The New England Aquarium is seeking an Aquarist to serve as a "floating" aquarist within the Permanent Galleries Team. The Permanent Galleries team is responsible for the care of all exhibits within the Yawkey Coral Reef Center, Freshwater, Cold Marine, Temperate, and Tropical Galleries.
The Aquarist will provide the highest standard of animal care and prioritize the welfare of the animals in our collection. The responsibilities of this position include maintenance of all assigned exhibits and support areas and providing proper husbandry for the animal collection. Animals under the Aquarist's care may include fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians and knowledge of the biology of these animals is required. The Aquarist will also have a foundational knowledge of aquarium water chemistry and knowledge of the mechanical components of aquarium life support systems. The Aquarist may assist in specimen acquisition, the design and construction of new exhibits and holding systems and perform other related duties.
The ideal candidate for this position will have previous husbandry experience, whether on staff or as an intern or volunteer, at the New England Aquarium or a similar institution. This position will regularly provide support for the primary aquarist in each Gallery. Candidates will have a proven record of being able to collaborate within a team of peers as well as amongst colleagues from varying departments and at various levels of the organization. This candidate must be able to handle multiple and varied assignments while working within different Galleries and be able to effectively communicate with numerous coworkers concurrently.
The level of this Aquarist role will be determined based on qualifications and experience.
This is a full-time (40 hours) regular onsite position offering a comprehensive benefits package. The schedule will be Sunday-Thursday or Tuesday-, 8:00am-5:00pm. May be required to work holidays, nights, and respond to emergencies off hours.
- Provides daily care of assigned exhibits, holding systems, support spaces, and life support systems according to the standards set forth by NEAQ as well as AZA. May help to develop new protocols as appropriate and apply knowledge of aquatic ecosystems and animal biology to advance husbandry techniques of as appropriate.
- Makes daily observations of animals for health assessment according to established norms of animal's behavior and appearance. In conjunction with the Animal Health Department, learns to identify common diseases for the animals within the collection. Helps to establish an appropriate dietary regime, and administers medications and supplements as directed.
- Maintains written and electronic records and submits entries via NEAQ's specimen database system TRACKS©. Typical entries include accessions, dispositions, moves, behaviors, mortalities, and LSS maintenance in accordance with proper husbandry practices and institutional policy.
- Performs routine Animal Welfare assessments and under the direction of the Area Manager, helps to develop appropriate action responses to assure the highest standards of animal care are met.
- In conjunction with the Environmental Quality Department and under the direction of the Area Manager, manages water quality and environmental parameters in assigned exhibits and holding tanks.
- Applies responsible population management practices in assisting with making recommendations during the annual collection planning exercise, in addition to helping facilitate the acquisition and disposition of animals.
- Assists with developing, executing and adjusting strategies to effectively meet the behavioral needs of assigned animals including enrichment and operant conditioning.
- Manages life support systems and participates in the design, upgrade, and installation of such systems.
- May need to demonstrate competency as a SCUBA diver, collector, and transport driver.
- Provides alternate coverage for other aquarists and is available for cross-training as assigned.
- Depending on assignment, may be routinely expected to engage with the public through in person or virtual presentations.
Minimum Training and Experience
- Bachelor's degree with a concentration in science preferred.
- 6 months of animal husbandry or related experience is required.
- Internationally recognized SCUBA diving certification required
- Experience working with plants (aquatic and/or terrestrial) and a diverse collection of animals including fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians preferred.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
- Ability to obtain/maintain Medical Examiner's authorization to SCUBA dive in accordance with NEAQ Diving Program.
- Valid Driver's License, good driving record and the willingness to drive a 24' box truck preferred.
- Ability to obtain Medical Examiner's Certificate in accordance with Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (49 CFR 391.41-391.49) to drive the box truck, preferred.
- General knowledge of natural histories for animals in assigned areas and familiar with filtration systems in assigned areas.
- Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
- Good judgment, organization and problem-solving skills.
- Excellent written and verbal communication.
- Ability to foster good interpersonal relationships with colleagues. May be asked to represent their team on various working groups.
- Ability to serve as a mentor and resource for Assistant Aquarists, volunteers, interns, and co-ops.