Curator of Animal Behavior and Wellness




Organization: San Francisco Zoological Society (AZA Member)
Location: San Francisco, CA, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The Curator of Animal Behavior and Wellness is a Regular, Full Time position at the San Francsico Zoological Society.

SUMMARY: The San Francisco Zoological Society is recruiting a doctoral level scientist-practitioner to join an experienced staff committed to the best practices and highest quality of animal care for our population of 1100 animals. We are seeking an individual with a Ph.D. in animal behavior with demonstrated interests and training in applied ethology and behavior analysis. The successful candidate should be well-published and capable of qualifying for an adjunct professor position at a local or regional college or university. The ability to form partnerships and research collaborations with other behavioral scientists and their students is essential. The Curator of Animal Behavior and Wellness will be expected to generate support for research through the submission of competitive grants. This leadership position bridges between several departments and reports to the Vice President of Animal Care and Enrichment. The Curator of Animal Behavior and Wellness will lead the San Francisco Zoo's innovative "Wellness Initiative", which elevates the visibility and the priority of zoo animal welfare, by facilitating applied studies at the zoo, and reporting the findings in scholarly publications and at national and international meetings.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Serve a guiding role in developing the "Wellness Initiative" as an institutional driver to inform husbandry, veterinary care, exhibit design, and behavioral research. This initiative expands on the established commitments to enrichment and training to include animal wellness as an institutional culture.

Interface with VP of Animal Care, Animal Curators and animal staff to consult on best practices in animal welfare as part of routine animal husbandry as well as its role in long term planning.

Facilitate applied animal research at the San Francisco Zoo by mentoring zoo staff and by fostering relationships with universities and other organizations. This research should improve captive animal welfare as well as inform the zoo visitor experience.

Generate scholarly publications and presentations at meetings based upon wellness research conducted at the San Francisco Zoo.

Form partnerships and research collaborations with other scientists and their students; when possible obtain own adjunct professor position at a regional college or university.

Manage a database and have advanced experience with statistical software. Use of Microsoft Office is required and a working knowledge of ARKS, ZIMS is preferred.

Understand experimental design, and have the ability to develop studies and train observers, including directing individuals with different skill levels (from youth volunteer to graduate student) to assist in research at their appropriate level.

Design effective "in-the-field" data collection methods, from clipboard and pencil to hand-held devices.

Collaborate with Development department in the submission of competitive grants to generate support for research.

Interact with Zoo visitors courteously and offer proper attention at all times.

Plan and implement special projects within the Animal Division at the request of the VP of Animal Care.

Promote professional development opportunities for keeper staff including providing keeper training.

Participate in public relations efforts by interpreting Animal Wellness and current research.

Maintain significant professional relationships within AZA and other professional organizations.

Perform other duties as required.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: No direct reports; may supervise interns or volunteers. May act as Curator-In-Charge as required. Exceptional interpersonal skills are essential for the successful candidate.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. .

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Bilingual candidates are encouraged to apply.

EDUCATION: A Ph.D. in animal behavior with demonstrated interests and training in applied ethology and behavior analysis, or similar rigorous study, is strongly preferred. The successful candidate should be well-published and capable of qualifying for an adjunct professor position at a local or regional college or university.

EXPERIENCE: Candidate has a demonstrated experience with conducting and publishing applied research on captive wild animals, and an emphasis on welfare is desired. Candidates with experience in training others in optimal animal welfare, and participation in forums regarding animal welfare are preferred.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands 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 regularly required to talk or hear. The employee frequently is required to stand and walk. The employee is occasionally required to sit. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 80 pounds.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing 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 regularly exposed to outside weather conditions. The employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently exposed to potentially hazardous animals.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Apply via our web site at www.sfzoo.org. Please include a cover letter and C.V. detailing your experience as it relates to this position. EOE.