The Curator of Education is an integral member of the Zoo’s Senior Animal Staff team and works to advance the Memphis Zoo’s goals, strategic initiatives and overall mission. The direct responsibilities of the position are for the overall operations of the education department. The Curator of Education will enhance formal environmental education programs and informal science education at the Zoo by extending the use of learning technologies to provide customized information to visitors, with a goal of maintaining the Memphis Zoo as a resource in the region for environmental and life science education. The Curator of Education also evaluates patron experiences, administers finances in a manageable and sustainable manner, identifies local and regional opportunities and partnerships to support the Zoo’s mission and generate revenues, develops expertise in education programming amongst staff, supervises the education team and works closely with Volunteer Services.
· Manage education department which encompasses 10 full-time staff and several part-time and seasonal positions.
· Work cohesively with all departments for education and interpretive needs.
· Engage Zoo’s constituents with entertaining, purposeful, and positive educational programs and experiences that build on the Zoo’s mission.
· Identify and establish tools and mechanisms to measure and monitor the finances of the department. Prepare and monitor the education department operating budget.
· Facilitate the development and dissemination of science-based conservation education curricula at the local and regional level using the skills of our diverse Zoo staff, education partners, and technology.
· Serve as a recognizable leader and trusted resource in the Mid-South on wildlife issues and conservation education on a local, national, and international level.
· Enhance visitor experience by creating and maintaining interactive, personalized education programs that align with the Zoo’s mission.
· Continued development and expansion, planning, and coordination of all educational activities for the zoo.
· Education Programs: Keep programs current and well attended. Set program pricing and develop program evaluation procedures. Capture and plot group and individual program participant zip codes to determine areas of draw. Track school group participation and contact former and non-participants. Create promotional materials to target key educators and supporters for each program type.
· Develop and present short- and long-range program improvements for the department, and implement approved plans.
· Plan, assign, supervise, develop and train educational personnel.
· Supervise the maintenance of all education records regarding tours, classes, and special programs. Coordinate with other departments to provide AZA with accurate programming and guest engagement numbers on an annual basis.
· Initiate, develop, and supervise the publishing of promotional materials for Education such as virtual materials, teacher’s guides, visitor guides, educational brochures, and curriculum materials. Partner with Marketing department as appropriate. Assist in interpretive plan with seasonal and permanent exhibits as needed.
· Work with Development department staff as needed to prepare applications for grant proposals.
· Perform other related duties as directed in order to achieve the goals, mission, and objectives of the Zoo.
Education and / or Training:
Graduation from a four-year college or university with a degree in education, science, nonprofit management, or a closely related field.
Minimum of five years of experience in a zoo, aquarium, museum, not-for-profit, educational institution or related organization with progressive responsibilities. Supervisory experience preferred and budgetary experience a plus. Any acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience which demonstrates the background necessary to perform the functions of the position may substitute for the above.
Special Skills, Knowledge and Abilities:
· Demonstrated leadership
· Motivitated to work cohesively with all teams within the zoo.
· Working knowledge of principles and practices of supervision and budget oversight
· Ability to supervise in a manner conducive to full performance and high morale
· Ability to identify and execute strategies
· Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing
· Working knowledge of community relations and the development and use of community services
· Working knowledge of principles and practices of publicity, promotion, and public relations
· Working knowledge of educational practices used in nature and zoological interpretation
· Working knowledge of ecological and zoological problems
· Ability to prepare written material and analyze data for reports
· Ability to work days, weekends, evenings, or holidays as needed
Machines, Equipment and Aids used in the job:
· Familiarity with Windows-based PCs, a variety of word processing and database management computer programs, including Microsoft Word, Excel, email, and Internet research.
· Telephones, typewriters, fax machines, copiers, and other standard office equipment.