Guest Engagement Educator (Zoo)

Guest Engagement Educators interpret the animal collection and conservation initiatives of the Audubon Nature Institute. Guest Engagement Educators assist in the creation, scheduling and presentation, of engaging, educational presentations in all areas of the facilities. Guest Engagement educators will work hands-on with a wide range of non-releasable wildlife and animal ambassadors. Primary responsibilities will include the following: creation of high-energy programming, public speaking, animal handling and direct interaction with guests. They are expected to provide excellent customer service. Guest Engagement Educators are also expected to provide conservation messaging in all interactions with guests.

Job Description:

  • Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality
  • Delivers interpretive programs. This includes narrating training and feeding demonstrations, conducting animal encounters, leading Discovery Walk and conducting other chats.
  • Assists in creating a schedule for the chats and presentations.
  • Understands the significance of his/her role and how they can positively impact visitors. Pro-active, friendly communication will be expected at all times, as well as anticipating visitors’ needs and desires. 
  • Communicates issues or concerns to the Director of Education Programs and the Guest Engagement Manager in a timely manner. 
  • Works in a cooperative manner with Animal Staff and respects the educational animal collection spaces, protocols, and equipment. 
  • To assist in any Audubon Nature Institute education program, as needed by the Department.
  • Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience
  • Communicates messages clearly to guests using a microphone, as well as one on one interaction.
  • Supervises and assists in the continued training of all volunteers in proper animal handling guidelines. 
  • Assist in using evaluation tools for programs to reflect visitor interest and satisfaction and to identify future areas of growth.
  • Assists in operant training programs for animal ambassadors to better manage them for public presentations. 
  • Assists in general education department needs as necessary. 
  • Educate our diverse audience about the natural world.
  • Demonstrates consistent conservation messages into all educational programming.
  • Assists in training and evaluation methods to maintain and continue to improve the volunteer programs for the volunteer involved and the guest experience.
  • Actively collaborate with Marketing, Development, Membership and Special Events to support non-routine special events.
  • Actively seeks up- to-date information in informal educational methodologies and zoo education trends. 
  • Actively seeks out and participates in professional development opportunities as approved by supervisor.

Desired Skills:

  • Supervision: Volunteers-youth and adult

Experience: 

  • 1-3 years working in an informal learning environment and demonstrated experience working in animal presentations and naturalist chats.
  • Demonstrated ability to relate and communicate effectively with youth and adults from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated ability to read, interpret, and communicate documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Proven ability to speak effectively before groups of guests and employees.
  • Experience handling animals or ability to learn to handle animals including raptors, reptiles, aquatics, and invertebrates (all classes).
  • Experience in animal training and enrichment strongly desired.

Education: Bachelor’s degree required in Education, Biology, Zoology, Communications, Ecology, Environmental Education or related field and/or equivalent work experience.

Physical Requirements:

  • Sitting or standing, bending, stooping, and the ability to carry items weighing up to 25 pounds.
  • Ability to pass annual TB tests.
  • Ability to perceive visual, odor, or behavioral changes in animals to determine changes in animals’ stress level or general wellbeing. Must have excellent peripheral vision, depth perception, and quick motor response for animal and audience control during presentations.
  • Must be able to reach above shoulder level, stoop and squat to retrieve kennels and animals, which also may require stepping on stools. Must be able to lift and carry up to 30 pounds.
  • Must be able to stand or walk for up to 2/3 of the day
  • Constant adequate range of motion and mobility required.
  • Ability to speak loudly to crowds in a variety of situations included moderate to loud crowds.
  • Typical ability to collect and analyze numerical and written data and verbal information to reach logical conclusions and ability to determine the time, place and sequence of operations or actions required.
  • Regular talking and the ability to express and exchange ideas by means of language expected.

Environmental/Working Conditions:

  • Working long hours between breaks or meals required.
  • Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.
  • May be exposed to high, medium, or low noise intensity.
  • Constant contact with co-workers required.
  • Works effectively in a moderately noisy office.
  • Affinity for animals required.
  • Exposure to fluctuations in temperatures is required.
  • Exposure to extreme heat and outdoor conditions is required.
  • Must be able to work holidays and weekends

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