Jobs / Job Details

Aquatic Explorations Guide

  • Job Type: Full-time
  • Job Category: Arts/Performing Arts, Education
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • 1200 S DuSable Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, 60605
  • Job Application

The Aquatic Explorations Guide is a member of the Aquatic Explorations team in the Learning & Community Division, which works to breathe life into learning through up-close connections with aquatic animals, STEAM-based environmental education, career development and mentorship, community partnerships, and opportunities for communities to take action for animals. Together, we are working to increase access to the aquatic animal world and nurture a sense of belonging at the aquarium and in nature.

Aquatic Exploration team members help to tailor and deliver high quality experiences that bring Shedd’s mission and vision to life and inspire audiences to learn and take action. Guides interact daily with Shedd guests, youth learners, donors and other stakeholders. They deliver a wide variety of experiences, ranging from small-scale unscripted conversations in the galleries to small-group tours behind-the-scenes to large-scale presentations on microphone for 1,000-person audiences in the Oceanarium amphitheater. The scope of the role varies based on the needs of the experience. There is a strong performance element in this role, and Explorers will be in front of audiences as large as 1,000 guests at a time. This position requires memorization of multiple program outlines, aquatic world content and information related to taking action for animals.

The position requires a strong ability to apply improvisational techniques and dynamically engage audiences off-script. Tailoring content to various audiences and rapidly adapting and evolving to guest and aquarium needs are important skills, as is the ability to connect with a diversity of audiences with cultural competency. This position must have the ability to work evenings, weekends, and holidays as required.

Team Member Attributes:

As a member of the Aquatic Exploration team, each individual should possess the following qualities which will enable the team to achieve Shedd’s mission to spark compassion, curiosity and conservation for the aquatic animal world.

  • Positive attitude
  • Inclusive and supportive of other team members
  • Proactive in bringing forward solutions to challenges
  • Maintain positive working relationships
  • Guest focus in all activities, passion for people
  • Ability to proactively engage guests
  • Valuing diverse perspectives
  • Creativity


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education: High School diploma, GED or equivalent required. Some college preferred.


  • Minimum of one year's experience in a role that requires daily communication with the public required. Experience in education, public speaking, theatre and or improvisation preferred
  • Experience delivering programs to a variety of audiences in a museum, zoo or aquarium setting preferred
  • Experience in aquatic science and/or biology preferred
  • Spanish language speaker preferred

Special Skills & Characteristics:

  • Ability to effectively present information to and collaborate with colleagues and guests alike
  • Ability to execute excellent public speaking skills and science teaching aptitude
  • Ability to improvise due to variable animal activities and guest needs
  • Ability to spend majority of the day interacting with the public and being “on the go”

We strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ community, veterans and active duty military, parents, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from all cultural backgrounds to apply. Shedd Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes everyone to our team. If you need a reasonable accommodation at any point in the application or interview process, please let us know. In your application, please feel free to select which pronouns you use (For example – she/her/hers, he/him/his, they/them/theirs).