Interesting summer job: Coalition for Buzzards Bay

A friend asked me to pass along this job in Woods Hole. Seems like a great summer job for someone into environmental sciences.

Organization:   The Coalition for Buzzards Bay, Inc. (CBB)
Salary Range:   This seasonal, 35-hour/week position works Tuesday-Saturday and is compensated at $12.00/hr.
Location:       Woods Hole, MA
Description:    The Summer Outreach Manager will be responsible for staffing and managing The Coalition’s Outreach Office in the village of Woods Hole. This is an exciting opportunity to engage the public around our mission in the epicenter of marine research and education. Tasks include, but are not limited to the following:

• Maintenance of exhibits including saltwater touch tank, groundwater model, kids corner, and computer kiosk.
• Manage small gift shop including providing customer service, sales, and accurate cashiering.
• Interact with visitors and the general public and guide them through the exhibits.
• Articulate the Coalition’s mission and a basic knowledge of the Coalition’s work in response to
inquiries from visitors and members. Training and periodic updates will be provided.
• Open and close the Woods Hole office, perform light cleaning, restocking and answering phone
calls, as well as directing visitors as necessary.
• Manage and support volunteers assisting in outreach at the Center.
• Create, market, and deliver programming options for visitors to the center.
• Support all of CBB’s programs and activities through specific projects as needed.
Requirements:   • High school diploma or equivalent required and at least two years of college preferred.
• Ability to interact successfully with a variety of customer and Coalition members.
• Experience with education or outreach and a willingness to learn.
• Computer skills: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), and internet/email required.
• Must be personable, self-motivated, and work independently and as a team.
• Familiarity with Buzzards Bay and Woods Hole a plus.
• Commitment to CBB mission a requirement.

If you’re interested, let me know.

The Shop

I never took “shop” in high school — the class that took place in a little white building near the campus power plant behind the gym.  It was a secretive place where one could go to learn how to use a bandsaw or drill press. While I didn’t take shop, I grew up with one, a long mysterious workroom behind the house on Cape Cod, where first my great-great grandfather retired from the sea to mend sails in the upstairs sail loft, and where, thirty years later during the Depression into the1950s, my grandfather ran a little woodworking business and built Cotuit Skiffs.

The shop was idle when I was very little in the early 1960s and my grandfather was still alive, but all the tools were still in place. Planks of white Atlantic cedar stacked waiting for the next Cotuit Skiff. It was a forbidden place filled with child-maiming lathes, spoke-shaves, adzes, wood planes, chisels, saw horses, a tool-and-die set in an ornate wooden chest lined with green felt, wooden handled screw drivers shiny from use, hand saws, hand drills,  banks after banks of drawers with yellow paper labels, little hardware bins made from wooden Velveeta cheese boxes, old  crates of Orange Crush (back when Orange Crust was more white than orange), a rack of Woolsey boat paints, jigs for sandcasting bronze sailboat hardware, old lignum vitae ships blocks from long-sunk coastal schooners, kerosene blow torches, cast iron crucibles for melting lead, curls of dried out sandpaper, an old whale oil barrel filled with scrap wood, stacks of metal name plates that said “Lloyd Churbuck Manufacturing, 15 Union St., Lawrence, Mass.”

There weren’t any power tools, save an old silver Turner’s Falls drill that smelled like ozone when it was plugged in.  Once when we cleaned it we found an ancient pint of Black & White scotch and a hidden leather case containing a glass syringe and a bottle of ancient morphine tablets. The louche possibilities of those discoveries were thrilling.

The ceiling of the workshop was open, the rafters filled with lengths of bronze sail track, clusters of mast hoops, necklaces of bronze jib snaps. Goosenecks, boom tangs, gudgeons and pintles, balls of tarred Italian marline (which smell exactly like Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea). It was the saltiest place on the planet, the kind of shop you’d expect a former whaling captain and his grandson to equip and hang out in.

A lot of the stuff is still there. Untouched out of respect and the sense that someday someone might want to come in and find a sailor’s palm or a fid. Even the sailmaker’s bench is still in the sail loft, ready for someone to sit and stich a leech with a herringbone pattern.   The loft is the site of the first Masonic lodge in Cotuit, started by Thomas Chatfield after the Civil War, and when I step back there in the morning I can imagine the space filled with men in rocking chairs conducting the secret government of the village.

I cleaned the place out this past weekend: the usual spring cleaning. And as I did, uncovering the painted Skiff scantlings on the floor, vacuuming skeins of cobwebs off the windows and decimating thousands of spider eggs, I felt very at home and very happy, in a space where my father heard the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor on the radio with his father. The room where cousins celebrated weddings, air hockey games were contested, illegal devices fashioned, tools stolen, and  boats painted. Every year it sags a little more, shrinks a little under the pressures of modern life in a house with no basement, filled with clutter and coats and crap.

But every so often, when it is cleared out, you can imagine a crew of Churbucks and Crosby’s building wooden sailboats on a cold spring day, racing the calendar to have it ready in time for the summer people on the Fourth of July.



The Evolution of Corporate Communications

Monday Note.

Very interesting piece this morning by Frederic Filloux about the change in power between corporate PR and the press. The thesis is the changing nature of the news cycle — digital serfs churning content into the maw  as opposed to enterprising reporters developing their own leads and chasing them down — has shifted the power to corporate journalism: corporate content developed and handed over to the press for straight pass-through republishing.

“Contents are now tailored for the needs of digital media. As one of the renegade journalist recently told me – a fine female reporter disappointed by the trades’ evolution  –, corporate communication departments are switching from the usual press release to almost-ready-to-publish stories. She showed me compelling examples of product announcements treated in a variety of manners. The communiqué was largely ignored, but its transformation into a pre-packaged version showed up everywhere: internet, but also mainstream medias, newspapers, TV, radio.  The PR advisor was herself surprised by the efficiency of the process (and rather happy for her client): none of the media were eager to go outside the path she defined; reporters called the specialists she suggested, used the photo and video material she provided; no question asked whatsoever.

“The underlying facts: most journalists no longer have the time, the training, nor the motivation or even the management supervision to go beyond the surface. So, let’s feed them with what they need and we are in full control.  That’s the plan. And most of the time, it works beyond expectations.”

I suspect this will definitely be the norm, not the exception in business journalism, especially in the B2B trades, and put more of an emphasis on content creation and development skills inside of a PR agency or corporate communications team than the former model of stonewalling and spinning. In essence the creative side of journalism moves from the newsroom to the source.

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