Marine Science Instructor

Catalina Island Marine Institute Published: September 28, 2023
Avalon, Toyon Bay, CA
Skill Level
Entry Level
Job Type
Education / Scientific

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We pride ourselves on providing a safe and supportive environment for campers to try new things and to become their best selves. CIMI maintains accreditation from the American Camp Association (ACA), which involves a rigorous assessment process of over 100 health and safety standards. While we have learned a lot in our 40 years of experience, we continue to search for new activities to offer students, new practices for staff training, and new ways to improve our program so that we can continue making a positive difference in the lives of children.

Position Summary:

CIMI instructors are responsible for providing quality instruction and leadership in the educational outdoor science programs at CIMI. This entails providing the proper curriculum, ensuring all programs are conducted in accordance with set policies, and developing educational and instructional programs to ensure the high standards of the program. Marine Science Instructors lead groups of up to 16 students through 3- or 5-day overnight field trips.

These trips involve teaching students about marine science and island ecology in experiential science labs, as well as taking students snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking. Catalina Island Marine Institute (CIMI) operates a fall and a spring season serving students in grades 4-12, with opportunities for instructors to stay on and work for the summer camp programs as well. CIMI operates two facilities (Fox Landing and Toyon Bay) on the leeward side of Catalina Island in Southern California, with ideal conditions for ocean recreation and island adventure. Website:

*Guided Discoveries, Inc. will offer a Travel Allowance and a Moving Stipend (you must qualify for the travel stipend depending on location). We offer one or both once the HIRED Guided Discoveries, Inc. Employee "Starts Working". This will be paid on the first paycheck. There are terms and conditions regarding the Travel Allowance and Moving Stipend. The hiring director will review this in the interview stage.

Duties & Responsibilities

Primary Responsibilities/Essential Functions:

  1. Must be able to communicate and work with the student groups by teaching all aspects of the program including labs, hikes, and water activities
  2. Implement the CIMI curriculum and related programs, as outlined by the Program Director
  3. Effectively teach student groups about marine science and island ecology
  4. Lead students safely on 3- hour snorkeling, kayaking, and hiking adventures
  5. Be able to respond to emergency situations by providing the leadership necessary to enact the Emergency Action Plan
  6. Abilities to observe student and staff behavior, assess its appropriateness, enforce appropriate safety regulations and emergency procedures and apply appropriate behavior
  7. Ability to drive the boat in order to support kayaking programs
  8. Lift, carry and move heavy objects when necessary
  9. Ability to drive vehicles

CIMI instructors have the responsibility to provide quality instruction and leadership in the educational outdoor science programs at CIMI.

Other Responsibilities/Supportive Functions:

  1. Ensure all programs are conducted in accordance with the policies set by CIMI, emphasizing safety
  2. Develop personal educational and scientific knowledge to ensure the delivery of quality instruction
  3. Assume duties of Dive-Locker Coordinator, Lab Tech, Ropes Course Instructor, or Program Coordinator when assigned
  4. Attend and participate in all in-service and leadership trainings scheduled by the Program Director or Site Director
  5. Drive program boats and company vehicles when assigned
  6. Generate ongoing enthusiasm and participation in student activities
  7. Other duties as assigned by Program Director

Note: This job description is not intended to be all-inclusive. Staff may perform other related duties as required to meet the ongoing needs of the organization. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind work assignments and to make reasonable accommodations as needed.

The employee member is subject to environmental conditions found working indoors/outdoors. The employee member is sometimes subject to excessive heat, with temperatures over 100 degrees while moving around in and outside of camp. The employee member is frequently subject to loud noise when working in or around the camp. The employee member is subject to hazards which include proximity to moving mechanical parts, equipment found near boats and food service areas, sharp objects, and exposure to cleaning chemicals and animals. Other hazards may include slick floors and hot stoves, cookware, and plate ware. The employee member is occasionally subject to atmospheric conditions such as fumes, odors, or dust.

(To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions).

I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understood the content of this job description. I understand the Company at its discretion may revise the job description from time to time in the future. I understand and agree that nothing in this job description should be construed as a contract of employment and that employment with this Company is at will meaning that the terms of employment may be changed with or without notice, with or without cause, including, but not limited to termination, demotion, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits, duties, and location of work. Will be signing an electronic copy upon onboarding.                      


  1. On-site Housing
  2. Full meals at the CIMI Dining Hall when the kitchen is in operation
  3. Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance – provided on the 1st of the month after working 30 days of full-time employment
  4. Workers Compensation Insurance and State Disability Insurance
  5. Paid sick days
  6. 403(b) Retirement program
  7. Use of program equipment during time off and in accordance with company policies
  8. Special tuition for employees' camp-age children
  9. Opportunity to live and work in a beautiful ocean environment
  10. Travel and move-in stipend


Minimum Qualifications:

  1. Desire to work with children and to create a positive, safe learning environment
  2. Enthusiasm, integrity, flexibility, and adaptability
  3. BS or BA degree in Marine Biology, Environmental Education, or equivalent
  4. Prior teaching experience or equivalent (in outdoor science programs, or in youth summer camps, scouts programs, or recreational programs for youth preferred.)
  5. Demonstrated ability and knowledge to create, organize, develop and implement educational programs using current trends in curricula development and instructional activities
  6. Must be a strong swimmer. Snorkeling experience is strongly preferred. SCUBA certification is not necessary
  7. Physically fit in order to snorkel, kayak, and hike for extended periods
  8. Ability to pass the American Red Cross Waterfront Lifeguarding Course (provided by CIMI during job training)
  9. Desire and ability to live and work in the remote camp community
  10. Visual and auditory ability to identify and respond to environmental and other hazards related to the activities
  11. Must be able to successfully perform the essential functions of this position
  12. Must have a current, valid driver's license
  13. Legally authorized to work in the US

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