Education Program Specialist

Smithsonian’S National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute Washington , DC 20319

Posted 4 months ago

The Education Program Specialist will design and supervise education programs that meet the missions of Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and Smithsonians National Zoo. Together with the Assistant Directors and Team Managers, the Education program Specialist will lead a flexible and collaborative department that thrives on teamwork, innovation, and delivering mission-driven education and volunteer programming.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Manage and expand school program offerings, both on-site and through distance learning/virtual field trips.

  • Execute the Smithsonians education strategic plan and devise methods of growing educational programs to reach more students.

  • Make connections and partnerships with local school districts to encourage use of the Zoo and its resources in the classroom.

  • Develop educational content and curricula for on-site programs, distance learning/virtual field trips, classroom resources, and teacher workshops.

  • Lead on site school programming with assistance of part-time educators.

  • Encourage use of the Zoo and its resources in the classroom through connections and partnerships with local school districts.

  • As assigned, serve on education team for existing, new, temporary, or renovated exhibits to develop complementary on-site school programs and oversee their facilitation (e.g. Experience Migration exhibit, opening in 2020).

  • Devise and launch high quality, original, and innovative educational programming that integrates best practices of informal and zoo education, communicates key messages, and addresses the needs of participants.

  • Act as Assistant Director for Safari Day Camp Programs (Summer, Spring, and Winter).

  • Together with Director and Assistant Director, recruit, train, manage, and evaluate seasonal/hourly camp staff.

  • Work with Director and other Assistant Director to ensure that all campers and families have a safe environment in which to learn and have fun.

  • Assist with daily logistical components of camp.

  • Assist with the annual online registration process and managing camp data through registration database.

  • As necessary, devise and launch high quality, original, and innovative educational programming that integrates best practices of informal and zoo education, communicates key messages, and addresses the needs of participants.

  • In conjunction with education team member, execute short term and long term strategic plans for the education team and its programs.

  • Represent NZP and FONZ internally and externally as an acknowledged leader in environmental and conservation education.

  • Contribute to development of program budgets and ensure that required budget/metrics reporting are submitted on schedule.

  • Support other department-wide initiatives in education and volunteer programming.

  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • College degree in science, education, biology, museum education, or related field required; advanced degree preferred.

  • Minimum of two years experience in formal or informal education. Experience in curriculum development and program implementation required. Experience working in or with school districts at the district or individual school level preferred. Experience with day camp administration preferred.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Excellent organizational skills and the ability to prioritize tasks.

  • Computer proficiency in MS Office, Acrobat, and ability to quickly become proficient in web-based systems. Experience working in and with Tessitura is a plus.

  • Customer service oriented and the ability to interact with team/FONZ members.

  • Ability to supervise and mentor team members.

  • Experience in curriculum and lesson planning.

  • Detail oriented.

  • Works well independently as well as in teams.

  • Valid drivers license.

  • 1st Aid/CPR/AED certified or the ability to be certified prior to employment.

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Education Program Specialist

Smithsonian’S National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute