Instructional Programs Coordinator
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Position Description

Department: Guest Experience & Education

Classification: Full-time; Exempt

Reports To: Manager of Education

Supervises: Education Specialists

Position Summary

The Instructional Programs Coordinator will work closely with theManager of Education to ensure the Mississippi Aquarium offers innovative and meaningful educational experiences that engage students, campers, and other guests in STEAM learning and wildlife conservation. This position will regularly collaborate with other members of the Guest Experience team to include Volunteer Programs, Visitor Services & Interpretation, ContentDevelopment, and Community Programs. This position will require strong supervisory skills and experience teaching diverse audiences in formal and/or informal settings.  

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


1.     A bachelor’s degree in biology, ecology, psychology, environmental education, or related field

2.     At least two years of formal or informal teaching experience

3.     One year of experience supervising staff or volunteers

4.     Demonstrated experience working with diverse audiences

5.     Willingness to work with various animal species and maintain animal handling certifications

6.     Must be available to work weekends, holidays, and evenings

7.     Previous experience and a passion for working with children

8.     Must have strong verbal and writing skills; superior interpersonal and public speaking skills are also necessary to engage with various audiences

9.     Ability to organize, manage time, set priorities, and meet deadlines

10.  Must be an innovative thinker who is willing to embrace challenges

11.  Proficiency with Microsoft Office Products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)

Preferred Qualifications:

1.    Certified Interpretive Guide (National Association for Interpretation)

2.    A valid teaching credential

3.    Prior experience handling various animal species

4.    Current knowledge of wildlife conservation, ecology, scientific research, education trends, and environmental issues

5.    Demonstrated experience in cultivating relationships with internal and external audiences


1. Assist the Manager of Education and Education Program Analyst with the development and implementation of learning experiences that are tailored to the needs of a variety of audiences, including schools and camps

2. Supervise, guide, and train a team of conservation educators to ensure quality, consistency and efficiency  

3. Develop and maintain positive relationships with area schools, districts, administrators and teachers to ensure the success of educational partnerships

4. Participate in brainstorming and planning sessions for the department with the Manager of Education based upon the strategic plan, trends and survey results

5. Present engaging programs, activities, and instruction for students participating in field trip experiences, utilizing the best practices in informal STEAM education and conservation messaging

6. Handle and present a variety of animal species (i.e., mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods); maintain current animal certification and proficiency

7. Assist in the planning and coordination of special events for school partnerships (e.g., open houses, expos, meetings, etc.)

8. Under the direction of the Manager of Education, plan, lead and support summer camp programs

9. Work collaboratively to evaluate the programs and progress of participants

10. Monitor the supplies needed for the classrooms and submit order forms.  Participate in department fiscal responsibility by supporting the team on budgeting and program planning

11. Organize materials, classroom supplies, and program paperwork

12. Create and develop state-of-the-art classrooms by utilizing the latest technological advances

13. Plan and maintain Mississippi Aquarium’s education library

14. Utilize excellent customer service and innovation to address challenges and find solutions

15. Regularly participate in environmental education organizations on a local, state, and national level

16. Support other teams within the Mississippi Aquarium to complete special projects and tasks

17. Inspire learning and instill a passion for the aquatic world that encourages guests to play an active role in conservation efforts

18. Actively attend staff meetings and provide thoughtful, creative and constructive participation

19. Able to work a flexible schedule to satisfy operational needs, which may include working on weekends, evenings, and overnights

20. Willing to be a part of a collaborative team environment to include, cross-training across departments, supporting other internal teams to complete special projects and completing other duties as assigned

Team Requirements

1. Safety & Security - All Team Members are required to adhere to all Mississippi Aquarium safety and security standards.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 ourOrganization.

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.