Director of Environmental Science & Living Collections
The Director of Environment Science & Living Collections will serve as an integral member of the Science Center’s Museum Operations team to develop fun, educational, and memorable learning experiences (exhibits, public programs, and reserved programs) that support the Science Center’s mission to bring science to life and lives to science. The Director will develop and oversee all aspects of the Science Center’s animal and plant collections that will be incorporated into a major new Science Center scheduled to open in downtown Allentown, PA in spring 2024 and lead content development efforts for the new Lehigh River Watershed exhibit gallery, coordinating all efforts with the exhibit design firm that will design, fabricate, and install the exhibit. The Director will also be responsible for leading the development of environmental science, conservation, and living collections related exhibits, public programs (special events, live science shows, etc.) and reserved programs (summer camps, school group workshops, science clubs, etc.) to be delivered within the new Science Center after it opens. The Director will actively share and support the Science Center’s customer service culture, inquiry-based approach to science teaching, and the Science Center’s values, including a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. A strong candidate should have a deep understanding of environmental science, conservation, animal care, and a passion for providing a safe, welcoming, and fun experience for visitors, program participants, volunteers, and staff.
Please submit three samples of content you have created for review (writing samples, multi-media content, graphics, videos, etc.), along with a description of your role in developing each one, with your resume. If desired, you may submit a portfolio of your writing and other related work.
MAJOR JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
- Develop and oversee all aspects of the Science Center’s animal and plant collection, including acquisition, collection records, administration of licensing, permits, record documentation, accreditation, exhibitory, preparation of diets, medical care, staffing, budgeting, cleaning, maintenance, and enrichment programs (anticipated species include North American River Otters, fish, turtles, and snakes found in the Lehigh River Watershed).
- Ensures operations are in alignment with professional standards, regulations, applicable laws, conservation efforts, and Science Center mission and values.
- Responsible for the acquisition and disposition of plants and animals for the implementation of the Science Center’s living collections plan and mission.
- Develop and implement policies and procedures related to animal husbandry.
- Provide overall management direction of the Living Collections staff including employee training and professional development. Mentor and train less experienced staff in all aspects of animal husbandry.
- Prioritize animal welfare and oversee welfare assessments of the Science Center’s animals, including behavioral enrichment.
- Establish agreements with veterinary resources to ensure the highest level of care for the Science Center’s animal collection.
- Develop and maintain relationships and initiatives with local, regional, national, and/or international organizations and agencies so that the Science Center is positioned and seen as a trusted and key animal care and conservation partner.
- Collaborate with Science Center staff on the development and implementation of Science Center emergency protocols and procedures, including animal escapes, bite protocols, lost child, and weather-related incidents.
- Work with other institutions and professional associations regarding animal management and conservation.
Content Development for new Lehigh River Watershed exhibit gallery (Responsibilities before Grand Opening):
- Lead content development efforts for the new Lehigh River Watershed exhibit gallery.
- Conceptualize, write, edit, and proofread compelling and inclusive copy for environmental science, conservation, and living collection exhibits and oversee the Spanish translation of all text.
- Generate content outlines, scripts, and copy for linear and interactive multi-media content.
- Identify and acquire images, videos, and other multimedia assets, negotiating licensing rights or donations for media acquisition as needed.
- Manage artifact acquisition, storage, and installation if not installed by the exhibit designer. Ensure all artifacts are properly reflected in interpretive graphics and/or AV programs. Track the location and loan status of artifacts, digitize paper records as needed, and ensure database is accurate and up to date.
- Engage members of the community and other key stakeholders to inform and co-develop environmental science and conservation content tailored to meet project goals and local conditions.
- Collaborate with sponsor companies on content development. Identify sponsors to be featured within interpretive signage, linear, and interactive media. Procure sponsor image, video, and branding assets for integration into exhibits and programs. Secure approvals from sponsor companies as needed.
- Proactively communicate project milestones with stakeholders inside and outside of the Science Center, coordinating with other project schedules as needed.
- Create and manage content development schedules to establish and monitor milestones and timelines for content development with external stakeholders, exhibit research, copywriting, artifact acquisition, production, and installation.
- Coordinate all work with external stakeholders, including exhibit design firm, sponsors, contractors and community advisors.
- Manage and track exhibit budgets and expenses and advise senior management on budgetary issues related to all aspects of the assigned project(s).
- Oversee the installation of the Lehigh River Watershed exhibit gallery and manage the exhibition punch list. Advise senior management on installation issues affecting on-time delivery of as-designed exhibits.
- Participate in the development of the exhibit’s online and digital media presences, including creating and editing of website and mobile application content.
Environmental Science, Conservation, and Living Collections Programming (Responsibilities after Grand Opening):
- Serve as an internal thought leader in the conceptualization, development, promotion, implementation, and evaluation of environmental science, conservation, and living collections related exhibits and programs. Develop program concepts and narratives that identify key elements of the visitor experience and establish learning goals for related public programs (special events, live science shows, etc.) and reserved programs (summer camps, school group workshops, science clubs, etc.).
- Engage external partners, key stakeholders, and members of the community to inform and co-develop extraordinary learning experiences (programs and exhibits) tailored to institutional goals and local conditions. Develop and maintain fruitful, collaborative relationships to enhance Science Center experiences, maximize educational impact, and inform the development of inclusive programs for diverse audiences.
- Research and remain well-informed about current environmental science and conservation topics to develop educational messages and design goals for exhibits and programs that engage visitors and program participants on a deep level with science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM).
- Develop and maintain a thorough working knowledge of education curriculum and museum operations including:
- Philosophy, policies, and educational methods and techniques.
- Function, performance, and operation of all exhibits, theaters, and program elements.
- Setup, cleanup, maintenance, and emergency procedures.
- Assist in all stages of exhibit and program evaluation and utilize evaluation data to improve the guest experience and maximize educational impact.
- Serve as a member of the Education team in on-site, off-site, and online delivery of environmental science and conservation content and programming.
- Support education team efforts to manage supply and expendable materials selection, ordering, and stocking for related exhibits and programs.
- Support marketing, communications, and fundraising operations by serving as an articulate ambassador and spokesperson for the Science Center on matters related to environmental science, conservation, and living collections.
- Work as part of the training team for all full-time, part-time, and volunteer team members, create and maintain all training materials for defined areas of responsibility. Conduct training and provide evaluations and coaching as needed.
- Make diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority in hiring, training, day-to-day operations and colleague and community relationships.
- BA degree required, higher degree a plus.
- Previous experience managing an animal care team required.
- Previous experience communicating or teaching environmental science and conservation topics to youth or members of the general public required.
- Previous experience developing informal learning experiences or exhibits preferred.
- Strong ability to conceptualize and develop project schedules, including major milestones and critical paths, for the successful completion of projects on time and on budget.
- Experience with budgets, staffing, deadlines, metrics, deliverables, and ability to think strategically about the resources needed for sustainability and growth.
- Exceptional communication skills, both oral and written; excellent public speaking and presentation skills.
- Demonstrated problem solving skills and ability to work with staff at all levels in a complex, collaborative environment; ability to foster and sustain inclusive workplace values and relationships.
- Knowledge of experience design and lifelong learning with an emphasis on participatory learning; demonstrated grounding in or deep appreciation and passion for science and art as a way of knowing.
- Ability to participate in programs, events and receptions that may occur outside of normal working hours.
- A sense of wonder, fun, and risk-taking; and a desire to spark curiosity in self and others.
- Work and communicate effectively and respectfully with people from different cultural backgrounds.
- Bilingual in English and Spanish a plus.
*Candidates of diverse backgrounds encouraged to apply.
Physical Demands of this job
These physical demands are representative of the physical requirements necessary for an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodation can be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the described essential functions of the job.
While performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is required to talk and hear. The employee is often required to be on their feet for four (4) hours at a time, move or lift at least 50 pounds, and use their hands and fingers. The employee is required to stand, walk, reach with arms and hands, climb or balance, and to stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl. Vision abilities required by this job include close vision.
Work Environment of this job
While performing the responsibilities of the job, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the employee will encounter. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. The employee will be trained and asked to use chemicals and electrical and mechanical tools.
Successful completion of a criminal background check including checks through Pennsylvania State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Pennsylvania Child Abuse Registry. Successful completion of additional background checks may also be required.
In accordance with the Vaccine Mandate Policy of the Da Vinci Discovery Center of Science and Technology, Inc., employment is contingent upon providing proof of receiving a full course of a Covid-19 vaccination and, to the extent recommended by the FDA, receiving periodic booster shots.
This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of the position and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities or working conditions associated with the position. Management reserves the right to revise duties as needed.