Dana Murphy, M.Ed.

Vice President
M.Ed. – Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education, National Louis UniversityB.S. – Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Areas of Expertise

  • Informal and formal science education
  • Exhibit development
  • Teen programs and youth development
  • Community engagement
  • Strategic planning
  • Staff and organizational development


Dana provides strategic leadership and guidance to advance the zoo’s vision through the planning, development, and implementation of innovative educational programs and partnerships.

Dana has extensive experience in science education with a focus on informal conservation education. Her expertise lies in program and exhibit development aimed to enhance learners’ conceptual understanding and to promote positive conservation attitudes and action. She is skillful in designing participatory curricula and programs to “demystify” and provide equitable access to science.

Before joining the team at Lincoln Park Zoo, Dana served as vice president for learning and guest engagement at Denver Zoo. She has also led education programs at Friends of the Chicago River and at Chicago Zoological Society–Brookfield Zoo, where she managed conservation leadership programs—a “pipeline” of youth development experiences to develop a diverse workforce of conservation leaders.

Dana served as chair of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Diversity Committee from 2017–2019. She most recently served as the coach for AZA’s Executive Leadership Development Programs Diversity Action Learning Team. She co-chairs Lincoln Park Zoo’s Zoo Actions committee and serves as a staff liaison for the Board of Trustees Diversity Task Force and the Zoo Programs Board Committee.


  • Owen, K., D. Murphy, and C. Parsons. 2009. “ZATPAC: A model consortium evaluates teen programs.” Zoo Biology, September/October, Volume 28, issue 5, pp. 429-446.
Empty Playlist