Education Programs Specialist

Organization: Houston Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, TX, United States
Job or Internship: Job



Create, implement and evaluate on-site and outreach education programs for individuals and groups including toddlers, adults, school groups, and educators. Programs are to be multi-disciplinary, inquiry-based, and/or standards-based with the goal of increasing an understanding and appreciation of the natural world.


• Develop and implement on-site programs for participants ages 0-adult including writing and teaching curriculum for school groups, professional development for educators, summer and winter camps, early childhood programs, home school classes, hospital programming, after school classes, high school conservation activities, and outreach programs to schools and the community.

• Suggest supplies and materials for programs.

• Maintain classrooms, ZooMobiles and other facilities used for programs.

• Evaluate all curricula for age appropriateness, effectiveness, conservation messages, and support of the institution’s mission through sound zoo and education philosophies.

• Suggest ideas for marketing programs and activities to reach desired target audiences.

• Drive ZooMobile van for outreach programs.

• Oversee and support alignment of appropriate curriculum to national, state, and local education standards for school programs.

• Assist with the development and implementation of training programs for volunteers and seasonal staff.

• Understand the program budgets and work within those constraints.

• Assist the Education Program Supervisor with developing short and long-term goals for the section.

• Participate in Zoo and Education Department strategic planning, special events and additional events as needed.

• Develop and maintain working relationships with other zoo, museum and aquarium personnel, zoo departments, community organizations, educators, informal/formal educational organizations and other professional organizations.

• Represent the Zoo and its individual departments at off-site events in a professional, positive manner.

• Use proper techniques for handling and presenting education program animals and for preparation and care of animals on and off grounds.

• Maintain awareness and understanding of Zoo animals, their habitats, and the Zoo environment.

• Required to work holiday, weekends, and evenings as needed.

• Performs other duties as requested.



One year experience in formal or informal education is required.

Experience working with live animals desired.


High School Diploma or equivalent is required.

A 4 year degree in education or a natural science is required.

A certificate or license of credential as a primary or secondary school teacher is desirable.

Ability to read, write and speak Spanish desired.

A valid Texas driver’s license required.


Reports to the Education Programs Supervisor.



This position involves routine lifting of moderately heavy items such as filled tote boxes or animal crates (up to 40 pounds) and/or long periods of walking on rough surfaces or standing on a routine basis.


There are routine discomforts from exposure to moderate heat, cold, moisture/wetness and unpleasant air conditions. The position may involve routine exposure to soiled materials and light chemical substances such as cleaning solutions.


Requires the ability to make closely coordinated eye/hand movements within very fine tolerance and/or calibration demands, the ability to make rapid closely coordinated eye/hand movements on a patterned response space within somewhat fine tolerance demands, and the ability to make coordinated eye/hand movements within fine tolerances with large equipment as an extension of the worker.


Requires heavy public contact requiring considerable interpersonal skill; extensive interaction with the public and with donors, members and the press; and requires a high degree of appreciation of customer service.