Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) is seeking an Education Specialist to design and supervise education programs that meet the missions of FONZ and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
1. Together with Assistant Directors and Team Managers, lead a flexible and collaborative department that thrives on teamwork, innovation, and delivering mission-driven education and volunteer programming.
2. Design, test and support digital-based programming for teachers, students, families, youth and national, web-based audiences, including online tours, Zoo visit resources, curricula and distance learning programs.
3. Develop, conduct and assess volunteer interpreter training using a blended learning model comprised of eLearning courses and onsite workshops. Train volunteers in interpretive techniques and provide them with enriching tools and activities for engaging Zoo visitors. Introduce current trends in education and conservation.
4. Implement a strategic evaluation plan that includes both quantitative and qualitative methods, where appropriate, to measure progress and success against key metrics.
5. Support the transfer of knowledge and expertise from the animal-care staff and scientists to Zoo visitors.
6. Understand and employ best practices in conservation messaging to connect Zoo audiences to conservation issues, threats, and solutions within education programs and content, with the goal of encouraging action.
7. Support the Zoo’s initiative to serve as leaders in environmental and conservation education by participating in professional development, collaborating with educators within the CEVE, Smithsonian and AZA communities.
8. Assist in the planning and production of NZP and FONZ special events.
9. Support other departmental and inter-departmental team initiatives, based on teams’ needs as well as personal interest and growth.
10. Perform other duties as assigned.
1. Bachelors Degree in Education, Museum Studies, Science, or related field required
2. Minimum of 2 years experience training; National Association for Interpretation certification is desired
3. Must have excellent written and oral communication skills (bilingual English/Spanish preferred)
4. Must be detail oriented, excellent organizational skills and the ability to prioritize tasks
5. Must be a problem solver, flexible and creative
6. Must have experience with setting and meeting project objectives, timelines and budgets, as well as with troubleshooting and identifying areas for process improvement
7. Must be able to organize and facilitate trainings and meetings to incude creating accessible training, programs and materials preferred
8. Experience with distance learning, web-casting or digital outreach preferred
9. Must have computer proficiency in MS Office and Adobe Design suite; experience with instructional design software (ex: Captivate, Storyline or Lectora) and Learning Management Systems such as Moodle preferred
10. Must be able to collect and analyze data for program evaluation purposes
11. Must be able to thrive in a culture of high energy and enthusiasm
12. Must work well independently as well as in teams
13. Must be customer service oriented with the ability to interact with staff/volunteers/general public appropriately
14. Must feel comfortable working with and relate well to diverse populations (volunteers, staff, community members, etc.) of all ages, as well as exhibit cultural sensitivity and people-skills
15. Must be able to work in both indoor and outdoor settings
16. Must be able to understand and interpret scientific information
17. Experience researching funding sources, preparing budget requests and submitting proposals for external funding
18. Must be available some evenings and weekend
To apply: Please upload a cover letter and resume.
As an equal opportunity employer, FONZ values workplace diversity.
About Friends of the National Zoo
Friends of the National Zoo is the nonprofit partner of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. FONZ helps the Zoo save species by raising funds to support the Zoo's mission, providing educational and fun experiences, and inspiring members and guests. Every year, FONZ contributes millions of dollars and helps educate more than a million Zoo visitors.