Public Programs Specialist
California Academy of Sciences - San Francisco, CA

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This position works closely and collaboratively with staff and volunteers to oversee informal science programs associated with public engagement events and Academy research. This includes the creation, coordination and implementation of dynamic programming that is educational, entertaining and of high integrity to ensure an outstanding visitor experience. The position works effectively with cross departmental staff and volunteers to offer dynamic and scientifically-accurate experiences for museum visitors.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Work closely with other museum staff and departments to connect guests to Academy science and scientists.
    • Collaborate with scientists to design public programs, activities, etc. with appropriate audiences in mind.
    • Coordinate program and activity support from multiple Academy departments.
    • Partner with Public Engagement and Education staff to share resources and program strategies.
    • Coordinate and collaborate with external partners to support research based programming.
    • Provide informal science engagement training to scientists and other staff.
    • Analyze and produce assessments to be used for future program planning.
  • Partner to develop and implement programming at special education events.
    • Create strategies to maximize guest engagement at events.
    • Collaborate with staff and volunteers in the development of event programming
    • Coordinate event logistics and function as the designated point-of-contact and provide on-site support for and coordination of outside partners and vendors.
    • Coordinate the preparation and training of Academy staff and volunteers.
    • Process accounting and contracts associated with events.
    • Analyze and produce post-event assessment to be used for future event planning.
  • Collaborate with docents to provide dynamic and innovative programming for Academy guests.
    • Guide docents to develop unique programming models for engaging visitors.
    • Collaborate with all PE&E partners to produce cohesive and integrated programming for guests.
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Support other department-wide initiatives.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


The ideal candidate will possess a combination of the following education and/or equivalent experience
  • Bachelor's degree or higher; preferably in science education, or natural history.
  • Minimum of two years experience in informal science education; preferably with informal interpretation or guest engagement experience.
  • Minimum of two years experience in special event programming.
  • Minimum of one year experience working with volunteers
  • Minimum of one year experience working with scientific experts in an education or research setting.

  • Ability to communicate science topics to informal science learners.
  • Ability to develop, implement and evaluate informal science programs.
  • Rigorous scientific accuracy
  • High energy, creativity, and enthusiasm
  • Works well independently and as part of a team.
  • Ability to train staff and volunteers on program development and delivery
  • Excellent coordination skills and ability to work with cross-departmental teams with staff and volunteers.
  • Excellent written and interpersonal communication skills
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Ability to support scientists in public communication about science.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent budgetary skills
  • Detail oriented.
  • Computer proficiency in MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, CMS calendar software, Volgistics.
  • Customer service oriented and the ability to comfortably interact with staff, outside organizations, general public appropriately.
  • Ability to work outdoors and capable of physically setting up and breaking down event materials (i.e.- tables, chairs, decorations, etc.).

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to write engaging science programs. Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS & WORK ENVIRONMENT: The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. Ability to lift 30 pounds. Ability to perform repetitive motions 50% of time. Must be able to stand for long periods of time to deliver, assist with and observe programs on museum floor.

The position requires frequent visits to the museum public floor (walking on concrete floors, climbing stairs) and outdoors (walking in uneven ground, exposed to the elements), tolerating high levels of noise, and extensive public speaking, sometimes at a podium and sometimes in noisy environments.


Please submit your cover letter and resume online at Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes applications from individuals who will contribute to its diversity.

The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. There is also no smoking in Golden Gate Park.

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