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Wild Animal Keeper, Aquarist

Wildlife Conservation Society: New York Aquarium
Brooklyn, United States Posted: May 02, 2024

Wild Animal Keeper (WAK) of Fish & Invertebrates division at the New York Aquarium maintains living conditions for the health and well-being of the animal collections. Provide appropriate daily diets, maintain high-quality exhibits, and enhance natural behaviors of animals. Fulfill delegated functions within the department. Practices personal and guest safety when interacting with animals.

  • Principal Responsibilities (Responsibilities may include but are not limited to)
  • Perform daily animal care of assigned animals according to established protocols and a directed by managers.
  • Prepare and provide proper feeding/nutrition to all animals based on developed feeding protocol.
  • Make daily observations of animals and report any abnormalities to staff supervisor.
  • Perform daily cleaning/maintenance of assigned animal exhibits according to established protocols and as directed by managers. Inspect exhibits, holding facilities, and associated service areas to ensure they are clean and functioning properly (e.g. doors, lighting, HVAC, LSS,etc.).
  • Alert supervisors to any facility deficiencies/issues that require repair or attention from NYA Facilities, EGAD, Pest Control, IT, or other WCS departments.
  • Participate in cleaning of public areas in and around exhibits, storage, and life support components.
  • Develop proactive approach to enhance sustainability and animal safety.
  • Anticipate physical and behavioral issues and discuss with supervisor, in order to rectify potential problems.
  • Participate in the installation of exhibit materials such as, but not limited to plants, rocks, logs, etc.
  • Carry out veterinarian or curator’s instructions for the care of sick animals.
  • Function as a team member showing consideration, tolerance, cooperation, reliability, and ability to solve problems. Communicate effectively with all members of the division.
  • Maintain all equipment, animal records, and department notebooks on a daily basis.
  • Use SCUBA to routinely clean and maintain exhibits. Assist other departments in SCUBA diving to maintain water/habitat quality. Keep log of SCUBA activities.
  • May operate vehicles and equipment, as duties require.
  • Perform all primary as well as supportive roles in education and general public programing.
  • Interact with visitors, presenting a positive image for the New York Aquarium and the Wildlife Conservation Society.
  • Assist with observation/training of new staff and volunteers.
  • Maintain a high level of self-motivation and a consistent professional approach to the job.
  • Adhere to all New York Aquarium and departmental policies.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, psychology or related field.
  • At least 2 years practical experience working directly with aquatic animals in a zoo/aquarium, rescue/rehabilitation center; or other related facility.
  • Understanding of life support systems and filtration is necessary to be successful in the position.
  • SCUBA certification.
  • Ability and willingness to work weekends, holidays, evenings, and special events as schedule demands.
  • May be required to operate a motor vehicle with a current, valid NY, NJ, or CT driver’s license
  • Experience working with volunteers preferred.
  • Active membership in professional associations (e.g. AZA, IAATE) preferred.
  • Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience working with volunteers preferred.
  • Active membership in professional associations (e.g. A2A, IAATE) preferred.
Physical Requirements
  • The position requires work in both indoor and outdoor environments in all weather conditions (including cold water}.
  • Must pass AAUS-compliant dive physical and swim test (400 yards in 12 minutes) within six months of hire.
  • Tasks require manual dexterity and ability to safely use tools (e.g. computer keyboard, manual tools) and operate equipment (e.g. operation/manipulation of dive gear, mobile radios).
  • Some tasks require climbing, kneeling, bending, navigating uneven terrain, and moderate lifting up to 50 pounds.
  • Wildlife Conservation Society is an equal opportunity employer dedicated to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce.
  • We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.
Equal Employment Opportunity Disclaimer
  • WCS is an equal opportunity employer, and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and engaging a diverse workforce.
  • We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value.
  • The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates.
  • The organization does not discriminate for employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information or any other covered status or characteristic protected by applicable laws and regulations.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s membership in one of these protected categories in areas such as recruitment, selection, job assignment, supervision, training, promotions, job grading, transfers, termination, compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, WCS sponsored recreational activities and facilities. 
  • 15 Vacation,
  • 13 Holidays,
  • 12 Paid-Time-Off Days,
  • Medical,
  • Dental,
  • Vision,
  • 401K,
  • Pension,
  • 12 weeks of Paid Parental Leave and much more…
  • $45,247

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