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Zoological Curator

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Of Metro Parks Tacoma
Tacoma, United States Posted: May 23, 2024


Based on our internal equity review process, the starting yearly salary for this position is set at $113,112

To allow for growth and salary progression the full annual salary range is $113,112 - $154,849 annually.  Employees will have the opportunity to move through the posted range based on annual performance reviews and merit increases.

Work where you play! 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 the Deputy Director, Zoological Curator will oversee all aspects of the animal collection at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park including but not limited to:
  • acquisition, transfer and transition, husbandry, enrichment, and policies and procedures relevant to the animal program in an AZA Accredited and USDA licensed wildlife park. 
  • The Zoological Curator will collaborate with management staff on exhibit designs and renovations; oversee all public animal programs and supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned staff.
In the performance of their respective tasks and duties all employees are expected to:
  • Perform quality work within deadlines with or without direct supervision.
  • Interact professionally with other employees, customers and suppliers.
  • Work effectively as a team contributor on all assignments.
  • Work independently while understanding the necessity for communicating and coordinating work efforts with other employees and organizations.
  • Observe applicable safety requirements, use safety equipment provided, implement appropriate safety practices at all times and report immediately any unsafe working conditions or hazards.
Essential Duties
  • Manage the operation of the zoological department to ensure the highest standards of animal care and welfare, exhibitry, visitor satisfaction, visitor and staff safety and staff professional development.
  • Manage, direct and coordinate all animal program activities, including animal husbandry, conservation and research; Manage staff to achieve department goals by implementing species plan actions, public keeper chat schedule, behavioral management goals and research goals.
  • Develop departmental and institutional policies and standard procedures and ensure staff adherence to these policies and procedures; conduct regular, routine inspections of animal exhibits, park grounds, rolling stock and equipment to assure proper care and maintenance of animals and facilities.
  • Manage animal program acquisition, transfer and transition activities.
  • Manage and coordinate Northwest Trek's role in endangered and threatened species recovery efforts on and off site; establish and maintain partnerships with non-governmental organizations, federal, state and local agencies working together in these efforts; ensure adherence to all local, state, federal, USDA and AZA regulations and guidelines.
  • Apply for and manage grants as necessary
  • Manage the zoological department internship and volunteer program.
  • Develop and prepare the annual preliminary budget for the zoological department; control and monitor expenditures to ensure compliance with final, approved budgets.
  • Oversee ISIS/ZIMS computerized record keeping systems.
  • Coordinate, monitor and participate in the maintenance and repair of animal exhibits and related systems; originate work orders as needed; consult with project manager in the design of new exhibits, renovation of existing exhibits and construction of off-exhibit holding areas.
  • Attend meetings, conferences and seminars both on and off site; act as the primary representative of the Northwest Trek animal program or other Park functions as necessary or assigned; attend AZA conferences and training as assigned; represent Northwest Trek as a member of various AZA committees as assigned. Achieve a leadership role in one or more AZA programs.
  • Communicate information regarding animals and related matters to the public in an educational and engaging manner; provide public presentations on and off-site; serve as the primary program or park spokesperson to the media (digital, print and radio); coordinate appropriate presentation of exhibit animals in various formats.
  • Establish, schedule and coordinate training in emergency response activities related to the animal program
  • Serve as a member of the Firearms Response Team. Manage the Firearms Response Team schedule, ensuring adequate coverage to protect the animals, staff and visitors from injury or mishap.
  • Assist with the coordination, scheduling and after-action review of animal escape training
  • As part of the management team, oversees daily operations at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and works with other departmental managers in planning, organizing and coordinating all programs, functions and activities at the Park.
  • Serve as Incident Commander, leading the response to any and all Park-related emergencies
  • Operate and maintain a variety of related tools, machinery and equipment including computers and a variety of related computer programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.
Experience Required
  • Bachelor's degree in biology, zoology or related field and five years of increasingly responsible experience in the animal department of a large zoological park, including a minimum of two years supervisory experience of paid staff at an AZA accredited institution or similar facility.
  • An additional four years of experience may substitute for degree requirements.
Salary
  • $113,112.40 - $154,849.99 Annually

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