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Water Quality Specialist I

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey, United States Posted: May 09 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 general supervision, perform physical and chemical analyses of seawater and freshwater samples for water quality monitoring, life support system evaluation, and experimentation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium; perform sample collection, chemistry testing, quality control, data entry, and troubleshooting, as well as interpretation of acquired data; support daily Aquarium system monitoring, projects related to exhibit design, veterinary and husbandry requests, and environmental and regulatory testing; perform other duties as required.

Core Activities:
  • Perform laboratory and tank-side analyses of Aquarium system water, including physical chemistry parameters (such as pH and dissolved oxygen) and nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphate); techniques utilized include spectrophotometry, titration, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), and use of handheld meters.
  • Perform data entry and maintenance of water quality databases.
  • Mix reagents and standards and be accountable for proper quality controls.
  • Assist in maintenance of analytical and laboratory equipment, including calibrations, preventative maintenance, and minor repairs.
  • Maintain department chemical inventory, including chemical inventory database and Safety Data Sheet files.
  • Provide support for other lab efforts as needed, including sample collection, storm water monitoring, instrument calibration, research projects, emergency testing, system maintenance, and microbiological analyses.
  • Interpret water quality data and works with aquarist using the data to maintain proper water quality parameters in all aquarium systems and support projects to further animal care knowledge and/or exhibit design.
Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):
  • Bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry, environmental science, hydrology, engineering, or a related field or equivalent combination of education, training and experience
  • Minimum of 1 year of practical experience in a laboratory, with a working knowledge of techniques and instrumentation used in analytical water chemistry (this year can be concurrent with school)
  • Excellent attention to detail, organization, problem solving abilities, and planning skills
  • Understanding of the chemical and nutrient components and processes of seawater, including pH, alkalinity, and the nitrogen cycle
  • Practical skills in lab equipment handling (pipettes, instruments, glassware)
  • Working knowledge of lab and chemical safety
  • Demonstrated ability to train and teach other staff
  • Experience in an aquarium water quality lab or with aquarium water quality testing
  • Experience with UV spectrophotometry
  • Experience with high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)
  • Experience with inductively coupled plasma elemental analysis (ICP-OES)
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to work within, and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values
Physical Requirements to Perform Essential Job Functions:
  • Equipment and tools used for daily operations are laboratory tools (pipettes, spectrophotometer, etc), fine tools for instrumentation work, fume hoods, handheld meters, lifts, computer
  • Sitting, standing at lab benches, walking several miles, climbing stairs, climbing ladders, reaching, pulling, pushing, collecting water samples
  • Occasional unassisted lifting up to 30lbs
  • Work is performed in animal care spaces, service areas, life support spaces, basement, main aquarium, ARCC, laboratory, outside

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