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Senior Aquarist

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, United States Posted: October 25, 2023

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission.  We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.

Under limited supervision, care for and maintain our fish, invertebrate, and herptile collections and live animal exhibits, with responsibility for overall animal health and well-being, water quality of assigned exhibits and galleries, routine maintenance of exhibits and associated infrastructure, documentation and record-keeping, animal and plant acquisitions in the field, and population and community management. Serve as an informal leader to help guide a team of husbandry professionals in the management of a gallery of live exhibits and associated holding systems.  Bring high-level expertise to the development of innovative animal care techniques and strategies. Maintain the highest animal care and exhibit maintenance standards that continually meet or exceed all AZA accreditation standards.  Perform other duties as required.

  • Perform daily animal husbandry duties including but not limited to diet preparation, feeding, and live exhibit maintenance.
  • Conduct regular observations of animal health, behavior, and welfare to include disease detection and formal animal welfare assessments. Diagnose and respond to animal health issues or welfare concerns.
  • Monitor and analyze water quality of exhibit, animal holding, and quarantine systems and determine system adjustments where necessary to maintain accepted water quality parameters.
  • Identify and recommend changes to husbandry and gallery protocols that improve standards and eliminate animal welfare concerns.
  • Document husbandry tasks, animal observations, animal health records, animal welfare assessments, and other pertinent animal transactions into the Tracks software database in accordance with departmental standards. Work with Registrar to recommend Tracks software changes to improve functionality.
  • Perform exhibit maintenance SCUBA dives.
  • Plan, lead, and execute plant and animal field collections via boat operations, shore-based activities, SCUBA dives, and/or research vessel / ROV expeditions.
  • Manage plant and animal communities across major exhibits/galleries, making key population management decisions and strategies.
  • Perform routine inspection and maintenance on critical water and mechanical systems and equipment, including but not limited to, fractionators, mechanical filters, UV sterilizers, small pumps, recirculation loops, and exhibit lighting systems.
  • Diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair mechanical systems, equipment, and exhibitry.
  • Lead the design, development, and construction of exhibits, holding aquariums, and life support systems.
  • Provide backup leadership support and oversight in the absence of onsite managers. Lead gallery teams through daily animal husbandry duties and management of the collection. Lead formal animal welfare assessments and response. Function as a team lead for iconic exhibits, galleries, and/or specific collections.
  • Develop and implement innovative animal care strategies, exhibit techniques, and mechanical / LSS systems. Participate on research projects in collaboration with industry professionals, internal partners, and outside scientists to exchange and improve best practices.
 Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):
  • Bachelor's Degree in Biology or related field or equivalent combination of education, training, and experience
  • A minimum of 3 years of experience as an Aquarist II or equivalent
  • Ability to work with aquarium chemotherapeutics and other chemicals
  • Ability to perform precise chemical measurements and dosing while adhering to all safety protocols
  • Extensive knowledge of the taxonomy of marine fish, invertebrates, and plants
  • Advanced understanding of animal food preparation, nutrition, and feeding techniques
  • Extensive knowledge of water quality chemistry as it pertains to aquarium systems (including the nitrogen cycle, pH, dissolved gases, temperature, etc.)
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the operation of aquarium life support systems and various mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration components
  • Advanced understanding of fish and invertebrate disease, parasites, prophylaxis, medical treatment, and animal health management and welfare
  • SCUBA certification highly desirable; ability to pass an occupational dive physical highly desirable. Ability to dive in specialized diving environments (blue water, black water, full face mask, surface supply, deep diving) is desirable
  • Small boat handling experience is highly desirable
  • AALSO LSS and/or WQ certifications desirable
  • Experience working with and supervising volunteers
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite or related software
  • Proficiency with the Tracks animal database system or similar animal records database
  • Strong interpersonal, negotiation, and conflict-resolution skills
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Strong time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines and prioritize tasks for large work areas and team units.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Aptitude for using basic hand and power tools
  • Ability to work within, and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values

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