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

The education specialist, under general supervision, is responsible for engaging diverse audiences by developing and facilitating programs. Programs include experiences for school groups, teachers, families, youth and community groups. The education specialist will use inquiry and problem-based learning practices to engage guests and program participants in building conceptual understanding of science concepts.


The education specialist will assist with coordinating instructors, volunteers and seasonal staff to deliver high-quality programming. They will maintain and strengthen existing organizational community partnerships, including long-term afterschool and youth enrichment programs. The education specialist may alternate between work assignments at multiple locations, as needed.

The education specialist will support, both publicly and privately, the principles of the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS). They will support and enhance a clean, safe, enjoyable, and educational experience at the DZS facilities by actively engaging in the enforcement of Customer Service Standards, and specifically by knowing and understanding the DZS "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 education specialist 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 DZS and its leadership. This document will be reviewed on a continual basis and will be modified as needed.

Authority and Accountability

The education specialist has the authority to carry out the job requirements and responsibilities, and is accountable to a curator of education.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

  • Create and deliver inquiry-based and project-based learning experiences.
  • Coordinate staff and/or volunteer educators to implement programs.
  • Actively engage with professional colleagues to support departmental goals and objectives.
  • Assist in the training and coordination of staff and volunteer groups engaged in a variety of educational, interpretive or service-related activities.
  • Research and develop new programs to meet departmental and organizational goals.
  • Revise current programming to reflect best practices in the education field, including inquiry-based and project-based learning experiences.
  • Serve as a liaison between the DZS, guests, program participants and outside organizations to promote the DZS's mission of celebrating and saving wildlife.
  • Actively pursue and participate in professional development opportunities (including onsite workshops, webinars, offsite conferences, etc.).
  • Operate a personal computer and utilize word processing and spreadsheet software.
  • Operate a motor vehicle such as a car or 12 passenger vans.
  • As assigned, assist with a variety of special events and projects.

Working Conditions

Work is performed indoors in a typical office environment and frequently outdoors, with exposure to all seasonal weather conditions. Exposure to video display monitors. Frequent direct interactions with guests, community members and partner organizations. Frequent travel throughout SE Michigan with the possibility of regional, national and/or international travel.

Physical Requirements

Able to perform essential functions which typically involve seeing well enough to read standard text, often on video display monitors; public speaking, lecturing and giving clear instructions; standing or walking to guide small and large groups. Excellent interpersonal skills.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities


  • Completion of a Bachelor's Degree in general science, education, zoology, biology or other closely related field OR completion of a high school diploma or GED and four years of experience in an informal or formal learning institution.
  • Experience Familiar with youth developmental stages and best pedagogical practices to meet those needs.
  • General knowledge of current state and national curriculum standards.
  • General knowledge of conservation strategies in captive and field conservation programs, zoology, biology and life sciences.
  • 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 to educational groups on a variety of life science, environmental and humane education topics.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.
  • Ability to supervise participants / students effectively in a variety of environments.
  • Ability to interact effectively with the public, departmental personnel, volunteers and other community organizations.
  • Ability to acquire additional skills and knowledge.
  • Requires a valid State of Michigan Driver's License.


  • Record of professional community networking experience and/or current knowledge/ties to Southeastern Michigan community organizations.
  • Teaching certification and/or experience in a formal/informal learning environment.


Detroit Zoological Society
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