PRT PhD Program

Interpretation Specialist

Interpretation Specialist

In partnership with Red Butte Garden, the Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation at the University of Utah is pleased to announce a PhD Assistantship focused on interpretation. The assistantship includes planning, developing, and implementing interpretation programs consistent with botanical gardens, museums, and other academic research areas or cultural facilities where interpretation is used to communicate messages, stories, information and experiences.


20 Hours Per Week

  • Work closely with key staff from other departments to plan, develop, design, and implement interpretive content for Water Conservation garden.
  • Work with Director of Programs to identify the need and opportunity for interpretive programs, and take the lead role in planning, developing, and implementing excellent interpretation programs for RBG, including but not limited to interpretive signage and exhibitions for all areas of the Garden; print and web materials; staff and volunteer training in interpretive techniques; podcasts and/or cell phone guides; location based game maintenance and development, special exhibitions; programs; and other new interpretive projects.
  • Inventory, review, and update all existing interpretive content and develop and update an interpretive master plan.
  • Manage all aspects of interpretive project development, including conception, budgeting, researching, writing, collecting images or recordings, routing for credits and approval, production, and installation.
  • Oversee the evaluation of interpretive programs and installations.
  • Work with other RBG staff to creatively direct design, editing, and production of interpretive activities.
  • Manage the planning, implementation, training, and long-term strategy of live interpretation and informal drop-in programming, including tours, stations, docent boxes and other potential programs for garden guests.
  • Supervise staff, volunteers, and any external contractors assigned to interpretation programs and projects.
  • Work with relevant garden departments to write RFPs, negotiate contracts, and manage projects with external vendors such as designers, writers, content experts, media producers, fabricators, evaluators, and other contractors as needed.
  • Present occasional lectures and/or presentations to staff, volunteers, and garden guests on a variety of topics relating to RBG interpretive programs and content (i.e. water conservation issues, sustainable horticulture practices, etc.)
  • Serve as a liaison by representing RBG in community outreach efforts relating to water conservation and other key water issues.
  • Perform any other departmental duties as directed by supervisor, including long-term scheduling, budgeting, and dissemination of work.
  • Master’s degree in exhibition development, education, museum studies, interpretation, or similar field
  • Five years’ management experience in interpretive planning and implementation and/or exhibition planning and implementation
  • Bachelor’s degree in education, museum studies, interpretation, or similar field
  • Knowledge of horticulture, botany, natural history, or environmental science
  • An understanding of and appreciation for water conservation and sustainable horticulture practices in the Intermountain West.
  • Experience in interpretive planning and implementation and/or exhibition planning and implementation
  • Proven leadership ability and management supervisory skills
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to lead teams, and develop effective relationships with staff and external vendors
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Demonstrated competency with Microsoft Office Applications; knowledge of print, graphic, and other media production processes
  • Ability to work weekends and evenings as required
  • Ability to lift and carry 20 pounds for the purposes of sign placement, installation, removal, exhibit repair, etc.