Santa Barbara Zoo

Education Associate Formal Programs and Products


Santa Barbara, CA


Full Time


Great opportunity developing, coordinating  and implementing various Education programs such as Zoo Camp and Zoo School, as well as Education products in a friendly and innovative team that is mission driven!

Do you like taking independent initiative while collaborating with various  team members to create and execute kid-focused programs?  

Is developing, coordinating and implementing multiple programs and products simultaneously an invigorating experience for you?

The ideal candidate must provide excellent communication and professional service when interacting with coworkers, staff, participants, and parents. They are also quick problem solvers providing consistent and fair resolutions for staff, coworker, and customers.

Compensation: $16 and up, DOE


Job Description

Job Title:  Education Associate: Formal Programs and Products

Non-Exempt, Full-Time


 Under general direction of the Director of Education, the Education Associate: Formal Programs and Products promotes the Zoo and its mission through planning, developing, coordinating, implementing and evaluating the Zoo’s education programs & products.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES include the following:

  • Collaborates with the Director of Education and Education team to design, develop, revise, coordinate, implement, and evaluate Education programs for guests of all ages in accordance with the Education Department Plan.
  • Serves as on-site director for Zoo Camp and Zoo School programs.
    • Participates in hiring/onboarding process for part-time educator staff
    • Communicates regularly with participants’ parents
    • Works closely with staff and volunteers to deliver programming.
    • Coordinates/Develops all curriculum and logistics for assigned programming.
    • Coordinates with other departments at the Zoo for programming needs including but not limited to marketing strategies, food orders and Animal Care requests.
  • Provides leadership and guidance to part-time and temporary/seasonal Education team members. Develops and delivers Educator training as appropriate. Develops and trains the trainer for Educator training as appropriate.
  • Develops educational content for marketing outlets – website, magazine, blogs, etc – as assigned.
  • Supports the development and execution of ongoing evaluation for Camps and Zoo School programming – specifically in terms of guest engagement, learning outcomes, and staff delivery success when appropriate.
  • Serves as lead for Education product development, marketing, and sales distribution.
    • Develops and maintains online platforms connected to curriculum delivery – Shopify, TPT,, and on.
    • Collaborates with Education and Marketing team to advance online curriculum performance.
    • Maintains required records and reports on platform performance, providing regular updates to  Director of Education.
  • Maintains and submits monthly and annual budget records for all assigned programs.
  • Collaborates with Education team in Operational Plan development.
  • Works with Education team and part-time Educators to ensure Special Events and on-site learning opportunities incorporate age appropriate activities and messaging.
  • Operates and utilizes various types of equipment and machinery in the performance of duties, such as projectors, monitors, two-way radios, computer, printer, video camera, and telephone.
  • Schedules, develops and leads or coordinates any special program request as required.
  • Adheres to the Zoo’s policies and procedures as outlined in the Employee Policy Manual.
  • Applies and Exemplifies “green” (sustainable) practices whenever possible.
  • Attends bi-monthly all-employee meetings.


  •  Facilitates training sessions for zoo staff and volunteers.
  • Supervises personnel and volunteers at Special Events.
  • Other duties as assigned to maintain efficient and quality zoo operations.

Guest Relations

  • Greets every guest with a smile.
  • Thanks guests for supporting and visiting the Zoo.
  • Answers phone calls, voice mails and e-mails promptly and professionally.
  • Ensures the Zoo’s presentation standards for cleanliness and maintenance are met by keeping work areas clean, picking up trash and micro-trash, and reporting unsafe or unsightly conditions.
  • Associates with guests to assist and share information.
  • Responds to all guest inquiries, complaints, and comments according to Zoo guest relations procedures.
  • Maintains a clean neat appearance and adheres to the Zoo’s uniform dress code.
  • Takes responsibility to stay informed about happenings at the Zoo, such as reading employee communications and attending scheduled meetings.
  • Reflects the qualities outlined in the Guest Relations Statement and the Employee Pledge.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily.  The requirements and environmental characteristics described below are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, and working and physical elements required of the position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and Experience:

  • B.S. or B.A. preferably in Liberal Arts, an Education emphasis, Conservation, Biology, other life sciences or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum 1 year related experience successfully facilitating Education programs (including but not limited to outdoor education, interpretive programs, and classroom teaching) preferably in a zoo, aquarium, museum or nature center setting.

License, Certification, or Preferred Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a Department of Justice background check.
  • Valid California driver’s license with good driving record is desirable.
  • TB tests and Tetanus vaccinations as necessary.
  • First Aid and CPR certification preferred.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Knowledge of current methods, principles, procedures and practices utilized in experiential and environmental education pedagogies.
  • Basic knowledge of biology and zoology.
  • Ability to organize, plan, collaborate, implement, and evaluate educational programming.
  • Ability to gather, analyze and report on data collected.
  • Ability to facilitate environmental education and interpretive programs to diverse audiences and large groups of people.
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with multiple staff.
  • Proven team player with strong leadership skills, and ability to relate well to diverse audiences and large groups of people.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and operate under time pressure, with various interruptions.
  • Ability to work successfully in a busy shared office environment with interruptions, with a positive outlook.
  • Ability to handle large, multifaceted events/programs with composure.
  • Ability to envision and implement innovative solutions and ideas.
  • Knowledge of computer software including desktop publishing and database programs.
  • Ability to interact courteously and respectfully with supervisors, fellow employees, volunteers, and our guests.
  • Ability to exercise safe work habits.
  • Awareness of, sensitivity to, and empathy with animals.

Physical Demands & Work Environment:

  • Ability to work effectively in shared open space office environment with frequent interruptions.
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds occasionally and 10 or fewer pounds frequently.
  • Ability to exert a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly push, pull or otherwise move objects. 
  • Ability to negotiate the zoo work environment, including behind-the-scenes, lawns, gravel, hilltop, and attic storage.
  • Must be physically able to operate a variety of machines and equipment including electric carts, telephones, printers, projectors, and copiers.
  • Involves working out-of-doors in all weather conditions.
  • Supportive and open employment culture.
  • Ability to work some week-ends, holidays, and events.

Tools Used:

  • Electric cart
  • Standard office equipment; telephone, copier, printer, facsimile machine, calculator
  • Personal Computer and software (Word, Filemaker Pro, Excel, Outlook…)
  • Projectors
  • Two-way radio
  • Hand tools
  • Monitors
  • Video camera
  • Zoo vehicle

This job description is representative of the expectations of the position described.  Additional duties, reporting relationships, and/or position criteria may be assigned as deemed necessary by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.  No changes to this job description shall be made without written permission by the Chief Executive Officer or authorized representative.

The Zoo reserves the right to revise this job description at any time.  The job description does not constitute a contract for employment, and does not guarantee employment for any specified period of time.  The job description does not in any way alter the at-will employment relationship.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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