The Tennessee Aquarium’s mission is to connect people with nature and empower them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. The Aquarium is passionate about a number of values, which include respect for conservation, passion for educating, and commitment to a diverse, inclusive, collaborative, and learning-based work environment.
This early career position is focused on learning basic animal handling techniques and developing the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively lead engaging educational programs using best practices in informal education. Responsibilities include learning to facilitate and make impromptu changes to programs, and assist with developing new and existing high-quality programs which align with the philosophy of the Education Department.
1. Maintain quality customer service, enthusiasm, curiosity and wonder while engaging and encouraging guests of all backgrounds and experiences to actively discover, question, and participate in science
2. Apply research-based education methods while facilitating and adapting programs for various audiences; experiences may include interpretation in galleries, field trip groups, cart programs, short educational experiences, animal encounters, etc.
3. Effectively collaborate with other departments to develop and facilitate engaging educational experiences, such as dive shows and animal presentations, which provide guests with extraordinary opportunities unique to the Tennessee Aquarium
4. Follow all protocols related to animal care and handling; assist with animal husbandry as needed
5. Regularly use animals, as qualified, in programming to ensure familiarity with the animal and protocols
6. Engage in Professional Research time to enhance programming; approved research may include education practices, information about animals, pertinent job skills, etc.
7. Maintain best practices in guest engagement and animal care through professional learning including conferences, workshops, courses, Aquarium-wide trainings, etc.
8. Actively participate in departmental meetings, professional learning, events, and special projects
9. Participate in media events and special events as needed
• Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, Biology, Science Education or a related field
• Experience using inquiry, guest-directed engagement, practices of science, and/or best practices in environmental education
• Public speaking, improvisation, teaching, or interpretation experience preferred
• Outgoing, friendly, creative personality
• Ability to quickly learn and assimilate materials and strategies for program development and facilitation of education experiences
• Passion for teaching; demonstrated ability to effectively engage with a broad range of audiences from children to adults, often in large crowds
• Ability to remain calm under stress by maintaining a good sense of humor and professionalism
• Comfort handling a variety of animals including invertebrates, fish, reptiles, amphibians, small birds, and small mammals; previous animal handling a plus
• Ability to work independently and collaboratively
• Exceptional interpersonal skills with great verbal and written communication skills
• Excellent record keeping and organizational skills
• Motivation and ability to learn and follow strict protocols regarding animal care and programming
• Reliable but flexible with daily work routines
• Ability to work in fast paced, crowded and loud conditions; talk and stand for long periods of time
• Certified Interpretive Guide (CIG) or Certified Interpretive Host (CIH) status preferred
Full-time, hourly. 40 hrs/wk; some weekend, evening, holiday, and special event work required
To apply, submit a cover letter, resume and application online at tnaqua.applicantpro.com/jobs. All submissions must be received by June 14, 2019.