Associate Director for Visitor Services

The Associate Director for Visitor Services is a highly visible position with the public and internal departments. The primary objective of the position is to create extraordinary visitor experiences for patrons at PRI’s two public venues, Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center. The Associate Director oversees the day-to-day operations of the facilities, including admissions, maintenance, bookkeeping, rental, retail functions, special events, and marketing. The duties and responsibilities of the Associate Director will include:

Staff Support and Supervision

  • Oversee, interview, hire and train all visitor services staff, work study students, volunteers, interns and two venue managers. Understand and implement established human resources practices, museum and nature center goals and philosophy.
  • Develop and implement ongoing visitor services training to include PRI history, Exhibit and Program content, Membership Perks, and Local Attractions.
  • Be a cheerleader for visitor services staff and assist them with understanding their crucial role at PRI.
  • Develop monthly staff schedules.

Customer Service

  • Create and conduct surveys. Compile data in comprehensive reports to present to staff, trustees, and directors. Elicit feedback to gather suggestions for improvements within visitor services, operations of the venues, and marketing.
  • Establish goals, standards of performance, and standard operating procedures to consistently provide top notch experiences to visitors.
  • Assist with handling visitor concerns, comments and complaints. Document interactions to share with staff during feedback sessions, to improve trainings, and to be used in role plays.


  • Analyze and interpret sales trends to make recommendations for improving store sales.
  • Understand consumer demands in relation to locals, tourists, and age groups to inform what merchandise is stocked at the Nature Center and Museum of the Earth.
  • Quarterly store inventory and reporting.


  • Develop and submit yearly budgets for Operations/Public Program and Volunteer Program.
  • Work with Finance to develop cash handling and end of day close out procedures.
  • POS System management, reporting, and maintenance.


  • Analyze, track and report daily, weekly, and yearly patron numbers and store sales.
  • Monthly reporting in Trustee Updates, yearly reporting in Directors Report and Annual Report

Team Duties

  • Lead/Participate in internal teams to support the needs of specific audiences and implementation of special events. This includes: Audience Experience, Camp, Maple Fest, Fox Trot, Darwin Days, Kids Discover the Trail, Animal Programs, and Educational Programs.
  • Collaborate with other departments to support objectives, address challenges, and support outstanding customer service.



  • Minimum 3-5 years of managerial experience in a visitor services or guest relations.
  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Experience in museums, hospitality, attractions or cultural institutions preferred.
  • Supervisory experience with demonstrated success in hiring and managing staff in fast paced environments preferred.


  • The position requires sound judgement and diplomacy in all interactions with staff and visitors.
  • Ability to move ideas and recommendations from vision to full scale implementation.
  • Exceptional communication skills.
  • Willingness to try new things and be open to new ideas.
  • Strong conflict resolution skills, ability to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, and to represent PRI in a professional manner.
  • Ability to motivate staff and foster a positive work environment.
  • Strong organization skills and proficient use of software, web browsers, and phone applications.
  • Willingness to work weekends, holidays, and some evenings.

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to be on feet and/or sit for at least six hours a day.
  • Physically capable of responding quickly to emergencies or urgent situations that may arise.
  • May require spending time outdoors.
  • CPR, WFA Certifications required (may be obtained after employment).


Please send letter of interest, resume, and contact info for three references to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or mail them to:

Jaimi Shoemaker, Associate Director for Operations
Paleontological Research Institution
1259 Trumansburg Road
Ithaca NY 14850


PRI is an Equal Opportunity Employer