Zoo Openings

Zoo Openings

Dec 11, 2014

This position is responsible for the creative and strategic direction of the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo and will plan and direct the management of all Children’s Zoo guest and animal-related programs. Collaborate with and take direction from the strategic educational goals of the institution to guide the development of outcome-oriented programs and activities. Set long-range goals and standards for domestic and program animals to promote extraordinary guest experiences and a high degree of animal welfare. Work closely with taxon experts in managing non-domestic taxa exhibited in LFCZ. This position reports directly to the Vice President of Conservation & Education and manages a team of supervisors, coordinators and Children’s Zoo specialists.


Specific Duties and Responsibilities

  • Participate in the strategic management of education and conservation programs, ensuring that the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo is integrated into divisional and institutional goals. Oversee management of the LFCZ its animal collections and specialist staff. Collaborate with other senior managers and team managers to establish annual goals for staff that will accomplish programmatic goals and objectives for the area. Ensure that relevant programs in animal management, facilities maintenance, guest experience, communications, etc. are accomplished per standards. (25%)

  • Establish program priorities and measurable outcomes for informal and structured programs and activities throughout the LFCZ, including Discovery House, Nature Exchange, Underzone, Birds’ Landing, and farmyard areas in order to promote connection with nature and conservation behavior in young children and family audiences. Ensure that LFCZ goals are integrated with and support broader divisional and institutional goals. Promote an environment of continual learning and program advancement. Establish ‘curriculum’ goals based in science and STEM disciplines for age-appropriate activities. Ensure that Youth Volunteer activities align with and support LFCZ goals. Coordinate and conduct evaluation and measurement to validate program efficacy. Adjust program goals and implementation as needed to achieve strategic outcomes. (20%)

  • In consultation with senior Animal Care managers, plan for and select species/breeds of animals to achieve strategic goals and outcomes. Provide staff with information and advice concerning animal management issues and concerns related to domestic and exotic, exhibit and program animals of the LFCZ. With other relevant topic/taxon experts, establish standards for the design, operation, and maintenance of facilities and practices to promote the wellbeing of the assigned animal collection. Maintain policies and programs consistent with the philosophical direction and mission of the institution; and utilize protocols and procedures consistent with the Animal Care Division. Participate in identifying resolution of tactical issues in order to ensure the animal collection receives the highest and best standards of care. (15%)

  • Hire, train, coach, supervise and evaluate direct reports. Make appropriate recommendations regarding salary and other employment actions for all LFCZ staff. Allocate staff resources as appropriate to assure projects and goals are completed on schedule. Provide counsel to section supervisors on issues of staff management, including allocation of personnel resources, appropriate strategies for staffing and hiring, staff development, and resolving performance deficiencies as needed to accomplish program goals. Ensure that all staff remain current in training and adhere to institutional policies and practices. (10%)

  • Assist in development of the annual operating budget in order to ensure key goals and operations are achieved in a cost-effective manner. Manage income and expenses throughout the year within the approved budget in accordance with Dallas Zoo guidelines and procedures. Assist in promoting or seeking grants as appropriate to develop or support programs of the LFCZ. (10%)

  • Participate in appropriate cooperative management and conservation programs, focusing on young children and families; actively promote advancement of the field and improved ability to meet desired conservation and education outcomes. Participate in the AZA Children’s Zoo Interest Group, relevant Taxon or animal Advisory Groups (such as Program Animals), Conservation Psychology and other related fields. (10%)

  • Oversee and participate in the development of activities appropriate for adult and youth volunteers in the LFCZ in order to advance programmatic goals and engage a broad audience in strategic goals of the Dallas Zoo. (8%)

  • Perform other duties as assigned. (2%)



  • Bachelor’s degree in education, biology, zoology or related field required; emphasis in early childhood education a plus. An advanced degree in education, zoology, or related field preferred or equivalent combination of training and relevant experience. 

  • Minimum three years supervisory management experience, including programmatic planning, budgeting, and personnel management and accountability required; three years animal care experience with living multi-taxon collections required. Experience with positive reinforcement training of animals preferred.

  • Demonstrated excellence in communication and interpersonal skills; ability to work as a part of a team required. Team leadership or project management experience preferred. Demonstrated skills in staff training and mentoring.

  • Excellent organizational skills with the ability to multitask and follow up on requests required.

  • Must possess a strong commitment to customer service excellence for guests and internal clients.

  • Strong computer background and proficiency required, preferably with Microsoft Office suite software.

  • Demonstrated interest in nature, animals, conservation and children’s programming. Remains current on advances in specialty through direct and indirect methods, including professional meetings and various literature.

  • Fluency in spoken and written English required; multi-lingual ability and Spanish fluency a plus.

  • Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural, intergenerational audience.

  • Valid driver’s license required.

  • Must be able to work holidays and weekends.

  • Must be able to walk, stand, sit, kneel, stoop, crawl, twist, reach above head, pull bend, climb stairs and ladders and carry up to 50lbs.

  • Must be able to actively work in inclement weather.


How to apply

Apply online: You may download an application or e-mail a resume with cover letter tozoojobs@DallasZoo.com. Be sure to place the job code of the position for which you are applying in the subject line. Job codes are on the individual job listings.

Apply by mail: Download and mail a completed application or resume with cover letter to: Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. Attn: Human Resources 650 S. R.L. Thornton Frwy Dallas, TX 75203

Apply by fax:  Download and Fax a completed application or resume with cover letter, Attn: Human Resources at 469.554.7388.

Apply in person:  You may complete and turn in an application or drop off a resume with cover letter, Attn: Human Resources.

Please note:  All applicants desiring to be considered for more than one posted position must apply for each position separately.

Due to the heavy volume of applicants, only those selected for interviews and/or further screening will be contacted.

Successful candidates must pass pre-employment drug screening, background check and TB test.

Join the Dallas Zoo Management, Inc. community to experience a unique, challenging and rewarding career. If you are interested, please email your resume and cover letter to zoojobs@dallaszoo.com. All applicants MUST place job code CZCUR in the subject line to be considered.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for this position without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam era. EOE M/F/D/V www.dallaszoo.com