Interpretive Specialist

Organization: Houston Zoo (AZA Member)
Location: Houston, Texas, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Through scripts, songs, games, storytelling, comedy, improvisation and physical theater the Interpretive Specialist provides and implements exciting, fun, recreational and educational opportunities focused on the natural sciences. (zoology, ecology, conservation and animal husbandry) for Zoo guests with the goal of increasing an understanding and appreciation of the natural world.


• Develops and implements interpretive presentations and activities for pre-school to adult seniors to promote an understanding of and appreciation for the Zoo and the natural world.

• Assists with the scheduling and delivery of interpretive presentations and activities on a timely and routine basis.

• Assists in the evaluating of interpretation curriculum for appropriateness and effectiveness through sound zoo and education philosophies and support of the institution’s mission.

• Assists with the marketing of interpretation presentations and activities to reach desired target audiences.

• Prepares necessary materials for use in interpretive presentations.

• Helps to maintain facilities used for on-site programs and activities.

• Understands the interpretive programs budget and works within those constraints.

• Assists in the development of presentation curriculum to include, but not limited to, age appropriate conservation messages.

• Implement on-site education programs for individuals and groups including toddlers, adults, school groups, professional development for educators, summer and winter camps, early childhood programs, hospital programming and high school conservation activities, as well as distance learning programming.

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

• May handle live animals for presentations and activities.

• May be an animal handling trainer and conduct training for staff, volunteers, or interns.

• May assist in the daily care and husbandry of program and display animals.

• Will be required to work some holidays, weekends, and evenings.

• Other duties as assigned.



One year experience in formal or informal education is required. Experience working with live animals desired. One year experience performing and or presenting individually or with a partner/group in a private and/or public venue desired.


High School Diploma or equivalent is required. A 4 year degree in education, natural sciences, communications, or theatrical arts 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 is required.



This position involves routine lifting of moderately heavy items such as animal kennels or boom boxes (up to 40 pounds) and/or long periods of walking on rough surfaces 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.


The applicant must be outgoing and able to perform scripted and improvisational programs and use comedy and theater in presentations. The applicant must also be able to perform physical theater which involves exaggerated movement and/or activities with stamina, such as running, falling, squatting, kneeling, and exaggerated facial expressions.


Requires heavy public contact requiring considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with the public and with donors, members and the press requiring a high degree of appreciation of customer service. Requires the ability to perform interact and respond to crowds of various sizes and ages. Most presentations occur on stage but the ability to perform in a variety of venues is desired

Applicants can visit to download an application

E-mail resume and completed application to

Houston Zoo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer