Position Title: Aquarist
Position Status: Full-time, Hourly
- Provides exceptional care to all assigned animals and exhibits including daily cleaning, water quality, maintenance, feeding, and health assessments as directed by the Curatorial team and be able to perform all tasks without direct supervision.
- Maintains and cleans in and around aquarium exhibits, keeper areas and life support rooms, kitchen, and laboratory.
- Properly ensures exhibits are secure and safe for all animals and guests. Report any major finding to Curatorial team.
- Ensure proper care of all life support equipment including regular preventative maintenance and routine decontamination procedures while continuously monitoring all life support systems to confirm proper and safe function.
- Collect, test and analyze water quality samples for the aquarium regularly, as well as, Water’s Edge and Kid’s Kingdom as needed. Communicate and take action based on results.
- Perform maintenance of analytical and laboratory equipment including calibrations, preventative maintenance, and minor repairs.
- Ensure proper lighting levels are achieved and maintained for all animals and environments.
- Perform the required medicinal treatments of specimens in quarantine and rehabilitation and work in a team with animal health staff to develop treatment protocols and procedures.
- Participate in the acquisition, transport, and acclimation of specimens including all animals in wildlife rehabilitation in accordance with all permits and procedures.
- May assist in research study procedures and in the collection of data and preparation of reports.
- Maintain all live cultures of zooplankton and phytoplankton as well as participate in aquaculture of fish and invertebrate species as needed.
- Answers questions and conducts tours for educational programs and the general public.
- Participates in training programs at the zoo or at remote locations. Attends professional conferences and prepares and delivers professional papers or articles. May assist in providing training to staff, interns or volunteers as requested.
- Assists management and other staff in exhibit preparation and horticultural staff with planting exhibits.
- Collects biological specimens and assists in chemical or physical restraint of animals.
- Frequent scuba diving in various conditions in accordance with facility standards and protocols.
- Responsible for making saltwater and maintaining reservoir levels.
- Perform other duties as assigned.
- Performs work in accordance with wildlife regulations; may make water tests, regulate temperatures, etc.; performs activities and functions of related lower-level personnel and other related tasks and duties that are assigned or required.
- Uses training (operant conditioning) and enrichment to accomplish behavior and welfare goals of facility. Develops and evaluates animal enrichment based on behavior goals.
- Responds to emergencies as dictated by protocol.
- Performs other related duties as required.
- Attendance and Dependability: The employee can be depended on to report to work at the scheduled time and is seldom absent from work. Employee can be depended upon to complete work in a timely, accurate and thorough manner and is conscientious about assignments.
- Communication and Contact: The employee communicates effectively both verbally and in writing with superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society.
- Relationships with Others: The employee works effectively and relates well with others including superiors, colleagues, and individuals inside and outside the Zoological Society. Exhibits a professional manner in dealing with others, and works to maintain constructive working relationships.
- Provides excellent customer service in the areas of guest relations and park beautification:
- Answers visitor inquiries or finds someone who can;
- Is knowledgeable of location of exhibits, restrooms, concessions, rentals, etc.
- Disposes of litter and waste throughout the park and zoo facilities.
Experience and Education
Bachelor’s degree in marine science, biology, chemistry, or related field and 1 year professional experience working in a public aquarium; or an associate’s degree in the related sciences and 3 years of professional aquarium experience. In lieu of either degree, an additional two years may be substituted to equal a total of 5 years exotic animal experience. Animal experience related to the area that the position will be assigned will take priority. Proficiency in life support systems and water quality analysis strongly preferred.
Employee must be open water SCUBA certified within the probationary period and be able to pass institutional dive exercises/skills with the approval of the Dive Safety Officer.
Must be able to lift 50 lbs. chest height; as well as perform a host of physical activities on a daily basis. Some of these requirements include walking, stooping, pushing, pulling, climbing, grasping, bending, crawling, carrying, handling dexterity, etc. This position works in the Aquarium. Must be available to work nights, weekends and holidays; minimal travel may be required.