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Lead Life Support Engineer

The National Aquarium
Baltimore, United States Posted: November 08, 2023

General Purpose: Responsible for carrying out daily Life Support operations. Provides hands-on support for all life support procedures, monitors equipment maintenance, and carries out special projects/problem-solving. Acts as a role model for other staff members and assists in training junior LS staff as instructed. In the absence of the Supervisor and Director oversees the daily Life Support operations and supervises staff.

Essential Functions: 
Responsible for the daily operation of life support systems for the large aquarium exhibits: Atlantic Coral Reef, Open Ocean, Blacktip Reef, Australia systems and the Dolphin exhibit and backup pools
  • Responsible for monitoring and maintaining water levels, backwashing large sand filters, monitoring/adjusting air flow and ozone generator adjustments and  all other equipment vital to the operation of life support systems as directed by the Life Support Supervisor and Director of Life
  • Complete daily system log sheet documentation
  • Evaluate system log sheets along with daily visual inspections of filter readings, valve positions, flow rates, and pressure differentials
  • Monitors readings and trends in Metasys (software used by LS)
  • Manages the daily applied dose adjustments for ozone use as directed by the Director of Life Support
  • Responsible for the maintenance of life support systems as determined by the LS Supervisor and Director
  • Inspect ozone generators, pumps, motors, blowers, chillers, etc and respond to problems
  • Work effectively with Facilities staff and contractors in order maintain equipment in proper operating condition.  
Responsible for monitoring and maintaining established water quality parameters
  • Monitors water quality in the exhibits and ensures they are properly maintained
  • Monitors water levels in the exhibits and ensures they are maintained at proper level
  • Monitors and adjust tank temperatures per protocols
  • Measures salinity and residual oxidant levels as directed by the lab
Responsible for the transfer of water between Pier 3 and Pier 4 buildings
Respond to Metasys alarms; monitors automated alarms after hours as directed by the Life Support Supervisor
Coaches less experienced staff
  • Assists staff in completing assigned tasks
  • Sets an example for other staff members in the areas of: Life Support operations, morale, and professional work ethic
  • Provides training, as well as, and positive and constructive feedback to Life Support staff
  • Trains staff on area duties and acts as a mentor to staff
  • Provides daily updates to the Life Support Coordinator, Life Support Supervisor, or Director of Life Support
  • Utilizes programs like Trello and Teams to maintain communication with LS team, and report non-routine issues.
Safety/ Hazardous Materials
  • Complies with all safety protocols established by National Aquarium
  • Takes proactive measures to prevent unsafe work practices
Experience Required
Qualifications/Basic Job Requirements:
  • Knowledge of water filtration, water chemistry, aquarium keeping and related life support equipment.
  • Minimum of 2 years experience in life support operations of a comparable zoo/aquarium.
  • Able to lift and carry 50 pounds, climb ladders, work nights and weekends as needed, and have basic swimming skills.
  • Experience in coordinating multiple tasks/staff projects
  • Proficient with commonly used software (Outlook, Word, Excel).
  • Should have mechanical aptitude and logical problem-solving skills.
  • Detail oriented and observant.
Problem Solving:
  • Able to apply logic to tracing pipelines, basic mechanical skills and equipment maintenance.
  • Demonstrate complex problem-solving skills and the ability to remain calm and professional during emergency procedures.
Human Relations:
  • Interacts with LS engineers, Biological Programs staff (aquarists, dolphin trainers, curators) and Facilities Dept. on a daily basis
  • Accountability: Honesty and open communication is essential
  • Human Resources: Non-supervisory position
  • Physical Requirements: These are physical and mental requirements of the position as it is typically performed.
  • Inability to meet one or more of these physical or mental requirements will not automatically disqualify a candidate or employee from the position.
  • Upon request for a reasonable accommodation, the Company may be able to adjust or excuse one or more of these requirements, depending on the requirement, the essential functions to which it relates, and the proposed accommodation.
  • X Seeing X Color Perception (Red, Green, Amber) X Hearing/Listening X Clear Speech X Touching (Dexterity, Hand and Finger) X Ability to Move Distances within and between offsite buildings X Climbing X Pushing/Pulling X Lifting and carrying (specify) (up to 50 pounds) X Other: basic swimming X Driving (local)
  • Work Environment: X Shift work X Works with Others X Verbal Contact w/Others X Pressurized Equipment X Face-to-Face Contact X Moving Objects X Noise X Fumes/Odors X Mechanical Equipment X Hazardous Materials X Electrical Equipment Exposure to Animals: (limited) X Zooonosis Potential The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience, and ideas to apply.
Further Comments
  • Through education, research, conservation action and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.
  • Medical, Dental, Vision, 401(K) match and More!

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