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Trainer 1, Marine Mammals

Mississippi Aquarium
Gulfport, United States Posted: July 02, 2024


The MSAQ is looking for a highly motivated individual who will take direction from the Curators, Area Supervisors and/or Sr. Vice President of Property Operations in carrying out the animal care routine and maintenance for an assigned set of habitats. The position will be responsible for maintaining organized written records about health, feeding, water quality, animal welfare and behavioral observations. This position is responsible for adhering to all aquarium safety, protocols, standard operating procedures (SOPs) and Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) accreditation standards.  

RESPONSIBILITIES
General:
  • Participates in the daily care and behavioral conditioning of bottlenose dolphins, North American river otters, and other taxa as needed
  • Interacts with guests and crew members in a positive and professional manner
  • Possess knowledge of cetacean and mustelid natural history, individual animal histories and husbandry
  • Able to identify all animals in assigned animal areas and observe any possible abnormalities
  • Understand all area safety guidelines
  • Attend all seminars and all tests required
  • Play a key role in maintaining the highest standards in the areas of husbandry/cleanliness, diet preparation, record keeping, occasional 24-hour animal observations, and facility maintenance
  • To perform other duties as workload necessitates, regardless of time, day, or location
Trainer 1 –
  • Plays a support role in the development and implementation of dynamic animal training projects and programs that serve to enhance animal care, animal management, guest experience, and public relations
  • Plays a role in the progression of animal training goals and standards for MSAQ under the direction/supervision of Senior Marine Mammal Trainers and management
  • Assists in interactive programs and presentations
Trainer 2 –
  • Assists Senior Animal Care Specialists with the development and implementation of dynamic animal training projects and programs that serve to enhance animal care, animal management, guest experience, and Aquarium public relations
  • Actively participates in the progression of animal training goals and standards for MSAQ under the direction/supervision of Senior Marine Mammal Trainers and management, including training new behaviors
  • Performs interactive programs and presentations
  • Assist with the developmental goals of interns and volunteers     
  • This job description is not designed to cover or contain a full listing of activities, duties or responsibilities required of the employee for this job.
  • Duties, responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
QUALIFICATIONs
  • A four-year degree in aquatic sciences, zoology, biology, psychology or equivalent time and experience  
Trainer 1 -
  • Minimum of 1 year professional animal care experience from an accredited AMMPA or AZA institution, or equivalent, required
Trainer 2 -
  • Two or more years of full-time animal care experience from an accredited AMMPA or AZA institution, or equivalent, required
  • Certified SCUBA diver
  • Successful completion of pre-employment drug screening, SCUBA dive physical, and area swim test
  • Record-keeping experience, preferably with the TRACKS system
  • Detailed understanding of the biology, behavior, and natural history of marine mammals, with an emphasis on cetaceans, mustelids and other taxa as needed
  • Detailed knowledge of operant conditioning and positive reinforcement animal behavioral conditioning techniques
  • Excellent observation and communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ethics that generate and sustain a positive team atmosphere and professional environment
  • A valid driver’s license and the ability to travel if necessary
  • Ability to work weekends, holidays, days closed due to inclement weather
  • Experience in preparing and conducting public educational programs
  • Able to lift a minimum of sixty (60) pounds
  • Strong command of the English language, both written and verbal
TEAM REQUIREMENTS
  • Safety & Security - All Team Members are required to adhere to all Mississippi Aquarium safety and security standards.
  • Attendance & Appearance - To maximize the guest’s experience, all Team Members are required to adhere to Mississippi Aquarium standard operating procedures regarding attendance and dress code policies as it relates to individual job functionality.
  • Tattoos and piercings must be appropriate and in keeping with a professional image.
  • Depending on the work area, management reserves the right to determine that tattoos will need to be covered during your shift.
  • Sales & Guest Services - Our forward-thinking business model requires listening and understanding the needs of our guests both internal and external. 
  • To that end, we must always be focused on the guest experience which is the key driver for return guest visitation and increased sales.
  • Team Partnership - All Team Members are focused on supporting each other to complete the guest experience. 
  • Therefore, supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness is vital to our organization.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS & WORK ENVIRONMENT
  • The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.
  • Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.
  • The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 60 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus.
  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time.
  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
Note: 
  • Position will involve exposure to inclement weather, dust, potentially dangerous and unpredictable animal species, and potentially dangerous machinery, restraint devices and toxic chemicals and/or drugs. 
  • Occasional use of protective clothing or equipment is required e.g., goggles, mask, gloves, and gowns. 
EMPLOYEE PERKS AND BENEFITS
  • 26 days Paid Time Off, additionally awarded with continuous service.
  • Health, Dental and Vision Insurance Packages
  • 100% Company paid Short-Term, Long-Term Disability Insurance Coverage, and Life insurance policy.
  • Aquarium Membership for self, Spouse, and any dependent children
  • Discount at our Mississippi Aquarium Gulf Café
  • Discount at Mississippi Aquarium Gift Shop
  • Uniform Stipend to spend on Mississippi Aquarium logo apparel.

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