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PARKS INTERPRETER II
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS
The work involves responsibility for developing, marketing, conducting and participating in interpretive programs and services for visitors of Onondaga County Parks. This is a broad classification in which the duties performed by the incumbents of this position will vary within the range of typical work activities described, determined by factors such as the season, scheduled presentations, public interests and requests, special events, subject matter and site work, etc. These duties will include, but are not limited to, the performance and demonstration of a traditional craft or historic lifestyle, human use of natural resources, the interpretation and demonstration of historical lifestyles through costume and interpretive representation, interpretation of the natural history of specific sites or plants and animals, life cycles, relationships that occur in the natural world within an ecosystem context, including human interaction with nature and wellness benefits offered by Parks. Employees will lead group tours, greet visitors and respond to their inquiries. Contact with the visiting public is an integral function of this position requiring that an employee in this class be able to deal with various markets including large groups of people, visitors, school children, tour groups, etc. General supervision is received from an administrative superior.
This class differs from that of Parks Interpreter I in that incumbents in this position develop interpretive programs and services for parks visitors as well as conduct and participate in them. These program development duties include determining thematic content for special events, programs, group tours or demonstrations of crafts or lifestyles at a site. Employees in this class are not responsible for the overall program development of the parks natural, historic and recreation sites at the level of a program administrator, but rather at the level of an employee more familiar with the sites and themes of the parks system than employees at the entry level. An employee in this class performs a lead role over Parks Interpreter I's in the field or in the direction of specific tasks during programs or events and assists in their training as new employees; they do not, however, have supervisory responsibility for the Parks Interpreter I's. Supervision may be exercised over seasonal aides and/or volunteers. Certain assignments made to employees in this class will require reasonable access to transportation to meet field work requirements made in the ordinary course of business in a timely and efficient manner. Does related work as required.
TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES
Develops thematic content and leads tours and programs for groups and the general public at a park, zoo, nature center, museum or historic site while explaining historic exhibits, natural history, man's use of natural resources, wellness benefits of Parks services and/or points of interest.
Presents simple oral discourses and demonstrations on museum, zoo, nature center and other park collections and activities to designated groups of visitors or school children in an entertaining, educational and provocative manner.
Develops, performs and interprets various demonstrations involving live animals, taxidermy mounts, traditional craft, historic lifestyle or use of natural resources which may include use of historic military arms, woodworking, production, care and feeding of animals and fish, agricultural tasks, blacksmithing, carpentry, natural history, heavy timber framing, cooking, leather working and various domestic skills within a costumed living history context using historical methods and equipment.
Develops and participates in special presentations, including, but not limited to, "first person" skits, slide shows, puppet shows, animal talks, themed dramatic presentations and public hands-on workshops.
Develops and conducts interpretive programs and tours at off-site target markets at locations such as schools or organization meetings and trade shows.
Develops and implements interpretive programs for birthday parties, pre-school programs, day camp, etc.
Researches the historically correct method for replication of certain craft, agricultural or domestic techniques as assigned; researches natural history and ecological significance of topics as may relate to presentations. Researches and writes news releases and interpretive articles for newsletters and other publications as assigned.
Assists in the reception of visitors, answering the phone, responding to general questions from the public and gift shop sales.
Leads and assigns specific tasks to Parks Interpreter I's during interpretive programs; assists in the training of Parks Interpreter I's.
Prepares interpretive site for the day's operation including the opening, set up and closing of the site.
Maintains site areas, including exhibits, in a clean, safe and historically appropriate condition; maintains tools and supplies in a clean, safe manner.
Responds to visitor needs of first aid; receives and responds to minor complaints.
Maintains records and reports as needed or requested.
FULL PERFORMANCE KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS, ABILITIES AND PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
Good knowledge of the particular methods, practices, techniques, tools and implements used in the fields of natural history, environmental and living history interpretation.
Working knowledge of the development of interpretive programs and demonstrations.
Working knowledge of all traditional crafts and historic lifestyle activities.
Ability to develop, market, perform and interpret various demonstrations involving a traditional craft, historic lifestyle, live animals, natural history and human relationship with the environment.
Ability to demonstrate and explain historical crafts and nature-oriented activities to both large and small groups of all ages.
Ability to lead and perform programs for groups of varied ages and backgrounds in an entertaining, educational and provocative manner.
Ability to read and comprehend standard museum, historical and environmental reference sources.
Ability to express ideas orally and in writing clearly, concisely and effectively.
Ability to establish and maintain an effective working relationship with other employees.
Ability to maintain a proactive relationship with the public and establish a high level of customer service.
Ability to maintain records.
Ability to understand and follow both oral and written instructions.
Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.
One (1) year of permanent competitive status as a Parks Interpreter I.
Two (2) years of work experience, or its part time equivalent, in interpretation duties relevant to the central theme of the job site(s) or in conveying information to site visitors regarding the programs, cultural or natural history of the site.
NOTE: Successful completion of twelve (12) semester credit hours from a regionally accredited or university or one accredited by the New York State Board of Regents, in museum studies, history, American studies, anthropology, archaeology, education, recreation, agricultural science, forestry, public relations, marketing or a closely related field may be substituted for one (1) year of experience. In all cases, candidates must have a minimum of one (1) year of the required work experience to qualify for this examination.