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Education Specialist

Education Specialist

Come join us at the Great Plains Zoo as an Education Specialist!  This position assists in preserving the Zoo’s mission by conducting  year-round on-site and community-based education programs so learning is a fun, engaging and memorable experience for our audiences.  You will be presenting a variety of Education programs for a wide range of ages and audiences including camps, early childhood programs, overnights, on-grounds programming and outreach.  

Primary responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Develop lesson plans for programs for all grade levels and align lessons with cross-curriculum components with both SD and national education standards.  Prepare written materials when required for programs (lesson plans, information sheets, etc).  Work in conjunction with other department staff with ideas, comments, evaluation tools and suggestions for future program development.
  • Ensure effective planning, preparation, execution and tracking of all Education programs.
  • Handle and present ambassador animals in a safe, professional manner.  Assist the Education & Engagement Manager in training teen volunteers and seasonal staff on appropriate animal handling protocols.
  • Work with Education & Engagement Manager and area Zookeepers to train and maintain husbandry and show behaviors for the education animal collection to ensure their safe program use.  Maintain accurate records of training as required.
  • Assist with maintaining the interpretive materials for the Delbridge Museum of Natural History.
  • Assist with the cleaning, inspecting and cataloging of museum artifacts.

Qualifications include, but are not limited to:

  • College degree in biological sciences, education or related field.  Applicable experience may be considered in place of degree requirement.
  • Must have at least 2 years of previous formal or informal education experience, preferably in an AZA accredited facility.  
  • Experience handling small animals and/or birds (raptors, parrots, reptiles, invertebrates, small mammals) is beneficial.
  • MS Office experience is required.
  • Excellent communication (verbal and written) is required.
  • Valid driver’s license and the ability to drive up to 300 miles a day for Zoo Mobile and other outreach presentations.
  • This position requires a comfort level with children of all ages, adults and the ability to speak to groups of various sizes and ages.

The Great Plains Zoo is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to foster a greater understanding of our natural world through Education, Conservation, Recreation and Discovery.  The Great Plains Zoo cares for animals from around the world and offers up-close views of animals often not found in larger zoos, including giraffes, tigers, black rhinos and a national award-winning Snow Monkey exhibit. 

The 45-acre Great Plains Zoo is located in Sioux Falls, SD a vibrant and growing community!

  • A metro population of over 278,000.
  • Smart Asset ranks Sioux Falls first as the Best City For Young Professionals in 2017, 2018 and 2019.  
  • ZipRecruiter identified Sioux Falls as the third hottest job market in 2020.
  • WalletHub ranked Sioux Falls as No. 15 on the 2019 list of Happiest Cities in America.
  • Livability ranked Sioux Falls No. 7 among the 2019 Top 100 Best Places to Live

Full-time positions include competitive pay and a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, vision, life and short and long term disability insurances, a 401(k) plan with matching contributions, eight paid holidays and a PTO allowance.   

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Proof of U.S. Citizenship or immigration status will be required upon employment. Criminal convictions are not an absolute bar to employment, but will only be considered in relation to specific job requirements.

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.
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