Profession zoo educator

Zoo educators teach visitors about the animals living at the zoo/aquarium as well as other species and habitats. They provide information about management of zoos, its collection of animals, and wildlife conservation. Zoo educators can be involved in both formal and informal learning opportunities ranging from production of information signs at enclosures to delivering classroom sessions linked to school or university curricula. Depending on the size of the organisation the education team may be a single person or a large team. Consequently the optional skills reqired are very broad and will vary from organisation to organisation.  Zoo educators also promote conservation efforts. This can involve work within the zoo but also in the field as part of any zoo outreach project(s).

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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Conventional
  • Social / Enterprising

Knowledge

  • Applied zoology

    The science of applying animal anatomy, physiology, ecology, and behaviour in a particular practical context.

  • Zoo community

    Zoo and aquarium community on a local, regional and global scale. Zoo membership associations, their guiding principles and how this might affect management of individual institutions within the wider community.

  • Animal evolution

    The evolutionary history of animals and the development of species and their behaviour through domestication.

Skills

  • Ensure cross-department cooperation

    Guarantee communication and cooperation with all the entities and teams in a given organisation, according to the company strategy.

  • Conduct educational activities

    Plan, perform and supervise educational activities for a variety of audiences, such as for school children, university students, specialist groups, or members of the public.

  • Communicate with target community

    Identify and implement the best channels of communication for the community you are looking to work with.

  • Coordinate educational programmes

    Plan and coordinate educational and public outreach programs such as workshops, tours, lectures and classes.

  • Develop educational resources

    Create and develop educational resources for visitors, school groups, families and special interest groups.

  • Coordinate events

    Lead events by managing budget, logistics, event support, security, emergency plans and follow up.

  • Develop educational activities

    Develop speeches, activities and workshops in order to foster access and comprehension to the artistic creation processes. It can address a particular cultural and artistic event such as a show or an exhibition, or it can be related to a specific discipline (theatre, dance, drawing, music, photography etc.). Liaise with storytelles, craftspeople and artists.

  • Fix meetings

    Fix and schedule professional appointments or meetings for clients or superiors.

  • Educate people about nature

    Speak to a variety of audiences about e.g. information, concepts, theories and/or activities related to nature and its conservation. Produce written information. This information may be presented in a range of formats e.g. display signs, information sheets, posters, website text etc.

  • Establish educational network

    Establish a sustainable network of useful and productive educational partnerships to explore business opportunities and collaborations, as well as stay current about trends in education and topics relevant to the organisation. Networks should ideally be developed on a local, regional, national and international scale.

  • Carry out internet research

    Execute efficient search on the internet in order to gather relevant information and share it with others.

  • Build community relations

    Establish affectionate and long-lasting relationships with local communities, e.g. by organising special programms for kindergarden, schools and for dissabled and older people, raising awareness and receiving community appreciation in return.

  • Study topics

    Carry out effective research on relevant topics to be able to produce summary information appropriate to different audiences. The research may involve looking at books, journals, the internet, and/or verbal discussions with knowledgeable persons.

  • Apply teaching strategies

    Employ various approaches, learning styles, and channels to instruct students, such as communicating content in terms they can understand, organising talking points for clarity, and repeating arguments when necessary. Use a wide range of teaching devices and methodologies appropriate to the class content, the learners' level, goals, and priorities.

Optional knowledge and skills

supervise craft activities manage volunteers train animals develop craft activities integrate content into output media speak different languages monitor the welfare of animals lead a team provide nutrition to animals integrate community outreach ecology brief volunteers delegate activities manage a team manage budgets animal training communicate in english in a competent way control animal movement