Director of Conservation and Science
Arizona Center for Nature Conservation
Announcement and Job Description
Job Title: Director of Conservation and Science
Department: Conservation and Science
Supervisor: EVP of Conservation and Education
Supervises: Conservation and Science Manager, interns and student researchers as appropriate
FLSA Status: Full Time; Regular; Exempt
The Arizona Center for Nature Conservation is seeking a hands-on Director of Conservation and Science to oversee and manage our native species conservation and recovery programs, including strategic planning, animal husbandry and management, scientific research, collaborations with federal, state, university and non-governmental organization partners, and communication with public and professional audiences. The Director of Conservation and Science is also responsible for managing the ACNC's conservation grants program.
The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated conservation scientist with extensive experience as a project manager and strategic thinker well-versed in the challenges facing wildlife and wild places regionally and internationally. This position requires effective interpersonal and communication skills, as well as experience guiding and motivating diverse staff and volunteer teams and rallying support from audiences ranging from students to donors.
This position requires a proven capacity to produce materials for popular and scientific publication and demonstrated knowledge of statistics and experimental design. The ideal candidate will have experience developing and managing complex budgets and enjoy coaching students and early career professionals as well as representing the ACNC at scientific conferences and meetings.
If you are a thoughtful, creative, hard-working conservation scientist eager to be entrusted with the hands-on management of recovery and research efforts for endangered wildlife and fostering the next generation of conservation scientists and stewards, please submit a CV and cover letter with your application materials via our application portal located at http://www.phoenixzoo.org/careers/ (under "Current Openings").
The first round of applications will be reviewed beginning April 1; application closes April 15.
The Director of Conservation and Science will assist with design, implementation, and overall strategic direction of the Conservation and Science Department work of the Phoenix Zoo, including the alignment of native species husbandry, recovery, research and international grant programs with the mission and institutional goals of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation. The Director will represent the ACNC/Phoenix Zoo in these areas within the governmental, regulatory and academic communities, and within the regional, national, and international conservation community; bringing back to the ACNC pertinent issues that will inform collection composition, recovery efforts, habitat conservation efforts, international conservation support, operating procedures, and communication strategies. This position will ultimately act to enhance the reputation of the ACNC and Phoenix Zoo and extend the positive influence of the ACNC into the broader community on matters of wildlife and habitat conservation and sustainability practices.
- Provide quality guest service to both internal and external guests by maintaining a WILD (friendly, helpful, positive and professional) working attitude and appearance.
- Assist in the development, maintenance and revision, as needed, of the strategic plans for the Conservation and Science programs to support the ACNC’s overall corporate direction and business plan.
- Budget for and manage resources as appropriate to achieve prioritized goals identified within the conservation science strategic plan.
- Collaborate with all relevant internal and external parties in the development and implementation of applied conservation programs such as propagation and research programs that support recovery of free-ranging populations of animals as well as in situ efforts that support institutional conservation priorities.
- Oversee and evaluate the husbandry and management of targeted native species of conservation concern at the Johnson Conservation Center.
- Facilitate review of external and internal research requests related to Zoo collection animals and on-site visitor studies and other guest-related research, utilizing a cross-departmental committee for discussion and approval of all requests. Ensure that all approved requests are in compliance with institutional research policies and priorities.
- Represent the ACNC/Phoenix Zoo in communications with appropriate government officials and regulatory agencies, conservation organizations and community leaders, concerned citizen groups, and other organizations working on topics of mutual concern and interest.
- Develop and sustain ACNC/Zoo involvement in collaborative AZA conservation partnerships as appropriate, in conjunction with EVP of Conservation and Education.
- Design, implement, analyze, write, review and publish research studies to contribute to scientific understanding of species of conservation concern and efforts aimed at supporting their recovery in the wild.
- Oversee the development of experimental design and data analysis of studies conducted at the Zoo’s Johnson Conservation Center by staff and interns.
- Develop, administer and advise intern and researcher programs to contribute to the mentoring of the next generation of conservation scientists and stewards.
- Develop, write and administer grants related to scientific understanding and recovery of species of conservation concern held in ACNC collection, in conjunction with EVP of Conservation and Education.
- Represent the ACNC/Phoenix Zoo in media, whether on camera, radio, or other broadcasts, or by written communications to promote awareness of and support for the organization’s conservation work.
- Oversee local species conservation initiatives and strategies through participation in recovery teams, steering committees, and working groups; administer regional and global conservation through conservation grant program and contributions management.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, skills, duties, requirements, efforts, or working conditions associated with the job. Management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed when circumstances change (e.g. emergencies, changes in personnel, workload, rush jobs, or technological developments).
- Minimum of a Master’s degree or equivalent in biology or other life science field.
- Minimum five years’ managerial and leadership experience in an AZA accredited zoo or aquarium or similar institution with biological or scientific focus, including successful track record of staff and animal husbandry programs.
- Strong knowledge of topics related to conservation biology and adaptive management, as well as demonstrated commitment to keeping abreast of developments in the field required.
- Demonstrated knowledge of statistics and experimental design required.
- Knowledge of and experience with state and federal wildlife agency policies and protocols, including permitting process, strongly preferred.
- Exceptional oral and written communication skills required.
- Proven capacity to create materials for popular and scientific publication required. Bibliography must include peer-reviewed scientific publications and publications geared toward general audiences.
- Proven skill in public speaking in front of a variety of diverse audiences required.
- Proven skill in budget development and tracking; grant development, writing and administration required.
- Strong interpersonal skills and capacity to foster cooperative and collaborative working relationships required.
- Strong organizational and managerial skills and demonstrated experience leading teams required.
- Experience developing and leading organizational sustainability initiatives preferred.
- Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evenings, weekends, weeknights, and to travel as needed for conferences and meetings required.
- Ability to camp overnight if needed for field work required.
- Possession of a valid driver’s license required.
- Ability to pass pre-employment background check, drug test, DMV check and clear annual TB test required.
To apply, please visit: http://www.phoenixzoo.org/careers/
Résumés are not accepted for any ACNC position without an accompanying application. While postings may remain on outside sites for longer, once a job is removed from the Phoenix Zoo career site, it is closed and we will no longer accept applications. If you are a top candidate for a current opening, we will contact you within a few weeks of the position closing. Unfortunately, due to the number of applications and résumés we receive, we are only able to respond to those applicants who best match our current openings.