Job Opportunity: Zoo Education & Volunteer Coordinator – Scovill Zoo

Scovill Zoo LogoOrganization: Scovill Zoo
Location: Decatur, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

JOB TITLE: Zoo Education & Volunteer Coordinator

The Zoo Education and Volunteer Coordinator position will report to the zoo director and will develop and coordinate educational curriculum and programs for a variety of audiences and run our volunteer program.


• Plan, implement, and evaluate on-and off-site educational programs for zoo visitors, school classes, and other groups. This includes networking with related organizations, including the Recreation Department, the Children’s Museum of Illinois, the school system, etc.
• Recruit, interview, train, and supervise adult volunteers who teach mobile zoo programs, guide tours, help with special events, run the train & carousel, and help improve and maintain the zoo’s exhibits, and grounds.
• Interview, train, and supervise educators who teach the summer education programs, including Zoo Kids, Zoo Camp, and Zoo Crew.
• Plan and teach Animal Crackers, the program for 3-5 year olds, and Critter Encounters for children in the 1st and 2nd grade.
• Serve as the administrator in charge on weekdays and weekends as part of a regular rotation, during conferences, and at other times when the Director and Assistant Director are away.
• Assist the Director in planning activities to operate the zoo smoothly, maintain the zoo as a safe place for employees and visitors, supervise employees, maintain signage, enforce policies and safety regulations, and assist the staff as needed for the smooth operation of the zoo.
• Write articles for the members’ newsletter. Edit and proof articles submitted by other staff persons. Work closely with the Park District’s Communications/Marketing Manager in developing and distributing the members’ newsletter.
• Help design interpretive signage with education and conservation themed information.

• Assist the Director in planning activities for all special/social events.
• Prepare portions of grant applications pertaining to education programs, volunteer activities, visitor demographics, zoo attendance, etc., including compiling data, writing original drafts, incorporating any changes suggested by the Zoo and Operations Directors, and final editing and printing.
• Work closely with the Park District’s Communications/Marketing Manager in promoting special events, education programs, and other services.
• Perform other duties as requested or required i.e., personnel administration, telephone answering, planning improvements, special events assistance, maintenance of computer files, operating train and carousel, and representing the zoo in public appearances. Perform Mobile Zoo presentations when necessary.
• Conducts workshops to acquaint educators with use of institution’s facilities and materials. Attends teacher meetings, conventions, and conferences to promote and enhance use of institution services.
• Other duties may be assigned.
• Provides orientation and training to staff
• Maintains required departmental records
• Attends professional conferences and workshops to promote knowledge in related areas of responsibility and for continuing education

Supervises Education Staff, Volunteers, and seasonal zoo employees while serving as administrator in charge.


• BA/BS in Biology, Education, or closely related field from an accredited college or university
• Minimum of two (2) years of relevant experience.
• Or, any equivalent combination of education, experience and training
• Valid Driver’s License
• CPR and First Aid Certifications preferred

• Directly supervises 1 to 10 employees.
• Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performances; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
• Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations.
• Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.
• Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public.
• Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume.
• Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.
• Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists.
• Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.
• Employee should have a college degree in education or biology with experience teaching younger children.
• The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
• While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
• Ability to cooperate with and interpret Park District philosophies in relation to governmental, public and private groups and agencies and to the general public
• Strong knowledge of pertinent safety precautions
• Ability to hire, supervise, train and evaluate the work of skilled and semi-skilled employees
• Ability to maintain positive and effective working relationships with other supervisors and subordinate employees
• Ability to work harmoniously with fellow employees, patrons, community groups and other units of local government.
• Ability to work independently in day-to-day operations with the zoo director and office staff
• Capacity to utilize effective time management skills and be able to work under the stress of multiple deadlines, requests from other departments and interruptions with accuracy
• Ability to work in a team atmosphere, promoting positive work relationships with both internal and external customers
• Ability to demonstrate leadership qualities to perform required work
• Ability to communicate effectively with fellow staff and the public both orally and in writing
• Capacity to be self-motivated and achieve goals with minimal supervision or direction
• Ability to maintain self-control and composure in difficult situations
• Capacity to utilize computer skills, including demonstrated proficiencies in word processing and basic spreadsheet and database applications
• Capacity to proactively troubleshoot, problem solve and make sound judgments with respect to confidentiality

• Monday through Sunday, minimum of 40 hours a week, with work hours designated by the Zoo Director
• Supervisory weekend rotation April through October
• Night, weekend and holiday scheduling may be required
• Employee is considered to be on duty whenever the need exists
• Regular evening and weekend hours and being on call is required as needed

Please send resume and cover letter via e-mail to Ken Frye,


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