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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden-Director of Education and Engagement-Fri, 04/13/2018 - 7:10pm

Director of Education and Engagement


Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
Santa Barbara, California
1212 Mission Canyon Road
Santa Barbara , CA 93105

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Job Description 

The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is a living museum which fosters the conservation of California’s native plants through our gardens, research, and education, and serves as a role model of sustainable practices. Within the scope of this mission, the goal of the Education team is to enable transformative experiences through native plants for the Garden visitor. A transformative experience is one which moves the casual Garden visitor from (1) merely enjoying the Garden’s grounds to (2) understanding the important role native California plants play securing biodiversity, providing ecosystem services, and supporting habitats to (3) becoming actively engaged in California native plant conservation through home landscaping, volunteerism, citizen science, political advocacy, or financial support. We work to introduce the general public to California native plants, ignite concern about their survival, and inspire action for their conservation.

The Director of Education & Engagement leads staff and works with volunteers and outside partners to develop programs that ignite interest and active participation in the conservation of California’s native plants. The Director should be visionary, entrepreneurial and an effective and inspiring leader. This is a full-time (40 hours), exempt position, and reports to the Executive Director.

Duties & Responsibilities 

Education Leadership
• Lead, supervise and motivate department staff, volunteers, and course instructors.
• Identify and prioritize department needs in alignment with the Garden’s strategic plan.
• Collaborate in training for docents, other volunteers, and staff as needed to meet the Garden’s goals.
• Manage the design and implementation of a range of high quality programs for adults in a variety of formats including lectures, classes, workshops, and field trips; Participate as a team member in developing programming for Garden-wide events; Lead educational opportunities as appropriate and needed. Identify and recruit additional high-quality instructors.
• Oversee staff and volunteers supporting youth, family and school programs based on hands-on, interactive STEM content. Program development is done with input from other staff and Garden volunteers. Assist in this programming as needed.
• Oversee the development and implementation of interpretative media as well as person to person interpretation with input from other staff and volunteers at the Garden. This includes signs, displays, exhibits (including Discovery Stations), docent tours, brochures, educational components of the website (including on-line resource materials for teachers and the public at large), and potentially, mobile apps.
• Work with the Manager of Volunteer Programs to recruit additional volunteers.
• Build partnerships and collaborate with external organizations.

Planning & Evaluation
• Work with the Executive Director, other staff and the Board of Trustees in the development of multi-year strategic plans for the institution.
• Lead the development and implementation of annual and multi-year work plans to fulfill the Garden’s strategic goals.
• Establish clear performance benchmarks associated with departmental performance.
• Oversee the assessment of educational programs and interpretive materials to ensure effectiveness.

Fiscal Responsibility
• Work with the Executive Director, the Controller and the Director of Development and Communications to create and meet the annual Education department budget.
• Work with development staff to identify potential funding sources at regional, statewide, and national levels to support departmental programs and staffing.
• Work with development staff to prepare grant and major gift proposals.
• Manage the revenue sources so that earned revenue, grants, major gifts and sponsorships cover 80% to 90% of departmental staff costs and other expenses.

Education and Experience 

Knowledge and Abilities:
• Superior interpersonal relationship and supervisory skills
• Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to prioritize tasks
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with attention to detail and accuracy
• Familiar with the best practices in education and interpretation
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team to further the goals of the organization
• Experience in fostering and maintaining relationship with stakeholder organizations
• Comfortable in a fast-paced environment that requires quick turnaround and flexibility
• Recruit, engage, and utilize education volunteers to assist in the scope of duties
• Knowledge of horticulture, botany, and/or natural history of California preferred
• Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
• Ability to work weekends and evenings as needed. Tuesday through Saturday workweek preferred.

Qualifications and Experience:
• Minimum of 5 years related experience, including 3 years supervisory experience
• Experience in a botanic garden and/or a museum setting
• Demonstrated experience with program development with a successful track record of funding
• Experience teaching in informal settings; able to communicate to a variety of audiences
• Advanced degree with a background in education and life sciences preferred

Application Instructions 

Resumes or CVs must be accompanied by the Garden’s employment application and may be submitted via email to

Questions: call (805) 682-4726 ext. 108

Full Name 
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden