Education Curator
Birmingham Zoo, Inc. - Birmingham, AL

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Organization: Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
(AZA Member)

Location: Birmingham, AL, Country
Job or Internship: Job
Birmingham Zoo, Inc.
Position Description
Position: Education Curator
Reports to: Vice-President of Animal Care, Education & Conservation


The Education Curator fills a critical role within the zoo’s mission to … inspire passion for the natural world. Guiding an experienced and talented team, the Education Curator is responsible for all aspects of the Education Department which includes growing successful programs already in place and in creating new programs to spread our mission in a variety of areas.

Current programs include year round camps, classes designed for all ages, home school programs and specialized programs for school field trips. Included within these programs is Trails of Africa Zoo School, a cooperative program with Title 1 Birmingham City Schools operating under private funding to provide 600 7th graders each school year with one week of specialized learning in our “living” classroom.

An area of vital importance to the zoo is the volunteer program. Working closely with the Volunteer Manager and the volunteers themselves, the Education Curator will put strategies in place that maximize the volunteer experience and grow the program to its full potential.

Rounding out the Education Department responsibilities are many interesting and fun activities including Zoo Snoozes, Twilight Tours, Hogwarts at the Zoo, and Zoo Keeper for a Day.

Finally, the zoo’s team of educators and volunteers are zoo ambassadors providing a positive impact on a daily basis to the half million plus visitors who visit the zoo each year.


 Overall responsibility for educational programing using current education methodology
 Create programming each year in support of new zoo attractions as well as continued growth in current programs
 Oversees all operational aspects of education activities specifically towards the safety of children within the care of the Education Department.
 Works closely with all management levels within the zoo to achieve department and overall zoo goals
 Primary liaison with the educational community including primary, secondary, undergraduate and post graduate programs and institutions
 Annual evaluation of all programs to determine efficient use of available resources to provide the most productive offerings to the public
 Build a working rapport with education professionals to explore ways that the zoo can grow as a community asset in areas of common interest
 Insure that formalized classes are based on state and national standards
 Broaden the zoo’s role in conservation by working closely with the animal department on age-specific strategies for educating our visitors on the importance of the 3 R’s
 Provide recommendations for professional development of assigned staff in animal husbandry, education and conservation programs
 Attend industry educational conferences, as needed
 Ensures that the education areas are clean and maintained according to zoo and AZA standards
 Works closely with the animal department to insure that prescribed training is followed for the handling of certain animals to be used for animal demonstrations
 Work closely with the Volunteer Manager to grow the Volunteer base, especially among adults and to maximize the volunteer program overall
 Continue to build upon volunteer interactions with zoo visitors and creating memorable aspects to the visitor experience
 Guides employees on performance issues and make recommendations for improved performance
 Prepares the annual department budget and is responsible for monthly budget performance
 Prepares annual performance evaluations of direct reports
 Prepare reports as required
 Other duties as assigned


Direct Reports to this position include:
Education Manager
Volunteer Manager
Camp Manager

The Education Curator position is impacted by hazardous exposures common to an office environment as well as public safety in an outdoor environment. Some of the following exposures will occur daily:

  • Depending on assignment, the Education Curator may have to deal with the unpredictability of wild animals
  • The proper use and understanding of cleaning agents
  • Thorough understanding of guest safety protocols, particularly with young children.
  • Certified in basic first aid.
Specific training and procedures will be provided, designed to maintain safety of people as the highest priority of the zoo followed by the safety of the animal collection.

The Education Curator is responsible to keep safety policies and procedures for their areas updated. In addition the Education Curator will conduct monthly safety training sessions addressing specific situations that could occur in their department.

The use and understanding of a variety of personal safety equipment is mandatory. The Education Curator bears overall responsibility for making sure that all employees and volunteers under their direction are trained in zoo safety procedures and on the proper use of safety equipment.

The Education Curator, as with any employee of the zoo, is required to be familiar with the Zoo’s overall safety policies as outlined in the employee handbook as well as being responsible for reporting any injury immediately to the first aid department.

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee should expect:

  • Use of hands, fingers, tools or controls.
  • Frequently required to stand; walk; sit; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, bend, crawl, crouch and talk or hear.
  • Routinely lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
  • Requires frequent walking for long distances
  • Exposure to wet surfaces.
  • Depending on assignment, exposure to the elements can be expected.

 Master’s Degree in education.
 Studies in biology/zoology or related field.
 Three to five years of classroom experience
 Three to five years of non-profit experience
 Management experience
 Proficient with a PC.
 Excellent oral and written communication skills.
 Excellent organizational skills.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties and functions of this position.

Salary is commensurate with experience and education. Birmingham Zoo, Inc. offers an excellent benefits package including health insurance, life insurance and 401K.

Please send a letter of intent and resume to Dr. Clay Hilton, Vice-President of Animal Care, Education & Conservation at by the close of business on Monday, January 7th, 2013.