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Chicago Zoological Society

Coordinator, Conservation Science Scholars

Opened in 1934, Brookfield Zoo is managed by the Chicago Zoological Society and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The Chicago Zoological Society is committed to developing people’s capacities and competencies, serving as a mentor and trainer, providing experiential learning opportunities to individuals seeking to understand, develop, and establish careers in the fields of zoology and conservation.

In fulfilling this role, the Society has both the King Conservation Scholars Program for high school students and a long-standing Internship Program that has been recognized as one of the top programs for college students in the country. The program, established in 1975, was one of the first in the nation to allow students pursuing careers in animal care the opportunity to work side by side with professional zookeepers, learning the skills and techniques necessary to manage exotic zoo animals. Since that time, the Internship Program, now called the College Experiential Learning Opportunities program, has evolved to include internships and research opportunities in a variety of areas and fields.

The Coordinator, Conservation Science Scholars contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society (“CZS”) by engaging teens in the Society’s mission both at the zoo and in the communities it serves, including generating consistent, positive exposure for the Society through community relations and outreach, identifying/communicating with/involving community leadership in CZS programs, and representing the institution to diverse constituencies.  The primary goal for this position is to build strong, sustainable relationships with a diverse spectrum of teens, their parents and community stakeholders throughout the Chicagoland area. 

The primary duties and responsibilities include:  Works with the Manager, High School & College Outreach Programs and other staff.  Recruits and trains/lead programs for participants in the Society’s Conservation Science Scholars program toward its goals, outcomes and objectives, including program development and delivery, on-site and offsite.  Supervises program participants during outreach programs (off-site and on-site) and field trips.  Assists in scheduling Conservation Science Scholars for both on-site and off-site activities.  Assists as directed with operations, program communications.

Assists with implementation of special program events such as the teen conference and High Flyers.  Assists in developing and facilitating orientations and workshops.  Assists with program participant selection and on-boarding.  

Assists with other outreach programs and recruiting events as needed.  Other related duties as assigned to assure successful achievement of Society objectives. 

This position includes the following requirements:  High school diploma or (GED) equivalent required.  

Associate’s degree in Communications, Education, Biology, Liberal Arts or other relevant field or four years of relevant experience.  Four years of experience can include two years of relevant experience delivering informal education programs in an urban setting.  Strong interpersonal and communication skills, verbal, written, and listening skills.  Excellent public speaking and presentation skills. Ability to build relationships and strong rapport and work effectively with a wide range of constituencies and diverse communities.  Must possess skill or experience in identifying and organizing resources, establishing priorities, and meeting critical deadlines.  Ability to work independently.  Requires a self-motivated, responsible individual who is results-oriented, flexible, persistent, and helpful, with strong follow-up skills.  Must be strategic in his/her orientation, proactive, and demonstrate a caring ethic.  Must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and work within a fast-paced environment with shifting priorities.  Computer proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel required.  Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. A valid driver’s license is required on date of hire.  If an Illinois resident, must possess a valid Illinois driver’s license at the time of hire or must obtain one within 90 days of hire.  A valid out-of-state driver’s license is required at time of hire for out-of-state residents. 

The preferred qualifications include: Knowledgeable about zoo/aquaria and conservation issues and topics desirable. Experience with PowerPoint and other office software packages preferred.  Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus.

Additional Information:  Requires a motivated professional who is committed to furthering the organization and its mission.  Incumbent is required to gain an intimate understanding of the organization, its mission, vision, values, and operating philosophies, organizational objectives, and how the projects undertaken impact the operations of the Society and achievement of its long-term strategies. Incumbent works closely with other staff to plan and provide full support for programs and operations. Individual will be expected to be present and visible at Society events in the community, for its employees, and other professional participants and audiences as requested.  Thus, individual must make a significant commitment to the organization.  Regular weekend or event work is required along with local travel around the Chicagoland area.  Some other travel may be required. 

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer / Affirmative Action Employer – Minorities / Women / Veterans / Disabled.

How to Apply

If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile. Please visit our website at Please look for requisition number 1371BR.

Chicago Zoological Society
3300 Golf Road
Brookfield, IL 60513
Phone: 708-688-8400

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