Aquariums Hiring

Job board dedicated to the aquarium industry

Manager of Pinnipeds

New England Aquarium
Boston, United States Posted: March 04 2023

The Manager of Pinnipeds coordinates and implements effective daily operations of the Pinnipeds Team in a manner that adheres to the protocol established by the Curator and the Assistant Curator to ensure the highest standards of modern animal training, care, enrichment, and welfare. The primary role of the Manager is to focus on supporting the Assistant Curator in providing a supportive, positive team environment that fosters staff growth and development in the advancement of marine mammal training and welfare. As a member of the leadership team, the Manager has a shared responsibility to provide clear and precise coaching of the staff and animals for conditioning behavior, public presentations, guest programs, and events based on goals established by the Curator and Assistant Curator. This includes proactive coordination and scheduling of the daily activities to achieve department goals for animal and staff development, conditioned husbandry, and enrichment practices. Through teaching, coaching, and demonstrating the best industry practices and professional behavior, the Manager of Pinnipeds must be a role model and a well-rounded animal care professional.

New England Aquarium has implemented comprehensive safety protocols for employees and visitors to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. As a member of our team, you will be provided with the training and resources needed to ensure a safe and rewarding experience. In addition, the Aquarium requires all staff to be vaccinated with one booster shot (when eligible) against COVID-19 unless a reasonable medical or religious accommodation is requested and approved.

This is a full-time regular position offering a comprehensive benefits package. The schedule will be either four days a week with a daily schedule of 7:30a - 6:00p or five days a week with a daily schedule of 8:00a - 4:30p. Either schedule will include one weekend day each week. Candidates must be flexible to provide occasional holiday coverage. Work must be conducted on-site.

Essential Leadership Functions
  1. In collaboration with the Assistant Curator, the manager ensures the highest standards of a safe, healthy, and positive work environment for the staff, guests, and animals; the manager will help set goals for the pinnipeds staff, set clear expectations for performance, and assist in conflict resolution.
  2. Executes daily operations for the Pinniped Team and provides direct management of the Pinniped Trainers team.
  3. Co-leads in developing a comprehensive proactive behavior management plan for the highest industry standards of husbandry training, enrichment, and welfare for the pinniped collection; mentors the team on modern, industry-standard, behavior modification skills in all types of sessions throughout each day.
  4. Assists in improving and implementing the coaching system for the staff on the pinniped team and provides instruction for the team on behavior fundamentals as well as advanced concepts and techniques.
  5. Assists with performance evaluations and hiring interviews in collaboration with the Curator of Pinnipeds and Penguins.
  6. Provides motivational support to the pinnipeds team and cultivates a positive and forward-thinking culture.
  7. Provides backup leadership support for the Penguins team.
Essential FunctionsCoordinates and manages the implementation of protocol for husbandry and animal training, and contributes to the advancement of these areas.
  1. Develops schedule for training and maintenance of husbandry behaviors in collaboration with Animal Health Department to facilitate rounds, physical exams, and medical therapy as needed.
  2. Oversees daily operations of the pinnipeds department including purchasing, accurate record keeping, dive schedules, and food preparations.
  3. Develops, enhances, and participates in guest-centered programs and special events, and coordinates public relations and media opportunities with the Marketing and Communications department.
  4. In coordination with the Curator and Assistant Curator, assists in strategic planning on transports and acclimation plans for the pinniped collection.
  5. Learns the fundamentals of penguin husbandry, breeding, training and enrichment for cross training purposes.
  6. Maintains a proactive approach to animal safety in setting up habitat and systems maintenance, construction projects, and exhibit enhancements.
  7. Helps design and develop new guest programs and guest experiences.
  8. Coordinates with facilities department and staff to ensure proper maintenance of all Pinnipeds areas in accordance with AZA standards.
  9. Coordinates with the veterinary team on animal health matters.
  10. Ensures USDA and AZA standards of animal husbandry and welfare are met.
  11. Coordinates requests for donor and VIP tours
  12. Communicates regularly with the Reservations department regarding guest interaction programs and guest opportunities.
  13. Other duties as assigned.
Minimum Training and Experience
  • Requires a Bachelor's degree, 7 years of related experience with Marine Mammal focus, and 3 years of leadership experience on an animal training team.
  • SCUBA Certification and Medical Examiner's authorization to SCUBA dive in accordance with NEAq Diving Control Board.
  • Must have experience with TRACKS, Species 360, OERCA or a comparable animal training, husbandry, and enrichment tracking software.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
  • Must demonstrate interests and skills required for organizing projects/programs, high level of animal training capability, ability to communicate well with staff and follow through on projects.
  • Must have advanced knowledge on behavior modification skills and operant conditioning techniques that are in line with modern zoological practices.
  • Must have the ability to multi-task effectively throughout the day while continuing to advance animal welfare and enrichment practices.
  • Willingness to have flexible schedule - will be required to work weekends, holidays and some evenings.

For more information and to apply online please visit:

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.