Coordinator, Interpretive Programs

Requisition Number: 
Interpretive Programs
Job Status: 
Coordinate and be part of the development, planning, and operations of a variety of mission-based interpretive programs that enhance the visitor experience and offer learning opportunities for the public. The Chicago Botanic Garden seeks an enthusiastic informal educator to assist with the development, organization, and implementation of a variety of high-quality, mission-based interpretive programs designed to enhance the visitor experience and provide learning opportunities for the public. Regular weekend work required. Part-time (28 hours per week/4 days per week).
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role, you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist with developing, organizing, and implementing interpretive programs throughout the Garden including:
    • Butterflies & Blooms exhibition
    • Garden Chef Series
    • Discovery Programs in the English Walled Garden, Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden, and Malott Japanese Garden
    • Science Festival
    • Super Seed Weekend
    • Various nature programs and themed events
    • Interpretive signage
  • Ensure that all interpretive programming is high quality and engaging.
  • Assist with training and managing 200+ adult and teen volunteers who facilitate interpretive programming in various gardens/exhibitions. Work closely with volunteers to help ensure they are well-trained and can reflect the Garden’s 5-star customer service standard.
  • Assist the manager’s work with the Volunteer Services Department to recruit and place the best volunteers for the Interpretive Programs department.
  • Create a warm and welcoming environment for visitors, volunteers, and staff. Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with departmental volunteers.
  • Give presentations, facilitate workshops, hold training sessions, and lead tours as requested.
  • Work a year-round schedule (4 days/week) that includes:
    • Thursday through Sunday during the main program season; mid-May through mid-October
    • Tuesday through Friday in the off-season with occasional evenings and weekends
  • Assist with general program needs and other duties as assigned.
  • Contribute to and be part of strategic and master planning as requested.


Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  •  Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in museum studies, education, horticulture, environmental science, or a related field. Two to four years related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. Strong competencies in MS Office Suite.
  • Strong knowledge of the purpose of interpretation and proven interpretive practices, techniques, and concepts. Presentation delivery experience. Comfortable talking in public settings.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement educational programming.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of horticulture, nature studies, and/or environmental science; enthusiastic learner.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with multiple age groups, from early childhood to adult.
  • Experience developing and implementing training sessions for adults and/or teens.
  • Self-directed, flexible, team-player with good judgment, positive attitude, and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • Two to four years of staff and volunteer management experience.
  • Ability to work weekends, evenings, and holidays as needed.
Physical Demands: 
Position requires extensive periods of walking and standing with moderate lifting (up to approximately 35 pounds)/pushing. Most of the work is conducted outside, rain or shine.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX coordinator should you have questions or concerns.