Organization: Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
Location: Birmingham, AL, Country
Job or Internship: Job
Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
Position: Education Curator
Reports to: Vice-President of Animal Care, Education & Conservation
POSITION RESPONSIBILITY AND DEPARTMENT OVERVIEW
The Education Curator fills a critical role within the zoo’s mission to inspire passion for the natural world utilizing a three-pronged approach of Education Programs, Volunteerism and Animal Programs. The Education Curator is responsible for all aspects of the Education Department, which includes growing successful programs already in place and in creating new programs to expand our mission in a variety of areas.
Current Education programs include year-round camps, classes designed for all ages, home-school programs and specialized programs for school field trips. Included within these programs is Trails of Africa Zoo School, a cooperative program with Title 1 Birmingham City Schools operating under private and federal funding to provide 600 7th graders each school year with one week of specialized learning in our “living” classroom. Rounding out the Education opportunities are many interesting and fun activities including Zoo Snoozes, Twilight Tours, Hogwarts at the Zoo, and Zoo Keeper for a Day.
An area of vital importance to the zoo is the Volunteer program. Working closely with the Volunteer Manager and the volunteers themselves, the Education Curator will put strategies in place that maximize the volunteer experience and grow the program to its full potential.
Animal Programs include Wildlife Shows, Zoo-to-You programs, Wildlife Demonstrations, zoo events, media appearances, animal greeters for special events, etc. Additionally, this department works closely with Animal Care to develop educational messages regarding exhibit animals.
Finally, the zoo’s team of educators and volunteers are zoo ambassadors providing a positive impact on a daily basis to the half million plus visitors who visit the zoo each year.
• Overall responsibility for educational programing using current education methods.
• Create programming each year in support of new zoo attractions as well as continued growth in current programs.
• Oversees all operational aspects of education activities specifically towards the safety of children within the care of the Education Department.
• Works closely with all management levels within the zoo to achieve departmental and zoo goals.
• Primary liaison with the educational community including primary, secondary, undergraduate and post graduate programs and institutions.
• Annual evaluation of all programs to determine efficient use of available resources to provide the most productive offerings to the public.
• Build a working rapport with education professionals to explore ways that the zoo can grow as a community asset in areas of common interest.
• Ensure that formalized classes are based on state and national standards.
• Broaden the zoo’s role in conservation by working closely with the animal department on age-specific strategies for educating our visitors on the importance of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle”.
• Provide recommendations for professional development of assigned staff in animal husbandry, education and volunteer programs.
• Attend industry educational conferences, as needed.
• Ensures that the education areas are clean and maintained according to zoo and AZA standards.
• Works closely with the Animal Care department to ensure that prescribed training is followed for the handling of animals that are used for animal demonstrations.
• Works closely with the Volunteer Manager to grow the Volunteer base, especially among adults, and to maximize the volunteer program, overall.
• Continue to build upon volunteer interactions with zoo visitors to create memorable visitor experiences.
• Guides employees on performance issues and makes recommendations for improved performance.
• Prepares the annual department budget and is responsible for monthly budget adherence.
• Prepares annual performance appraisals of direct reports.
• Prepare reports, as required.
• Other duties as assigned.
Direct Reports to this position include:
Education Programs Manager
Animal Programs Manager
Education Administrative Assistant
The Education Curator position is impacted by hazardous exposures common to an office environment as well as public safety in an outdoor environment. The following exposures and/or safety-based knowledge will be required daily:
• Depending on assignment, the Education Curator may have to deal with the unpredictability of wild animals.
• The proper use of cleaning agents.
• Thorough understanding of guest safety protocols, particularly with respect to young children.
Specific training and procedures that are designed to maintain safety of people as the highest priority of the zoo, followed by the safety of the animal collection, will be provided.
The Education Curator is responsible to for updating and maintaining safety policies and procedures for their areas. Additionally, the Education Curator will conduct monthly safety training sessions addressing specific situations that could occur in their department.
The use and understanding of a variety of personal safety equipment is mandatory. The Education Curator bears overall responsibility for making sure that all employees and volunteers under their direction are trained in zoo safety procedures and on the proper use of safety equipment.
The Education Curator is required to be familiar with the Zoo’s overall safety policies as outlined in the employee handbook and supporting documents, and is responsible for immediate reporting of any injury.
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee should expect:
• Use of hands, fingers, tools or controls.
• Frequent requirements to stand; walk; sit; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, bend, crawl, crouch, talk and hear.
• Routine lifting of objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
• Regular walking for long distances.
• Exposure to wet surfaces.
• Depending on assignment, exposure to the elements can be expected.
Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties and functions of this position.
• Bachelor’s Degree in Education or related field; Master’s Degree or higher is preferred.
• Studies in biology/zoology or related field and/or work experience at a zoological institution.
• Minimum of 3 years of classroom experience; > 5 years is preferred.
• Work experience in a non-profit setting.
• Management experience.
• Proficiency with a PC.
• Excellence in oral and written communication, organization and interpersonal relationships.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants should electronically submit a letter of intent, completed application* and résumé (including 3 references) to:
Dr. Clay Hilton
Vice-President of Animal Care, Education & Conservation
Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
2630 Cahaba Road
Birmingham, AL 35223
* The application is located at http://www.birminghamzoo.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Employment-Application.pdf. It may be faxed to 205.879.9426 or scanned and submitted electronically (preferred).