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Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Metro Parks Tacoma

Community Engagement Coordinator

SALARY: $25.68 - $41.73 Hourly
OPENING DATE: 08/02/22
CLOSING DATE: 08/23/22 11:59 PM

STARTING HOUR WAGE: $25.68 - $30.70

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a CAPRA-accredited and AZA-accredited, independent park district that leads efforts to build a healthy, sustainable community.  Metro Parks Tacoma is located in Tacoma, Washington. The system is comprised of many different park facilities that offer residents a variety of recreational opportunities. From waterfront access to local neighborhood parks to large regional facilities and attractions, the MPT system is both a local community asset and regional destination.
These eight core values will guide future decisions, business and operations, and the manner in which MPT treats staff, customers and the community:
•Innovation    •Excellence     •Equity    •Inclusiveness    •Sustainability   •Accountability  •Safety  •Fun   

Under the general direction of an assigned supervisor, participate in the development, coordination implementation,  and delivery of  conservation education programs and related activities.  Assist in interviewing, hiring, training, providing work direction, and evaluating assigned personnel and volunteers. The focus of this position is in the delivery of education programming to a variety of audiences.

In the performance of their respective tasks and duties all employees are expected to conform to the following:

  • Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
  • Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
  • Observe applicable safety requirements, use safety equipment provided, implement appropriate safety practices at all times and report immediately any unsafe working conditions or hazards.
Coordinator Basic Function/Duties
Under the general direction of the Conservation Engagement Curator, coordinate the day-to-day operations of a designated education unit. As a regular course of their role, Coordinators will:
  • Manage complex program areas that involve multiple disciplines.
  • Develop, coordinate, schedule, implement, and evaluate educational programming and events. Provide educational opportunities for the public that focus on engagement with and conservation of wildlife and wild places. 
  • Supervise assigned personnel including staff, volunteers, and interns. Screen, interview, hire, and evaluate assigned personnel. Assign work, provide guidance, and schedule personnel necessary to accomplish conservation education program goals. 
  • Develop, prepare, and administer educational and related materials, graphics, websites and tools for publication and departmental use. 
  • Develop and coordinate training programs for varied audiences including volunteers, teachers, students, interpreters, and instructors. 
  • Coordinate communication and activities with community organizations, academic institutions, government entities, and Park District departments to implement, facilitate and promote educational programs. Be a representative of Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (PDZA) at various civic meetings as required.
  • Maintain facilities, grounds, and resource centers as assigned. 
  • Prepare and deliver presentations regarding the assigned facility to various audiences.
  • Plan and participate in a variety of special campaigns and projects that promote conservation awareness and understanding to the public. 
  • Maintain records and data related to educational programs including budget and program statistics. Gather and provide information for budget preparation. Develop programmatic reports for internal and external audiences.
  • Develop and implement grant programs. Manage grant budgets and develop reports.
  • Participate in strategic planning and policy development to facilitate and improve educational programs and operations.
  • Assist in the preparation of interpretive presentations, exhibits, exhibit texts and similar programs as required.
  • As appropriate, provide limited care for, transport, and presentation of educational outreach animals on and off-site to create connections between the community and wildlife.
  • Serve as a department representative on an assigned PDZA committee.

Community Engagement Essential Duties
Coordinate engaging classroom, field-based and other community programs and events as part of the PDZA’s community engagement initiatives, including the innovative and award-winning Wildlife Champions collaborative program, Explore the Shore community beach walks and other community outreach programs. (Wildlife Champions is a long-term partnership with Tacoma Public Schools, with the goals of developing empathy for wildlife, connecting students to nature, and providing environmental education opportunities to students that have been historically excluded from these experiences).
  • Coordinate collaborative programs with partner elementary school administrators and teachers to develop engaging and innovative science and field-based curricula for grades K-5, ensuring alignment with appropriate state and national science standards and empathy for wildlife best practices. 
  • Teach classes and deliver programming at partner schools and in outdoor settings. (Current partner schools include Arlington and Lister Elementary schools).
  • Provide leadership and supervision to community engagement team (3-5 staff members), including daily and strategic direction, work plan development, communications, mentoring, coaching and professional development opportunities.
  • Work closely with school administration teams to facilitate all logistical aspects of the Wildlife Champions program, including the development of comprehensive programmatic schedules for the entire year at each school and purchasing of all necessary program supplies.
  • Coordinate evaluation and assessment efforts for community engagement programs and initiatives to measure success, including coordination with contractors.
  • Work intentionally to establish respectful connections and relationships with targeted community groups and members, including those adjacent to partner schools. 
  • Cultivate partnerships with other Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) departments and work units, as well as other organizations, to effectively serve schools and other community groups by offering unique experiences at the zoo, in the field and in schools and other gathering places. 
  • Provide oversight and direction for mission related community events; professionally and passionately represent Metro Parks Tacoma and PDZA and its conservation initiatives at community events.
  • Develop, implement, deliver, and evaluate teacher professional development training workshops in the subjects of life science, wildlife conservation and empathy best practices to support community engagement goals.
  • Serve as the PDZA representative to the ACE (Advancing Conservation Through Empathy) Network through committee work and participation in ACE events and initiatives.
  • Working with the SAMi Liaison Coordinator, provide direct support to the Science & Math Institute (SAMI) partner high school as a guest instructor, student mentor, and by facilitating connections between community engagement programming/initiatives and the SAMi community. 
  • Collaborate with Conservation Engagement and Marketing staff to develop storytelling strategies for community engagement initiatives for staff, guests and community members. 
  • Collaborate with Marketing & Visitor Services Departments to develop comprehensive program promotion plans; utilize business intelligence and other real time data to adapt marketing strategies as needed.

Other related duties as required.

Experience Required

Bachelor's degree in education, history, natural sciences, environmental studies, communications, or related field and two years of increasingly responsible experience involving community engagement program management required. Five years of related experience may substitute for the degree.


$25.68 - $41.73 Hourly

How to Apply

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium of Metro Parks Tacoma
Tacoma, WA

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