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Associate Curator - Exhibits

The Florida Aquarium
Tampa, United States Posted: July 06, 2024

This position directs the daily operation of the galleries to which they are assigned. The primary role of the Associate Curator is to focus on providing a supportive, positive team environment that fosters staff growth and development in a manner that ensures the highest standards of husbandry, exhibitry and wellbeing of The Florida Aquarium’s living collection. The Associate Curator is a member of the senior leadership team in Animal Care & Health.

Essential Position Functions:
  • Oversee all aspects related to the husbandry of the aquarium's living collection including daily care, nutrition, record keeping, acquisition/disposition, and animal well being
  • Leads by example demonstrating high level of job performance including exemplary leadership, interpersonal and communications skills
  • Sets priorities and expectations, empowers employees and leads them to overcome barriers to their success.
  • Performs general daily husbandry functions including the maintenance of live exhibits, holding systems and quarantine facilities at a high level and in a manner for others to emulate
  • Serves as a resource and mentor for all Florida Aquarium team members, both paid and unpaid, in the development of job skills relating to general husbandry functions, exhibit and life support systems design, construction and maintenance, aquatic organism (marine & freshwater fishes, invertebrates and plants) disease recognition and treatment, electronic record keeping, collecting techniques and species identification
  • Assure behavior meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence and counsel staff to do the same
  • Interacts with aquarium guests, donors and team members in a positive and professional manner
  • Hires, trains and manages a skilled team of biologists in the acquisition and maintenance of a living collection
  • Provides a balance of positive and constructive performance feedback in line with accomplishing animal, area, and project goals
  • Through proactive planning, delegates appropriately and follows through to ensure completion
  • Maintain AZA inspection readiness for exhibit, service, holding, and backup areas
  • Assists management team in coordination of animal handling for medical care and transport
  • Develop, execute, and participate in husbandry projects, animal acquisition and transport
  • Coordinates with leadership team to identify short-term and long-term department goals, and actively participates in their progression and execution 
  • Maintains a working knowledge of specific animals’ custodial, feeding requirements as well as regulatory and industry standards of care
  • Assists in establishing and ensures implementation of written standards and protocols for all exhibits to ensure the highest standards for water quality, operational efficiency, cleanliness and animal health
  • Responsible for daily scheduling and time keeping, collaborates with Director and other Associate Curators to ensure adequate coverage
  • Works with other Associate Curators to ensure that all biologists are properly cross trained.
  • Works with Senior Biologists to coordinate projects for biologists, interns and volunteers
  • Assists Director in developing, implementing and meeting yearly budgets
  • Works as a team with other departments to provide a quality experience for guests and a safe and comfortable work environment for staff through continuous maintenance and improvement of visitor and behind-the-scenes spaces
  • Responsible for record keeping and collaborates with the registrar to maintain inventories, husbandry records and permits
  • May represent the Aquarium at selected conferences and speaking engagements; gives media interviews as assigned
  • May conduct and/or assist in ongoing research projects, both internally and externally, that are relevant, goal-specific and in direct support of the aquarium's values; ensures that internal research using living organisms is conducted in a professionally competent and ethical manner
  • May write and present formal papers at conferences; prepares articles for publications as needed
  • Other duties as assigned as needed 
Education Requirements and Technical Skills:
  • Must have five years of experience with personnel management in a dynamic setting.  Experience working with volunteers is a plus
  • Must have a strong and effective working skill set of husbandry techniques, aquatic disease recognition and treatment, life support operations, animal nutrition, advanced exhibitry and aquatic animal veterinary practices
  • Experience with TRACKS, Species 360 or comparable animal husbandry software
  • Experience with bookkeeping and budget management in a professional work environment
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Strong proactive and professional written and oral communications skills
  • Strong computer skills with a working knowledge of Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
  • Core Value Competencies
  • Customer Service Orientation — Listening to and understanding the customer (both internal and external) and anticipating and evaluating the customer’s needs; making the customer’s satisfaction a high priority in all areas of responsibility
  • Teamwork — Supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively expressing ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listening to individuals and groups; preparing and focusing presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; expressing ideas clearly and concisely in written form, through memoranda, letters, reports, and other documents
  • Leadership (Individual) — Effective and appropriate use of interpersonal skills to motivate individuals toward the accomplishment of goals; co-creating and communicating in a clear vision through emphasis on the organization’s values, individual and team goals, systems and rewards
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Remains current on developments in the field within and outside the organization; maintains proficiencies
  • Business Focus — Strives to positively affect organizational success in completion of job requirements, manages resources effectively and takes positives actions to enhance the Guest experience. Recognizes how their own performance and contributions impact departmental and organizational goals, strategies and results. Keeps FLAQ business and Customer’s well-being at the forefront of the day-to-day focus.
  • Planning and organizing — Establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the aquarium; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; developing contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment
Typical Physical Requirements:
  • Standing (up to 4 hours per day)
  • Walking (up to 4 hours per day)
  • Bending/Stooping/Squatting/Kneeling/Balancing — Frequently
  • Crouching/Crawling — Occasionally
  • Sitting (up to 2 hours per day)
  • Climbing heights (12’) — Frequently
  • Reaching above shoulders — Frequently
  • Pushing/Pulling — Frequently
  • Carrying (up to 70 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Lifting (up to 70 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Exposure to marked changes in temperature and humidity
  • Exposure to dust, fumes and gases
  • Using hands for repetitive movements — fine manipulating
  • Typing on a computer keyboard
  • Viewing a computer screen for extended periods
  • Coping with demands (stresses that are associated with the job and/or the work environment so that acceptable levels of performance and overall contribution are maintained)
  • Ability to travel as needed — locally and/or nationally
  • Daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals in a central Florida climate
  • Flexibility in working weekends, evenings, and holidays
  • Available for on-call emergencies
  • Ability to interact and be around wild animals 
  • Exposure to various plants and birds
  • Subject to bites, stings and scrapes
  • Medical,
  • Dental,
  • Vision,
  • EAP,
  • Memberships,
  • and more!

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