Education Specialist
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Position Description

Title: Education Specialist

Department: Education

Classification: Full-time; Non-Exempt

Reports To: Education Coordinator(s)

Direct Report(s): N/A

Start Date: March 2020 (subject to change)

Position Summary

The Education Specialist delivers innovative and meaningful educational experiences that engages students and aquarium guests in STEAM learning and wildlife conservation.  This is a journey-level position and incumbents are expected to have experience in the field. The Education Specialist will deliver programs for school groups and instruct participants. This position will regularly collaborate with other members of the Guest Experience team.

Position Attributes

  • Consistently looking forward, focused, ready to listen
  • A heart for service, always willing to provide support to fellow team members
  • Make important and tough decisions with resilience and grace
  • Communicate a strategy well, oversee execution, and celebrate results
  • Highly organized self-starter maintaining high standards
  • Have an awareness and interest in the conservation of aquatic environments and their inhabitants
  • Innovative, creative thinker; not afraid to propose something new and inspire others to do the same
  • Proactive in finding solutions, productive, and efficient


  • A bachelor’s degree in biology, psychology, education, or related field
  • At least two years of formal or informal teaching experience
  • Demonstrated experience working with diverse audiences
  • Willingness to work with various animal species and maintain animal handling certifications
  • Must be available to work weekends, holidays, and evenings
  • Previous experience and a passion for working with children
  • Must have strong verbal and writing skills; superior interpersonal and public speaking skills are also necessary to engage with various audiences
  • Ability to organize, manage time, set priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Must be an innovative thinker who is willing to embrace challenges
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Certified Interpretive Guide (National Association for Interpretation)
  • Prior experience handling various animal species
  • Current knowledge of wildlife conservation, scientific research, education trends, and environmental issues
  • At least one year of experience developing and delivering informal science programming (preferably in an AZA-accredited facility)

Essential functions of this job described may be subject to change at any time due to reasonable accommodation or other reasons. 


  • Present engaging programs, activities, and instruction for students participating in field trip experiences, utilizing the best practices in informal STEAM education and conservation messaging
  • Participate in the development and delivery of onsite and offsite education programs
  • Inspire learning and instill a passion for the aquatic world that encourages guests to play an active role in conservation efforts
  • Assist in the development and testing and testing of instructional materials for education programs and projects
  • Handle and present a variety of animal species (i.e., mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and arthropods); maintain current animal certification and proficiency
  • Utilize excellent customer service and innovation to address challenges and find solutions
  • Work collaboratively to evaluate the programs and progress of participants
  • Support other teams within the Mississippi Aquarium to complete special projects and tasks
  • Actively attend staff meetings and provide thoughtful, creative, and constructive participation
  • Able to work a flexible schedule to satisfy operational needs, which may include working on weekends, evenings, and overnights
  • Willing to be a part of a collaborative team environment to include, cross-training across departments, supporting other internal teams, and completing other duties as assigned

This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job.  Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Team Requirements

  • Safety and Security - All Team Members are required to adhere to all Mississippi Aquarium safety and security standards.
  • Attendance & Appearance - To maximize the guest’s experience, all Team Members are required to adhere to Mississippi Aquarium standard operating procedures regarding attendance and dress code policies as it relates to individual job functionality.
  • Sales & Guest Services - Our forward-thinking business model requires listening and understanding the needs of our guests both internal and external.  To that end, we must always be focused on the guest experience which is the key driver for return guest visitation and increased sales.
  • Team Partnership - All Team Members are focused on supporting each other to complete the guest experience.  Therefore, supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness is vital to our Organization.

Physical Demands & Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.  While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.  The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the
duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.