The Conservation Educator will report to the Manager of Outreach Programs and support the live animal experience for the Overnight Program. Educator performs all vital functions of outreach educational programming and support the overnight program, including but not limited to, developing and presenting programs that engage our audiences and encourages guests to support the zoo’s goals of caring for and taking action to save species. Develop and facilitate programming across the education department as needed, including public programs, school programs, summer camps and overnight programs. Work with more than 125 live animals from teaching collection and uphold the most current, highest standards of animal care and presentation. Educators will provide information in accordance with the Zoo’s goals, specifically: exceeding the expectations of the visitors by providing friendly, outgoing, and mannerly services, and in accordance with the Zoo’s mission and strategic goals, specifically: the “Doing the Leads Caring” education strategy, Conservation Impact and Guest Experience.
Essential Job Functions:
- Develop and present engaging and educational programs that inspire conservation action among the general public, schools, camps, retirement centers and others education stakeholders.
- Present live animals from the teaching collection in educational demonstrations and animal shows for the education department. Work with the KidZooU team to deliver compelling live animal experiences that inspire action and empathy among Zoo guests.
- Produce and organize necessary props and program materials. Maintain program supplies, including animal presentation supplies.
- Assist Manager in mentoring and training staff and volunteers.
- Coordinate staff, animals and vehicles as assigned by the Manager.
- Coordinate overnight programming as assigned by the Manager of Overnights and Scouts. Assist with daytime scout workshops as necessary.
- Incorporate consistent conservation education messages and behaviors (Doing Leads to Caring activities) in all programs.
- Develop and incorporate specific messages to support the Zoo themes and areas of focus for conservation impact.
- Implement all policies, procedures and animal safety issues. Present and handle live, teaching collection animals in front of an audience.
- Implement training plans and animal-handling guidelines for teaching collection animals as set up by the Education and KidZooU team. Exhibit the highest standard of animal care and presentation at all times.
- Apply working knowledge of the Zoo’s animal collection, organization and specific knowledge of zoo grounds.
- Provide exemplary guest service onsite and offsite by answering and providing accurate information to visitors about the zoo’s operations, goals and conservation messages.
- Handle guest concerns, and resolve problems in a manner that is polite, helpful and accurate.
Non-Essential Job Functions:
- Perform other duties as assigned.
Knowledge and Ability Requirements:
- A bachelor’s degree in animal/environmental sciences, biology, or environmental education.
- 2 years’ experience in delivering programs in an informal education setting is preferred.
- 2 years’ experience presenting or working with exotic animals in an educational or zoological setting.
- Demonstrate organizational skills required to research selected program topics as well as creative skills to transform educational material into entertaining, interactive programs, including developing small props, activities and games.
- Excellent presentation skills with the ability to adapt to audiences of different ages and audience sizes.
- Demonstrated experience training others.
- Must work accurately and cheerfully under pressure.
- Required to learn and incorporate detailed information about the Zoo’s animal collection, exhibits and conservation initiatives.
- Excellent customer service skills.
- Ability to excel in a team or individual work environment, communicating effectively with guests, supervisors and co-workers.
- Professional appearance and manner both offsite and onsite.
- Ability to understand and follow written and verbal instructions.
- Able to work a flexible/changing schedule and daily assigned responsibilities. Evening, weekend, particularly Friday and/or Saturday nights and holiday work will be required.
- Current, valid drivers’ license, ability to operate Zoo vehicles.
Physical and Medical Requirements:
- No allergies to plants or animals, which may interfere with ability to work.
- No impairments of sight, smell, hearing, touch, balance, or agility of movement (which cannot be corrected with appropriate devices), which would interfere with ability to work.
- Successful completion of pre-employment drug screen.
- Successful completion of background check, including drivers’ license and criminal records.
Ability to work outside in all weather conditions and to stand and maintain alertness for long periods of time.
Ability to work cheerfully under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
Ability to work in a dynamic work environment where changes in procedures and protocols to ensure animal and guest safety are a frequent occurrence.
Schedule includes weekends and holidays on a consistent basis.
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