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Open Space Interpreter


Under direction, develops, implements, and coordinates the interpretive programs of the open space unit. Incumbents will work hands-on teaching and administering open space programs. Areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to, creating new programs, evaluating program curriculum, and managing outreach to the community in regards to open space programs.


Receives direction from higher-level management staff. Leads and directs lower-level staff and volunteers.


The Open Space Interpreter is responsible for developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating, interpretive programs. The position will work with the open space staff to maximize service delivery to the community. Performance requires the use of independence, initiative, and discretion. This classification is distinguished from the Community Services Manager in that the latter is responsible for strategic planning and management of all Community Services programs with overall administrative and operational responsibility for programs and services.


  1. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change, or rescind the work assignments of different positions and to make reasonable accommodations so that qualified employees can perform the essential functions of the job.
  2. Oversees the development, promotion, and implementation of open space interpretive programs; prepares interpretive materials, including newsletter articles, displays and exhibits, teacher education guides, parkflyers, and brochures to depict natural history and cultural resources of the parks and region.
  3. Oversees the activities of staff and volunteers; plans, assigns, trains, directs, and monitors staff duties related to interpretive programs.
  4. Develops uniform interpretive standards and provides criteria for standardizing interpretive materials and presentations.
  5. Assists in the review of open space development plans related to interpretive activities.
  6. Conducts research to identify interpretive programs of value and interest to the community; evaluates program effectiveness and viability; makes recommendations on new interpretive programs, or modifications of existing interpretive programs, to meet community needs and implements management decisions.
  7. Performs community outreach to promote interpretive programs and stimulate interest in District offerings.
  8. Prepares marketing materials, such as course descriptions, interpretive program brochures, newsletters, and announcements; uses social media and other forums to maximize community outreach and participation.
  9. Works closely with the Community Services Manager on interpretive program budgets and grants; assists with projecting revenue and expenditures; monitors and tracks expenditures and fees collected; monitors inventory, and purchases authorized supplies and equipment.
  10. Identifies grant opportunities; and assists in the development and preparation of grant proposals.
  11. Works collaboratively with other District departments; confers regularly with other District staff.
  12. Maintains records on interpretive program activities, attendance, and other pertinent information; prepares a variety of operational and business reports, and associated correspondence.
  13. Assists with District special events as needed.
  14. Performs other duties as assigned.


 Education and Experience:

  • High School Diploma or GED, supplemented by two years or 60 units of college level coursework in natural sciences, recreation forestry, environmental science, or a related field;


  • Three years of relevant experience.


  • Any combination of training, education, and experience that would provide the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.


Knowledge of:

  • Principles, practices, methods, and techniques of planning, developing, implementing, and evaluating open space areas, programs, and facilities.
  • Relevant laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Relevant natural and cultural history.
  • Basic wildlife, vegetation, and geographic features found in District parks.
  • Local wildlife, flora, and fauna in assigned geographic locations.
  • Methods and techniques of capturing and transporting domestic and wild animals, as well as their care and maintenance.
  • Occupational hazards and related safety precautions.
  • Principles and techniques for fostering effective work groups, inter-departmental relations, and community partnerships while providing high level of customer service.
  • Methods and techniques of research, analysis, and report preparation.
  • Principles and practices of recordkeeping.
  • Modern office practices, methods, and computer equipment and applications related to the work.

Ability to:

  • Lead open space staff and volunteers, including planning, organizing, training, evaluating, and coordinating the work of multiple assigned program areas and working teams.
  • Plan and develop policies and procedures to benefit participants in a variety of open space activities.
  • Identify and analyze community needs and promote interest in assigned program areas.
  • Understand, interpret, and apply all relevant laws, rules, regulations, policies, and procedures.
  • Provide natural, cultural, and historical interpretive programs.
  • Monitor program revenue and expenses with accurate financial records and reports.
  • Develop marketing materials, public relations programs, and make presentations.
  • Speak effectively in public.
  • Administer first aid, CPR, and AED, as needed.
  • Independently organize work, set priorities, meet deadlines, and follow up on assignments.
  • Demonstrate strong customer service skills and establish, maintain, and foster positive and effective working relationships.
  • Use English effectively to communicate in person, over the telephone, and in writing.

Licenses and Certifications:

  • At time of appointment, and maintained throughout employment possession of:
    • California Driver’s License, with a satisfactory driving record,
    • American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and AED certification,
  • Completion within one year of hire and maintain certification throughout employment:
    • Emergency First Responder or higher certification,
    • California Class B Driver’s License with passenger endorsement is desirable.


Must possess: mobility to work in various parks and open space areas; strength, stamina, and mobility to perform medium to heavy physical work, to work around machines, to climb and descend ladders, to operate a variety of tools and equipment, and to operate a motor vehicle; vision to read printed materials and a computer screen and to distinguish colors; hearing and speech to communicate in person and over the telephone or radio. Frequent walking in operational areas to identify problems or hazards. Finger dexterity needed to access, enter, and retrieve data using a computer keyboard and/or calculator and to operate tools and equipment. Incumbents in this classification bend, stoop, kneel,

reach, and inspect work sites. Incumbents must possess the ability to lift, carry, push, and pull materials and objects weighing up to 50 pounds or heavier weights with assistance and/or the use of proper equipment.


Incumbents work in both indoor and outdoor environments with moderate to loud noise levels. May work in controlled temperature conditions, cold and hot temperatures, or inclement weather conditions. Exposure to a variety of plant and animal species. Incumbents will interact with individuals in interpreting and enforcing rules, policies, and procedures.


Incumbents may be assigned an irregular work schedule, including weekends, early mornings, evenings, and holidays.


  • Department of Justice fingerprint clearance.
  • TB Test.


Job Code: PT457

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt Supersedes: NEW