Omaha Zoo Foundation STEM Career Ladder VISTA

An offering by Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The Lee G. Simmons Wildlife and Conservation Park is a 501 c3 managed by the Omaha Zoo Foundation. The park was established in 1998 on 440 acres of land in Ashland, Nebraska to be utilized as a drive through park displaying Native North American animal species. Over the years the park has grown to include hiking trails and educational programming. In 2021, the Darald Harsh Wildlife Education Center was establish to start the process of creating a permanent education department. The VISTA member serving at the Wildlife Safari Park will be responsible for strengthening and diversifying youth and adult volunteer educational programming. They will recruit and train volunteers and develop new inclusive and free educational programming at the Wildlife Safari Park to reach low income individuals living in Saunders County. Volunteer led conservation education programs at the Wildlife Safari Park will include interpretive talks, education stations throughout the park, and outreach programs at schools. The VISTA member will also help create a STEM career ladder for volunteers, which will allow a diverse group of youth and young adult volunteers to learn valuable career skills and have a direct pipeline to paid STEM careers. The VISTA member will benefit from year round membership to both the Wildlife Safari Park and Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. They will have the opportunity to participate in conservation education professional development and shadow a wide variety of education programming for all ages.

Member Duties : The VISTA member will strengthen and diversify the volunteer program at the Wildlife Safari Park by recruiting, training, and overseeing both youth and adult volunteers. They will identify the STEM educational needs of both the Wildlife Safari Park and surrounding communities to develop volunteer opportunities and will create volunteer led STEM educational programming for low-income and diverse audiences. The VISTA member will also work with staff and volunteers to create a STEM career ladder that allows youth volunteers to eventually gain access to joining the workforce at the Wildlife Safari Park. Promotion, recruitment, interviewing, selection, initial training, motivation, and retention for volunteer programs at the Wildlife Safari Park. Coordination of schedules, resources, and supplies for volunteer groups. Create and facilitate communication, curriculum, training, and continuing education for volunteer groups. Maintenance and upkeep of volunteer records through Volgistics.

Program Benefits : Living Allowance , Health Coverage* , Childcare assistance if eligible , Relocation Allowance , Choice of Education Award or End of Service Stipend , Training .

*For details about AmeriCorps VISTA healthcare benefits, please visit

Terms :
Permits attendance at school during off hours , Permits working at another job during off hours , Car recommended .

Service Areas :
Children/Youth , Environment , Education , Community Outreach .

Skills :
Youth Development , Environment , Education , Recruitment , Team Work , Public Speaking , Leadership , Teaching/Tutoring .

Learning Outcomes

None listed
Paid, Year-long
Ashland, NE
Start Date
18th January, 2022
End Date
18th January, 2023
Start Time
12:00 AM
End Time
12:00 AM
Science - Environmental
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