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Staff Biologist - Aquarium

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Of Metro Parks Tacomaobserve Animal Species On Assigned Schedule To De
Tacoma, United States Posted: May 02, 2024

Join our team at Metro Parks Tacoma to put your skills to use serving your community and making Tacoma a vibrant, healthy, and welcoming place to live.

Who We Are
  • Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a CAPRA-accredited and AZA-accredited, independent park district that leads efforts to build a healthy, sustainable community.
  • Located in Tacoma, Washington, Metro Parks’ mission is to create healthy opportunities to play, learn, and grow.
  • The independent park district spans the city providing a wide range of life-enriching destinations and services, including 70+ parks, 80+ miles of trails, 1,000+ acres of urban forest, 66 playgrounds, four community centers, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Point Defiance Park, and much more. Our work is guided by eight core values that are the foundation of our actions and goals: innovation, excellence, equity, inclusiveness, sustainability, accountability, safety, and fun.
Why You’ll Love it Here
  • Come work where you play! You will contribute to the overall vitality and well-being of your community when you work for Metro Parks Tacoma, and you’ll do so as part of a supportive team of committed, passionate, and mission-driven professionals.
  • The people of Metro Parks are the key to its success, and you just might be the next great addition to our team.
  • You’ll receive a competitive wage, along with an attractive benefits package, including medical, dental, retirement, vacation, holidays, and much more.
  • On top of that, you’ll wake each day knowing that you’re helping make Tacoma a great place to call home.
Position Information
  • Under the direction of a General or Aquatic Animal Curator and the assigned Assistant Curator, perform a variety of skilled duties involved in the care, observation, maintenance, propagation and management of assigned aquatic animal species and the display of such species to the general public in an educational and attractive manner.
  • The Staff Biologist performs a variety of specialized aquatic work including behavioral enrichment training and observation, animal health care, documentation of behavior and activity and related duties involved in providing overall care to an assigned animal group at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. 
  • Must understand basic water chemistry and be able to operate aquatic life support systems. 
  • Must be an active scuba diver and be comfortable working in and around water and aquatic exhibits.
  • Must understand basic biology and ecology of the marine fish and invertebrates held and displayed in the aquariums at PDZA.
Essential Duties
  • Perform husbandry duties in the aquarium setting which includes temperate and tropical species of fish and invertebrates from the Pacific Rim. 
  • Observe animal species on assigned schedule to determine physical and behavioral health and well being; check animals for abnormalities and report condition to appropriate Curator or veterinarian. 
  • Provide behavioral training as appropriate and directed for animals assigned to incumbent's care.
  • Understand basic water chemistry and be able to operate aquatic life support systems.
  • Be an active SCUBA diver and be comfortable working in and around water and aquatic exhibits.
  • Understand basic biology and ecology of the marine fish and invertebrates held and displayed in the aquariums at PDZA.
  • Be familiar with common fish diseases and parasites and appropriate treatments.
  • Know how to handle and transport fish and invertebrates safely.
  • Clean animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment.
  • Prepare, store and distribute food according to established amounts, types and diets; monitor feeding habits and report any changes or abnormalities; monitor food levels to assure sufficient quantities. 
  • Prepare and administer medications, food supplements and vitamins.
  • Perform routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and related systems; prepare new exhibits and input regarding exhibit design and renovation to facilitate cleaning, enhance viewing and improve living conditions for the animals.
  • Provide appropriate enrichment to animals in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Communicate with the public regarding animals and related matters; answer questions and assure proper presentation of animals in various formats.
  • Maintain records and reports regarding assigned species including animal condition reports; conduct research regarding animal species as needed; prepare daily reports, health reports and other reports specific to the assigned area.
  • Maintain water quality to keep aquatic animals in a healthy condition.
  • Perform behavioral observations; patrol assigned areas of the Zoo or Trek and visually check on animals; perform or arrange for corrective action if problems arise.
  • Move and remove animal species to different areas or exhibits as determined by proper care, feeding and safety methods.
  • Provide work direction and assist in training volunteers and part-time animal care personnel as assigned; attend staff meetings, educational conferences and seminars as needed.
  • Communicate with the Aquatic Animal Curator and Assistant Curator regarding needed supplies, problems regarding exhibits, animal health or public safety issues or concerns. 
  • Communicate with veterinarians regarding animal health matters; provide assistance in catching or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures to administer health care.
  • Provide input regarding the collecting, purchase, transfer, propagation or trading of animal species as needed. 
  • Conduct and/or participate in conservation programs to assist in the propagation, education, enforcement and other activities related to long-term conservation of assigned species.
  • Assure the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap
  • Other duties as required.
Experience Required
  • Three years of experience as an aquarist involving the care and husbandry of fish and invertebrates in a zoo, aquarium, theme park or related environment, preferably in an AZA accredited facility, required.
  • Bachelor's degree in biology, zoology or related field preferred.
  • Equivalent education and experience including related volunteer and intern experience considered.
  • Must have rescue diver SCUBA certification and experience in the use of underwater techniques for the collection of fish and invertebrate species with cold water diving experience.
  • Must stay current with diving requirements set by PDZA diving control board.
  • LICENSE & OTHER REQUIREMENTS: Valid Washington driver's license with acceptable driving record.
  • Obtain a valid First Aid and CPR Card within the probationary period.
  • Obtain and maintain a valid SCUBA diving certification when assigned to the aquarium.
  • $29.01 - $36.04 Hourly

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