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Vice President for Education

Audubon Nature Institute
New Orleans, Louisiana, US
Closing date
Jun 1, 2022

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Vice President for Education
Full Time Regular Audubon Zoo, New Orleans, LA, US

6 days ago Requisition ID: 1842

Position Title:Vice President of Education


Reports To:Executive Vice President & COO

General Summary: The Vice President for Education develops and leads comprehensive, organization-wide conservation education initiatives that advance Audubon Nature Institute's (ANI's) strategic vision to create an engaging learning environment encouraging guests of all ages and backgrounds to appreciate the natural world and to preserve it for future generations. Additionally, the Vice President will oversee and lead the operation of the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center facility. The Vice President will:

•Develop, implement, and continuously refine a comprehensive education strategy that defines programmatic goals that support ANI's mission.

•Provide direct oversight and leadership of the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, located in New Orleans East.

•Build, lead and mentor a team of professionals, guiding their skill development, providing constructive feedback, and managing resources to achieve departmental goals for performance and impact.

•Maximize the potential of all Audubon facilities to serve as essential conservation and science education resources locally, regionally, and nationally.

•Deliver a meaningful, high quality guest experience throughout all conservation education initiatives, programs and efforts.

•Ensure that Audubon's education initiatives are creatively and aggressively funded while being financially sustainable

•Serve as a member of Audubon's senior staff ensuring conservation education is a priority for the organization.

•Work collaboratively with Audubon senior leadership, local, regional and national partners to ensure the continued success of Audubon's facilities and mission.

•Ensure exhibit interpretation at all Audubon facilities ensuring the highest standards are met and best practices employed, including strong partnerships with ANI's Animal Ambassadors program and staff.

•Support continued AZA accreditation through excellent conservation education programming and initiatives.

To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Vice President for Education will:

Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality.


Provide strategic direction for development and implementation of guest experiences and conservation education messages for all audiences through formal and informal experiences.

•Ensure that all conservation education programs and materials are of quality, represent the Audubon brand, and consistently provide outstanding guest experiences.

•Ensure that programming ties directly to ANI's mission and strategic vision for conservation education.

•Evaluate effectiveness of programs, identifying metrics for feasibility, ROI, guest satisfaction, and impacts on conservation-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior

•Cooperate with Audubon's conservation program leaders (Gulf United for Lasting Fisheries, Alliance for Sustainable Wildlife, Coastal Wildlife Center, Green Team, and curatorial staff) to promote conservation initiatives.

•Collaborate with the Human Resources Department's training professionals and other senior leaders to incorporate conservation education messaging and mission awareness into staff training

•Work in partnership with Facility Managing Directors to ensure Education staff and volunteers provide a guest experience that exceeds guest expectations at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and all other Audubon facilities.

•Mentor Education staff and nature center staff, encouraging participation in continuing education and Audubon training programs.

Exhibit the diversity of wildlife


Provide direction for interpretive strategies for new exhibits and enhancements to existing exhibits.

•Collaborate with exhibits team to ensure that interpretive graphics throughout all facilities are current, accurate and consistent with program messaging.

•Actively participate in planning, design and implementation of new exhibits or exhibit renovations, championing inclusion of engaging educational opportunities across all Audubon facilities, but especially the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center.

Educate our diverse audience about the natural world


Connect Audubon's educational resources with local, state and national trends.

•Guide development of field trip, classroom, and other educator resources to ensure that Audubon Nature Institute facilities are appropriately aligned to regional STEM initiatives.

•Identify and develop partnerships with other organizations, government entities and individuals to advance Audubon's conservation education goals

•Oversee youth volunteer programs to provide meaningful experiences that inspire a lifelong commitment to nature and conservation

•Direct adult volunteer program to sustain a reliable, trained corps of committed individuals to deliver enhanced guest experiences and contribute positively to conservation awareness.

•Maintain current knowledge of core curriculum, environmental science standards and interpretation best practices and requirements related to AZA accreditation.

Operate a financially self-sufficient collection of museums and parks.


Oversee effective and efficient operations of all Audubon Nature Institute education department and the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center team.

•Recruit, hire, train and lead a team of facility-based education directors who oversee professional education staff

•Recruit, hire, train and lead a team of operations staff at the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center

•Create and maintain a productive work environment by ensuring appropriate training and professional development, establishing good communication within the team and among other departments, guiding conflict resolution, encouraging consensus building and collaboration, and providing necessary tools to empower staff to make sound decisions.

•Evaluate the effectiveness of education staff and programs on a routine basis.

•Establish an annual work plan for each program in collaboration with education staff leaders, including achievable goals, action steps, time lines, and budgetary needs.

•Establish annual operating budget with input from education staff leaders and nature center leaders.

•Collaborate with Advancement Department to develop proposals and grant requests, ensure compliance with grant and contract requirements, and provide data for narrative and financial reports.

•Prioritize funding needs with input from executive staff.

•Adhere to and enforce Audubon policies and procedures

•Respond to customer requests and concerns in professional, effective manner.

•Collaborate with animal care teams to ensure proper care and welfare of ambassador animals.

The above listed duties are general statements of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis. They do not exclude other duties as assigned.


To deliver on the Audubon service promise, the Vice President for Education will:



•Make eye contact with every customer encounter, smile at every person, offer friendly phrases and greetings.

•Walk individuals to their destination instead of pointing; offer assistance to people who look confused.

•Assume ownership of potential safety hazards (wipe-up spills, pick up trash). Always have the camera-ready look.



•Maintain a positive attitude, pleasant tone of voice (remember it is not what you say, but how you say it).

•Coach coworkers on service expectations.

•Utilize the power of teamwork to give excellent service.

•Know when to involve management.



•Know the answers to questions or seek out the answers.

•Utilize proper phone etiquette (answer phone within three rings, smile before answering call, ask for permission and wait for response before placing caller on hold).

•Ensure work area is free of food, drink, socialization, and personal business.

•Follow Dress Code Policy on clothing and grooming.

•Keep unpleasant concerns behind closed doors (vent backstage).


Supervision: The Vice President for Education will provide direct leadership to the Director of Operations for the Audubon Louisiana Nature Center and the Director of Education. These two positions, among other director-level positions are contemplated in a new strategic plan for Education, and the Vice President's final input on that plan will be used as the basis for the future direction of this portion of the Audubon Nature Institute's team and programming.


1.Seven years or greater professional experience in informal/formal science, nature or environmental education in a zoo, aquarium, museum or related facility

2.Five years or greater supervisory experience, including a proven track record for effective employee relations, budget management, program development and evaluation, and grant and other funding development and administration

3.Extensive interaction with a senior management team to set budget and program priorities.


1.Degree in Environmental Education, Education, Biology (or other life science), or related field; advanced degree preferred

Licensure/Certification: not applicable.

Software Requirements:

1.Proficient in use of Microsoft Windows products, including advanced functions of Word, Excel, Outlook, and Power Point

Machinery/Tools/Equipment Requirements:

1.Must have the ability to use mobile devices, computer, fax, scanner, phone and copy machine.

2.Ability to drive a golf cart

3.Ability to use standard office equipment (fax machine, calculator, copier, telephone with voice mail system, digital camera)

Physical Requirements:

1.Sedentary Work: exerting up to 25 pounds of force occasionally, or a negligible amount of force frequently to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects, including the human body. May involve sitting most of the time but may involve walking or standing for brief periods of time.

2.Sitting or standing, bending, stooping, and the ability to carry items weighing up to 25 pounds.

3.Constant adequate range of motion and mobility required.

4.Regular near acuity with clarity of vision at 20 inches or less required.

5.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.

6.Regular talking and the ability to express and exchange ideas by means of language expected.

7.Regular hearing and the ability to perceive the nature of sounds.

8.Constant ability to read, record, or type data quickly and accurately required.

Environmental/Working Conditions:

1.Willingness and ability to work after-hours and weekends when necessary

2.Working long hours between breaks or meals required.

3.Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.

4.May be exposed to high, medium, or low noise intensity.

5.Constant contact with co-workers required.

6.Affinity for animals preferred.

7.Exposure to fluctuations in temperatures may be required.

8.Exposure to outdoor conditions may be required.

Other abilities, skills, knowledge:

1.Must be goal-oriented and self-motivated

2.Must have willingness and ability to take initiative

3.Must be able to manage multiple priorities and deadlines for a wide range of projects

4.Must have exemplary written communications skills

5.Must have exemplary presentation and oral communication skills

6.Must have willingness to promote and practice Stand Out Service

7.Must work effectively in a team environment

8.Must have excellent interpersonal skills with ability to interact with all levels of staff, donors, visitors, and educators
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