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Public Lab Research note


Job Posting: Community Manager

by thewrightjess | January 30, 2020 18:53 30 Jan 18:53 | #22438 | #22438

Start Date: Late March 2020

Location: Remote within the United States with the opportunity to work from our offices in New Orleans, LA or Brooklyn, NY

Terms: Full time

About Public Lab

Public Lab is a community, supported by a non-profit, that develops and applies open-source tools to environmental exploration and investigation. By democratizing inexpensive and accessible do-it-yourself techniques, Public Lab creates a collaborative network of practitioners who actively reimagine the human relationship with the environment.

About This Role

Join our team and work to bring about a healthier and more equitable world through community science, open technology, and the pursuit of environmental justice.

This position is ideal for a mid-career organizer who wants to be part of a fast-moving team developing, advancing and sharing community science practices around the world. It's a role for someone with heart, who will elevate and center frontline communities in Public Lab's network, and build lasting relationships.

The Community Manager is part of Public Lab's Organizing & Research team, which ensures that people who come to Public Lab in pursuit of environmental justice are able to connect with others online and/or in-person to achieve locally meaningful outcomes. The Community Manager will seek out and learn from case studies around the world where community research led to victories over environmental injustices. The Community Manager facilitates high-level collaboration among people facing similar issues in different locations, from diverse backgrounds, and with varying expertise. The Community Manager fosters relationships among people navigating challenging environmental concerns, growing a research community.

The Community Manager will work to ensure the Public Lab strategic objectives for growth in frontline community engagement and diverse community development are met. The Community Manager will work to improve the community science process at critical moments: when community-generated problem statements are used to shape contributions by distributed collaborators, when critiques are incorporated, and when stories of impact are told. The Community Manager will become proficient in assembling and deploying environmental monitoring equipment, and in the collection and handling of data for use in local advocacy campaigns. The Community Manager oversees the regularly scheduled weekly, monthly, and annual public activities offered by Public Lab's Organizing & Research team.

This role reports to the Senior Program Director. This job requires occasional travel and work outside regular business hours.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Managing two positions on Public Lab's Organizing and Research Team (the Research Coordinator and Community Organizer)
  • Collaborating with program area staff to oversee the Public Lab fellows program, including managing the hiring and onboarding of new fellows,
  • Overseeing community outreach, specifically supporting leaders from historically excluded communities in science and technology (such as rural, low-income, environmental justice, indigenous, and POC communities) to set strategies and lead the charge towards collaborative work outputs of community science processes
  • Assisting in orienting community members to a range of environmental monitoring approaches, including building DIY open hardware for data collection
  • Creating and delivering programming based on Public Lab's strategic objectives:
  • Developing and modeling successful methods for facilitation with people across various expertises
  • Modeling regular, open, and clear documentation across the Public Lab website
  • Ensuring a regular schedule of engagement opportunities for people online by coordinating and hosting OpenHours, live calls, and Welcome Calls
  • Ensuring resources are available to help people host Public Lab events in person, including workshops and trainings
  • Leading the organizing of the twice-annual Barnraising---Public Lab's largest in-person event
  • Working with other Public Lab teams, including the website and education teams, to support community growth
  • Supporting the sustainability of community projects through grant writing and other fundraising initiatives
  • Working to enforce and update the Code of Conduct, and assisting in the management of moderation across the website
  • Maintaining and adhering to nonprofit policies and procedures, Public Lab values, and the Code of Conduct

Experience and Training:

Approximately 7+ years of demonstrated job experience in a related field, including the management of other staff members and the management of complex projects.

This position might be for you if you are:

  • Experienced in working with communities historically excluded from science and technology (such as rural, low-income, environmental justice, indigenous, and POC communities).
  • An experienced facilitator: You have worked with people from different backgrounds to face challenging questions and make progress as a team.
  • An exceptional written and oral communicator: You have excellent interpersonal skills. You're a collaborator and a problem solver who is often praised for your organization and attention to detail. You can translate complex work and the mission of Public Lab to diverse audiences.
  • Team-oriented: You work collaboratively, both in person and with remote colleagues, to envision and promote positive change, and to be supportive of others. You bring integrity to all situations.
  • Organized, thorough, and self-sufficient: You communicate consistently with your team, stay on top of your to-do list, and you don't miss deadlines.
  • An excellent problem solver: You're excited to take on diverse development challenges, identify where organizational operations may be improved, and propose solutions.
  • Tech-savvy: You are excited by technology and to learn new programs, with support from colleagues. You are interested in or have used technology in the context of advocacy, grants tracking and reporting. You have experience using a variety of collaborative software such as Slack, Google Docs, and Dropbox.

Compensation and Benefits

Compensation is between $45,000-$52,000, based on experience and qualifications. Public Lab offers a benefits package that includes:

  • Three weeks starting vacation time, with a bonus week off during the winter holidays
  • 11 personal days
  • 12 federal holidays observed
  • 75% coverage of health/dental/vision benefits
  • 401(k) account
  • A six-week sabbatical after five years of employment.

To Apply

Please send a single document containing a cover letter and resume to jobs@publiclab.org with the subject line Community Manager by March 1, 2020. No phone calls, please.


Public Lab is an equal opportunity employer committed to a diverse, multicultural work environment. We encourage people with different ability sets, people of color, and people of diverse sexual orientations, gender expressions, and identities to apply.


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