Lead Naturalist



Decatur, AL
United States

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Job Description:

 Lead Naturalist is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the museum's natural science programs. Responsible for programs with science content that includes biology, ecology, botany, chemistry, fresh water science (including riparian zones), zoology, environmental science and Alabama biodiversity. Must have extensive knowledge and experience in a wide range of natural science topics and scientific methods, such as field biology and water quality testing as examples. Must understand, and have experience in free-choice and informal learning environments. This position supervises other education staff members and volunteers and reports to the Education Manager. The Lead Naturalist should have a passion for animal husbandry, as they will be responsible for the care of the museum’s live education animals. Should have a well-rounded, general knowledge of flora and fauna of North America and be very comfortable around live animals.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Demonstrated ability to train and manage staff and volunteers. For example, training staff to deliver live animal programs, training volunteers for specific tasks and coordinated all schedules
  • Develops and writes free-choice learning, natural science programs for ages 6 years to 18 years old for both the general public and school programs. Implements programs and hands on activities at a high level of excellence and customer service. For example, this will include programs such as, daytime field trips for classroom students, homeschool groups, overnight events, science on the spot, and family science nights, just to name a few
  • Responsible for the cleaning, feeding and overall care of education program animals
  • Responsible for care and keeping of Adventure Lab classroom, all equipment, gear, supplies and specimens. Ensures the lab is kept clean and inviting to guests
  • Provide a positive experience for all museum guests (students, parents, chaperones and teachers)
  • Actively work to make the Cook Museum education programs the best possible by updating and improving programs and materials on a regular basis
  • Use free-choice learning methods to create memorable, engaging education programs
  • Observe the behavior of students and can adjust how you communicate with them
  • Recognize and report any hazards to the Education Manager, and be part of finding solutions
  • Maintains positive relationships with local area public school teachers and leaders
  • Must work with the Education Manager on planning of annual budget for natural science programs
  • Report through weekly updates about the impact, progress, and challenges related to natural science programs
  • Ability to contribute to grant writing as needed in collaboration with the Education Manager and the Executive Director
  • Attend scheduled training sessions and meetings
  • Other duties as assigned

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