Zoo Conservation Learning Specialist (Close Sept 16)

Conservation Learning Specialist - Oregon Zoo (part-time)


$26.42 - $35.42 Hourly


Oregon Zoo, OR

Job Type

Part Time


Oregon Zoo

Job Number



9/16/2019 5:00 PM Pacific

Position summary

Bring your experience in nature education and educational program development to the Oregon Zoo, where you will directly support our groundbreaking wildlife conservation and education efforts.  The ideal candidate is adept at welcoming, teaching, and inspiring diverse, multicultural audiences.
The Conservation Learning Specialist works within the Inspiration, Learning and Action Team of the Oregon Zoo to lead a variety of back-of-house and overnight experiences that support camps, overnights and special event programming.
This position will coordinate and work independently to support all aspects of overnight education programs at the Oregon Zoo, including marketing, logistics, staff scheduling and support to increase participation and meet revenue goals. They will work with the Conservation Learning Programs Manager and other team members to develop and evaluate interactive, engaging and relevant program activities and age-appropriate lesson plans.  The Conservation Learning Specialist also will support coordination of other conservation learning programs, including the Conservation Pub lecture series, Discovery Tours, behind the scenes tours, overnights, camps and other public fee-based programs and events.
This half-time position is scheduled to work 20 hours per week and is eligible for Metro's generous benefits package; benefits are pro-rated for part-time employees. Work includes late evening and early morning shifts and occasional overnights and weekends to support staff and deliver programs.
At the Oregon Zoo, we hire a workforce representative of the communities we serve, understanding that a diverse workforce strengthens our organization. We value diversity and support a positive and welcoming environment where all of our employees can thrive.

Essential Job Duties

An employee in this position must be able to perform all the essential job duties listed below with or without reasonable accommodation. This list is not intended to include all of the specific tasks which an employee in this position may be expected to perform.

  • Oversee all curriculum and logistics for overnights, in consultation with Camps and Overnights Coordinator.

  • Deliver educational tours in front-of-house and behind-the-scenes areas to fee-based program participants, highlighting the Oregon Zoo's work in wildlife conservation and animal welfare.

  • Schedule, train, support and monitor the work of part-time, variable hour staff who present programming for overnight program participants (school-age students and their adult chaperones).

  • Interview, recommend for hire, train, guide and actively coach on-call part-time, variable hour overnight program staff responsible for educational programming, safety and security, food service and recreational activities adapting to each age group, from 6-year-olds to high school-age, with adult chaperones.

  • Set up, organize, plan and develop logistical procedures (supplies, behind-the-scenes tours, guest speakers, etc.) for overnights and other conservation learning programs, such as the Conservation Pub lecture series, Discovery Tours, and other public fee-based programs. Coordinate animal enrichment activities, behind-the-scenes tours and guest speakers for relevant programming.

  • Respond to customer needs (particularly adult guardians of participants), answer questions, alleviate concerns, resolve problems and make special arrangements, as needed.

  • Develop and plan new culturally inclusive programming ideas and educational experiences, considering costs, logistics, educational goals and curriculum; align programming with the greater zoo priorities and strategic plan.

  • Assist in marketing overnights and other conservation learning programs by developing descriptions and staffing promotional events.

This position is represented by AFSCME Local 3580 is classified as an Education Specialist II (click to read the full classification). Classification descriptions are typically written broadly and do not include the specific duties and responsibilities of the positions.

Minimum Requirements

  • A minimum of two years of experience in education working with youth ages 6-19, AND

  • A bachelor's degree in education, environmental science, social studies or another relevant field; OR

  • Any combination or education and experience that would provide the necessary skills, knowledge and ability to perform the job.

Requires a valid driving license with at least two years of driving history and a clean driving record and successfully passing the Oregon Childcare Registry background check.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience presenting educational programs to groups in tour settings at a zoo, aquarium or similar venue.

  • Experience working with diverse audiences and age groups.

  • Experience leading, training, and coaching teams of 4 to 20 people.

  • Education and/or experience in wildlife conservation, biology and zoology.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities

  • Knowledge of program and project management

  • Knowledge of general teaching and interpretation methods for formal and informal settings Knowledge of specific content and concepts related to educating about wildlife and conservation

  • Knowledge of the basic principles and practices of educational program development Knowledge of academic standards, multiple learning styles, natural history interpretation or other relevant area, and other techniques relevant to formal and non-formal learning environments

  • Knowledge of the fundamentals of classroom and group management Knowledge of educational planning and program evaluation

  • Knowledge of group dynamics and group problem-solving techniques, such as leading meetings, gaining support while dealing with complex subjects, resolving conflicts and reaching consensus

  • Ability to lift and carry educational materials weighing up to 40 pounds on a regular basis.

  • Ability to walk and/or move around the Oregon Zoo, covering between 3 and 5 miles per day on occasion.

  • Ability to use computers and software related to presentation and general office work, and to enter data and run basic reports, collect program data and preparation of program reports

  • Ability to use interpretive methods and techniques to present before groups of all sizes and backgrounds

  • Ability to plan and lead workshops, seminars and other professional training sessions Ability to research and present educational programs and projects

  • Ability to evaluate, improve and expand current programs and participate in creating new programs

  • Ability to train, assign and direct the work of part-time, variable hour staff, volunteers and other staff Ability to effectively communicate ideas, program concepts and delivery, both orally and in writing

Additional Information

Working conditions: This position will be required to lift and carry educational materials weighing up to 40 pounds on a regular basis, and to walk and/or move around the Oregon Zoo, covering up to 5 miles in a day, on occasion.

Online applications: Metro accepts job applications online. If you need assistance or accommodation with your application, or access to a computer, call 503-797-1570.

Accommodation: Reasonable accommodation is available to anyone whose specific disability prevents them from completing this application or participating in this process. To obtain confidential assistance please contact Human Resources at 503-797-1570.

Public Employees Retirement System (PERS): New employees will pay the employee portion of the PERS contribution.

Veterans' Preference: Under Oregon Law, qualified veterans may be eligible for veterans' preference when applying for Metro positions. If you are a veteran and would like to be considered for a veterans' preference for this job, please provide qualifying documents as instructed during the application process.

Criminal background check: In order to protect the wellbeing of its employees, the public and agency assets, Metro may conduct criminal background checks on candidates selected for Metro positions. Criminal convictions do not necessarily preclude employment and will be considered on a case by case basis. A background check will only be conducted if you are selected as a finalist for a position. If selected as a finalist, you will be contacted by Human Resources prior to the initiation of a background check.

Equal employment opportunity:  All qualified persons will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, marital status, familial status, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability for which a reasonable accommodation can be made or any other status protected by law. Assistance will be gladly provided upon request for any applicant with sensory or non-sensory disabilities.

An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer