Interpretation Specialist

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Deadline to Apply:

Sunday, October 2, 2016, 4:30pm



Houston, TX
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:


  • Make decisions with the best interest of the Zoo: our mission, our guests and our animal collection.
  • Helps to maintain facilities and props used for on-site programs and activities.
  • Will be required to work some holidays, weekends, and evenings. Regular schedule will be 40 hours per week from Saturday to Wednesday.
  • Other duties as assigned.

80% of time interacting with Zoo guests on-grounds includes:

  • Assists with the daily scheduling and delivery of interpretive and theatrical presentations including activities on a timely and routine basis.
  • Collaborates with various Zoo departments on conservation messages, interpretive programming and guest engagement.
  • Develops and implements interpretive and theatrical presentations as well as activities for preschool to adult seniors to promote our conservation story and connections to our animals as ambassadors for their wild counterparts.
  • Implement programming using costumes and stage props and wearing mascots.
  • Prepares and creates necessary materials for use in interpretive and theatrical presentations.
  • Assists the Interpretative Programs Supervisor in the evaluating of interpretation curriculum for appropriateness and effectiveness through sound zoo and education philosophies and support of the institution’s mission.
  • Uses appropriate animal handling techniques to give live animal demonstrations.

20% of time will include:

  • Assist with pre-scheduled on-site education programs for individuals and groups including toddlers, adults, school groups, professional development for educators, summer and winter camps, early childhood programs, hospital programming and high school conservation activities, as well as distance learning programming.
  • Assist with animal handling training workshops for staff, teens, volunteers, or interns.
  • Understands the interpretive and theatrical programs budget and works within those constraints.
  • Assists in the development of presentation curriculum to include, but not limited to, age appropriate conservation messages.
  • Attend and participate in department meetings and zoo committees.



One year experience informal education is required. Experience working with live animals is preferred. One year experience in theatrical performing and or presenting individually or with a partner/group in a private and/or public venue desired.


A 4 year degree in education, natural sciences, communications, or theatrical arts is required. Ability to read, write and speak Spanish desired. A valid Texas driver’s license is required.


Physical Effort:

This position involves routine lifting of moderately heavy items such as animal kennels or boom boxes (up to 40 pounds) and/or long periods of walking on rough surfaces on a routine basis.

Work Environment:

There are routine discomforts from exposure to moderate heat, cold, moisture/wetness and unpleasant air conditions.  The position may involve routine exposure to soiled materials and light chemical substances such as cleaning solutions.

Physical Skill: 

The applicant must be outgoing and able to perform scripted and improvisational programs and  use comedy and theater in presentations.  The applicant must also be able to perform physical theater which involves exaggerated movement and/or activities with stamina, such as running, falling, squatting, kneeling, and exaggerated facial expressions.

Public Contact:

Requires heavy public contact requiring considerable interpersonal skill, extensive interaction with the public and with donors, members and the press requiring a high degree of appreciation of customer service. Requires the ability to perform interact and respond to crowds of various sizes and ages. Most presentations occur on stage but the ability to perform in a variety of venues is desired

How to Apply:

Applicants can visit to download an application

E-mail resume and completed application to

Houston Zoo is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer