The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Inc. (TMA or the Aquarium) seeks a Volunteer Coordinator to lead its dynamic team of more than 300 volunteers and interns. This outstanding volunteer corps, diverse in age and background, supports the Aquarium’s mission by providing interpretation, inspiration and entertainment to the Aquarium’s half a million visitors a year. Collectively, Aquarium volunteers contribute close to 30,000 hours per year, providing behind- the-scenes support to a variety of departments in addition to the vital role interacting with Aquarium visitors.
ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND The mission of the Aquarium is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate the Long Island Sound, its ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science and environmental education. For 31 years, the Aquarium has played a significant role in shaping the landscape of Norwalk and the region. The second largest family attraction in Connecticut, and 50 miles from New York City, the Aquarium hosts nearly 500,000 guests annually. Its education programs introduce approximately 80,000 students, campers and scouts to marine and STEM education at the Aquarium, in classrooms, through shoreline exploration or aboard its floating classroom, the R/V Spirit of the Sound. The Aquarium has received significant recognition as a top aquarium in the nation, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is an active participant in the local and regional community, with educators and scientists partnering with universities, local school districts, social services, other charities, local businesses, and government research and environmental agencies in fulfillment of its mission and on behalf of the region. The strength of the Aquarium is its 66 full-time staff, part-time and seasonal staff ranging from 50 to 100 additional employees, and more than 300 volunteers.
POSITION SUMMARY The Volunteer Coordinator (VC) plays a central role in the overall success of the Aquarium volunteer and internship programs. The VC is responsible for day-to-day leadership of all volunteer activities. Reporting to the Associate Director of Education, the VC leads the recruitment and training of new volunteers as well as in-service training for current volunteers. The VC is an enthusiastic champion of the Aquarium’s mission. The VC has outstanding interpersonal skills and is an adept and sensitive communicator—patient, thoughtful, and supportive of a wide variety of personalities, cultures, abilities, and needs among volunteers, interns and the public.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES • Ensure the quality of interpretation and conservation messaging conducted by Aquarium volunteers (Gallery Ambassadors) at exhibits and touch experiences.
• Actively recruit new volunteers to join the Aquarium’s dynamic volunteer program, including oversight of recruitment materials, uniforms, background checks, and name badges. • Help develop, implement and maintain the Aquarium’s volunteer training course including online components • Work with Associate Director of Education, Floor Programs Supervisor and other relevant staff on strategic planning for volunteer program • Participate in development of a volunteer skills assessment program and lead implementation • Participate in development of a volunteer mentoring program and lead implementation • Participate in development of a new teen volunteer program and lead implementation • Oversee Aquarium’s college internship program • Participate in grant proposals and reporting related to volunteer and intern programs • Network with volunteer leaders at relevant visitor-serving institutions to stay abreast of best practices and new ideas • Manage the Volgistics database, including calendars, scheduling, annual reports, weekly newsletters, and other assignments • Coordinate with the Dive Safety Office on volunteer requirements related the Dive Team • Participate in the development and monitoring of the volunteer and internship program annual budgets • Coordinate job readiness training for volunteers with special needs • Conduct daily pre-shift briefings • Ensure all volunteers are maintaining their commitments, including minimum hours, continuing education, etc.
Required Qualifications • Strong command of English language, both written and verbal; excellent and enthusiastic presenter to groups of people • A four-year college degree, preferably related to education, the environment and/or natural sciences • Minimum of three years’ experience working with volunteers and/or interns in a non- profit setting, preferably in a leadership position • Experience as an interpreter in an aquarium, zoo, museum, natural area or historic site3 • Outstanding interpersonal skills: an adept and sensitive communicator comfortable working with people of diverse ages and backgrounds • Must be patient, thoughtful, and supportive of a wide variety of personalities, cultures, abilities, and needs among volunteers, interns and the public • Supervisory experience and strong supervisory skills • Computer literacy with standard word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software (i.e. MS Office) • Ability to work occasional holidays, weekends, and evenings • A genuine appreciation and enthusiasm for the role of volunteers • Ability to lift at least 25 pounds
Desired Qualifications • Experience working with Volgistics or other volunteer management software • Knowledge of volunteer and internship laws and policies • Spanish language fluency • Experience working with people who have special needs
TO APPLY Please send a cover letter and resume to Rosemarie Lombardi at rlombardi [at] Maritimeaquarium.org, with Volunteer Coordinator in the subject line of your email. Preference will be given to applications received before February 19th, but the position will remain open until filled. No phone calls please.
The Maritime Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity. All als, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.