Bird Study & Tracking Curriculum Developer

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Washington, DC
United States


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Job Description:

A Washington, DC-based opportunity for an experienced curriculum developer is available. See below for a job description. Attached is the complete scope of work and a request for quote.


The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is planning an exciting new bird exhibit called “Experience Migration” which is due to open in 2020. In addition to lively aviaries representing habitats across the Western Hemisphere that are vital to the survival of migratory birds, this exhibit will house a Tracking Station. Through participation in bird banding demonstrations and hands-on activities and displays highlighting the latest tracking technologies, visitors to the Tracking Station will learn first-hand how scientists study birds and track their movements across the globe. They’ll also see how information gained through this research leads to more effective conservation efforts.

Required Work

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) seeks a qualified educator to assist in the research, development and delivery of an Experience Migration Tracking Station education curriculum for students in grades 6-8. A successful FONZ educator will promote our mission by providing educational, innovative, and engaging lessons that create knowledge and inspire students and visitors to save wildlife and habitats.

Qualified contractors will submit a quote based on the outline below, a brief description of work plans along with proof of qualifications including experience as a formal or non-formal educator and familiarity with biology, life sciences, environmental education, information technology, global information systems (GIS) and/or ornithology.

Scope of Work and Schedule

The price to Friends of the National Zoo is not to exceed $23,000.

  1. Devise and develop NGSS-aligned STEAM educational curricula for the National Zoo’s new exhibit Experience MigrationMigratory Bird Tracking Station. Responsibilities include:
    1. Collaborate with FONZ and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) to determine the Tracking Station’s curriculum and program needs and requirements.
    2. Conduct extensive research into NZP and SMBC goals, science and conservation programs, and successes.
    3.  Collaborate with SMBC counterpart and FONZ education team to develop Tracking Station lesson plans for Zoo educators and volunteers to use in both formal and informal education programs with visitors, visiting groups, camps and classes, as well as curriculum and resource packets for teachers to use in the classroom.
    4. Connect local science standards of learning, national Next Generation Science Standards to all developed materials.
    5. Work with SMBC counterpart to pilot programs in the Zoo with local school groups and distribute curriculum packets to teachers for evaluation/feedback.
    6. As necessary, work with Experience Migration Interpretive Team staff to revise and refine curriculum.
    7.  Deliver a final product to FONZ and SMBC in preparation of the Experience Migration opening. Ensure that final product accurately reflects the themes, goals, and concepts of the Tracking Station.
  2. Serve on the Experience Migration education team. Responsibilities to include:
    1. Attend regularly scheduled meetings, either in person or by phone.
    2. Provide routine progress updates on curriculum development.
    3. Assist in decision making related to educational components of Experience Migration, especially pertaining to the Tracking Station and its intended goals, outcomes, and activities, and ensure that corresponding curricula is an accurate reflection.


1. One complete curriculum packet, vetted and approved by the Experience Migration Education Team. Curriculum packet to include complete lesson plans, background information, and any teacher resources or additional support documents referenced within the lessons. Curriculum packets become the sole property of Friends of the National Zoo.

2. An evaluated pilot program for targeted schools in the Washington area.

Delivery Location

Work to take place at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and at agreed upon off-site locations. Contractor must provide transportation to and from the Zoo. Transportation time is not billable. Completed curriculum and evaluations are to be delivered electronically to Erika Novak at

How to Apply:

Email Erika Novak at for an application and complete list of required documents.


Erika Novak, Education Specialist



Compensation Information:

FONZ will pay contractor 25% of total at the start of work, 50% during the project at the end of each agreed upon interval, and the remaining 25% upon completion. At each interval, contractor will invoice FONZ and include activities, programs, and appropriate quantitative data as backup material. Contractor may only bill for time spent at approved off-site locations and on-site at the National Zoo. Invoices are paid at net 30 days from receipt of invoice following delivery. Contractor may invoice electronically to or may hand deliver to the Visitor Education and Volunteer Services Office. 

Contact Name:

Erika Novak

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