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Public Lab Research note


Job Posting: Community Organizer

by thewrightjess | January 30, 2020 18:53 30 Jan 18:53 | #22439 | #22439

Start Date: Late March 2020

Location: New Orleans, LA

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 healthier and more equitable world through community science, open technology, and the pursuit of environmental justice.

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

The Community Organizer 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 Organizer is responsible for working with individuals and communities facing challenging environmental concerns who are interested in working with Public Lab but may not be comfortable working through the online platform. This position will be responsible for assisting groups and individuals with documentation and outreach, and helping to build relationships in the Public Lab community. The Community Organizer will become proficient in assembling and deploying environmental monitoring equipment, and in the collection and handling of data for use in local advocacy campaigns, with support from Public Lab's Organizing & Research team.

This position reports to the Community Manager. This job requires occasional travel and work outside regular business hours.

Primary Responsibilities:

The documentation activities associated with this position include:

  • Hosting the initial "intake" moment of people coming to Public Lab with concerns
  • Working with groups and individuals, in person and over the phone, to help ensure materials are captured that explain/support their concerns.
  • Assisting groups and individuals in posting questions, publishing blog posts, and posting updates.
  • Drafting materials to help onboard groups so that they can start to engage on the Public Lab website.

The outreach activities associated with this position include:

  • Identifying and working with new individuals and groups facing environmental concerns who are interested in working with Public Lab.
  • Networking new groups with others who can support on-the-ground projects through the Public Lab community.
  • Ensuring posts and materials from community groups, especially those with environmental justice concerns, get responses they need to move forward.
  • Working with the Communications Manager to elevate people's stories and concerns.

The facilitation activities associated with this position include:

  • Helping groups to navigate decision moments.
  • Modeling regular, open, and clear documentation across the Public Lab website,
  • Helping orient community members to a range of environmental monitoring approaches, including assembling open hardware for data collection, and using data for advocacy.
  • Assisting with planning and delivery for online and in-person events including webinars (OpenCalls, OpenHours) and conferences such as the Public Lab Barnraising.

Other duties of this position include:

  • Delivering programming based on Public Lab's strategic objectives.
  • Supporting community fellows in their work to advance priority environmental research topics.
  • Working with the other Public Lab teams, including the website and education teams, to support community growth.
  • Working to update the Code of Conduct, and assisting in content management and moderation across the website.
  • Maintaining and adhering to nonprofit policies and procedures, Public Lab values, and the Code of Conduct.

Experience and Training:

Approximately five years of demonstrated job experience in a related field is required.

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 experience working with people from different backgrounds to face challenging questions and make progress as a team, and you are proficient at teasing out the challenges and next steps.
  • 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 different 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 could 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 $40,000-$45,000, 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 Organizer 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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