Denver Zoo
  • Guest Engagement
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

This is a regular full-time position with excellent benefits, including complete medical/dental/vision coverage, 403(b) retirement plan, and a generous vacation package.

Denver Zoo is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and guest experience. We are passionate about our commitment to excellence in support of our mission to secure a better world for animals through human understanding. We provide extraordinary experiences every day for our animals and visitors and our core values of Protect, Honor, Innovate, Serve, Engage, and Empower are evident in everything we do.  We value the different strengths our staff bring to Denver Zoo. We expect our staff to embrace and to commit to our core behaviors for engagement: Passion, Respect, Innovation, Diversity, and Excellence.


Denver Zoo's Guest Engagement Department has an opportunity for a full time Guest Engagement Programs Manager to cultivate moments of awe and deepen the connection our guests have with Denver Zoo by managing and implementing a broad range of Guest Engagement programming that serves general public zoo visitors, including onsite volunteer or staff-led interpretation activities, stations, kits, and trainings.

 Essential Functions:

  • Oversight of Guest Engagement Programs
    • Develops, implements and evaluates educational guest programming, relevant materials, and trainings that are implemented by part time and seasonal staff as well as Guest Experience volunteers. Programs include Explore the Shore, Be a Zookeeper Zone, Up-Close Animal Encounters, Giraffe Encounters, Awareness Day celebrations, animal demonstration script development, and seasonal volunteer customer service and interpretation programs.  Also develops and manages staff and volunteer delivered programs for special, temporary exhibits and zoo initiatives.
    • Ensures programs are aligned with zoo and departmental missions, values and processes, strategic plan and/or strategic priorities.
    • Ensures corporate sponsored program areas are meeting all agreement objectives.
    • Uses backwards design curriculum strategies to ensure programs are aligned with zoo and departmental mission, values and vision.
    • Evaluates, in collaboration with Audience Research and Evaluation team, programs to assess outcome achievement, program impact and regularly refers to evaluations for relevant and timely program adjustments
    • Collaborates and supports Events Team staff to help select and staff/schedule volunteers for guest engagement activities that support the goals of each event and Free Days.
  • Budget Management, Reporting and Departmental Communications
    • Works with VP, Guest Engagement Director and Program Managers to propose annual budget, including both expenses and revenue. Oversees budget, revenue, and expenditures for a wide array of revenue-generating programs; efficiently utilizes resources and looks for opportunities to improve processes
    • Works with Marketing Department to develop creative promotion of programs;
    • Manages regular report processes, including compilation of and reporting of information to various audiences. Effectively utilizes monetary resources to execute guest programming.
    • Writes grant proposals and reports
  • Staff and Volunteer Oversight & Growth
    • Manages, develops and leads a small team of full and regular part time staff.
    • Hires and manages, in collaboration with the Guest Engagement Staff Programs Coordinator, regular and variable part time staff.
    • Oversees the onboarding and ongoing professional needs of this core group of staff in collaboration with the Guest Engagement Staff Programs Coordinator.
    • Recruits, trains and coaches Guest Experience volunteers in collaboration with the Guest Engagement Volunteer Programs Coordinator.
  • Departmental Leadership
    • Collaborates as a member of the Learning Experiences & Guest Engagement Department leadership team to contribute to the development of strategic plans and represent the department throughout the zoo.
    • Serves as a role model to coordinators, specialists, educators, and volunteers.
    • Supports departmental and zoo-wide professional development opportunities. Contributes to ROADMAP trainings and mentoring.
    • Collaborates with corporate partner organizations as appropriate.
  • Communication
    • Works proactively to problem-solve with the Directors, the Vice President for Learning Experiences, cross-departmental zoo staff and committees, staff and teams, and volunteers through emails, meetings, and phone calls.
  • Adhere to and promote Denver Zoo's mission, core values, and strategic initiatives.
  • Value and consistently apply Denver Zoo's ROADMAP (Reaching Our Audiences by Developing Mission Aligned Programs) process and resources in engaging and educating guests at Denver Zoo.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Denver Zoo's Safety and Sustainability Policies by adhering to all environmental, safety, and health regulations, procedures, and goals.

Additional Responsibilities:

  • Participates in and provides support for Departmental activities including: special events, Free Days, professional development opportunities, volunteer hiring and training, and departmental strategic planning.
  • Serves on committees and projects as requested such as the Work Place Conservation Committee and Safety Committee.
  • Represents Denver Zoo to the community in a professional and positive manner.
  • Complies with all zoo policies.
  • Performs various duties as assigned.


  • Passion for Denver Zoo's Mission.
  • BA/BS in Education, Biology, Environmental/Natural Sciences, or related discipline.  An advanced degree is preferable.
  •  teaching and interpreting in an informal science setting, especially for adult audiences.  Dynamic, enthusiastic presentation skills.
  • Minimum two years of supervisory experience and proven leadership in a guest engagement/public programming environment.
  • Knowledge and demonstrated skills in environmental and/or biological interpretation.  Previous experience and training in Denver Zoo's ROADMAP program preferred.
  • Training program/curriculum development and implementation experience. Experience with backwards design program development methods strongly preferred.
  • Self-motivated and self-directed individual with the ability to provide leadership in a fast-paced environment while working on multiple projects both independently and on a team.
  • Program coordination and supervisory experience.  Strong planning skills necessary.
  • Experience working with, training and coaching volunteers and/or staff.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Competency in computer skills:  word processor, spreadsheets, databases, internet use and networks.  Video production skills a plus.
  • Available to work weekends and weeknights as necessary.  Flexibility a must.

Physical Demands:

The physical demands for this position are low. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The employee is regularly required to stand, walk, talk and listen.  The employee frequently is required to use hands to maneuver handle or feel objects, tools or controls.  The employee is occasionally required to sit, climb or balance; also, reach, stoop and kneel.  Specific vision abilities required include close, distance, color, peripheral, depth perception vision and ability to adjust focus. The position requires both mental and visual concentration.

Work Environment:

This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, volunteers, and other departments. The employee occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and in outside weather conditions and may be occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles and chemicals.  The noise level in the work environment is usually low to medium.

Compensation and Benefits: 

This is a regular full-time position with excellent benefits, including complete medical/dental/vision coverage, 403(b) retirement plan, and a generous vacation package.


Completed applications must be submitted by February 1, 2018

Denver Zoo reserves the right to close the position prior to the above date.

Denver Zoo is an Equal Opportunity Employer





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