The Sanctuary is Hiring

NATURE Lab Community Science Coordinator

May 15 – December 15,  2021

For approximately 40 days of work, as described below, a stipend of $5,000, 
to be paid in monthly installments of $700 (a rate of $17.50/hour).


The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy, NY is seeking an outgoing, organized, and motivated individual for a part-time seasonal position, NATURE Lab Community Science Coordinator.  This paid position will assist the NATURE (North Troy Art Technology and Urban Research in Ecology) Lab Initiative, as it engages local youth and community members to connect with networks of artists, scientists, media makers, gardeners, organizers and neighbors in collective actions for environmental justice and sustainability.

The role of the NATURE Lab Community Science Organizer/ Mentor is to coordinate the activities of the Water Justice LAB and Our Soil projects, including all youth supervision, community organizing and interaction with Media Sanctuary, Riverkeeper and Our Soil staff.  

Position Qualifications

  • Experience in education, non-hierarchical methods of learning, and working with teenagers, low-income families and communities of color;
  • Commitment to environmental health, environmental justice and health justice, with experience in scientific methods a plus;
  • Dependable and punctual with excellent follow-through, minimal oversight; highly motivated in outreach and coordination, with strong social media and administrative skills;
  • Community champion, who has built trust in local neighborhood (lives in or was raised in North Central Troy or the Capital District) a plus;
  • Collaboration and team building skills, with experience in organizing, troubleshooting and follow-up; experience utilizing a trauma-informed approach to maintain a “safer space” a plus;
  • Excellent communication skills; (Spanish bilingual a plus);
  • Support for our Sanctuary mission, with interest in connecting art, science and media; an understanding of grassroots nonprofits a plus.

Overview of Work Tasks

The NATURE Lab Community Science Coordinator will work with a team that involves researchers at the Sanctuary, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Riverkeeper with city residents to educate about water quality in the Hudson River Watershed and to learn how to reduce toxic lead exposures in the North Central Troy neighborhood and beyond.

  1. Coordinate communication and outreach between community, youth and Sanctuary, Riverkeeper and Our Soil team/RPI staff and interns, to ensure success of Water Justice Lab and Our Soil projects
  2. Maintain a professional workspace and safe space, filled with creativity and trust 
  3. Build and nurture relationships with community, youth, NATURE Lab [Water Justice Lab/Our Soil] team, coordinating community meetings and attending related Sanctuary events [including Uptown Summer and People’s Health Sanctuary] to strengthen areas of synergy
  4. Support radio and social media (with the Sanctuary) for outreach and recruiting
  5. Support Water Justice Lab youth science fellows and Riverkeeper scientist one weekend per month as they process and read water samples with for Riverkeeper’s Upper Hudson water quality monitoring project (with Riverkeeper staff); and support Our Soil project in series of summer workshops.
  6. Organize, with collaboration from a diverse advisory committee, one or more virtual gatherings for Water Justice Lab advocates from Hudson River Watershed communities and Our Soil community engagement, to strengthen a network of community environmental justice and youth advocates focused on air and water.

More about NATURE Lab Projects and Hours 

This position includes independent time for coordinating, organizing and outreach,  plus scheduled time/dates in support for Water Justice Lab and Our Soil projects. There will be training for all aspects of the job, so specific experience to the tasks are not required. 

The Water Justice Lab project establishes a water quality lab to collaborate with diverse communities on water issues and how to make a difference, develop the advocacy capacity of the North Troy area, and strengthen a network of environmental justice advocates in the Hudson River Watershed. Position requirements include oversight, mentorship and education of one or more Youth Scientist Fellows, including working the last weekend of each month in the lab (with Riverkeeper scientist oversight/ mentorship) and supporting media outreach (with Media Sanctuary oversight). 

Approximately 70 hours:

  • May-October  Saturday and Sunday of last weekend of each month [May 22-23, June 26-27, July 31-August 1, August 28-29, September 25-26, October 23-24] 
    • Saturdays: 10 AM -4PM Day of sampling
    • Sundays: 1:[email protected]  Day of reading (following day)

The primary responsibilities for the Our Soil project include: recruiting neighborhood residents to participate in the Soil Justice Fellows program (a two-part workshop about revitalizing urban soils and protecting each other from pollutants found in soil); maintaining contact with the Soil Justice Fellows to ensure their continued engagement; and assisting the workshop organizers to make sure that the schedules and needs of Soil Justice Fellows are accommodated. The project begins in late May 2021 and ends in September; the busiest months will be July and August. 

Approximately 60 hours (May-September):

  • May-June 10 hrs. Coordination and outreach
  • July-August 40 hrs.  Support three discrete 2-part workshops 
  • September   10 hrs. Wrap up projects, final community events

About Us

Most people know us as The Sanctuary for Independent Media in North Troy, NY; the official non-profit 501(c)3 is incorporated as Media Alliance.  Our mission is to use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression. Since 2005 we have been building an arts and environmental education campus in North Central Troy, NY, one of the lowest-income Census blocks in the region located in an Environmental Justice Zone at the northernmost point of the Hudson River Estuary. We operate indoor and outdoor presenting and production facilities (The Sanctuary for Independent Media and Freedom Square), a radio station (WOOC 105.3 FM), community gardens (Collard City Growers), a STEM learning center (NATURE Lab), internships and youth programs (Uptown Summer and Youth Media Sanctuary).

Check out these videos featuring our Water Justice Lab fellows, Uptown Summer and NATURE Lab, to experience a sense of the creativity and exploration we share together:


We actively seek applicants who reflect the diversity of our community. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and, as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider all applicants regardless of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation or national origin.

How to apply:  Submit a resume, three references  and a cover letter  explaining your interest in the internship, how you learned of it, and its relevance to your interests. Email to with the words “NATURE Lab Community Science Organizer/Mentor” in the subject line.

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About The Sanctuary

We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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