Marine science interpreter, part-time


Posted:                     Open to internal and external applicants

Reports to:               Interpretation coordinator

Status:                       Part-time, hourly, benefitted position

Hours of work:        Four days per week, averaging 30 hours per week. The Aquarium is open seven days a week. Additional shift coverage may be requested as needed. Interpretive shifts vary in length from four to eight hours between the hours of 8:30am and 7pm. Position requires some 8am morning meetings as well as evening events and trainings between the hours of 6pm and 11pm.

Date needed:           As soon as possible Posting expires:                     July 20, 2018


About the Seattle Aquarium: The Seattle Aquarium is owned by the City of Seattle and under nonprofit management. The Aquarium currently serves over 850,000 visitors and 40,000 schoolchildren and their teachers annually. Guided by its mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, the Seattle Aquarium has a realistic plan for phased growth based on record-setting attendance, membership and fundraising growth, an energized board of directors and professional management. The current annual budget is $18 million.


Position description:

The Seattle Aquarium is looking for a part-time marine science interpreter to join the team. Marine science interpreters are the lead in the exhibits, responsible for overseeing the interpretation volunteers and leading volunteer enrichments. This position also leads experiences in the exhibits, connecting diverse audiences with the Aquarium’s mission through formal and informal interpretation and presentations.


The ideal candidate will have a minimum of two years’ experience interpreting exhibits at an aquarium, zoo, science center, nature center or park. Experience working with a community audience, school or tour groups as well as experience in informal and/or formal education in some combination is required. Marine science interpreters must have strong public speaking and communication skills for presentations with the ability to convey information with flexibility, strong listening skills and respect for the learner’s


prior knowledge and experiences. Good judgment, a positive attitude and sense of humor are always desired.


Essential functions:

  • Supervise interpretation volunteers, including running daily enrichments and ensuring the exhibit areas are covered with volunteers. Provide animal content training for volunteers, oversee tide pool animal feedings and provide basic Aquarium knowledge. Evaluate volunteer performance when


  • Prepare and deliver formal (on microphone) interpretive talks to Aquarium visitors and school/tour groups. This includes mastery of interpretation talks in all exhibits, in all areas of the Aquarium, including outside marine mammal exhibits.


  • Interpret Aquarium exhibits to visitors on an informal one-on-one basis, including the use of/being stationed at a mobile exhibit cart during interpretation


  • Assist with new and ongoing volunteer


  • Participate in special event committees. Develop and execute hands-on activities for Aquarium visitors for daily and special event use. This would include projects as assigned by the manager or supervisor in coordination with the yearly special event


  • Coordinate and communicate openly with coworkers from all Aquarium departments to ensure the highest level of guest experience. This includes making sure staff are aware of daily logistics and know of any challenges affecting floor interpretation. This may be accomplished via email, person-to person-communication, phone or


  • Cover shifts and assignments for others when they are out


  • Maintain an awareness of self, co-workers, volunteers and guests while on the floor to ensure high level of communication, customer service and


Additional responsibilities:

  • Adhere to visitor engagement best practices and


  • Serve as a customer service liaison through daily contacts with visitors by providing information and answering


  • Act as a role model for compliance with all safety


  • Some administrative work such as record-keeping for animal care or volunteer activities, including keeping the volunteer office updated with volunteer attendance and


  • Ensure the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap.


  • Assist with maintenance of props, exhibits and office/lounge


  • Other projects as


Required skills, abilities:

  • Excellent written and oral communication
  • Strong public speaking skills for Ability to convey information about marine science and conservation to the public with flexibility, strong listening skills, and respect for learners’ prior knowledge and experiences.
  • Excellent time management skills; strong organizational
    • Self-motivated and able to work both independently and collaboratively with all Aquarium
    • Strong interpersonal and team-building
    • Critical thinking and excellent
  • Proficient with MS Office programs, including Word, Excel, Outlook. Familiarity, or ability to learn volunteer databases (Volgistics).
  • Knowledge of marine science and
    • Schedule flexibility in order to cover shifts and assignments for others when they are out


Experience, education and certifications:

We will consider various combinations of relevant experience and education in order to meet minimum requirements.


  • Minimum of two years of experience interpreting exhibits at an aquarium, zoo, science center, nature center or park. Experience working with a community audience and school or tour groups. Experience working in informal and/or formal education settings
  • A./B.S. degree in education, biology, environmental science or related field required. An equivalent combination of experience or education and experience may be considered in lieu of a degree.
  • CPR/first aid/Epi pen certification required by first day of



  • Scuba certification



Working conditions:

  • Skill and comfort with talking and presenting to both large groups and individuals. Use of microphone and other voice-enhancing equipment.
  • Must be able to be on the exhibit floor six or more hours a day and be physically active.
  • Ability to lift up to 30 pounds.
  • Ability to work outdoors in a variety of conditions.
  • Flexible schedule required. This position will regularly be assigned to work both Saturday and Sunday, as well as evening shifts and a few graveyard shifts.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee will regularly move between exhibits, use hands, reach with hands and arms, and speak and hear.


Salary and benefits:

$16.50–$19.50/hour, depending on experience. Please include pay expectations in your materials. Part-time staff are eligible for Seattle Aquarium’s part-time benefits package to include medical, vision, employer-funded health reimbursement account (HRA), flexible spending account (FSA), a Family Plus membership, and access to a subsidized ORCA pass, as well as paid sick time.


How to apply:

The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply by sending a résumé and one-page letter detailing interest and relevant experience to Application review will begin immediately. Please let us know if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for this job.


Note: Must pass a background check, upon job offer, to be eligible for this position.