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Curator of Education and Conservation

Brandywine Zoo
Wilmington, Delaware, US
Closing date
Jan 31, 2022
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Delaware Zoological Society

Job Title: Curator of Education and Conservation

Closing Date: Interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Full/Part Time: Full Time, 37.5 hrs/week

Employment (Permanent/Seasonal): Permanent

Starting Salary Range: $44,000-$52,000 per year, based on experience

Schedule: 37.5 hours per week. Includes regular weekend hours and some evenings, early mornings, or holidays required. Some flexible or alternate scheduling options may be available at certain times of year.

Basic Function

The Curator of Education and Conservation oversees education and conservation programs at the

Brandywine Zoo. Supervises, develops, implements, evaluates, administers, and coordinates all aspects of educational and interpretive programs for the Zoo, both internally and externally. Oversees and supports conservation work with conservation team. Reports to Brandywine Zoo Director, Chief of

Interpretation (Delaware State Parks), Executive Director (Delaware Zoological Society).

Job Description

The Delaware Zoological Society is currently seeking an experienced, enthusiastic, and dynamic individual to join our fast-paced team as Curator of Education and Conservation (CEC). This position is responsible for the overall supervision and operations for the Education Department of the Brandywine

Zoo and the Zoo's in-situ and community engagement conservation activities. Duties include designing, developing, implementing educational programs, working in conjunction with other departments on special events and fundraising activities, and management/supervision of interpretive staff, interns, and volunteers. Additionally, overseeing conservation work which includes field work, collecting and reporting data, maintaining permits, designing research methods, collaborating and communicating with partners, landowners, and volunteers.

The Curator of Education and Conservation is a leadership position with the goal of excellence in supervision, training and oversight of their education and conservation team (staff, interns and volunteers). The position must interact professionally with the public, board of directors, zoo staff and volunteers as well as establish working partnerships inside and outside the organization.

Drawing upon a positive outlook and team orientation, the successful candidate will lead our efforts in conservation and education at the Brandywine Zoo.

Primary Duties
  • Oversees the Zoo Education Department and ultimately the coordination and implementation all education activities. This includes public programs, outreach and school programs, scout programs, family/early childhood programs and guest experience programs as well as any new programs or initiatives.
  • Supervises education staff including leadership staff and oversee educators in designing, developing, and implementing programs, training, conservation education programs, education grants, and partnerships
  • Works closely with the Zoological Society and other Zoo staff to ensure public and special events are successful.
  • Develops and disseminates educational messages and programs that satisfy the Zoo's educational, conservation, and financial goals.
  • Ensures staff are properly trained and prepared in respective content areas including but not limited to animal handling, summer camp, supervision and interpretation.
  • Works closely with zoo staff to stay up to date on current protocols and procedures as well as

Delaware State Parks staff on statewide programming efforts, reports and trainings.
  • Teaches in a variety of settings (classroom, outdoors on zoo grounds, off-site for outreach programming, and public events) and is comfortable handling and presenting a variety of live animals including small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates
  • Works with ambassador animal collection to stay up to date on protocols and trained behaviors, training other staff, interns, and volunteers as necessary for programming or animal needs.
  • Administrative duties include- budget creation, tracking and reporting, data reporting, grant- writing, program development, and partnership cultivation. This includes reporting annual department statistics to AZA for ARCS and other reports.
  • Oversight and participation of the zoo's conservation and field research initiatives, conservation grants program and community engagement program. This includes working with Delaware State

Parks and DNREC agencies on statewide conservation work as well as the Community

Engagement Lead in community engagement programs, including initiatives of various AZA

SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction programs the zoo is partnered with (such as North

American Songbird and North American Monarch).

Primary Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have a M.S. or M.A. in Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Science, Biology,

Wildlife Ecology, or Education, and five years of work-related, outdoor environmental education or zoo experience as an equivalent. The ability to lead a team, multi-task and work independently are essential.

Minimum of two years of graduated supervisory experience with increasing responsibilities at an AZA- accredited institution or similar facility or equivalent experience, including demonstrated ability to develop talent, deliver programs, and work with ambassador animals. Demonstrated history of leadership and personnel- and budget-management skills.

Experience leading, coordinating, developing and supervising education programs, with a preference for zoo education, environmental education programs and summer camp. With a working knowledge of a wide range of wildlife natural history as well as Delaware ecosystems and the flora and fauna within.

Experience coordinating, conducting, and managing field conservation programs, including collecting data, collaborating with partners, and managing volunteers. Experience with remote-sensing equipment and/or handling and banding birds preferred.

The successful candidate will have excellent writing and communication skills, a positive attitude, enjoyment of the outdoors, customer service experience, and an ability to deliver engaging, energetic environmental education programs to both children and adults.

Proficiency in typical software, including MS Office and registration/database management software, as well as knowledge of software needed for field work and analysis such as GIS or other mapping programs and data analysis software is needed.

This position requires both outdoor and office tasks, therefore the applicant must be able to work in an outdoor/park environment including walking on trails, over uneven terrain, bending, lifting, digging, and planting. The individual must be able to lift and carry at least 50 pounds and be able to work in sometimes adverse conditions that include rain, heat, insects, etc.

A prerequisite to employment will be a criminal background check and other requirements of working with young children per the Beau Biden Act.

Additional Preferred Experience
  • Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) or Certified Interpretive Guide Trainer (CIGT) preferred.
  • Virtual teaching experience - familiarity with online learning platforms (Zoom, WebEx, etc.).
  • Experience developing environmental education lesson plans for K-12 education that meet NGSS and Common Core curriculum.
  • Video editing and recording experience.

Work Environment

Brandywine Zoo is open to the public 364 days out of the year; therefore, all positions at Brandywine Zoo may require employees to work some weekends, holidays and evenings. The majority of this position's responsibilities are conducted in an office setting, though some work/programs may require working outside for certain periods of time, in variable weather conditions.
  • Must be able to work both weekend days regularly, as well as nights and holidays by assignment

Physical Demands: occasional lifting, bending and walking are a normal expectation.
  • Must be able to work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Must be able to stand and/or sit for extended periods of time.
  • Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds.

Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. Sponsorship for holders of H-1 B
Visas is not provided. As a condition of hire you must possess a valid driver's license (not suspended, revoked or cancelled, or disqualified from driving).

As a condition of employment, all employees must certify that they are fully COVID-19 vaccinated; or be required to test for COVID-19 on a weekly basis; or request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination(s) due to qualified ADA or sincerely held religious beliefs or practices. New Hires must complete the certification or request during their initial week of employment. This will be in effect until further notice.


This is a full-time position and offers the following benefits
  • Medical, vision, dental (85% employer paid up to $6,000)
  • Short-term disability (100% employer paid)
  • Simple IRA account
  • Paid time off (up to 20 PTO days in first year); plus 13 paid holidays

To Apply:

Job Type: Full-time

Pay: $44,000.00 - $52,000.00 per year

  • 401(k) matching
  • Dental insurance
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health insurance
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plan
  • Vision insurance

  • 8 hour shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekend availability

COVID-19 considerations:
we utilize Zoom meetings whenever possible. we have developed an in-office schedule that minimizes people in the office at the same time.

  • Bachelor's (Preferred)

  • Customer service: 1 year (Preferred)

Work Location: One location
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