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Learning Specialist

Smithsonian's National Zoo And Conservation Biology Institute
Washington, United States Posted: July 10, 2024

Application Deadline/ Closing Date: July 19, 2024 Please note: this job will close once 100 applications are received which may be sooner than the closing date.

This position is located at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (NZP), with a duty station based out of the NZP Washington, DC offices. The Learning and Visitor Education team offers a variety of programs conducted in person and virtually that spark learner interest through curiosity, building connections with nature and wildlife, increasing knowledge, and empowering everyone to drive solutions for a more sustainable planet.

  • The incumbent will be primarily responsible for working as part of a team to develop and facilitate education programs and resources for K-12 students (NZCBI’s Conservation Classroom), focusing on nationwide virtual programs, online learning materials and resources, and evaluation.
  • The purpose of the position is to (1) develop, coordinate, deliver, and evaluate educational programs (both virtual and in-person) and digital e-learning publications and other resources for NZP/SCBI that support students, teachers, and families. (2) provide support for digital education outreach initiatives, including webcasts, videos, and other digital media for general Zoo visitors, students and teachers (both local and national) and, (3) deliver digital e-learning courses and in-person interpretive training for staff and volunteers.
  • Education Program Coordination
  • Develops, delivers and evaluates age-appropriate and accessible in-person and virtual education experiences; including activities, programs, and products for K-12 students and teachers (linked to national curriculum standards [NGSS] and classroom curriculum), volunteers, and general zoo audiences.
  • Creates support materials (i.e. curriculum guides, instructions, data collection guides, resource materials, activity sheets, etc.) for these experiences or to extend self-directed learning and exploration.
  • Assists with all stages of development, including assistance with conceptualizing programs and activities, design, development, testing, and evaluation.
  • Works with appropriate staff to develop and implement programming using technology, for example webcasting, web conferencing, eLearning modules and LMS systems.
 Training and Evaluation 
  • Conducts and assesses interpreter training using a blended learning model comprised of eLearning courses and onsite workshops.
  • Trains volunteers in interpretive techniques and provide them with enriching tools and activities for engaging Zoo visitors.
  • Collaborates with staff from science, animal care, and other departments of NZP/SCBI to translate current research, collections, and initiatives into activities and materials for diverse audiences in informal settings.
  • Assists with the development of evaluation plans. Administers evaluation instruments and
  • Utilizes analytic tools to summarize data and create reports which guide future program planning.
  • Provides training to volunteers, interns, and contractors for programs, ensuring that all programs are delivered with attention to scientific accuracy and effective instructional techniques.
 Program Administration
  • Maintains budgets and timelines and monitors all financial requirements for assigned programs and to ensure that desired objectives are met in a timely fashion and are within budget.
  • Collects and reports metrics for assigned programs.
Experience Required
  • QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS Demonstrated experience developing and delivering in-person and virtual programs/resources for teachers, students, and families nationwide, including distance learning programs, webinars, videos, Smithsonian Learning Lab collections, eLearning, and activities.
  • Demonstrated experience with digital technologies and platforms for development and delivery of accessible educational programs and resources including video editing, design, and eLearning authoring software, LMS systems (ex: Moodle), and digital delivery platforms (ex: Zoom, Teams).
  • Demonstrated skill in production and delivery of programs and materials that accurately translate scientific information from science and animal care to general audiences, address NGSS science standards for K-12, and are part of a continual cycle of assessment and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated skill in creation and delivery of inclusive and accessible programs and materials (virtual and in-person) for all NZP/SCBI audiences. Demonstrated skill in educational program assessment including data collection and statistical analysis to provide regular reporting on assigned programs for both internal and external stakeholders.
  • Ability to develop and deliver training (synchronous/asynchronous) for staff and volunteers in interpretive techniques providing them with enriching tools and activities for engaging NZP/SCBI audiences. Skill in oral and written communication (including the interpretation of complex scientific topics) to provide information, to address a variety of audiences, and to serve as an interface between the community and NZP/SCBI.
  • Ability to exercise independent judgement in interpreting and apply education learning theory and best practices to activities and products, and requests assistance from the supervisor when s/he/they is uncertain about guidelines or procedures.
  • Ability to show initiative, creativity, and flexibility in a team-oriented environment that produces and delivers high-quality educational programming to public audiences.
  • Comprehensive Benefits Package
  • $68,405 - $88,926 / year

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