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Aquarium Biologist I

Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
Sarasota, United States Posted: March 07, 2024

This is an entry level position. An Aquarium Biologist I should have a proven interest in pursuing a career in animal husbandry in a public aquarium. An Aquarium Biologist I serves as an animal care taker responsible for the overall health, appearance, maintenance and cleanliness of aquariums and animals. In addition, an Aquarium Biologist I may handle the supervision and training of Interns and/or an assigned aquarium volunteer.

  • Working with the husbandry staff, an Aquarium Biologist I helps in maintaining the living collections of the Aquarium.
  • This classification requires a sensible knowledge of animal behavior through education or commensurate experience.
  • An Aquarium Biologist I is expected to be able to maintain all animals under his or her care, noting unusual behavior and health, and reporting these observations to their supervisor.
  • Associated with animal care an Aquarium Biologist I will possess some capacity to trouble-shoot basic life support system problems.
  • At a minimum, an Aquarium Biologist I must hold simple people handling skills as well as animal husbandry skills.
General  Duties:
  • Animal maintenance tasks may include, but are not limited to, preparation of food (including medicated and special diets), performing water quality tests, collection of specimens, conducting regular SCUBA assisted diving for exhibit cleaning, preparation of chemicals, mixing synthetic seawater, cleaning of filters and aquarium viewing surfaces, cleaning of food preparation room, performing water changes, and gravel vacuuming.
  • This position will be responsible for the husbandry of a variety of animals including but not limited to include fish, invertebrates, and reptiles. Other tasks not directly related to animal care may include but are not limited to daily record keeping, maintenance of life support
  • equipment, set up and breakdown of exhibit aquariums, participation in the exhibit development process, and keeping work areas clean and equipment organized.
  • This position may require participation in continuing education which would involve travel to out of town locations.
Working  Hours:
  • Normal hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with one hour for lunch and will include weekend and holiday hours.
  • Occasional longer daily hours or evening hours may be required to complete specific tasks.
  • Employee should not exceed 40 hour per week without prior approval from a supervisor.
Experience Required
  • Minimum Requirements: Licenses and Certifications – Valid Florida Driver’s License or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification or the ability to attain it in 6 months Rescue SCUBA Diver certification or the ability to attain it in 6 months Education – Bachelor’s degree in Marine Science or related field, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Experience – Employment, internship, or a substantial amount of volunteer hours in a public aquarium, zoo or related institution is required.
  • Skills 
  • Perform routine tasks accurately and efficiently 
  • Able to work well with others and be a team player 
  • Communicate clearly both verbally and in writing
  • Ability to administer CPR, First Aid and DAN O2 
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Access
  • Basic knowledge of aquarium biological processes 
  • Basic knowledge of aquarium fish husbandry and health 
  • Ability to navigate and utilize ZIMS for record keeping 
  • Possess time management and organizational skills 
  • Ability to recognize basic life support system issues
  • Capable of working with PVC pipe, fittings, solvent cement, epoxy and resins Physical –
  • Precise hand-eye coordination is required for the gentle capture and handling of animals from aquatic environments 
  • Ability to work outside in hot and humid Florida weather conditions 
  • Ability to spend the majority of the workday walking, standing, bending and lifting.
  • Capable of climbing and working from ladders 
  • Tolerance to work around noisy machinery & equipment 
  • Ability to work in confined spaces 
  • Tolerance for the smell of fish and animal feces 
  • Ability to lift and carry 60 lbs occasionally
  • Ability to lift 25lbs overhead occasionally 
  • Capable of working around bleach and other sanitizing chemicals 
  • Strength to lift a net holding 10 lbs. with one hand, daily 
  • Tolerance working with wet hands, feet and clothes regularly

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