The Conservation Education Researcher supports the Mission of the Cleveland Metroparks and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo/Zoo Society by the implementation of new education research initiatives involving learning, affect and behavioral outcomes in free-choice and guided learning environments. Particularly, how interpretation, program, exhibit, graphic and cyber infrastructure can be integrated to provide scientific information and opportunities for eliciting human behaviors that have direct environmental conservation implications. More specifically, the Conservation Education Researcher focuses on the following activities: developing and strengthening the multidisciplinary partnerships of zoos and universities to promote success of conservation and education projects; conducting research and work to understand and increase the connection between learning and conservation action in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo's conservation and education communities; helping technical teams build prototypes of educational media, such as exhibits, graphic panels, websites, virtual social networks, and experimenting with such architectures; working with Zoo practitioners to integrate education and conservation psychology research into practical applications; and advancing conservation education and conservation psychology research by developing scientific publications, media presence, and fundraising proposals.
Regular and predictable attendance is expected and required. All Cleveland Metroparks employees must be prepared to work flexible schedules, including evenings, weekends, and/or holidays as required.
Performs original research that explores learning and conservation psychology principles of informal science education. Utilizing personal interpretation, workshops, exhibits, graphics, electronic websites, social media and dedicated electronic tools to advance conservation and informal science education and increase the conservation action of those in contact with the conservation education programming and exhibits of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and its conservation education partners. Work with local school district to complete conservation education research/evaluation and annual reports.
Interacts regularly with a team of managers and education staff to assure activities, communications, and education messages are coordinated, integrated, and proceeding in accordance with established plans and timeframes.
Represents the Conservation Education Division and the institution externally, works with existing partnerships with individuals, organizations, and community groups, and promotes the interests of the organization in a professional and well-informed manner. Helps to establish a high profile for the role of informal science and conservation education within the zoo industry, academia and the wider community.
Works with the Director of Conservation Education and Conservation Education and Conservation and Science personnel to develop and implement related departmental operating plans, goals, and budgets. Regularly reviews budgets pertinent to project operations and has the ability to track multiple grants with federal and private funding agencies, to assure a balanced budget and timely project deliverables.
Generates revenue and program support through grants and other means, working in coordination with the Cleveland Zoo Society and Cleveland Metroparks institutional fundraising teams, to pursue financial support from diverse funding sources, developing proposals and implementing strategies for fundraising that sustain growing portions of the program
Travels to various locations throughout the region to work with educational organizations and community groups, and attend seminars, meetings, and other events.
Keeps direct supervisor promptly informed of key/significant issues or concerns.
Carries out duties and responsibilities in a safe and efficient manner to maintain a safe work environment and surrounding area for oneself, co-workers and public. Responds to hazardous situations and/or potentially unsafe conditions by taking corrective action as capable and promptly notifying supervisory personnel.
Updates and enhances own knowledge by involvement in continuing education for professional growth (i.e., attends relevant conferences, seminars, in-service trainings, and certification programs)
Represents the Zoo in a professional manner at all times. Gains an intimate understanding of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, its mission, vision, values, and strategic plan.
The position requires a creative and dedicated education research professional who is committed to the development of comprehensive education and conservation psychology research programs for a world-class institution, in partnership with local school systems, leading universities, zoos, and conservation NGOs and scientists.
Works with local school administrators and the internal conservation education and conservation & science teams composed of leading specialists in multiple areas from international field conservation, to conservation psychology, to early childhood education.
Reports directly to the Director of Conservation Education and works with the Director of Conservation and Science and Conservation Education managers and specialists to develop an integrated education and research/evaluation program with direct application to zoo education and in synchrony with the Zoo's and Zoo Society's strategic plan.
Plays a role in a multi-institutional fundraising team that obtains funding for conservation and education programs.
Must be able to handle projects deliverables, grant reporting, and multiple priorities simultaneously and work within a fast-paced, dynamic environment
Performs related duties as assigned or apparent.
Ph.D. degree or equivalent in Education, Psychology, Learning Technologies, Cognitive Studies, Environmental Studies, or related field required.
Must possess and maintain a valid driver's license under the laws of the State of Ohio.
Three years of experience designing and conducting informal science education studies in free-choice learning environments.
Experience using cyber tools (websites, virtual social medial, video games, and/or dedicated e-tools) in extending informal science education.
Knowledge of one or more of these disciplines: experimental design, statistical methods for social research, web architecture, electronic or distance learning tools, data processing, informal science education and zoo interpretation.
Excellent project management skills. Ability to coordinate multidisciplinary research teams within complex partnerships with multiple agendas and levels of interest, with a tight focus on timely project deliverables and a disciplined scientific output.
Must be able to work effectively with colleagues in other Cleveland Metroparks Departments, zoos, academic partners, and with the CMZ research and conservation education team.
Excellent scientific writing ability, with proven output in scientific, popular articles, and funding proposals.
Strong interest and commitment to environmental conservation and the natural world.
Must be articulate, able to establish and maintain a strong rapport and positive relationships with all levels of staff as well as external institutional partners. Represents Cleveland Metroparks in a professional manner at all times.
Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with stakeholders, including employees and the general public.
Ability to speak and write clearly, concisely and persuasively using correct grammar, spelling and punctuation with ability to communicate one-on-one or in group settings.
Ability to perform work with a high degree of accuracy and organization.
Management skills and strong business acumen, including problem solving, vision, ability to manage multiple programs and meet deadlines, collaboration, leadership, decision making and ability to analyze diverse facts and develop clear and concise reports and recommendations.
Ability to work cooperatively with others.
Proficiency in software programs including all Microsoft Office programs.
Mature professional attitude and considerable discretion, including ability to manage confidential information.
Ability to perform with considerable independence and initiative.
Must be non-smoker/tobacco user.
Work Days: The majority of work days will be Monday - Friday, but the schedule will vary depending on the assigned projects.
Filing Deadline: Open until filled