Science and Environment Educator

Project Description

Known as the Land of Many Waters, Guyana has diverse culture and is rich in biodiversity.
Peace Corps Guyana’s Environment project aligns with the Government of Guyana’s commitment to providing a better quality of life for all Guyanese derived from the country’s natural wealth – its diversity of people and abundant natural resources including land, water, forests, mineral and aggregates, and biodiversity. Community Conservation PromotersScience and Environment Educators serve primarily as general science teachers, introducing focus on environmental education and awareness into their teaching and in their work with both students and community membersplanning in their out-of-school hours.
Community Conservation PromotersScience and Environment Educators live and work in villages and towns along the coast, or in rural and remote communities in the hinterlands (interior) of Guyana. They serve primarily as science teachers, while also working with youth and adults in communities to build their capacity to be better environmental stewards and support the effective management and sustainable use of Guyana’s natural resources.
Community Conservation PromotersScience and Environment Educators will work in the classroom, alongside local teachers in a primary school, teaching grades 3-6. They will co-plan lessons and co-teach general science classes five days a week. , as part of Guyana’s National Science Curriculum five days per week. The primary grade science curriculum focuses on the following areas of science: animal and plant kingdoms, environment, weather, materials, earth and space, and forces (gravity and electromagnetism). There is significant need and opportunity for infusing the teaching of the curriculum with inquiry-based methods, such as place-based citizen science andscience and use of the local environment as a classroom. In addition to supporting Guyana’s National Science Curriculum, Science and Environment Educators introduce concepts and activities to support students’ understanding of and personal connection to the natural environment.
Community Conservation PromotersScience and Environment Educators will also identify and work with interested community members to co-plan and co-facilitate a wildlife club for youth that will meets after school, on weekends and/or during school breaks. The purpose of the club is to build awareness and appreciation of nature and to develop youth leadership skills.
Finally, they will seek to strengthen communities' ability to assess, plan for, and manage their local natural resources sustainably, and enhance resilience to climate change. Under this objective, vVolunteers and their counterparts will co-facilitate community assessments to identify issues related to solid waste management, guide schools on best practices for handling solid waste through school engagement, and guide individuals on best practices for handling solid waste through household visits.they will collaborate with youth and adults to build awareness of local conservation/environmental issues and help develop and implement activities to address them.
With the impact COVID-19 has had on the Education sector in Guyana, Community Conservation PromotersScience and Environment Educators will be exposed to a larger number of children whose learning skills may be below the expected grade level. These children may have suffered learning loss due to limited access to technology and the internet as well as the inconsistent supply of learning materials.

Climate Change Activities

As the impacts of climate change become ever more evident, the social, economic, and environmental conditions faced by local communities will become increasingly problematic, particularly for vulnerable households in low-lying areas and historically marginalized communities. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, you will be trained to use a participatory approach and tools to identify locally determined priorities and conditions, including those related to the impacts of climate change. The types of interventions undertaken will be guided by national and local priorities for climate change adaptation as identified in your country’s National Adaptation Plan (NAP) and those environment-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6, 12, 13, 14 & 15) that have been identified for local action. As an Environment Volunteer, you will be trained to use this knowledge to work with government, local, and community stakeholders to mitigate some of the adverse impacts of climate change while promoting resiliency, and engaging in projects and activities that:

• strengthen the ability of vulnerable households and communities to respond to extreme weather events such as cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons;
• enhance local and community capacities for effective implementation of NAP and SDG priorities;
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions through promoting the expansion of renewable energy technologies;
• support the development of sustainable mechanisms that incorporate the “3 Rs” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) of effective solid waste management practices; and
• work with Volunteers in other sectors to integrate climate change adaptation practices into their activities (e.g., work with Health Volunteers to reduce respiratory health issues of women and girls through use of improved cook stoves; work with Education Volunteers to mitigate the impact of heat waves on local teaching or establishing tree nurseries and planting trees to reduce the time that students use in collecting firewood).

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have an expressed interest in promoting environmental awareness in schools and communities, and one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any field
• 5 years' professional work experience

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:
• Classroom teaching experience in general science and/or environmental science in primary or secondary schools
• Bachelor’s degree or higher in biology or other scientific fields
• Strong interest in promoting science and environmental education in school and communities
• Strong working knowledge of natural history and ecology
• Experience developing and facilitating outdoor environmental education programs for youth in camps or clubs
• Experience in community-based, natural resource conservation (such as biodiversity inventory and monitoring, sustainable land use planning/management, eco-tourism or related fields)
• Strong presentation and facilitation skills

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

English is the official language, spoken by nearly all Guyanese including indigenous people in remote communities. Other languages include Guyanese Creolese (widely spoken), and nine indigenous languages including Macushi, Wapishana, and Patomona. Science and Environment Educator receive training in Guyanese Creolese language and culture during Pre-Service Training, as well as a very limited introduction to the language spoken in their community. Emphasis is placed on self-directed, immersion language learning techniques to enhance Volunteers' ability to learn a local indigenous language in their community.

Living Conditions

Guyana is the only English-speaking country in South America. It lies five degrees north of the Equator, and its climate is warm and tropical throughout the year. December to January and May to June are the rainy seasons. Guyana combines a Caribbean-flavored culture on the coast, featuring a mixture of Afro- and Indo-Guyanese influences, and a variety of indigenous cultures in the vast, forested hinterland of the interior.
Most of the population lives in a long narrow strip along the Atlantic Ocean stretching from Venezuela to Suriname. The open savannahs and forests of the interior are dotted with small indigenous communities, some of whom still preserve their own language. The country is crisscrossed by myriad rivers, and transportation to and from the Volunteer’s community may involve a mix of a minibus, hired car, small plane, motorboat, and canoe.
Many Science and Environment Educators live and work in the inner hinterlands of Guyana. Large towns have power lines, communication infrastructure and running water, while many rural villages rely on solar panels, latrines and community wells. The hinterland regions are the most rural areas of the country. They are vast and varied and include communities in savannah, forest and riverine areas. There is typically little or no cell network and internet access in their communities, so most Volunteers will be issued satellite phones for emergencies and to contact Peace Corps staff. Transportation to and from their communities may be by mini-bus, hired car, small plane and/or small motorized boat or canoe.
Living conditions vary, but Science and Environment Educators in all locations should have the ability to:
• Endure long rides on public transportation and over water
• Adjust to the high heat and humidity of a tropical climate
• Use a latrine toilet
• Wash clothes by hand in a bucket
• Adapt to a diet with limited availability and seasonal variety of fresh fruits and vegetables
• Live with limited or sporadic access to electricity, phone and internet
• Walk or ride a bicycle long distances (1-6 miles, roughly 2-10 kilometers ) over uneven terrain
• Fetch water by bucket from a river or community well
Professional dress and behavior are extremely important in schools in Guyana. School administration expects all teachers, including Volunteers, to adhere to the Ministry of Education’s Code of Conduct which includes being well-groomed, dressing professionally (slacks, belt and button-down dress shirts for men, dresses and skirts or nice slacks with blouses for women) and respecting the organizational structure. Guyanese teachers are viewed as role models in the community and are cautioned by the Ministry to display publicly acceptable behaviors when not in school. Science and Environment Educators will also be held to this standard as they live and dwell in the local communities.
While Peace Corps Volunteers of various gender expressions, gender identities and sexual orientations have served successfully in Guyana, it is important to note that Guyana has restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of Guyanese law and cultural norms, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in the country and within their host communities. Peace Corps Guyana staff are available to provide support. They will address these topics during Pre-Service Training and identify support mechanisms to help Volunteers who may experience a lack of openness and acceptance during their service. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State’s travel page for more information.
Science and Environment Educators who serve successfully in Guyana are open-minded, flexible, emotionally mature and very resilient. They deal well with ambiguity and isolation and are proactive in an unstructured setting. They are culturally competent and show respect by following cultural norms.

Serving in Guyana

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Guyana: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Guyana can accept couples serving together. Your partner must qualify and apply for one of the following positions:
Adolescent Health Promoter
Following training, couples in Guyana will share living arrangements, but will have separate work sites. Couples will work at neighboring sites (not more than 30 minutes apart). Although a couple will live together in service, each individual is expected to work at their own school and encouraged to have their own Peace Corps experience.
During Pre-Service Training (first 10 weeks) couples could be required to live in separate villages/communities with separate host families, depending on their sectors. Following Pre-Service Training, the couple will live together with a host family during the first five months in the community . During that time, the couple will have their own bedroom in a single-family home and share common living areas with family members, including the living room, kitchen/dining areas and bathroom or latrine. We cannot guarantee a particular type of living arrangement, and expect Science and Environment Educators and their partners to be flexible and adaptable.
We strongly believe the homestay program supports the couple’s safety and community integration. After the first five months of service, the couple may live in independent housing that meets Peace Corps Guyana’s safety and security criteria. Please note that independent housing may not be available in all communities and that couples may need to live with host families throughout their service.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit:

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

Does this sound like the position for you?
Get started on your journey.

Apply Now

What Happens Next?

View Volunteer FAQs
The types of work Volunteers do are ultimately determined by the needs of host countries and the potential of a Volunteer to contribute to these needs and to the Peace Corps’ mission.
Learn about the application process
The most significant accomplishment will be the contribution you make to improve the lives of others. There are also tangible benefits, during and after service of joining in the Peace Corps.
More benefits from service
Our recruiters are here to help you! Whether you have a question about your application, requirements, or anything else, our recruiters have the answer. Chat live with them now!
Find a recruiter