Job Openings - Blank Park Zoo

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Thank you for your interest in working for the Blank Park Zoo.

The Blank Park Zoo is a respected leader in animal care, education, and conservation of exotic wildlife. The zoo is the only AZA accredited zoo in the state of Iowa.
Applications will only be accepted for available positions. Please make note on application which position you are applying.

The Blank Park Zoo is an equal opportunity employer.
Click here for Internship Opportunities.
Click here for Full-Time Opportunities.
Click here for Seasonal Opportunities.



Full-Time Openings:

There are no full-time openings available at this time.

 


Part-Time Openings

 

Event Setup Coordinator 
Blank Park Zoo is looking for a reliable self-starter who is highly motivated to assist with event setup and tear down. The Event Setup Coordinator is responsible for providing direct support to the events team.

Responsibilities: 

  • Maintain all rental spaces and adjoining public spaces to be in excellent condition at all times
  • Follow daily worksheets and checklists through to completion
  • Set up and tear down a variety of rooms in various styles and shapes
  • Responsible for safely and punctually transporting event equipment (tables, chairs, screens, podium, arch, etc.)
  • Ability to work independently 
  • Maintain a strong relationship and good communication with the event staff, janitorial staff, maintenance staff, volunteers and Zoo’s preferred caterer
  • Always maintain a professional demeanor and attitude
  • Refresh room as needed through a variety of tasks including vacuuming, washing floors and removing garbage
  • Additional tasks as assigned by the supervisor

Qualifications:

  • A minimum of formal education of some high school and minimum one year job-related experience preferred
  • Previous meeting and event setup and tear down experience is a plus
  • Capable of lifting at least 50 pounds on a regular basis.

Hours:
Average of 20 hours/week. Early mornings and weekends required. Ability to work in a variety of weather and temperature conditions. Schedule will be coordinated with the supervisor. Position open until filled.

To Apply: 
Please submit a Blank Park Zoo application by e-mail: zoohr@blankparkzoo.org or mail: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.

 


 
Seasonal Openings:

Temporary Grounds Crew
Accomplish all aspects of zoo grounds maintenance, outdoor and indoor horticulture, equipment maintenance, and snow removal.
 
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
The following duties are normal for this position.  These are not to be construed as exclusive or all inclusive.  Other duties may be required and assigned.
  • Responsible for all aspects of zoo grounds maintenance: mowing, trimming, turf maintenance (including fertilization and weed control), watering, edging and leaf removal.
  • Specific duties include daily watering, trimming, pruning, planting / transplanting and daily housekeeping.
  • Responsible for all snow removal on zoo grounds(on call). This includes maintaining safety of zoo grounds, parking lots and drives during inclement weather.
  • Operation of grounds maintenance equipment and related machinery.

Qualifications
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Previous work experience in horticulture field preferred.
  • Ability to handle a flexible workload with a variety of assignments.
  • Must be able to operate independently, exercise initiative, and demonstrate capacity for detail and follow-up.
  • Must be able to maintain work hours that will serve the needs of the Foundation (up to 40 hours in the summer and fall). Winter hours will vary based on weather and position will be on call.
Education and/or Experience
High school diploma.
 
Language Ability 
Ability to communicate effectively to all ages of visitors and staff.
 
Competencies
Ability to understand modern grounds management, ability to research all applicable topics.
 
Certificates
Iowa motor vehicle license
 
Physical Demands
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.  Ability to bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, etc. to perform horticulture/maintenance/snow removal tasks.
 
Environmental Adaptability
Ability to function in all types of weather.
 
To Apply:
Send Blank Park Zoo application to:

Blank Park Zoo
Attn: Human Resources
7401 SW 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50315
 
Or drop off application to the Zoo during regular business hours.
 
 
 
Custodian 
The Blank Park Zoo is seeking a reliable individual for the position of custodian. Candidates will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the zoo facility on a daily basis. Hours vary from 12 – 40 hours per week depending on the time of year.

Essential Duties:

  • Cleans and restocks restrooms and checks them regularly throughout the day.
  • Empties all trash containers daily and as needed.
  • Cleans all litter on Zoo grounds, parking lot, and park property.
  • Assists with set-up for events, banquets, and rentals.
  • Cleans floors, windows, and garbage in lobby, rental spaces, and other public places.
  • Empties trash and recycle containers in the office building.
  • Assists with Zoo’s recycling program.
  • Maintains a clean and safe atmosphere for guests. 
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Great customer service and communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Neat and organized
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others
  • Able to work weekends, holidays, special events, and evenings.
  • Ability to work in all weather conditions
  • Proven reliability.
  • Ability to pass background check.
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds.

Pay Rate: $8 / hour

To apply:
Please submit a Blank Park Zoo application by e-mail: zoohr@blankparkzoo.org or mail: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.

 


Guest Services Associate
The Blank Park Zoo is seeking customer service oriented individuals to work in various areas around the zoo. Candidates will work a varied shift and perform a variety of assignments related to all guest service operations. Candidates work under the general supervision of the Guest Service Manager. 

Essential Duties:

  • Work in the entire guest service department including but not limited to: Admissions, Rides and Interaction areas:
  • Admissions – Cashier, Assist guests with questions
  • Rides – Cashier, assist guests with loading and unloading, operating ride
  • Interaction Areas – Cashier and administer rules for feeding areas such as Kids Kingdom, giraffe and parakeet
  • Birthday Parties – set-up, tear-down, animal presentation, greets guests, and serves as hospitality attendant
  • Assist guests with questions, problems, or emergencies
  • Ability to handle cash and balance drawers

Qualifications:

  • Cash handling experience preferred
  • Great customer service and communication skills
  • Enthusiastic and outgoing personality
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others  
  • Basic computer skills
  • Able to work weekends, holidays, special events, and evenings
  • Proven reliability
  • Ability to pass background check
  • Ability to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Some areas require the ability to stand for long periods of time

Pay Rate: $7.25/hour

To apply:
Please submit a Blank Park Zoo application by e-mail: zoohr@blankparkzoo.org or mail: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.
 

 

Retail Associate
The Blank Park Zoo is seeking customer service oriented individuals to work in the gift shop and retail outlets around the zoo. Candidates will work a varied shift and perform a variety of assignments related to retail operations. Candidates work under the general supervision of the Retail Manager. 

Essential Duties:

  • Ability to operate a computer to complete a sales transaction
  • Ability to handle cash and balance drawers
  • Assist guests with retail inventory
  • Stock shelves
  • Straighten inventory
  • Dust, vaccum and other cleaning in store
  • Assist guests with questions, problems, or emergencies

Qualifications:

  • Cash handling experience preferred
  • Great customer service and communication skills
  • Enthusiastic and outgoing personality
  • Ability to communicate effectively with others  
  • Basic computer skills
  • Able to work weekends, holidays, special events, and evenings
  • Proven reliability
  • Ability to pass background check
  • Ability to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Some areas require the ability to stand for long periods of time

Pay Rate: $7.25/hour

To apply:
Please submit a Blank Park Zoo application by e-mail: zoohr@blankparkzoo.org or mail: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.

 


Summer Safari Camp Instructor
The Blank Park Zoo is accepting applications for a Summer Safari Camp Instructor. Ideal candidates will be highly motivated, friendly, and child-oriented. Candidates must be available to teach summer camp beginning mid-May through mid-August. 

Essential Duties:

  • Instructs students attending summer camps
  • Develops curriculum under the guidance of the Education Manager & Camp Coordinator
  • Orders and prepares materials
  • Responsible for the safety of summer camp participants
  • Supervises teen volunteers that assist with classes

Qualifications:

  • Knowledge or skill in the principles of biology, zoology, or environmental interpretation
  • Ability to plan, organize, and develop educational materials for presentation
  • Ability to effectively communicate with people of all ages including students, parents, and zoo staff
  • A strong desire to work with and teach children
  • Ability to work within a team environment
  • Ability to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Must be 18 years or older

Pay Rate: $8 / hour

To apply:
Please send cover letter, resume, and zoo application to zoohr@blankparkzoo.org (please specify position you are seeking in subject line of e-mail) or mail to: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.
 

 

Education Animal Presenter
The Blank Park Zoo is accepting applications for an Animal Presenter in the education department. Ideal candidates will be highly motivated, enthusiastic, and strong public presenters. The position works with a collection of small animals and bio facts to teach the zoo visitors and community about life science and the environment. Candidates must be available to work May through August with some opportunities before May and after August. Evenings and weekends are required.  

Essential Duties:

  • Develop educational presentations for zoo visitors
  • Learn animal handling procedures
  • Interact with the public in the zoo’s Critter Corner and other education stations
  • Conducts educational presentations at the zoo and throughout the community and state of Iowa
  • Required travel throughout the state
  • Supervises teen volunteers that assist with programs

Qualifications:

  • Possession of a valid Driver’s License
  • Knowledge of the principles of biology, zoology, or environmental interpretation
  • Ability to plan, organize, and develop educational materials for presentation
  • Ability to effectively communicate with people of all ages
  • Ability to talk with and teach large groups of people
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Ability to work with animals used during zoo’s education programs and special events
  • Must be 19 years or older

Pay Rate: $8 / hour

To apply:
Please send cover letter, resume, and zoo application to zoohr@blankparkzoo.org (please specify position you are seeking in subject line of e-mail) or mail to: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.

 


Special Events Summer Associate
The Blank Park Zoo is looking for a responsible, energetic and highly motivated individual to assist with special and private events.

Essential Duties:

  • Provide direct support to the special events team. 
  • Assist with the logistical planning, coordination and implementation of private and public events at the zoo. This includes set-up and tear-down of events.
  • Assist with Zoo promotions, including social media as it pertains to events, mailings, and other office matters to support Zoo events and programs. 
  • Additional tasks as assigned by the supervisor.

Qualifications:

  • Possession of a valid driver’s license
  • Proof of current vehicle insurance
  • Capable of lifting 50 pounds on a regular basis
  • Ability to effectively communicate with people of all ages
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Must be available to work a minimum of 20 hours a week.  Evenings and weekends are required. 

Pay Rate: $8 / hour

To apply:
Please send cover letter, resume, and zoo application to zoohr@blankparkzoo.org (please specify position you are seeking in subject line of e-mail) or mail to: Blank Park Zoo, Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th Street, Des Moines, IA 50315 or drop off in person during regular zoo hours.

 


 Internship Opportunities  

Summer 2015 Animal Care Internships

Application Deadline:  March 1, 2015

The Blank Park Zoo is now accepting applications for the 2015 summer animal care internships. Internships are open to hard working, motivated candidates considering a career in zoo keeping.    Internships are nonpaid; housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. 

Internships are available in the Aquatics, Avian & Reptiles, Small mammal & Kids Kingdom (domestic), Education, and Large mammal/hoof-stock areas. Please see area descriptions for more information.  Summer intern dates are as follows: May 20 – August 14, 2015

Animal Care Interns will be introduced to general animal husbandry practices, including:

  • Daily cleaning and disinfection protocols
  • Animal observation and record keeping
  • Proper diet preparation
  • Exhibit maintenance
  • Public & volunteer interactions
  • Introduction to behavioral enrichment and training
  • Animal restraint and handling
  • Veterinary procedure participation
  • Problem solving

Requirements:

  • 18 years or older, currently enrolled or recently graduated, from college 
  • Preference is given to those who are in the zoology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field
  • Must be a positive, effective team member and be able to establish professional working relationships
  • Test Negative for TB, test will need to be done and paperwork turned in by the first day.
  • Successfully complete a background check
  • Capable of lifting 50 lbs.
  • Willing and able to work in all weather conditions
  • Available to work 40 hours per week from May 20 – August 14, including weekends and holidays.
  • Previous animal care experience preferred, but not required.
  • Select and execute a project with the help of animal care staff, which will be presented at the completion of the internship.
  • Complete BPZoo intern courses.

To apply:
Please send an Animal Care Intern Application, resume and cover letter indicating department of interest to:
Christine Eckles, Volunteer Manager, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 or email: cneckles@blankparkzoo.org. 

Animal Care Intern Applications can be found on here

Application Deadline: March 1, 2015

Additional Information about Areas

Aquatics
Candidate must have interest in all types of aquatic animals. Species in this area include California sea lions, harbor seals, penguins, otters, amphibians, and marine and freshwater fishes. Interns will be expected to observe Pinniped training.  Interns, who have demonstrated appropriate public speaking skills, may be asked to help deliver the demonstration script. Coursework in aquatic ecology, animal behavior, or previous experience working with the listed species is highly desirable.

Birds & Reptiles
Animals in this department are located throughout the zoo in mixed species exhibits.  Motivated interns will gain knowledge about husbandry, training, and enrichment for a diverse group of birds and reptiles. This includes 50+ species of birds, from Finches to Ostrich and 6+ species of reptiles, Geckos to Aldabra Tortoise. Coursework in ornithology and/or herpetology is preferred.  

Small Mammals & Kids Kingdom
Primary responsibilities include husbandry, observations and enrichment in our Contact Area working with Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Llamas, Miniature Zebu and Prairie Dogs.  Proven individuals may have the opportunity to assist with the daily care of Bennett's Wallaby, Red Panda, and Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin.  Interns must be able to work independently, as well part of a team.  Experience with domestic livestock or corresponding coursework highly preferred.

Large Mammals/hoof-stock
 Prefer reliable, enthusiastic candidates looking to gain experience working with exotic ungulates in a protected contact environment. While working closely with keeper staff, intern will gain knowledge in ungulate husbandry, training and enrichment. Intern will also perform an independent research project and interact with zoo guests daily. Species in this section include giraffe, black rhino and Bactrian camels.

Education
We are looking for an enthusiastic person who enjoys working with animals and kids of all ages. Interns will work with our Education Specialists to learn about husbandry for over 35 species of program animals including mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibians and invertebrates.  Interns will also learn how to properly handle animals and present them to visitors at the zoo or offsite.  Experience or coursework with small animals and public speaking is preferred but not required.

 

 

Summer 2015 Conservation Internship

Application Deadline:  March 1, 201

The Blank Park Zoo is now accepting applications for a 2015 summer conservation internship. This internship is for college credit and is open to a college student with an interest in wildlife conservation. It is nonpaid; housing and transportation are the responsibility of the intern. 

Interns are required to be here for eight weeks, starting May 27 – July 22.

The Conservation Intern will assist BPZ Conservation Manager with general wildlife conservation tasks, while learning about various conservation principles including (but not limited to) the following:

  • In-situ conservation (in the wild)
  • Ex-situ conservation (within zoos)
  • Conservation messaging to various audiences
  • International wildlife conservation organizations
  • Zoos and Aquariums Committing to Conservation (ZACC)
  • Conservation fundraising
  • Green zoo operations
  • Conservation education
  • Conservation marketing, social media
  • Event planning
  • Pollinator conservation

Requirements:

  • College student in good standing, studying zoology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field
  • Proof from university that the internship will be for college credit
  • Successfully complete a background check
  • Capable of lifting 50 lbs.
  • Willing and able to work in all weather conditions
  • Available to work 8 hours per week for a minimum of 8 weeks and a maximum of 10 weeks, including some weekends
  • Experience with Publisher and Excel preferred, but not required
  • Must be comfortable with public speaking
  • Must have excellent writing skills
  • Select and execute a project with the help of the Conservation Manager, which will be presented at the completion of the internship.
  • Complete BPZ intern courses 

To apply: 
Please send a Conservation Intern Application, resume and cover letter to: Christine Eckles, Volunteer Manager, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315 or email: cneckles@blankparkzoo.org. 

Click Here for the Conservation Intern Application

Application Deadline:  March 1, 2014. 

 


Job Application

 

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