Organization: New England Aquarium
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Job or Internship: Job
TITLE: Vice President- Animal Care
DIVISION: Animal Care
REPORTS TO: CEO & COO
The New England Aquarium combines education, entertainment and action to address the most challenging problems facing the oceans. We aim to create a new generation of ocean stewards, while providing regional, national and global leadership in marine conservation. The New England Aquarium is the only Boston-based cultural institution with a mission focused primarily on the environment, promoting the importance of protecting the blue planet through innovative exhibits and educational programs.
The Aquarium opened on the Boston waterfront in 1969 and is one of the world's first modern aquariums. Visitors can explore the oceans and visit thousands of marine animals in four levels of world-class exhibits. During its 44 years, the Aquarium has expanded physically and programmatically. Changes to the building have made way for a growing staff, improved visitor services, and animal husbandry needs. Exhibits have responded to changes in the ocean and made use of new technologies. Programs have engaged the public, promoting aquatic stewardship. Conservation and research projects have sought solutions to the threats facing aquatic species and habitats.
The Aquarium succeeded in achieving a complete financial turnaround over the past several years. Four major new exhibits have been built or renovated since 2009: the New Balance Foundation Marine Mammal Center, the Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank, the Blue Planet Action Center, and the Giant Ocean Tank. A major new facility was constructed in Quincy as well: the Animal Care Center provides an off-site location for animal holding, quarantine and the Aquarium’s sea turtle rescue program. These improvements will provide a strong foundation for many years ahead.
Having completed all of the major elements of the Strategic Action Plan launched in 2007, the Aquarium is now preparing for a new phase of strategic planning. It is an exciting time for a VP of Animal Care to join the leadership team.
For more information about New England Aquarium’s mission, values, background and history, please visit http://www.neaq.org/about_us/mission_and_vision/index.php.
The Vice President of Animal Care provides overall leadership for the Aquarium’s husbandry and animal care programs (Fishes, Mammals, Animal Health, Rescue, Husbandry), and serves as an advocate for animal care across the institution. This includes developing a vision for animal care within the context of the Aquarium’s mission, overseeing collection planning and regulatory compliance, coordinating efforts across program areas, and providing oversight for relevant departments. The VP reports to the COO for operations and the CEO for animal welfare issues.
1. Vision and leadership – Develops a vision for animal care and exhibits within the context of the Aquarium’s mission. Create an atmosphere of teamwork, integrity, accountability and trust among staff.
2. Animal care standards – Sets and maintains the highest standards for the Aquarium’s animal care policies and practices, including husbandry, enrichment, veterinary and preventive care.
3. Advocacy – Serves as an advocate for animal welfare across the institution. Chairs the NEAq Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.
4. Strategy and planning – Develops, and implements short and long term strategies for animal care, exhibitions, and collection planning. Develops, implements and reviews the Institutional Collection Plan, and reviews animal acquisition and disposition plans. Work with Development Department to write grants to support the work of the Animal Care Division. Recommends and manages relevant capital improvement projects.
5. General Management – Provides oversight for goals and objectives, operations, human resource management, division/operations/capital budgets, and workplace safety.
6. Exhibit Development and Maintenance – Provides husbandry input in the exhibit development process. Ensures that exhibits contribute to institutional mission and visitor experience goals. Ensures exhibits are well maintained in terms of animal care and visitor appeal. Advocates for animal care staff engagement in the visitor experience.
7. Program Coordination – Coordinates programs with other divisions within the Aquarium, including education, research, conservation, exhibits, and visitor experience.
8. Professional development – Ensures that animal care staff are educated in husbandry, safety, and health care practices and facilitates their participation in opportunities for professional growth and skill development.
9. Compliance – Ensures compliance with relevant state and federal regulations concerning animal care and welfare, exhibition, and acquisition. Ensures that all required permits and licenses (e.g. animal care, safety, environmental, controlled substances) are obtained and kept current. Ensures compliance with the AZA standards for animal care and animal facilities.
10. Best practices – Maintains knowledge of industry innovations, new techniques, and best practices through participation in meetings, conferences, journals, and regular communication with professional colleagues.
11. Performs other position-related duties, as applicable and/or assigned.
Minimum Training and Experience
•Bachelor’s degree in marine sciences, biology, zoology or related fields.
•Masters Degree in related field or Veterinary Degree desirable.
•8-10 years experience in staff and operations management at a senior level.
•5-8 years hands-on and/or direct supervisory experience working with aquatic animals.
• Driver’s License and SCUBA Certification desirable.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
•Comprehensive knowledge and demonstrated ability in aquarium or zoo exhibit management and management of live animal collections. Excellent communication skills
•Strong leadership, team building and organizational skills, attention to detail and proven ability to handle multiple complex tasks simultaneously.
• Strong interpersonal skills with the proven ability to interact positively and successfully with all levels of the organization and community.
• Sound professional knowledge of biology and husbandry concepts, with an ability to apply to an aquarium setting.
• Knowledge and Understanding of:
o All facets of aquatic animal care (e.g. disease prevention, exhibit fabrication, life support systems and water chemistry)
o A wide range of aquatic animal (vertebrate and invertebrate) taxa.
o Advanced life support systems
New England Aquarium is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to diversity in the workplace.
PLEASE VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT WWW.NEAQ.ORG TO APPLY ONLINE