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Education Specialist

The Buttonwood Park Zoo is at a pivotal time in its 125+ year history. As the 12th oldest Zoo in the country the Zoo enjoys a deep connection with the community and a long history of creating family memories that transcend generations. The Education Specialist would be joining the Zoological Society at a time of great growth and opportunity and will serve as a key member of the team.

Position Overview: The full-time Education Specialist assists in the development and delivery of education programs that support the Zoo’s commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation and contributes to the care and wellbeing of animals in the Ambassador program.


  • Present programs, tours, and daily Animal Ambassador encounters for groups that include, but are not limited to: Zoo visitors, school groups, scout groups, camps, special events, Zoo members, teachers, special interest groups (seniors, daycare, special needs groups, etc.) on or off Zoo grounds and virtually.
  • Assist in the development, creation, and evaluation of educational programs, materials, and curriculum.
  • Assist in developing support materials (pre- and post-visit) for school programs that will aid teachers in utilizing the Zoo and meet the Massachusetts frameworks for appropriate grade levels.
  • Assist in the training and support of Education volunteers.
  • Daily husbandry, maintenance, training, encounters, and enrichment for the Animal Ambassador program to maximize animal welfare.
  • Provide thorough, accurate, and complete record keeping in daily reports, treatments sheets, enrichment and usage logs, and other records.
  • Assist with habitat improvements for dedicated Animal Ambassador enclosures.


  • Ability to work closely with the public and communicate with all age groups, and deal with public in a courteous and respectful manner, regardless of the situation.
  • Strong commitment to quality education in the Zoo world.
  • Knowledge of and passion for wildlife, ecology, and conservation. Must be comfortable working in close proximity to wild & domestic animals in a zoo setting.
  • Must possess excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must be comfortable using MS Office Suite and willing to learn skills in other software.
  • Must be available to work flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays, and evenings.
  • May be called upon to travel for programming.
  • Good working knowledge of animal care and feeding practices, as well as knowledge of materials, methods, and equipment used in cleaning and caring for animals, buildings, and grounds.
  • Comfortable commuting and working in all weather conditions year-round.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with faculty in various disciplines.
  • Has a development and growth mindset.
  • Creative team player.
  • Work attitude focuses positive professionalism and integrity.

Please note that other appropriate, professional tasks and responsibilities may be assigned at the discretion of the Director of Education. The Education Specialist position is a benefited, at-will position of the Buttonwood Park Zoological Society with compensation commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree from a recognized school with a major in Education, Animal or Environmental science, or related fields
  • Previous teaching experience in an informal setting (i.e. zoo, museum, nature center, etc.) as well as a working knowledge of zoos and their needs
  • Experience developing curriculum a plus
  • Previous animal husbandry experience in a professional setting (i.e. zoo, nature center, pet store, etc.)
  • Bilingual candidates strongly encouraged to apply

How to Apply

Interested applicants should submit as electronic files, 1) a cover letter, 2) resume, and 3) the names and contact information for three references to svanwormer@bpzoo.org.

Alternatively, a single package of all requested elements may be submitted to Buttonwood Park Zoo, Attn: Sara Van Wormer, 425 Hawthorn St, New Bedford, MA 02740.

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