Detroit Zoological Society
  • Education
  • Royal Oak, MI, USA
  • Salary
  • Full-time

Full medical, dental and 401k benefits. Generous paid time off, Zoo membership and more!

The Curator of Humane Education, under general supervision, develops, coordinates and implements formal and informal programs under the auspices of the Madeleine Berman Academy for Humane Education at the Detroit Zoological Society. The Berman Academy for Humane Education strives to foster a sense of understanding and appreciation of our environment as well as our responsibility to care for all of its inhabitants in a humane manner. The Curator of Humane Education inspires people to act with kindness and integrity to bring about a lasting improvement in the lives of animals as well as instilling values of respect, responsibility and compassion for all creatures. The Berman Academy provides experiences that help people take action and make choices that reduce our ecological footprint. It also introduces the principles of humane education and its connections to environmental issues and animal welfare through thought-provoking, interactive programs. It provides the community with information, skills and strategies to help make humane choices regarding environmental stewardship and animal welfare.

The Curator of Humane Education will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society. He/She will support and enhance a clean, safe, enjoyable, and educational experience at the Detroit Zoo facilities by actively engaging in the enforcement of Customer Service Standards, and specifically by knowing and understanding the Detroit Zoological Society's "SCOPE" of service, animal care, community relations and park appearance guidelines; by enforcing safety and security policies, and following all other policies set by the organization. The Curator of Humane Education will maintain a professional manner when dealing with all constituencies and always preserve a high level of integrity, professionalism and confidentiality.

This job description is by no means all-inclusive and may be subject to change during a performance period due to the needs of the Detroit Zoological Society and its leadership. This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability

The Curator of Humane Education has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities and is accountable to the Chief Program Officer.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develops, coordinates and implements programs to educate and inform a variety of on-site and off-site audiences regarding humane education issues and to encourage an understanding of the need for compassion and respect for animals, the environment, and people.
  • Assists in developing short and long-range plans for DZS humane education programs.
  • Uses a variety of instructional and interpretive methods to create meaningful and memorable educational experiences for audiences of multiple ages and backgrounds on topics including human responsibility for captive animal welfare, respect for all living things, wildlife and environmental ethics, and the interdependence of all living things.
  • Participates in special programs to increase community awareness and support of humane education issues such as personal responsibility, compassion for all living things, and making good animal care and welfare choices.
  • Coordinates educational activities of the Academy including, but not limited to, tours, programs, outreach activities, training, animal identification and interpretation, etc.
  • Assists in the training and coordination of activities of staff and volunteer groups engaged in a variety of educational, programmatic, interpretive, or service-related activities.
  • Conducts workshops and seminars on humane education, conservation and environmental subjects to educational groups of all ages.
  • Works as a liaison to coordinate programs between the Detroit Zoological Society and other groups such as schools, scouts, other AZA accredited zoo or aquariums, and other conservation organizations or community partners.
  • Remains current on relevant curriculums, e.g., humane education, biology, zoology, environmental, conservation and on AZA guidelines.
  • Organizes information used in educational and animal programs.
  • Prepares reports and research information.
  • Operates a motor vehicle such as a car or van.
  • As assigned, assists with a variety of special events and projects.                
  • Performs such other duties and responsibilities as may be assigned from time to time.

 Working Conditions

Work is performed indoors in a typical office environment, with exposure to video display monitors, and frequently outdoors, with exposure to all seasonal weather conditions.

Physical Requirements

Able to perform essential functions which typically involve reading standard text, often on video display monitors; speaking, lecturing and giving clear instructions; standing or walking to guide small and large groups, and lifting, bending, and carrying up to 25 pounds.

 Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Bachelor's degree in General Science, Education, Zoology, Biology, Bioethics, Humane Education or other closely related field. Must have knowledge of humane concepts and issues, biology, environmental or life sciences, animal welfare and husbandry, and similar disciplines.
  • One to three years of experience facilitating humane education programs
  • Knowledge of audio-visual equipment and the ability to operate a personal computer and utilize word processing and spreadsheet software.
  • Skill in organizing and presenting information and facts to educational groups on zoological subjects.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to supervise effectively in a learning environment; interact with the public, volunteers and professional colleagues in a productive, constructive, manner.
  • Willingness to acquire additional skills and knowledge.
  • Requires a valid State of Michigan Driver's License.


  • May require a State of Michigan chauffer license.
  • Completion of a Humane Education certification program is desired.
  • Program, education, or outreach experience with a humane organization, animal shelter, animal rescue organization, or other similar experience is desired.
Detroit Zoological Society
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