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Aquarium Assistant Director/Director of Operations and Husbandry

North Carolina Aquarium At Fort Fisher
Kure Beach, United States Posted: June 22, 2024

The North Carolina Aquariums at Fort Fisher is seeking a dynamic, efficient, and enthusiastic individual to join our management team as an Aquarium Assistant Director/Director of Operations and Husbandry. This position will be a primary staff leader and liaison with designers, architects and contractors for the $65 million expansion and renovation project at Fort Fisher. The candidate will be required to support and assist with project management, including life support design and construction. The Assistant Director will also be responsible for supporting collection planning, animal acquisition, animal transport, and quarantine for the expanded facility.

 Daily Duties include:
  • Responsible for the management and oversight of the Husbandry and Operations aspects of the Aquarium.
  • Works with the Director to develop Aquarium policy, long-range planning, and strategic planning direction for continued expansion of the facility, displays, and exhibits.
  • Directly supervises the Building Superintendent, the Husbandry Curator, and the Dive Safety Officer. Beneath these individuals is the responsibility for 22 full-time positions and up to 20 part-time positions.
  • Primary duties include ensuring that all buildings, grounds, and equipment are properly maintained and operating; ensuring that all living animals and plants are obtained, maintained, displayed, and transferred in accordance with applicable guidelines and laws including accreditation standards established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; managing personnel and conducting performance evaluations; and developing new exhibits and displays with other management team members.  
  • Responsible for managing staff, staff development and training, and managing multi-section budgets.
Position/Physical Requirements:
  • Requires evenings, weekends, and holiday work.
  • Must meet DNCR Fleet Safety Guidelines and have the ability to obtain and maintain a valid NC driver's license. 
Experience Required
  • Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies
  • To receive credit for your work history and credentials, you must list the information on the application form.
  • Any information omitted from the application form will not be considered for qualifying credit
  • Qualified candidates must have or be able to: Demonstrated experience with the operations and maintenance of an AZA accredited Aquarium, Zoo, or similar facility.
  • Demonstrated experience managing life support systems, building support systems, exhibit design, and animal husbandry. Demonstrated experience managing a budget and purchasing.
  • Supervisory experience. SCUBA certification, first aid and CPR certification. Management Preferences: Experience with managing a diverse workforce.
  • Experience providing leadership, support, and guidance for both experienced and novice staff members related to animal care, facility operations, and life support management.
  • Broad experience in scientific research and working with researchers is a plus.
  • Minimum Education and Experience Requirements Some state job postings say you can qualify by an “equivalent combination of education and experience.”
  • If that language appears below, then you may qualify through EITHER years of education OR years of directly related experience, OR a combination of both.
  • See for detail. Bachelor’s degree in marine science, biology, zoology, or other natural science from an appropriately accredited institution and four years of experience at an aquarium, museum, zoo or related facility; or An equivalent combination of education and experience.
Further Comments
  • The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, 20 miles south of Wilmington, NC, in Kure Beach, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear River.
  • A living collection of more than 4,000 animals in 93,000 square feet of exhibit space attracts and engages more than 500,000 visitors each year.
  • The Aquarium is surrounded by protected woodland, marsh, and beach.
  • Visitors often plan to stop at sites adjacent to the Aquarium - Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and historic Fort Fisher Civil War Museum.
  • Fort Fisher Aquarium is a unique place to visit and work.
  • We value our employees and offer a wide variety of competitive and family-friendly benefits.
  • Learn more about new hire resources, safety, health and wellness information, leave options, employee discounts and more:
  • $49,158 - $70,826

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