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Aquarium Curator

Riverbanks Zoo And Garden
Columbia, United States Posted: May 25, 2023

Ambassador Commitment:

Create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation. 


As a member of Team Riverbanks, it is essential to understand that all areas of the Zoo and Garden are interlocked and dependent on one another. The Aquarium Curator directs and oversees the activities of the Aquarium Department to ensure and promote effective and efficient care and welfare of the department’s animal collection. The ideal candidate will enjoy working within a collaborative environment and be a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority. As a member of Riverbanks’ leadership team, it is necessary to promote and maintain a positive working environment while effectively interacting and communicating with staff, employees, volunteers, and various external groups.

Essential Functions:
  • Oversees and ensures the proper care and welfare of the department's animal collection to include the preparation and administration of diets, medical care, water quality and the design, development, and maintenance of animal exhibits, building equipment and mechanical systems.
  • Coordinates daily activities of the department through effective communication with the Director of Animal Care, Dive Safety Officer, Aquarium Supervisor, Aquarists, and Volunteers.
  • Maintains complete and accurate animal records in the ZIMS database.
  • Initiates and oversees viable managed breeding, husbandry, and conservation programs for species in the department's collection, in collaboration with relevant Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Conservation and Science (C&S) committees, and other partners like SCDNR and FWC. 
  • Communicates with the Veterinarians to ensure optimal healthcare for the animal collection and assists with medical procedures and examinations, as necessary.
  • Responsible for the acquisition and disposition of specimens and planning and implementing various projects. 
  • Supervises department personnel, hires, and trains staff, responsible for scheduling, payroll/time keeping, and performance management.
  • Develops a continuous improvement plan for the department as well as each staff member, focusing on enhancing team skill set and productivity. Ensures that keepers are given ample feedback and are rewarded for success and understanding areas of needed improvement.
  • Interacts with guests and provides informal and programmed educational information, related to Zoo programs, husbandry, animal conservation, etc. Conducts tours and assists with public, media and interviews as requested.
  • Writes both popular articles and peer-review technical articles for appropriate professional and popular publications.  
  • Leadership role(s) in AZA conservation and science committees/activities is encouraged.
  • Analyzes and prepares a variety of reports/forms, billing invoices, and general correspondence. Manages all departmental purchases and the department budget, and compiles budget data.
  • Participate and oversee dive participation from the husbandry team in routine operations of several aquarium systems.
Reports to the Director of Animal Care.

Education and Experience: Bachelor's degree in biology, zoology, marine biology or science with a minimum of five years of experience working with exotic animal husbandry at an accredited AZA institution or related facility. Understanding of water quality, aquatic life support systems, and exhibit maintenance. Minimum of three years of management/supervisory experience; or any equivalent combination of education, training and experience which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities. Must have a broad range of experience managing aquatic collections in a professional setting. SCUBA certification preferred.  Must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and possess thorough knowledge of current computer applications to include MS Office Suite. Must possess or be eligible for a valid SC driver's license.

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