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Cleveland Metroparks

Zoo Education Manager- Live Interpretation/Animal Ambassador Animal Programs

The Zoo Education Manager- Live Interpretation/Animal Ambassador Animal Programs oversees all aspects of live interpretation at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo including the management, development, delivery, budgeting, coordination, monitoring, supervision, and evaluation of programs. This position oversees the care and training of ambassador animals in the Conservation Education Division and serves as an active member of the Conservation Education management team, making decisions concerning division budgets, staffing, revenue generation, and strategic planning. 

  • Effectively supervises assigned employees, including the following: 
    • Interviews, selects, and trains employees; 
    • Coaches employees in proper job performance techniques and procedures; 
    • Directs the work of employees and sets/adjusts hours of work; 
    • Maintains records on employee productivity and appraises employees’ productivity and efficiency to recommend promotions or other changes in status; 
    • Handles employee complaints and disciplines employees when necessary; 
    • Apportions work among different employees; 
    • Monitors or implements legal compliance measures; 
    • Determines the type of materials, supplies, or tools to be used by employees and controls the flow and distribution of materials and supplies; 
    • And provides for the safety of employees and the property of Cleveland Metroparks.
    • Regular and predictable attendance is expected and required. All Cleveland Metroparks employees must be prepared to work flexible schedules, including evenings, weekends, and/or holidays as required.
  • Responsible for implementing and managing ambassador animal training and care strategy as part of the conservation education management team in coordination and integration with the Animal Care & Veterinary Programs and Conservation & Science teams. Assures the health and well-being of the ambassador animal collection; coordinates procedures with vet staff, coordinates and assists in handling/transfer of animals for veterinary procedures; assesses animals and serves as a liaison between keepers and vet staff, attends weekly vet meetings, updates diet database, and reviews and adjusts animal diets with vets, and curators; supervises and coordinates employee activities regarding modifications, maintenance, and animal enrichment/training to ensure animal habitats are attractive and functional for housing each species; evaluates enrichment usage and effectiveness; guides staff in completing training forms (e.g., behavior status sheets, training criteria, shaping plans, etc.); inspects animal areas and exhibits and shares plans with  division director, animal curators, veterinarians, regarding the condition of animals, habitats, and alterations needed to improve levels of husbandry and care; approves, ranks, and organizes work orders for areas, inspects the animal holding and training areas regularly.
  • Manages staffing for all live interpretation, education, animal care, and training program initiatives: Supervises and reviews work program progress with all staff; directs staff on making program adjustments; develops new program ideas and delegates related work; creates, reviews, and approves team schedules; directs the hiring process for vacant positions; directs new staff training in position requirements and Zoo culture; mentors staff who desire growth within their position and profession; coaches staff who struggle to reach goals or exhibit other performance issues; writes annual staff performance reviews; and disciplines and redirects staff.
  • Acts as a leader in the field of informal conservation education and interpretation: Participates in AZA related Committees; fosters staff participation in professional development programs in AZA, NAI, IAATE or other animal husbandry, training or educational related organizations and mediates sharing of information from such organizations; delivers presentations at local and national conferences.
  • Directs the development of new live interpretation program initiatives: Develops interpretive program and ambassador animal program plans based on future Zoo plans or initiatives; oversees the development of cost and benefit analyses to ensure a fit within the scope of new programming; oversees development and completion of new program and animal care and welfare evaluations, implementation and analyses; directs appropriate programmatic changes; oversees the creation of all program goals and content to assure appropriate messaging and targeted actions; works with the design team on the development of all design, production and installation of new ambassador animal exhibits and holding spaces; coordinates work with all outside vendors; writes bids and/or RFPs to complete program elements; and oversees the development, production and implementation of training manuals for staff and volunteers.
  • Oversees all existing live interpretation and ambassador animal care and training as well as revenue-generating programs. Analyzes and continually monitors program registrations and revenues and directs appropriate actions to staff. 
  • Performs related duties as assigned or apparent.


  • Bachelors Degree in Animal, Wildlife, Environmental Education, or a related field required; supplemented by five years of experience in a zoo, aquarium, or nature center, to include lead or supervisory experience, two years’ experience working with animals preferred; or any equivalent combination of education, training, and experience which provides the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for this job.
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license under the laws of the State of Ohio.
  • Familiarity with current AZA and USDA requirements and emerging thinking regarding the care and training of ambassador animals.
  • Demonstrated understanding of how an animal’s health and welfare is affected by nutrition, diet, weight, and its environment.
  • Experience working with ambassador animals preferred.
  • Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders, including employees and the general public.
  • Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely, and persuasively using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation with the ability to communicate one-on-one or in group settings.
  • Ability to perform work with a high degree of accuracy and organization.
  • Management skills and strong business acumen, including problem solving, vision, ability to manage multiple programs and meet deadlines, collaboration, leadership, decision making and ability to analyze diverse facts and develop clear and concise reports and recommendations.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with others.
  • Proficiency in software programs including all Microsoft Office programs.
  • Mature professional attitude and considerable discretion, including ability to manage confidential information.
  • Ability to perform with considerable independence and initiative.

Filing Deadline: 2/18/2021


$52,937-$79,405 annually

How to Apply

Submit a resume and application in the Cleveland Metroparks career site at the following website address:

Cleveland Metroparks
Cleveland, OH

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