The Chicago Zoological Society (CZS) has a variety of positions available at Brookfield Zoo, including full-time, seasonal and college work experience opportunities. The Society is a preferred employer and there are many perks to working here! CZS values its employees and strives to provide a work environment that is challenging and rewarding.
Incumbent must possess an understanding of practical principles of animal behavior and the ability to work with live animals safely. Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to increase knowledge of natural history, zoology, and general animal husbandry of the species and individual animals in area(s) of experience. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently. Good decision-making skills. Must be alert and make sound, independent judgments. Ability to perceive and act upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions. Solid interpersonal skills required. Must learn and integrate information, knowledge, and direction quickly, and complete tasks as needed. Incumbent must possess a general knowledge of Chicago Zoological Society, or must acquire general knowledge, gain an understanding of the Society’s mission, and become familiar with and follow policies and procedures. Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to develop proficiency, in performing assigned routines and specialized procedures as directed. Must possess a record of consistency and accuracy in performing job duties. Demonstrated ability to take initiative in identifying and solving problems, recommending ideas and viable suggestions to improve operations. Ability to work with minimal supervision. Demonstrated ability to train, educate, and direct the basic work of seasonal employees and interns. Must be reliable. Valid driver’s license required for Illinois residents within 90 days of hire; valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents. Spanish fluency a plus, but not required. This is a full-time position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings. Keeper: $ 22.47/hr.
Play Programs Facilitator
Requisition ID# 973AW
This position contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by providing innovative nature play programs and experiences for children and families founded on the practices and philosophies of the CZS NatureStart initiative. Under the guidance of Play Program supervisors, this position develops and facilitates play programs, settings, and experiences in the Hamill Family Play Zoo, as well as at other Chicago Zoological Society events and programs to provide an extraordinary guest experience and to promote innovations in conservation education, training, and leadership.
Responsibilities: Facilitate play with children aged birth-10, including holding live animals, in both indoor and outdoor settings, as assigned. Responsible for the daily care of equipment, property, play program materials, and play settings, including but not limited to, daily set-up, clean-up, inventory, and proper use of all equipment and property. Create, develop, and implement developmentally appropriate learning experiences and programs with an emphasis on nature play for children aged birth-10 and their families for Conservation, Education and Training (CET) programs, Chicago Zoological Society special events, and other programs as requested by Hamill Family Play Zoo (HFPZ) supervisory team members. Create, develop, and implement play programs and developmentally appropriate learning experiences for children aged birth to age 10 and their families at Hamill Family Play Zoo. Contribute to and actively participate in the CZS NatureStart initiative including developing activities and presentations and facilitating trainings. Serve as the floor assistant for the Hamill Family Play Zoo exhibit in a support role to the supervisor on assigned days. Duties may include adjusting the day’s schedule to reflect any crew changes, special activities that need accommodation, etc. Serve as the primary point of contact for radio calls including first aid and lost child situations. Attend to needs of crew, guests, and exhibit such as providing bathroom breaks, answering guest questions, cleaning up spills and calling custodial crew for larger cleaning needs, receiving deliveries, and closing the building at the end of the day as scheduled. Provide guidance to adult and youth volunteers as directed. Other related duties as assigned.
Requirements: High school diploma or equivalent required. Bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts, Science, Fine Arts, Drama, Early Childhood Education, Environmental Education, or related field or equivalent combination of training and/or experience is preferred. Basic computer literacy required. Experience with Windows, Microsoft Outlook, Word, and Excel required. Experience with PowerPoint and other office software packages preferred. Minimum two years experience required in any of the following areas: facilitation of play, art, drama, music, or other creative activities, working with and/or supervising adult and youth volunteers, and/or early childhood education or other educational and/or recreational experience with children aged birth-10. Must be able to work with and handle live animals safely including small mammals, herps, birds, and invertebrates. Minimum 1 year experience in a zoo, aquarium, museum, nature center, art studio environment, or early childhood classroom preferred. A genuine interest in nature, animals, and children preferred. Must be able to learn play facilitation skills. Excellent customer service skills and/or demonstrated ability to work with the public effectively in both high and low visitor attendance conditions required. This position requires a creative and imaginative individual with excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written. Strong ability to communicate effectively with children of diverse background aged birth-10 and their caregivers required. Solid interpersonal skills. Creative skills and abilities such as musician, actor, dancer, artist, gardener, farmer, naturalist, craftsman, costume designer, seamstress, or other skills relevant to the exhibit experience preferred. Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multilingual ability, Spanish fluency a plus. Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents. Attendance at events, trainings, conferences, etc. at off-site locations will be required (may require local travel). This position requires rotating shifts including weekends, holidays, and evenings. Must be able to accommodate a flexible schedule. Must be able to work in outdoor and indoor settings in a variety of weather conditions.
Lead Keeper, Herpetology
Requisition ID# 953WL
The Lead Keeper, Herpetology contributes to the success of the Chicago Zoological Society by providing experienced care for animals and performing related work of maintaining buildings, grounds, and interpretives in assigned area, under the direction of area managers or supervisors. Perform a wide variety of departmental supervisory activities, including supervising and instructing Keepers in assigned area and to support innovations in Conservation Leadership and Animal Welfare. Relieve other Lead Keepers as directed. Perform all routine duties independently and new duties with minimal direction.
Responsibilities: Perform in a proactive leadership role and communicate regularly with area supervisors/managers regarding animal management, facility maintenance, and staff supervision and development. Assist in departmental hiring, scheduling, and work assignments, and the development of departmental goals and plans. Establish work priorities for the department. Routinely monitor and review the work performance of keeper staff in assigned area, and ensure completion of tasks in a timely and effective fashion. Prepare and conduct performance appraisals as assigned. Responsible for current animal and equipment inventory. Verify employee work schedules. Provide written reports as assigned. Handle personnel situations in a timely, objective, and consistent manner and in accordance with Society policies and the union contract. Order, prepare, and distribute food to animal areas as required. Ensure compliance with all Society policies and procedures. Observe assigned animals closely and objectively. Apply knowledge and prior experiences to affect or implement change where appropriate. Maintain and utilize animal records. Observe condition of assigned area(s), animal enclosures, and equipment. Monitor and clean public space(s), plants, and interpretives as required. Report maintenance needs as appropriate, and perform minor maintenance tasks. Clean animal enclosures, pools, and service areas as required. Maintain detailed and current knowledge of natural history, husbandry, and captive management of species and individuals in assigned areas. Maintain proficiency in area routines and specialized procedures. Monitor guests to ensure animal and human safety and protection of Society property. Communicate with and assist guests. Take initiative to facilitate guests’ appreciation of animals and enjoyment of their visit. Demonstrate knowledge of and implement Society-wide and area emergency procedures as directed. Train and direct work of interns, seasonal employees, and full-time keeper staff as assigned. Other related duties as assigned.
Requirements: Bachelor's degree in relevant biological field or equivalent combination of training and experience required. Minimum 4 years Keeper experience or equivalent required. A minimum of 2 years of experience working with reptiles and amphibians in a captive setting preferred. Experience building and maintaining small aquatics systems preferred. Must possess a track record of exemplary performance as a supervisory keeper or have equivalent, relevant experience. Detailed and current knowledge of natural history and principles of animal behavior and husbandry required. Must be able to work with live animals safely. Additional qualifications and experience may be preferred or required depending upon the specific animals and work area where the keeper will be working. Generally, previous work experience with assigned taxa will be preferred. For the Living Coast and Seven Seas keeper positions, SCUBA Certification is required. Must be knowledgeable in the management of captive populations including related AZA conservation programs. Incumbent must demonstrate proficiency in perceiving and acting upon relevant changes in animal behaviors and conditions. Incumbent must demonstrate the ability to perform assigned routines and specialized procedures as directed. Must possess a proven record of consistently and accurately performing job duties. Good communication and interpersonal skills. The ability to interact in a courteous and professional manner. Must be able to maintain good working relationships with staff at all levels, internal and external to Animal Programs. Must be able to communicate effectively and promptly with co-workers, managers, and guests following appropriate communication channels. Must be capable of dealing with emergencies calmly and efficiently.
Must be proficient in learning and integrating information, knowledge, and direction quickly, and completing tasks as needed. Good decision-making skills. Ability to integrate and apply knowledge and prior experiences to affect or implement changes and make sound independent judgments where appropriate. Good problem-solving skills. Must be able to identify problems and utilize appropriate information to develop solutions. Must possess a track record of demonstrating initiative in analyzing and solving problems, and recommending ideas and viable suggestions to improve operations. Demonstrated record of making recommendations and suggestions that are well thought-out and researched. Must be able to work with minimal supervision. Strong supervisory skills. Demonstrated ability to promote good morale and productivity in the workplace. Proven ability to train and direct the work of interns, seasonal employees, and full-time keeper staff. Demonstrated ability to effectively mediate routine personnel issues and conflicts between staff. Must be able to serve in a leadership role in directing the management and operations within assigned area, and ensure short-term goals are developed and achieved. Solicit input on improving operations and animal management procedures.
Demonstrated capacity to guide the professional development of co-workers. Good time management skills. Must demonstrate flexibility, creativity, and responsibility in use of time. Ability and willingness to learn Society conservation programs as they apply to assigned areas. Must be able to maintain confidentiality with regard to personnel and other privileged matters. Must be reliable. Basic computer literacy required. Microsoft Office suite preferred.
Valid driver’s license required. Illinois residents must possess a valid Illinois license within 90 days of hire. Valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents. Experience and/or ability to work and interact effectively with a diverse, multicultural audience. Multi-lingual ability and Spanish fluency a plus.
This is a full-time position with rotating shifts, including weekends, holidays, and evenings. Lead Keeper: $27.27/hr.
The Chicago Zoological Society-Brookfield Zoo has an exciting opportunity for an experienced executive-level construction/facilities professional to plan, direct, and oversee all activities related to the Brookfield Zoo physical plant and grounds, including facilities repairs and maintenance, capital construction, grounds and horticulture, and daily operations, for a staff of 85+ full-time workers. This V.P. serves as the senior manager and primary point person for the Brookfield Zoo “campus” and physical facilities including prioritizing, scheduling, and management of capital construction projects and major renovations, as well as systematic maintenance and improvement of all buildings, grounds, infrastructure, and facilities, including preventive and routine maintenance and repairs. Manages division budget and oversees capital construction program including: concept development, detailed design, budget development and cost estimating, construction specifications and inspection, coordination of bid process, assuring appropriate controls, participation of MBE-WBE-DBE vendors, cost and project management, and quality control. Must have experience with computerized work order management systems. Position requires a highly motivated, high energy individual with a strong work ethic, who is outcome-driven, confident, and has strong leadership and management skills. The successful candidate will be highly collaborative, detail oriented, articulate, and able to build strong relationships with all levels of staff and external audiences. Incumbent must enjoy a challenge, be passionate about quality and efficiency, have an appreciation for animals and conservation, and a strong commitment to excellence and the bottom line. Will be expected to be present at various events sponsored by the Society and to travel occasionally as needed. Thus, individual must be prepared to make a significant commitment to the organization. The successful candidate will have a Bachelors Degree in Construction Management, Civil/Mechanical Engineering, Civil Technology, or other relevant field or equivalent (Masters Degree desirable), 7-10 years comparable senior-level experience, including relevant experience in project management, construction, and facilities management, relevant technical knowledge and/or experience of various construction trades, experience using project management software, such as Microsoft Project or Primavera, experience with automated project management/work order systems, experience managing multiple trades, conducting automated workflow planning and efficiency studies, and ability to effectively manage and measure work flow and quality. Experience with unions/ union workers strongly preferred. Strong interpersonal and communications skills required. Requires good presentation skills and a participative, collaborative management style. Strong planning, analytical, problem-solving, follow-up and decision-making abilities required. Must possess solid leadership abilities and be able to effectively delegate, assuring accountability. Must be able to work effectively under pressure, juggle multiple projects, and meet deadlines. Requires proficiency in computer operation and software applications, including email, Internet, spreadsheet, word processing, and database packages. The V.P. of Plant and Facilities Management works closely with other leaders of the organization and as a part of the executive management team to ensure comprehensive and fully integrated efforts, focused on annual and strategic goals.
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer – M/F/V/H – Diversity candidates encouraged to apply.
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