Behavior Change Coordinator- Indianapolis Zoo

Posted: 27 February 2024| Full-Time| Deadline: 13 March 2024


The Indianapolis Zoo is a national leader of animal conservation and is an AZA accredited institution.  Located on a 93-acre campus in the heart of vibrant downtown Indianapolis, the State’s capitol, the Indianapolis Zoo is one of the largest privately funded zoos in the United States. Known as “The Crossroads of America”, Indianapolis is in close proximity to Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Columbus, and Nashville. 

The Indianapolis Zoo and the IUCN Species Survival Commission have partnered to create the Global Center for Species Survival, operated from within the Indianapolis Zoo. The Global Center for Species Survival houses a multicultural team of full-time staff employed by the Indianapolis Zoo who are dedicated to support the missions of the Indianapolis Zoo and the SSC.  Work will be primarily performed on-site at the Indianapolis Zoo Global Center for Species Survival office, but travel may be required.

The Global Center for Species Survival Staff team provides critical training, capacity and coordination support to further mobilize the species conservation efforts of the IUCN SSC Network of experts alongside wider partner and key stakeholder communities. Seven Conservation Coordinators (each assigned to a specific taxon or realm) comprise part of the Global Center for Species Survival Staff Team. 

We are currently seeking a Behavior Change Coordinator to complete our team. This position is open and available to all candidates worldwide. International candidates must be able to acquire a work visa. Fluency in English a requirement of all positions.  Fluency in other languages is desired.

The Behavior Change Coordinator will strengthen the behavioral and social components of the programs of the Zoo and the Global Center to drive better social and conservation outcomes. The position focuses primarily on building the role and use of social marketing and human behavior-change strategies in saving species.  To achieve this, the successful candidate will work to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate social marketing strategies and capacity building that improve the likelihood of success of social change campaigns as they relate to priority species conservation. This includes:

  • Strategic planning to analyse and integrate the human and social dimensions into species conservation projects and programmes.
  • Theoretical framework development to be able to identify the right educational, behavioral, and communication theories that need to be used to underpin a particular project.
  • Working with a range of colleagues and community members to design and implement interdisciplinary inventions to be delivered at the Zoo, out in the local communities, and at field sites globally focused on outcomes that drive positive behavioral and social changes in targeted audiences.
  • Managing the flow of the change programme, developing monitoring and evaluation processes, and adapting/tweaking the programme as it is deployed.
  • Measuring Impact through data gathering to demonstrate the effects of the change interventions, and longer-term impacts. Answering specific research questions and publishing findings by creating a network of academic/students who will conduct the social research and evaluation components of change process
  • Inputting into funding proposals specifically around human and social outcomes and impacts.
  • Building capacity to improve colleague’s knowledge, skills, and mindset of the human /social components of a conservation issue and how the interventions/change process intend to work.

The Behavior Change Coordinator will help create and implement the annual strategic plans set forth by the Zoo and Species Survival Commission. The Behavior Change Coordinator will also provide input to IZS conservation programming, including participating in the conservation messaging of all species on exhibit and assisting in the selection of the conservation projects the Zoo will support.

This role will work closely with the Indianapolis Zoo team, the SSC Chair’s Office, the myriad of Specialist Group Chairs, and wider partners. They will support the identification of social priorities, behaviour challenges and opportunities across the management of SSC conservation data system and assessments, the scaling up of conservation action planning, the development of action projects, and support SSC network of campaigns such as Reverse the Red. Responsibilities include supporting external communications, providing directional leadership on the behaviours and actions we communicate, and evaluating and improving the success of behaviour change efforts. Work will be primarily performed at the Indianapolis Zoo Global Center for Species Survival, but travel may be required.

Essential Responsibilities and Duties include:

In close coordination with the SSC Chair’s Office, the wider Global Center Coordinator team, the IUCN CEC, and the Zoo’s Education Department:

Develop and Implement the Social Marketing Strategy

  • Plans, develops, and implements a wide range of projects and initiatives associated with conservation outreach, education, and social science research projects, mostly focused on work internationally.
  • Selects the behaviors that the Zoo and conservation community wishes to modify. Identifies and distinguishes divisible behaviors, clarifies end-state behaviors, and determines impact, probability, and penetration to prioritize focus of effort through evaluation and targeting.
  • Identifies barriers and benefits to participating in preferred behaviors, including literature review, observations of human behavior, focus groups and surveys. Manages and analyzes this data to inform strategy.
  • Develops strategies based upon data, including the selection of tools based on barriers and benefits, research, and pilot testing.
  • Establishes commitment opportunities for campaigns and movements, with emphasis on broad-scale implementation and evaluation.
  • Organizes and carries out project management activities such as researching and preparing project budgets, preparing project timelines, analyzing projects for required elements and key tasks, identifying key individuals and resources needed to complete assigned projects and tasks, developing scopes of work and specifications for projects involving use of outside services and contractors, and organizing and carrying out projects tasks and elements to meet project goals, deadlines, and performance targets.
  • Ensures good communication and fosters collaboration and coordination between SSC, the Global Center and wider Indianapolis Zoo, the SSC Chair’s Office, the IUCN Global Species Program, IUCN CEC and key partners to ensure a cohesive and collegial approach in relation to all species related work.
  • Bolsters collaboration across the SSC network and the constituent parts of the IUCN, governments, non-profit conservation organizations, accredited zoo and aquarium communities, and the wider conservation community to maximize the relevance and conservation impact of social marketing and behavior change activities benefitting species conservation.
  • Engages with conservation campaigns targeted at species requiring urgent conservation attention, mobilizing relevant experts, appropriate communication and behavior change efforts, and support collaborations with other NGOs and governments to deliver action to prevent imminent extinctions.
  • Acts, as appropriate, as a conduit between the Specialist Groups and the IUCN CEC. In particular, supports the SSC Conservation Planning Specialist Group by building active links with SSC Specialist Groups requiring social marketing strategies within their conservation action plans.
  • Develops and delivers, as appropriate, training and capacity support to IUCN SSC specialist groups to effectively integrate behavior change best practice and strategies into their conservation action plans.
  • Encourages and assists the SSC Network to be more action-oriented through promoting the implementation and delivery of action plans, and through supporting the development of partnerships or fundraising efforts to support this implementation.

Communication and Education

In partnership with the IZS Education Department, the IZS Communications Department, the IUCN SSC, and CEC and GSP Communication Officer(s):

  • Coordinates, implements, and evaluates how the Global Center can engage with the public on issues relating to species conservation, including locally through the zoo and globally through the development of resources, including social media communications, blogs and podcasts, graphics, and other emerging communication techniques. Specifically enhance our approaches to drive human action towards desirable behaviours.
  • Assists in active and regular content development and acquirement by the Global Center including video, images, audio, and other media types that assist the Zoo and others in social marketing practices. Assists in the organisation, creation, and management of these assets.

Internal Integration

  • Ensures relevant strategic priorities and opportunities relating to behavior change campaigns are communicated and appropriately integrated into the Indianapolis Zoo’s conservation strategy through consultation with the Zoo’s conservation committee and relating to selection of awardees of annual conservation grants, and as needed, involvement with the Indianapolis Prize.

Physical Demands include:

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard and reach, stoop, or kneel to reach computer equipment.
  • Will be working indoors and occasionally outdoors in all kinds of weather. Temperature extremes from -20 to 35°C, with typical outdoor temperatures from 10-25°C.
  • Exposure to office computer systems; must have the ability to operate a computer and other office productivity machinery such as but not limited to computer printer, scanner, and copy machine.
  • Must follow Universal Protection Precautions and Blood-borne Pathogens Guidelines. Possible exposure (Category C employee) to human blood-borne pathogens.
  • Ability to detect, assess, identify, and observe surroundings to make sound judgments, along with the ability to communicate verbally, comprehend and decipher information accurately, using a two-way radio and telephone.
  • Position requires the ability to move from one area to another frequently, and to transport items (up to 10 lbs.) across grounds for various needs.
  • Ability to endure the stress of traveling.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • MA degree in social sciences, psychology or environmental education preferred.
  • Minimum Bachelor level degree in biology, ecology, zoology, natural resources management, social sciences, psychology, education, or related field.
  • Experience in social science conservation fieldwork preferred. Extensive knowledge of the wide range educational, social, behavioural, and communication theories and how they can be applied in a real world setting to drive change.  Minimum of 3 years related work experience.
  • Experience using conservation action planning tools, building theories of change, and measurement/evaluation of impact frameworks around social and behavioural outcomes.
  • Proven experience working on the human/social aspects of conservation /science projects programmes.
  • Proven experience in working with diverse audiences in different countries/cultures to co-design, implement, and evaluate change programmes.
  • Broad knowledge of international biodiversity and conservation issues, especially those that are most strongly influenced by human behavior. Demonstrated experience and a good understanding of the practical aspects of biodiversity conservation actions, and endangered species protections and policy.
  • Skills in survey creation, implementation, data processing, interviewing/focus group skills, and analysis using statistical tools.
  • Well-developed organisational skills including demonstrated experience managing multiple priorities, and ability to work both independently and within a team to complete tasks within assigned time frames.
  • Working knowledge of the IUCN SSC and/or CEC, leaders and stakeholders in education, and behaviour change.
  • Strong skills in project management, planning, and project implementation.
  • Experience with international projects and supporting new initiatives.
  • Ability to effectively manage teams to deliver results.
  • International stakeholder management experience, multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience desirable.
  • Experience in fundraising and / or demonstrated success in proposal writing.
  • Excellent people relationship management skills, ability to work as part of a team, with respect for and sensitivity to multi-cultural approaches.
  • Advanced and competent user of standard word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and database software and electronic communication technology (e.g., Outlook, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp, conference calls, etc.). Working knowledge of social media and mobile apps.
  • Ability to plan, administer and record results of work-team meetings and activities.
  • Experience with administration including attention to detail and numerical ability.

Personal Specification:

  • Self-motivated with an attention to detail.
  • Ability to multi-task, handle high pressure situations, and meet tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated effective interpersonal and organisational skills.
  • Demonstrable experience in scientific and public engagement, including good presentation skills.
  • A commitment to the worldwide role of accredited zoos, aquariums, and botanical gardens.
  • Excellent written and oral communication, diplomacy, and interpersonal skills.
  • Fluency in English a requirement.  Fluency in other languages desired.
  • Ability to work well in a global team to problem solve, self-manage, and find solutions.
  • An eagerness to expand personal knowledge-base and adapt to new challenges
  • Ability to travel and to work flexible hours, including long hours around Zoo fundraising events and attend after-hours committee meetings or events.
  • Complies with all Zoo policies and procedures.
  • Problem solving and judgment: Recognises problems as they occur and contributes to their resolution. Makes good decisions resulting from sound judgment as related to level of experience. Makes concentrated effort to familiarise and learn to handle various difficult situations which arise during her/his assigned duties.
  • A professional and positive attitude is always expected while interacting with peers, co- workers, and the public.

how to apply

  • Interested candidates must complete an online application by the March 13, 2024, application deadline.
  • To be eligible, applicants MUST include curriculum vitae, cover letter, and salary requirements.

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