Two Penn Dixie employees promoted; full time staff doubles in two years

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Nature Reserve announces two staff promotions: Dr. Holly Schreiber has been promoted to Associate Director and Sydney Mecca has been promoted to full time Marketing & Development Coordinator.

“I’m thrilled that my new role will allow me to continue to help Penn Dixie grow in new and exciting ways. I’m eager to find and work with new community partners to bring the organization’s mission of hands-on science education to even more people” says Dr. Holly Schreiber. A paleontologist by training, she previously served as director of education after joining Penn Dixie in February 2017. Her new role includes administration, grant writing, and program management duties in service of our nonprofit’s science education mission.

“I’m excited to be a part of an organization that connects our local and international communities with the wonders of the natural world” says Sydney Mecca. Prior to the promotion, Sydney worked as a seasonal naturalist for the Niagara Region Park Interpretive Programs Office in 2020 and 2021. During this time they created and led public nature programs, updated nature center displays, and assisted with virtual field trip videos. They also worked in a part time capacity for Penn Dixie in a marketing role, handling social media and website development. Sydney’s new role will focus on engaging new audiences via marketing and promotions, coordinating organization fundraising activities, and creating new STEM program offerings.

Sydney becomes the fourth full time employee at Penn Dixie, doubling the number of full time positions at the organization since February 2020.

Dr. Holly Schreiber leading a fossil dig at Penn Dixie.
Sydney Mecca at Eighteen Mile Creek.

We’re Hiring!

Penn Dixie Fossil Park & Natural Reserve is a top-ranked destination for science enthusiasts of all ages. With a mission of hands-on science education, we encourage our visitors to learn about the natural world in an outdoors setting. Our programs emphasize natural history — including geology and paleontology, ecology, astronomy, local history, and other STEM fields. We serve 18,000 guests annually, including many who travel across the country to dig our fossils and explore our park.

We are hiring part-time Educators for the 2022 season. The Educator is the initial interface between Penn Dixie and guests and is responsible for all admissions and retail transactions. The ideal candidate is driven to provide an outstanding learning experience for visitors of all abilities and backgrounds. Educators are expected to be friendly, helpful, and consistently maintain a positive attitude despite the challenge of working outdoors with large groups of visitors. We expect the best from our staff at all times. Candidates do not need a formal background in geology or paleontology, but must be willing to learn.

Essential Functions

  • Demonstrate enthusiastic and welcome behavior at all times.
  • Provide excellent customer service and be knowledgeable in Penn Dixie’s science, history, and programming.
  • Facilitate positive, memorable experiences for our guests by sharing with them your knowledge of the natural world and your enthusiasm for the process of scientific discovery.
  • Explain and promote Penn Dixie programs, membership, gift shop merchandise, summer camps, birthday parties, and special events.
  • Respond to guest needs immediately, including issues requiring first aid.

Experience, Skills and Personal Qualities Required

  • All Penn Dixie staff are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including weekends, holidays and evenings
  • A ‘people person’ with a friendly, outgoing personality
  • Must have your own reliable transportation to/from work
  • Interest or knowledge in science
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize
  • Work independently and proactively
  • Strong teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Familiarity with educational, nonprofit, or retail sector is a plus
  • Able to perform well under pressure
  • Detail oriented, organized, motivated, responsible and dependable
  • CPR and Basic First Aid training are required for all staff

Physical Demands

  • Speaking in small and large groups
  • Walking and standing outdoors, sometimes for extended periods
  • Bending/stooping frequently
  • Dealing with highly variable weather conditions
  • Ability to lift/carry up to 40 lbs

The application can be downloaded here: 2022 Educator Application.

Candidates must email the completed application, a resume/CV, and a cover letter to Dr. Holly Schreiber at holly@penndixie.org by March 18th.

Paleo Pals

Join Ms. Catherine and your other friends, once a month, as we read an earth science story together. Will there be singing? Crafts? Show-and-tell? Yes, yes, yes, and more! Can’t wait to see you there. Storybook titles and authors, as well as weekly topics, can be found below if you wish to check them out from the library or order them yourself to follow along more closely at home. Sign Up Here!

Saturday, April 10th @ 10 am – Here We Go Digging for Dinosaur Bones by Susan Lendroth
A call back to our 1st month’s paleontological feature but this time with song — and hand motions! Join us as we learn and sing a little song to help us remember all of the important steps used in dino bone finding, collecting, and prepping. Wear your gear to collect dino bones – hats and vests encouraged!

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.

Workshops

Introducing Penn Dixie’s new monthly Workshop series. This series is meant to tap into your interests, spark your creativity, and sharpen some new skills along the way. Virtual workshops relating to specimen identification, sample preparation, and astronomy are some of the topics we plan to cover this year until we can meet again safely in person and collaborate together.

Pre-registration is required as workshops are interactive and meant to be participatory – registration will close at 5 pm the evening before the program. Guests are welcome to actively participate in the workshop by asking questions to the host directly and to the moderator via the chat feature – questions will be answered in real time. Similarly, a registration email with household supplies needed to successfully participate will be sent along prior to each program. Sign Up Here!

Saturday, April 17th @ 1 pm – Paleo Art: Bringing the Past to Life with artist Eric Warren
Together we’ll draw Penn Dixie’s coveted Eldredgeops rana with the guidance of artist and teacher Eric Warren. He’ll walk us through how to bring the past to life with different drawing and coloring techniques. Discover how these animals would have looked and moved when they were alive and translate that to the page – with some artistic license, of course! This workshop is open to all ages but may move quickly for some of the younger artists. Playback will be available after the program via our Facebook and YouTube.

If you plan to follow along in real-time be sure to have the following on hand:
White paper, graphite pencil, eraser, colored pencils

Sign Up Here! We’ll contact you with a Zoom link prior to each program.