skills to support the ongoing Community Science program. This includes data collection on local beaches and watersheds that follow established study protocols.
  • Support ongoing and seasonal programs like Toddler Time, Aquarium Waterfront Programming, Community Days, Marine Summer Camp, and Puppet Shows, as needed. More programming may be added in the future under the oversight of SPP Coordinators in-line with Aquarium conservation education goals.
  • Under the supervision of SPP staff, assist with the arrival and departure of school groups to the Seattle Aquarium campus, as well as on-site interpretation of exhibits to this audience.
  • Mentor, virtually and in-person (when appropriate), middle school and high school youth through scientific investigations.
  • Perform other related tasks as assigned, such as inventorying materials and supplies, printing, assembling program kits, and curriculum feedback.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • In collaboration with the rest of the SPP Team, work to make the Aquarium and our programs more welcoming and inclusive for all.
  • Contribute through professional conduct to a working environment that is energetic, innovative, and collaborative.
  • Support special events, seasonal interpretation, and evening programming, as needed.
  • Other tasks under the supervision of SPP Coordinators, such as maintenance and organization of SPP supplies, participation in regular meetings, & program focus groups as needed.
  • Support the cleanliness and organization of education spaces, most notably the Aquarium Classrooms.
  • Driving Aquarium vehicles, as needed, with Aquarium approval.
  • Assist with the maintenance of Education collections both living and other.
  • Perform other related duties of a comparable level/type assigned.

Required skills and experience:

  • Interest and expertise in marine science and conservation.
  • Experience and confidence with delivering formal presentations and informal interpretation, both in-person and digitally; and/or teaching experience. Excellent written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Models active and personal commitment to DEI education; basic understanding and literacy around DEI topics.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office software applications.
  • Some experience with online teaching tools and equipment, such as Zoom, Teams, and A/V supplies.
  • Comfortable presenting in front a variety of audiences (i.e. professional peers, school groups, families, donors, community leaders, etc.).
  • Must be able to interact positively with all staff, volunteers, and program participants, be willing to teach and be supportive of all learners’ and volunteers’ abilities.
  • Ability to work with people of all ages and handle a variety of situations—including those that may be complicated or challenging—with grace, empathy and tact.

Experience, education, and certifications:

We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


  • Completed High School or equivalent and must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Minimum of one year’s experience at a zoo, aquarium, museum, school, nature center, or other informal/formal education facility.
  • Requires a combination of education and work experience that demonstrates an understanding of environmental education, wildlife conservation, marine sciences, educational pedagogy, lesson and curriculum design, learning psychology, and/or child development (similar to what could be acquired through working towards a degree or certification in education, biology, environmental science, or related fields).
  • Washington driver’s license (or eligibility to obtain one upon arrival) required for offsite work.*
  • First aid and CPR certifications required (can be certified by date of hire).


  • Second language spoken/written proficiency a plus, but not required.

Working conditions:

  • Heavy to moderate vocal demands to project talks and announcements and to direct an audience in loud areas.
  • Frequent interruptions; walking, standing, sitting for extended periods of time.
  • Requires duties to be carried out in offices, exhibits, classrooms, outdoor field sites, and local travel.
  • Job requires working outdoors in all weather conditions and terrain.
  • Flexible schedule and ability to work evenings, holidays, and weekends.

Pay and benefits: $20.25 per hour. Temporary staff are not eligible for benefits but accrue paid sick time and are paid an additional $0.75/hour to assist with transportation costs.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal-opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community, and we want our staff to reflect our community. To that end, we encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Interested candidates should upload a résumé to our online application to be considered. Application review will begin immediately.

Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job by emailing us at

Note: If offered the position, candidates must pass a background check and motor vehicle records check. Conviction record is not an automatic disqualifier; we are a second chance employer. Regarding driving records: Within the last three years, you must not have had more than two moving traffic violations or any major violation (DUI, reckless driving, negligent driving, etc.).

About the Seattle Aquarium:

The Seattle Aquarium is a respected authority on Puget Sound, the Salish Sea and the world’s one ocean. Our passionate staff increases awareness and drives the change needed to preserve and protect our marine environment by providing an inspiring visitor experience, engaging daytime and evening events, conservation education programs for people of all ages and backgrounds, community outreach to marginalized populations, research that advances understanding of animals in our care and their counterparts in the wild, advocacy and policy work, an award-winning volunteer program, high-impact marketing and communications, and more.

Our values, developed in conjunction with our staff, include commitments to adopting and promoting sustainable practices, creating awe-inspiring experiences, constantly learning and improving, fostering an inclusive community, maintaining scientific credibility through evidence-based practices and honoring our unique place by using our location and history as a lens for larger understanding.

Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, we’re among the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. by attendance, and we welcome over 850,000 people each year. Guided by our mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, we’re working to substantially increase our conservation impact by expanding our campus with a new building, the Ocean Pavilion. Learn more at

Regarding COVID-19:

Open daily, the Aquarium prioritizes the health and safety of our staff and visitors, embracing science to guide our operations. We maintain high standards of cleanliness, and all high-touch surfaces (like windows, railings, restrooms and elevators) are continuously cleaned.

Please note: All Aquarium staff and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination or approved medical or religious exemption by the date of hire. If you have questions about this policy or for information regarding the exemption process, please contact the Human Resources department at


We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interview dates. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.

  • Application deadline: Open until filled
  • Priority given to applications received by Wednesday, February 15.
  • Interviews completed in February 2023.
  • Start date: March 1, 2023.  

Seattle Aquarium


Seattle, WA
98101 USA
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