Director of Education and Outreach

Director of Education and Outreach

Are you looking to be part of a dynamic team, while working in a beautiful setting? Ganna Walska Lotusland, a non-profit, botanical garden in Montecito, California, renowned as a “top ten” garden of the world, seeks qualified, passionate candidates to join our team to provide premier education and guest experiences to connect people to nature, and to promote sustainable horticulture, plant and habitat conservation, plant knowledge and advocacy, garden design, and human wellness through contact with nature.

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, this position is responsible for the vision, strategic development, planning, coordination and execution of all activities related to Lotusland’s education and outreach programs, particularly the Santa Barbara County-wide Fourth Grade Outreach and Open Pathways Outreach, both award-winning programs. Responsible for designing, managing, coordinating and executing exhibits and travel programs, and other programs such as lectures, workshops and public outreach. Will work directly with the CEO to create and launch a wellness program. Recruiting, training and managing volunteers, and collaborating with Lotusland colleagues is required for program execution.  Direct report includes the Volunteer Coordinator.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

Oversee the delivery of docent-led public tours of the Garden. Work with Director of Guest Experience and Member Services to ensure that docents and volunteers are trained to provide accurate information and the best of “concierge level” service to guests, and work with the Volunteer Coordinator to evaluate and continually improve the tours, the docent training and docent continuing education. Coordinate VIP tours as needed with Development staff.

Oversee the execution and delivery of the Fourth-Garden Outreach program, which includes docent presentations of the California life sciences curriculum in classrooms and field study tours led by docents at Lotusland. Annually update curriculum as needed to meet/exceed California standards; Manage curriculum materials inventory, and update or create and procure program materials as needed. Recruit schools that are not yet participating and provide annual Teacher Reception/Orientation. Manage all logistics of the program including scheduling of classroom presentations and tours with both docents and the school, docent recruitment and scheduling, arranging field study (bus) transportation. Maintain ongoing relationships with school leaders and teachers, maintain updated contact information for each school; serve as Field Study Facilitator. Manage the annual budget and statistics for the Outreach Program, maintain a monthly report of activities, update and report statistics of student, teacher, and classroom numbers for historic data and to support funding initiatives that support the program.

Oversee the execution of the Open Pathways Outreach program, which works through Santa Barbara social services agencies to provide free tours to the County’s underserved populations, including people with special needs and physical challenges, low-income people, seniors, and at-risk youth. Contact eligible organizations in Santa Barbara to arrange their participation in Open Pathways, coordinate with Visitor Services to schedule Open Pathways tours, and with the Volunteer Coordinator to schedule qualified docents to lead Open Pathways tours. Manage data and statistics and follow up with/survey Open Pathways participants to support funding applications.

Work with CEO and Lotusland colleagues to develop a schedule and themes for exhibits. Recruit and coordinate with Guest curator and/or exhibit committee. Develop and manage exhibit budget and any necessary contracts. Lead design, curation, fabrication, installation and de-installation of exhibit with Guest Curator and artists, and coordinate with staff and trustees/volunteers for their support as needed. Work with Business Manager to secure any required insurance. Coordinate and conduct shipping and delivery, condition inspections and reports, recordkeeping. Research, develop and write all labels and materials, and work with the Director of Marketing and Communications to produce labels and other written materials to support the exhibit. Research, develop and execute educational programs to support the exhibit.

Work with the CEO and local health providers to develop and launch a wellness program in the garden, mostly centered around the Japanese Garden.

Research and develop concepts for travel programs to include day-trips and overnight trips to provide unique experiences for members and guests, to cultivate donors and to earn income. Coordinate aspects of trips with Lotusland colleagues as needed to execute them successfully. Make all trip contacts, coordinate with all vendors, and make all trip arrangements, such as transportation, accommodations, meals, lectures, entertainment, and access to public or private places.

Oversee Volunteer Coordinator to ensure all volunteer needs of the organization are met, and to assist Volunteer Coordinator in coordinating volunteers for programs, events and other needs. Complete, distribute, and continually update the docent and volunteer directory, with data regarding docent’s years of service, role, bio, and particular interests at Lotusland.

Other Education activities include the research, develop and execute focused public programs throughout the year; organize and execute community outreach programs where possible, such as Earth Day, Montecito Beautification Day, and others as may be valuable to Lotusland; write articles for Lotusland newsletter and educational content for Lotusland’ s website; research and prepare presentations for the Board as needed. Serve as a public spokesperson for Lotusland.


Minimum of BA degree in Education; or a related field such as history, public garden leadership or museum studies with supplemental bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Minimum of three years of responsible/managerial experience in public garden, museum or nonprofit education.

Should be familiar with museum education professional standards and methodology, as well as science education and CA life sciences education standards.

Should possess the experience to teach children and adults, in both indoor and outdoor settings.

Knowledge of a second language is an asset.



Superior ability to represent Lotusland in a friendly and professional manner.

Exceptional interpersonal skills, and the ability to successfully interface with all levels of the organization, including guests, members, donors, staff, trustees, volunteers, docents and education colleagues.

Highly effective verbal and written communication skills.

Highly effective organizational skills, with the ability to handle multiple tasks and logistics.

Ability to prioritize and manage to deadlines.

Ability to analyze and solve problems quickly, initiating and using sound judgment and a calm demeanor.

Ability to manage multiple volunteers and school clients with diplomacy.

Detail oriented, with a high level of accuracy and follow through.

Proficiency in computer and software applications (MS Office Suite including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint.)

Deep knowledge of Lotusland, and all its programs, operations and needs.

Must own and be able to operate a reliable vehicle and possess a valid CA driver’s license.

This is a full-time, exempt position with salary dependent on experience. Benefits include health and dental insurance, vacation and sick leave as well as a 403(b) Retirement Plan.

Ganna Walska Lotusland is an equal opportunity employer.

Applications may be sent by email or post mail.

To apply, send resume with cover letter and 3 references to:

Gwen Stauffer, CEO
Ganna Walska Lotusland
695 Ashley Road
Santa Barbara, CA  93108