Program Director, ZooCamps

Year-Round Full-Time Employment

Schedule and Salary

Days: 4 Days (TBD) and every Saturday

Hours: 8:30am - 5:00pm

Start Date:

Salary: $50,000 - $62,950

Classification: Exempt


Application Deadline: 12/15/17

How to Apply


The Program Director of ZooCamps (ZC) develops and manages all aspects of OZ Summer (50 days), Thanksgiving (3 days), Winter Break (10 days), and Spring Break (10 days) ZooCamp programs in the lower Zoo and on the California Trail. This position recruits, supervises and trains ZooCamp staff, instructors and interns (usually about 45 individuals) in best practices for providing outdoor education and ZooCamp experiences, interpretation and program delivery, and educates camp staff and campers about conservation issues related to the year’s featured ZooCamp animal. The ZooCamps Program Director oversees all registration, scholarship, and budget planning related to the year-round zoo camp program. As an Education Specialist – Level ll, the ZC Program Director also teaches K-12 Education programs when not running camps. This position assumes a very strong leadership presence within the Education Department, and is responsible to support the Managing Director and other Program Directors in communicating and building support for the Education Department mission, vision and STEM pedagogy. He or she contributes to education strategic planning, designs and develops program-specific curricula and presents programs to visitors and others. The Program Director of ZC usually oversees 4-5 direct reports among the Education Specialists, as well as closely supervising the Assistant Program Director of ZC and the Program Assistant of ZC. Position is approximately 20%-30% teaching. 1.0 FTE


•Directly supervise ZooCamp Instructors and Interns. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with Oakland Zoo policies, applicable laws, and relevant labor laws.

o Recruit, train and supervise hourly staff of 15-20 individuals, including instructors and interns.

o Schedule Camp Assistants

o Create a master schedule for camp classes, including but not limited to; animal close-ups, song session, morning assembly, all camp games, behind the scenes, lunches and breaks

o Guide instructors in curriculum development

o Work with instructors to resolve performance issues

o Complete midseason videotaped performance evaluation of seasonal staff

o Maintain open & clear communication, including leading one staff meeting per week of camp

•Work with Managing Director and other Program Directors to set Zoo Camp vision, goals and objectives that support the mission of Education and the Zoo. Evaluate overall program strengths and weaknesses

o Ensure professional and safe operation of the overall program as well as the safety of the campers

o Build and maintain a good rapport with ZooCamp parents.

•Work with other departments within the zoo – Marketing, Grounds, Security, Janitorial, Animal Care and Conservation

•Supervise camper registration, transfer and cancellation policies

•Other duties as assigned



Required Capabilities

  • Must be extremely well-organized
  • Excellent time management skills
  • Prepare and deliver/teach all Education programming (PreK – 12) in an informative, safe, engaging, and high-quality manner. Programs include, but are not limited to: Birthday Parties, ZooMobiles, ZooSchool, Wildlife Assemblies, Scout Badge Workshops, festivals and family events, field biology classes and workshops, etc., both on-site, at the Zoo and off-site, in other venues.
  • Follow animal protocols and maintain Animal Handling certifications as needed
  • Maintain positive attitude and collaborative working relationships with volunteers, co-workers, program participants, and internal and external customers
  • Demonstrate superior customer service with vendors, visitors, students, parents, etc
  • Demonstrate knowledge of, and support the East Bay Zoological Society’s mission, vision, value statements, standards, policies and procedures, operating instructions, confidentiality standards, and codes of behavior
  • Actively pursue expanded and new partnerships with formal and informal science/conservation organizations, museums, community organizations and groups, etc.
  • Contribute to writing proposals for new work and funding
  • Strategic program and curriculum development
  • Market Education Department programs and events across multiple media
  • Manage and help develop program budgets
  • Contribute to writing proposals for new work and funding
  • Supervise direct reports (Assistant Program Director, ZC; Education Coordinators; Assistants; Education Specialists; ZC teachers and interns) including contributing to performance evaluations as needed
  • Perform other related duties as required and assigned

Required Education

  • A Bachelor's degree in Education or the Biological Sciences from an accredited college or university is required.
  • Hours toward, or Master’s Degree in related area highly preferred.
  • Certified Interpretive Guide Certification (CIG) required. May be obtained through OZ after beginning work.
  • 6 Hours of continuing education/training per year required. May be provided by OZ.


Required Experience

  • Previous experience directing a large, zoo camp (or similar, outdoor camp) program strongly preferred
  • Previous experience in developing, planning and delivering a multi-week camp program required
  • Previous classroom or informal education experience required
  • Previous experience teaching multi-grade outdoor/conservation education strongly preferred
  • Supervisory experience required
  • Experience with budget management required
  • Experience with multi-day outdoor curriculum development required
  • Experience providing professional development to teachers required
  • Experience working with underserved communities and families or in multi-cultural settings required
  • Experience with strategic program planning required
  • Previous animal handling experience required


Please note that this job description intends to describe the general nature and level of work being performed the people or person assigned to this job. It is not to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and/or skills required of the personnel for this position. The order in which duties and responsibilities are listed is not significant, and personnel may be required to perform duties beyond this list or outside of their normal responsibilities from time to time or as needed.

How to Apply

P.O. Box 5238

9777 Golf Links Road Oakland, CA 94605