Outreach Animal Programs Supervisor

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Deadline to Apply:

Monday, April 3, 2017, 5:30pm



Apple Valley, MN
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Key Job Duties Include:

  • Lead efforts to develop innovative new programs and manage and improve existing offsite Zoomobile animal ambassador programs and resources to maximize effectiveness, appeal, participation, earned revenue and mission value to the Zoo.
  • Model best practices in live animal interpretation and education and present high quality on and offsite programming to diverse audiences as needed to fulfill program demand.
  • Collaborate with the Education Director and Leadership Team to define goals, direction, and objectives for all outreach programs.
  • Work with the Education Director and Marketing Department to promote outreach program opportunities and balance pro bono program hours with efforts to maximize earned revenue.
  • Coordinate with Zoo Public Relations, Legislative Affairs, Communications, and Foundation staff to prioritize appearances and programs that support Zoo mission and messaging needs.
  • Build and maintain an outreach audience network throughout Minnesota, including schools, libraries, community centers, hospitals, and corporations, and schedule programs year-round to extend the reach of the Zoo to all citizens across the state.
  • Maintain currency in Minnesota K-12 curriculum requirements and trends to ensure that all school outreach assemblies and classroom programs are relevant and lead efforts to create and maintain resources for K-12 teachers that support outreach animal programs to schools.
  • Assist with funding proposal development and grant management in support of outreach animal programs.
  • Create evaluation tools, train staff to integrate evaluation and assessment into program delivery, and conduct regular evaluations of outreach animal programs to track the quality of program design and delivery, educational impact and outcomes, and participant satisfaction.
  • Lead efforts to utilize current educational technology in programming as appropriate.
  • Keep detailed and accurate records of all aspects of programming for outreach animal programs and provide regular activity and financial reports to the Education Director.
  • Actively participate in department and zoo-wide initiatives and provide leadership support for other education program areas and animal program areas as needed.
  • Represent the Minnesota Zoo within AZA’s network of animal ambassador professionals by participating in network discussions, joint research projects, and development of best practices, and occasionally attending or presenting at conferences.
  • Maintain proficiency in state financial software (Access, SWIFT, etc.) and Zoo-wide database software (Tessitura, Artifax, T-Stats, etc.), generate and analyze reports from each, and utilize data-driven decision making to improve and expand programs.
  • Assist Education Director in setting and monitoring annual revenue and expense goals for outreach animal programs and prepare and manage the outreach animal programs budgets.
  • Coordinate with Finance department to administer client contracts and manage program invoicing and payment collection.
  • Maintain professional and technical currency in animal husbandry, training, enrichment, and interpretation.
  • Prepare and feed established diets, clean holding areas, and manage all aspects of animal husbandry for the Zoomobile outreach animal collection.
  • Maintain safe, secure, and clean animal holding areas and establish and enforce standard animal care and enrichment protocols for all staff according to industry best practices.
  • Integrate the training and enrichment of outreach program animals into a comprehensive animal welfare program.
  • Oversee management and training of volunteers and interns, and maintain and enforce a standardized animal handling protocol and certification schedule for education staff and volunteers.
  • Maintain proficiency in animal record keeping software (ZIMS, etc.) and ensure timely and accurate data entry by all staff.
  • Immediately address any observed irregularity in any animal’s appearance, condition, behavior, functions or eating habits.
  • Maintain open and regular communication with Biological Programs and Animal Health staff, including attendance at weekly Animal Management and Animal Health meetings.
  • Lead and coordinate the selection, acquisition and disposition of species and/or individual animals in accordance with education program goals, Zoo strategic initiatives, and the Zoo’s Responsible Population Management Policy.
  • Ensure that all outreach animal program and animal care equipment is clean, in good repair, in working order and accounted for, and coordinate and submit work order and purchase requests as necessary.
  • Assess the qualifications of candidates and hire employees to perform job duties to ensure animal welfare standards and achieve education department objectives.
  • Schedule and assign staff to specific programs, duties, and tasks in a fair, equitable and timely manner to meet program and annual work plan objectives.
  • Provide regular formal and informal communication to update staff and solicit feedback on important Zoo and department information and activities.
  • Create a positive work environment and empower staff to embrace creativity, efficiency, and teamwork on a daily basis.
  • Regularly observe and evaluate employee performance, define and clearly communicate expectations for daily responsibilities, long-term initiatives, and areas for improvement, encourage and coach for continuous improvement, recognize excellence and discipline when necessary.
  • Provide new and ongoing employee training and professional development according to individual (employee growth) and departmental needs, including zoo-wide training drills.
  • Administer applicable labor contracts fairly and equitably and in accordance with policy.
  • Perform all supervisory tasks in accordance with established equal opportunity/affirmative action, non-harassment, employee safety policies/ procedures and Respect in the Workplace guidelines.
  • Maintain individual and staff proficiency in first aid and CPR techniques to assist in managing staff and guest accidents or emergencies.
  • Maintain and enforce health and safety rules, policies, and regulations, respond to safety concerns and incidents appropriately, and recommend improvements for safety conditions and environmental quality in service areas, animal areas, public areas and vehicles.
  • Maintain currency of knowledge in conservation status of Zoo animal collection.
  • Maintain currency of knowledge in Zoo’s ex situ and in situ conservation projects and efforts as well as basic conservation biology concepts and wildlife conservation strategies.
  • Insert appropriate relevant conservation messaging and opportunities for participants to act on behalf of wildlife and wild places into all programs and presentations.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree with a major in education, zoology, animal husbandry or closely related;
  • Five (5) years of equivalent experience;
  • Work experience that includes each of the following: 
  • A minimum of two (2) years of program development and management experience at an informal education institution such as a zoo, aquarium, or museum; AND
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience supervising staff, and preparing and managing budgets; AND
  • A minimum of two (2) years of experience conducting animal programs, caring for an educational animal collection, and training education animals to participate in public programming in both on and offsite environments, including at least one (1) year of experience in acquisition/disposition, collection management, and transport of live animals; AND
  • Superior educational performance, presentation, and teaching skills, both with and without live animals.; AND
  • Experience should also include tracking employee performance/employee development, effective oral and written communication, proficiency with technology, measuring and reporting program success, marketing, grant management, and demonstrated creativity and effective leadership.
  • In order to be considered your resume must include a clear description of your qualifications for all requirements.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of formal K-12 school and district curriculum frameworks and trends in standards and testing.
  • Experience with informal or formal program evaluation, visitor studies and/or audience research.
  • Demonstrated success writing grant proposals, tracking outcomes, and preparing reports. 
  • Knowledge of zoology, biology, environmental sciences, conservation, wildlife biology, and sustainability issues.
  • Proven passion for and commitment to informal education, and enthusiasm for the potential impact conservation education and experiences can have on participants.
  • Proven creativity and effective leadership.

Additional Requirements

This position requires successful completion of the following:

  • Background check, including fingerprints, and driver's license check.


How to Apply:

Applications will be received through the State of Minnesota career portal.  Click "Apply" at the bottom of the Job Posting on the State's job site HERE.