The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, sustainability, education, and community engagement. Our Mission is to create adventure, convey knowledge, conserve nature, and serve our community. We accomplish this by inspiring every visitor with wildlife every day by providing opportunities to be close enough to care. We are passionate about our commitment to Wildlife Conservation and succeed at this by pursuing our Core Values of: Collaborative Relationship; Positivity & Energy; Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect; Progressive Thinking; Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership.
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) is committed to growing our active leadership of wildlife conservation. The CZBG team has extensive history in conservation, including our industry-leading research projects at CREW for species like rhinos and cats, and our cutting-edge sustainability innovations across energy, waste, and water. Yet, environmental conservation pressures remain increasingly urgent. As a trusted voice and expert guide to animals, the Cincinnati Zoo is growing our commitment to conservation by focusing on wildlife coexistence.
Our vision is to facilitate a brighter future for wildlife and people. Coexistence requires listening to the voices and needs on all sides – animals, plants, and people. Through an empowering alliance promoting benefits for all, we can collaborate, reduce conflicts, and sustain healthy landscapes and resources for wildlife and people. Coexistence is the thread tying all of our conservation stories together, with balanced strategies, community engagement, and proactive Zoo leadership.
Our goal is to activate our staff, visitors, stakeholders, and audiences to be inspired by wildlife to participate in conservation. In 2021, we created the Conservation Impact department to coordinate and strategize conservation projects both at the zoo and with our local and global partners. To reach the next level beyond the team’s capacity onsite at the Zoo, we seek to hire a Conservation Scientist to join our team at CZBG. The Conservation Scientist will deepen our involvement and leadership in wildlife coexistence.
Position Summary: The Conservation Impact team is seeking to fill a full-time Conservation Scientist position. This scientist will lead the Zoo’s Coexistence Impact Research program.
The Conservation Scientist will bolster the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s ability to achieve our mission of conserving nature and serving community, as well as ignite new adventure with expert knowledge on our team. This new position at the Zoo will lead to strategic growth toward our four multifaceted goals for:
  • Direct wildlife conservation impact: Increase our direct impact on threats to wildlife with coexistence research, adaptation and scaled-up implementation
  • Community mobilization: Increase our mobilization of Zoo staff, visitors, partners, and communities in strategic action for wildlife coexistence and sustainable resource use
  • Zoo elevation: Increase our team’s expertise, global presence, reputation, and credibility by leading coexistence research and collaborating with strategic partners
  • Environmental justice: Increase our investment in diversity, equity, access and inclusion in conservation by leading in community empowerment and resource sharing
Successful candidates will demonstrate the following leadership attributes: You Model the example for others to follow; You Inspire others to work towards an exciting future and shared vision; You Challenge yourself and others to look for innovative ways to improve the organization; You Foster collaboration and trust and build spirited teams; You Recognize contributions and celebrate accomplishments.
Specific Duties & Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Conducting research into published literature and/or collecting primary data to understand threats to species and habitat as well as nearby communities’ characteristics, behaviors, needs, and sources of human-wildlife conflict.
  • Designing coexistence theory of change and evaluation framework for the Research Program.
  • Leading Coexistence Impact Research Program’s design, data collection and entry, and analysis with Zoo staff and global field partners involved (e.g., lions, gorillas, elephants, etc.)
  • Supervising data collection and analysis with Conservation Impact Fellows and others on the Conservation Impact team
  • Writing research manuscript(s) for scientific publication
  • Writing 6-month progress reports and annual impact reports for CZBG, our partners, and funders about best practices, findings, and future research in partnership with Conservation Impact team.
Project development
  • Developing and implementing scientific, global conservation strategies
  • Identifying relevant grants or foundations for the projects and leading the proposal writing for submission
  • Developing strategic partnerships and collaborations with international conservation organizations and universities
  • Working collaboratively with the Zoo’s Conservation Impact department and other departments to maximize the quality of conservation projects led by the Zoo.
  • Supervising, mentoring, and evaluating Conservation Impact Fellows
  • Fostering and guiding operational excellence amongst the Conservation Impact team.
  • Engaging Zoo staff and visitors in the Coexistence Impact Research program – both with direct involvement opportunities and through communications, storytelling, progress updates, and more.
  • Creating and facilitating opportunities for Zoo staff to participate in coexistence projects and tell others about the program.
  • Coordinating coexistence events, online campaigns, and conservation activities with the Conservation Impact team and other Zoo departments
  • Supporting the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s mission.
  • The applicant must possess a bachelor’s degree in a scientific field related to wildlife conservation– ranging from ecological, natural resources, social sciences, or other interdisciplinary dimensions of conservation. More advanced degrees are desired.
  • Minimum 4 years of experience in wildlife conservation; and at least 2 years of experience in conservation research or impact evaluation, preferred
  • Equivalent combinations of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job will be considered.
Additionally, the ideal candidate will have/be:
  • Experience in wildlife conservation research and adapting conservation activities based on evaluation research results,
  • Experience in active community engagement and strong communications skills (both written and speaking),
  • Experience coordinating stakeholder collaboration with diverse partners and interests,
  • Experience in conservation strategic planning and project management tools (e.g., logic models, Miradi software, etc.),
  • Experience in field work and detailed data collection, entry, and statistical analysis,
  • A publication record that illustrates their ability to conduct and complete research,
  • Must be willing to travel for field work and project management meetings,
  • Prior experience engaging communities in conservation or working in a zoo setting is desirable but not mandatory; however, the applicant should demonstrate a commitment to community and understanding of the role of zoo visitor engagement in active wildlife conservation.
  • Ability to adapt to a changing work environment and handle multiple assignments simultaneously.
  • Demonstrated ability to solve complex problems efficiently and the ability to make quick decisions during animal emergencies.
  • Ability to work with multiple stakeholders and partners simultaneously.
  • Highly professional, motivated, and collaborative, and able to gain cooperation through expertise, credibility, and building positive working relationships
  • Ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships within the organization as well as with outside vendors
  • Demonstrated understanding of the Zoo’s Core Values, “Modeling the Way” for others
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work well with diverse personalities
  • Excellent presentation, project management & organizational skills
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and related program software
  • Demonstrated affinity for the Mission of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
Working Conditions /Other Requirements: Employment is contingent upon successful completion of a post-offer, pre-employment drug & nicotine screen, TB test, and background check. Requires full vaccination for COVID-19, as currently defined by the CDC. Must possess a valid driver’s license and be insurable to drive a vehicle for Zoo-related work. While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk, and have the manual dexterity to use computer mouse and keyboard. The incumbent may be exposed to outside weather conditions and must be able to lift/move/carry up to 25 pounds without assistance. This position requires a substantial amount of contact with staff, volunteers, and other departments. This employee will be required to have contact with animals and may be exposed to zoonosis. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
Position Details & Benefits
Salary range starting at $50,000/yr. This is a full-time, overtime-exempt, and eligible for the Zoo’s benefit programs for non-union employees. We offer a comprehensive benefits package in support of our employees’ “Total Well-Being” including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; EAP, 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off banks; company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.
Application Details & Timing:
  • Deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 7, 2022. Cover letter and resume should be attached to your online application.
  • Due to upcoming conservation work-related travel, we will begin application review in mid-July and be in touch in late July to set up interviews.
We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society. With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do. We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity
The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee based on race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, military or veteran status, and/or any other characteristic or protected status. We are a Queen City Certified/Ellequate Leader in Gender Equity. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.