Curator of Animals and Education Programs

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NEW MEXICO WILDLIFE CENTER
NMWC MISSION: Connecting People and Wildlife for an Abundant Tomorrow

POSITION DESCRIPTION
TITLE: Curator of Animals and Education Programs
PURPOSE:
1) Primary responsibility for the daily care, health, well-being and training of approximately 35 Ambassador Animals, including raptors, mammals, reptiles and amphibians at NMWC
2) Schedule, supervise, train and evaluate Education staff, interns and volunteers
3) In collaboration with the Education Coordinator and Education Assistant develop and implement nature-based educational programming for on-site, off-site and virtual audiences utilizing Ambassador Animals.
4) Ensure educational programs support NMWC’s mission
5) Responsible for maintaining permits and record keeping, and in collaboration with Executive Director budgeting, purchasing and facility maintenance
CLASSIFICATION: Full-time, salaried exempt; this position is limited by all NMWC policies and local, state, and federal laws, rules and regulations.
REPORTS TO: Executive Director
SUPERVISES: Education Coordinator, Education Assistant, interns and volunteers
WORK HOURS: Tuesday through Saturday 8:00am until 4.30pm. Some nights and holiday work hours required. Some travel required including overnight and out of state.
BENEFITS: Partial health insurance reimbursement, PTO, holidays as described in NMWC employee manual
OVERTIME: N/A

POSITION SUMMARY
The Curator is responsible for maintaining high standards of husbandry in our live animal collection which includes a variety of native New Mexican amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. The Curator will have substantial experience with operant conditioning and enrichment for native wildlife species. The position requires confidence in public speaking while conducting presentations with live animals. The incumbent is an ambassador for NMWC with the general public and is passionate about the impact of the organization’s mission and programs on participants and visitors.

The Curator manages all aspects of NMWC education programs, including on-site, off-site and virtual programs. The position is responsible for the training, scheduling, supervision and evaluation of education staff, interns, and volunteers. The Curator regularly presents education programs, engages with visitors and performs duties of Manager on Duty when required. In collaboration with all staff, fully supports NMWC’s strategic plan, mission and core values. The Curator may represent NMWC at local, regional, and national meetings and conferences. The position is a key member of the NMWC leadership team. As such, this position is accountable for the successful and timely execution of programs, policies, and procedures in accordance with the NMWC mission, strategic and operational plans.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES
PERSONNEL
• Conducts or facilitates regular training for Education staff, interns and volunteers.
• Supervises and schedules Education staff, interns and volunteers and is responsible for training and evaluation providing timely, constructive performance feedback and if required takes action to correct unacceptable performance.
• In collaboration with the Executive Director hires new staff.
• Conduct staff meetings as needed.
• Establishes and maintains clear communication promoting an open exchange of information and ideas.

ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT
• The Curator is responsible for ensuring strategic and operation goals for the Education program are met.
• Maintains consistent application of NMWC policies and procedures.
• Regularly reports on programming to the Executive Director, staff, and Board of Directors.
• Maintain discretion with confidential information.
• Maintain and manage accurate animal care records.
• Participates with Board committees as needed.
• Supports the NMWC’s administrative, communication, and fundraising functions.
• Serves as Manager on Duty as required.
• Assists with grant writing/reporting, implementation, and management.
• Develops and manages education budget, including assisting Executive Director in annual budget development.
• Remains current with best management practices concerning wildlife education and husbandry.
• Establish and cultivate professional networks to ensure content and programs are leading edge.
• Performs minor repairs to equipment, fixtures and features of exhibits and holding areas, and notifies Executive Director of damaged or deteriorated equipment, fixtures and features requiring major repair or replacement.
• Responsible for the safe use, maintenance and storage of all education equipment, vehicles, chemicals and tools.
• Visually inspects grounds and facilities daily for cleanliness, safety and checks animal enclosures for security and general conditions.
• Participates in emergency response.
• Other Duties as assigned.

EDUCATION ANIMALS
• Oversees and ensures policies and procedures for the proper care, husbandry, and welfare of the NMWC’s Animal Ambassadors including training, enrichment, enclosure furnishings, diet, animal health/welfare assessment ensuring the highest practical level of animal care.
• Collaborate with veterinarian and hospital staff to ensure animal health and welfare and assists with medical procedures and examinations, as necessary.
• Assists with the acquisition and disposition of Animal Ambassadors.
• Responds to visitor questions concerning Ambassador Animals.
• Moves animals as required; drives vehicles to pick-up and deliver supplies and animals.
• Ability to appropriately apply Best Current Practices regarding animal training methodology through the use of operant and classical conditioning.
• Maintain animal enclosures and related facilities in best condition possible, recommending additions, renovations, repairs, and replacement as needed.

EDUCATION PROGRAM
• In keeping with NMWC mission and strategic goals, the Curator is responsible for managing all aspects of educational programming provided by NMWC including: development, implementation, evaluation, staffing, budget and resource allocation.
• Plays an active role in welcoming and hosting customers and visitors to NMWC.
• Teaches as needed and maintains working knowledge of all NMWC programs; presents on and off-site public education programs.
• Ensures NMWC programs meet local, state, and federal regulations for safety, and curriculum standards.
• Identify opportunities to attract new and diverse audiences, while increasing the engagement with current visitors and members.

SKILLS
• Proficiency in MS Office (Word, Outlook, Excel)
• Excellent organizational, writing and communication skills, including a demonstrated proficiency in and comfort with public speaking and presentations.
• Initiative, imagination and creativity related to wild animal care and conservation.
• Ability to multi-task and work well alone or with others in a team environment
• Ability to adjust plans quickly and efficiently to respond to needs of the animal ambassadors, facility and visitors.
• Must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
• Ability to successfully complete projects in a specific time frame.
• Must be flexible with a capacity to anticipate and plan ahead.
• Able to identify and correct operational problems quickly. Must be able to think logically and solve problems with minimal guidance.
• Excellent problem solving, decision making, and conflict resolution skills.
• Experience with risk management and emergency procedures
• Experience creating, developing, and delivering outdoor conservation/environmental educational programs including hands-on/experiential programs.
• Strong supervisory and interpersonal skills; successful experience leading staff and volunteers. Proven ability to work successfully with people of varying backgrounds, skill levels, and interests.
• Facility and grounds maintenance skills are desirable.
• Experience with event planning is a plus.
• Successful grant writing and management skills are desirable.
• Graphic design skills are a plus

QUALIFICATIONS
• A passion for NMWC’s mission and experience educating the public about wildlife.
• Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences, Environmental Education, Wildlife Management or related field required.
• Minimum of three years of management and staff supervisory experience.
• Enthusiastic personality with a positive outlook and a can-do attitude.
• Willingness to learn new skills and topics, and share the knowledge with others.
• Exhibits environmental awareness, knowledge, and action.
• Must be able to read, write, and speak clearly in English so that written and verbal instructions can be given and followed. Spanish fluency is highly desirable.
• Extensive raptor handling experience required, CPBT-KA (IATCB bird trainers’ certification) or similar certification is preferred.
• CIT certification (National Association of Interpretation) and/or teaching certification is highly desirable.
• Minimum of three years of professional experience working with native wild animal husbandry at an accredited institution or related facility with demonstrated knowledge of safe handling of potentially dangerous animals such as raptors, bobcats and/or venomous reptiles.
• Diversified experience and demonstrated knowledge of animal training, enrichment, husbandry and management of a broad range of native wild animal species.
• Working knowledge of zoonotic diseases and prevention and familiarity with basic medications and vaccination programs.
• Ability to lift 50 lbs.
• Possess or obtain a valid New Mexico driver’s license
• First-Aid/CPR/AED certified

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. A large percentage of duties are performed outdoors in various weather conditions, ranging from rain, wind, snow, cool to cold weather, and extreme heat. It is possible the employee will be exposed to dust and harsh chemicals that if not handled properly may present a health hazard. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; use hands; reach with hands and arms; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl and to talk or hear. Use computer hardware and software for extended periods of time (repetitive motion). Sitting for long periods of time. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus. Specific auditory acuity to identify animal noises indicating distress, aggression, pain and other conditions and behaviors; to hear warning signals from safety and security alarms and/or warning signals; to detect sounds associated with malfunctions in mechanical equipment and systems. Must possess sufficient manual dexterity, strength and ability to rotate wrists, elbows and shoulders to operate manual cranks, and pulleys and to use manual and power tools commonly used in routine maintenance. The incumbent must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds
The work environment may be exposed to inclement weather; pollen, mold, dust, dirt and other airborne contaminants; and temperature variations. Must be able to safely handle live animals and tolerate exposure to animal dander, animal wastes and other zoonotic contaminants. Must be able to work in close proximity to native wildlife species. Must be able to wear all required protective clothing and equipment.
 Note: Employees in this classification may be required to have COVID vaccination; tetanus vaccination; maintain and/or receive proper rabies vaccination; and additionally may be required to maintain current CPR and First Aid certification

DISCLAIMER: This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by an employee within this role. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of an employee in this position.

EEO STATEMENT: NMWC is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law. New Mexico Wildlife Center is an at will employer and all NMWC employees are subject to employment eligibility and background security checks as well as testing for illegal substance use as allowed by law.

$35-$40k annually
To Apply: Email cover letter, resume, and three professional references to Matthew Miller, Executive Director at matthew@newmexicowildlifecenter.org. No phone calls please.

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