Join us

For the 2017-18 academic year, UA Sky School will be offering graduate fellowships for open Sky School instructor positions. The fellowships are designed to connect graduate students with K-12 students as research mentors and educators during residential or daytime educational programs. The fellowship is a unique opportunity to gain experience with science education and communication. Sky School staff will provide training for effective mentoring of students. Instructors will then mentor groups of K-12 students on 1-4 day programs throughout the year. Programs include instruction on general themes relevant to sciences in the sky island region—ecology, geology, dendrochronology, soil science, hydrology, astronomy, culture, and history— as well as opportunities for students to conduct inquiry projects on topics of their choice. Sky School staff will provide feedback to instructors on improving their facilitation and teaching skills.

Applicants must be enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Arizona for 2017-18. Those accepted must have transportation available to travel to program sites—locations in the Coronado National Forest, including our SkyCenter campus on Mt. Lemmon, and schools within the greater Tucson area (carpooling is often available). Most programs require overnight stays at the SkyCenter campus. Graduate students may receive this fellowship more than once and do not need to be United States citizens.

Each fellowship includes a stipend of $4,500, paid half in fall 2016 and half in spring 2017. Meals and lodging will be provided for any overnight programs at our Mt. Lemmon campus.

Instruct and mentor K-12 participants designing, carrying out, and presenting research projects on Mount Lemmon or in a schoolyard or park for a total of 20 overnights (or equivalent daytime only programs) over the course of the academic year. Many programs are during the week and tend to be concentrated between September – November and March – May. Efforts will be made to accommodate each instructor’s academic schedule where necessary. Instructors will also assist with public outreach, such as open houses and other community events, and may contribute to conducting teacher professional development.

  • Pass background check and register fingerprints with UAPD 

  • Assemble online resources and a reading list for students 

  • Contribute to Sky School program ideas and lesson plans shared on our wiki 

  • Attend mandatory training events on the main University campus as well as on Mt. Lemmon 

  • Commit to keeping First Aid/CPR training current 

A detailed job description is available here (PDF)
Sky School Instructor job description

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be primarily evaluated for the ability to communicate with and relate to participants. Also important is the ability to explain your own research to young people, from elementary to high school ages. A research connection to resources unique to Mount Lemmon or the Sonoran Desert is helpful, but not necessary. We try to maximize the diversity of subject areas covered by all fellows. Applicants in non-science majors are welcome if they can show significant experience with scientific inquiry and/or engineering design. Experience teaching or mentoring youth as well as experience in the outdoors are helpful, but not required. Instructors will ideally represent diverse backgrounds and research areas. Applicants early in their graduate programs are especially encouraged to apply to facilitate holding a multi-year fellowship with the Sky School.

Application Process
Please email application materials to by Friday, April 28th. Interviews will begin the following week, and final decisions will be made no later than Friday, May 12th.

Application Materials

  • Brief statement of interest, explaining your prior experience and qualifications, as well as your desired 
personal outcomes for the fellowship (one page limit) 

  • Brief description of your research interests written at a level appropriate to generate understanding and 
curiosity for a typical 8th grade student (one page limit) 

  • Curriculum vitae, including any past educational, outdoor, or outreach activities relevant to this 
fellowship (two page limit) 

  • Letter of support from your advisor (can be sent under separate cover) 

    Further Information
More information about the UA Science: Sky School program is available online at, on Facebook at, or by emailing Rebecca Lipson, Assistant Director of Education, at Examples of existing curriculum and lessons can be found on our wiki site: 
Please contact us or any of our current graduate instructors with any questions if you are considering applying. 

    (PDF version of this page)