Education Volunteer Position Description

Position Title: Interpreter or Docent

Supervised By: Volunteer Manager

Principal Working Relationships: Volunteer Manager, Education Program Coordinator, Director of Education, Animal Care Staff, Zoo Visitors, other Volunteers

Term of Appointment: Minimum of one year active participation

Time Commitment: 72 hours per year or approximately 6 hours per month and any required meetings or trainings.

Additional Training: After 30 hours interpreting with education carts, a volunteer may be invited to attend animal handling training and become a docent. Animal handling training will be offered on a case-by-case basis after a volunteer demonstrate the ability to volunteer on a consistent basis and the ability to volunteer independently.

Volunteer Program Goal: The goal of the volunteer program is to assist zoo staff with providing exceptional visitor experiences by volunteering time and talents for tasks that support the mission of the Lake Superior Zoo.

Essential Functions:
Present conservation/education messages to the public by:

  • Stationing a bio-facts cart at various zoo exhibits for the purpose of wildlife interpretation
  • Maintaining a presence in the Griggs Learning Center after animal handling training
  • Always acting as a Zoo Ambassador
  • Researching up-to-date animal information with the help of the Volunteer Manager
  • Presenting animals for in-reach and outreach programs after animal handling training
  • Attending volunteer meetings and all scheduled shifts

Additional Functions:

  • Provide formal and/or informal presentations to the public
  • Provide interpretation support at zoo exhibits
  • Assist with special event activities, games and crafts
  • Participate in animal observations
  • Serve as a mentor in the training and orientation of new docents
  • Participate in committees and special projects
  • Assist with off-site Zoomobile programs after animal handling training
  • Participate in committees and special projects

Service Conditions: Work will be conducted indoors and outdoors and subject to all weather conditions. Volunteering may occur on weekdays, weekends and evenings based upon scheduling needs. Because education volunteers work with children and vulnerable adults, a criminal record check and reference checks are required prior to assignment.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Needed: Ability to maintain a courteous attitude towards the public, staff and peers at all times. Ability to communicate in a professional manner. Ability to maintain current and accurate records of volunteered hours. Ability to follow direction and work as an individual or with a team. Successful completion of zoo orientation and interpretive training and participate in ongoing training. Successful completion of animal handling training if invited.

Physical, Emotional, and Intellectual Demands: Must be 18 years of age or older. Must have a willingness to comply with volunteer uniform policy. Must have clear speaking skills and the ability to remember facts and interpret information. Must be able to work independently. Must have clear speaking skills and the ability to remember facts and interpret information.

Equipment used: Telephone, Computer (email, flash drive, internet), Zoomobile, Bio-facts, Animal Accessories (exercise balls, leashes, grooming items).

Evaluation: Informal check-ins will take place on a regular basis. An evaluation may occur if needed to resolve conflicts, concerns, or other issues.

Education Volunteer Application

Submit this application to be an Education Volunteer at the zoo.
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