Marine Science / STEM Program Assistant

Marine Science / STEM Program Assistant Job Description

Under the direction of the Youth Programs and Events Supervisor, the Marine Science Program Assistant is responsible for the development, supervision, and operation of MBAC marine science and STEM related programs and activities. These programs provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities through inquiry-based instruction and best practices to participants at The Watersports Camp and Mission Bay Aquatic Center. This position includes supervision of MBAC marine science/STEM instructors and development and implementation of new and existing programming lessons and activities.


Primary Functions

  • Develop and implement STEM and marine science lesson plans and activities
  • Train, schedule, and supervise marine science/STEM instructors
  • Assist in the development of MBAC Classroom to Coast pilot program to combine classroom visits with field trips to MBAC for outdoor learning opportunities for San Diego under-represented youth as part of US Sailing’s National Reach Initiative
  • Assist in the development of The Watersports Camp’s popular marine science program reflecting the principles of ocean literacy
  • Teach and evaluate current programs and develop and recommend innovations and changes in curriculum and activities including but not limited to:
    • Week-long marine science camp curriculum consisting of the principles of ocean literacy, build your own ROV activities, think like a scientist activities, environmental literacy activities, and daily water quality data collection/study activities
    • Snorkeling and dissection activities
    • US Sailing Reach ( modules using watersports as a vehicle to inspire youth interest in STEM
    • Outdoor hands-on experiential learning activities for outside groups
    • Classroom to Coast programming
  • Supervise the operation of marine science and STEM activities
  • Communicate equipment needs with Program Assistants and MBAC full-time staff
  • Work with MBAC maintenance staff to ensure equipment availability and working order
  • Ensure the set-up and clean-up of equipment and materials
  • Maintain attendance records
  • Other duties as necessary

Customer Service and Collaboration

  • Understands role in providing high quality MBAC experiences to all participants
  • Collaborates with outside groups, schools, and organizations to provide access to programming
  • Works to provide a friendly, welcoming, and supportive environment for all
  • Assures that customer needs are addressed and met to the highest standards


  • Ensures all operations are conducted with safety of staff and customers as first priority, and in accordance with the Injury and Illness Prevention Plan and other safety policies
  • Ensures adequate supervision of participants at all times and under all conditions
  • Ensures camp activities are appropriate and meet MBAC safety standards
  • Adheres to the MBAC/AS Code of Safe Practices
  • Adheres to the MBAC Abuse Prevention Policy and communicates issues or concerns promptly
  • Reports accidents/injuries to supervisor and reviews changes required to avoid reoccurrence.
  • Ensures completion of proper documentation is completed for each accident/injury (employee and/or non-employee) and forwards to supervisor
  • Reports maintenance problems and/or broken and unsafe equipment to the appropriate party immediately


Minimum & Preferred Requirements


  • High School Diploma
  • Two or more years of college coursework in marine science, environment studies, or other STEM related fields


  • Prior experience teaching and developing outdoor hands-on education or STEM related lessons and activities
  • Experience with scientific fieldwork and field study preferred
  • Experience working in a youth program specifically kids ages 6-17 preferred
  • Bilingual, Spanish speaking skills are high desirable

License & Certification Requirements:

  • Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding (must be obtained within the first month of employment and offered by MBAC)
  • NASBLA approved powerboat certification (must be obtained within the first month of employment and offered by MBAC)
  • PADI diving certification preferred
  • US Sailing Reach Educator certification (provided during training)
  • FBI, DOJ, and LiveScan fingerprint clearance
  • Current valid Driver’s License


  • Must participate in all Mission Bay Aquatic Center mandatory meetings and trainings:
    • Sexual Harassment Policy Training
    • Sexual Harassment for Supervisors Training
    • MBAC Abuse Prevention Policy Training
    • MBAC EAP Training
    • All Staff Training
    • Area Trainings
  • US Sailing Reach Educator Course (if not certified at hire)
  • Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding (if not certified at hire)
  • US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling (if not certified at hire)


  • Must prioritize the safety of MBAC participants and staff as well as other water users
  • Must be available to work during the summer months
  • Must be passionate about teaching, the ocean, environmental stewardship, or other related topics and have a desire to share that passion with youth
  • Must be able to effectively conduct hands-on, experiential learning activities through inquiry-based instructional best practices
  • Must serve as a role model to inspire the next generation of scientists, advocates, and policy makers
  • Able to scale lesson plans to be age, time, or condition appropriate
  • Continually work toward improving technical skills and teaching abilities
  • Capable of maintaining positive working relationships with other staff and customers
  • Able to work independently with minimal supervision and as a team player
  • Able to interact effectively with a wide diversity of people and support San Diego State University Associated Students’ values and mission


  • Must possess experience and skills in one of the following areas: STEM, marine science, ocean literacy, and/or environmental literacy
  • Knowledge of inquiry-based instruction, NGSS three dimension learning, or other STEM based educational best practices
  • Must be passionate about teaching, working with kids, and the sciences
  • Must be able to create programming and activities to actively engage students in meaningful learning, skill-building, and structured discussion opportunities
  • Must have excellent organizational and interpersonal skills and a desire to provide excellent customer service
  • Must be well organized and able to prioritize work, problem solve, make decisions, and meet scheduled deadlines under pressure
  • Must be able to follow oral and written directions and follow projects through to completion
  • Must have strong English language skills and the ability to read, write, and verbally communicate at a level appropriate to the duties of the position
  • Ability to operate a computer, proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint), and ability to learn and utilize new software programs


This is a part-time position. Flexibility and willingness to work long hours including weekends with high demand during summer.

WORK ENVIRONMENT The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The work environment will involve exposure to salt water, cold water, sun, wind, rain, weather, sand, seaweed, sea grass, ocean currents, sea creatures, breaking waves, and other outdoor elements.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Physical requirements include but are not limited to: swimming, swimming in rough and deep water, walking, running, walking or running over rough or uneven surfaces, bending, stooping, lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying loads. Must be able to swim at least 550 yards, dive at least 10 feet deep, swim with a 10 pound object for at least 20 yards, and tread water for at least 2 minutes. Must be able to watch and supervise groups of students in the ocean and/or bay while coaching technique and supervising safety. Must be able to recognize and respond to emergencies and prevent injuries or drowning.


Inside the Organization:

  • Reports to the Youth Programs and Events Supervisor and MBAC Assistant Director
  • Works closely with Program Assistants and other staff members
  • Supervises Marine Science/STEM Instructors
  • Collaborates with Youth Camp Counselors

Outside the Organization:

  • Collaborates with Group Leaders and Instructors who bring groups to MBAC for Marine Science/STEM activities
  • Collaborates with San Diego school teachers participating in Classroom to Coast
  • Works with outside groups for field trips, guest visits or other collaborative educational efforts

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed satisfactorily before any candidate can be offered a position with Associated Students. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current Associated Students employees who apply for the position. Fingerprinting is required for all employee and volunteer positions that have direct contact with minor children.