Curator of Reptiles, Amphibians and Fish

Organization: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (AZA Member)
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is seeking qualified applicants to join our Animal Department in a full-time Curatorial position over Reptiles, Amphibians & Fish. This is a key, visible leadership position that requires a motivated, dedicated team player who is willing to make a significant commitment to the organization. This requires a tactful individual with strong problem solving, decision making and leadership skills, and demonstrated ability to work effectively with all levels of staff.

Position Summary: Reporting to the Director of Animal Collections, this curator position at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden supports in the oversight of the development and implementation of the management strategies of the Reptile, Amphibian and Fish areas. The curator position encompasses skilled professional and technical work in the routine daily care of assigned animals, enclosures and related facilities. One of the objectives of this position is to assist in defining the future management of the specific class of animals involved within the framework of the Zoo’s goals and objectives and communicate this direction through words and actions. The curator will support and oversee the Animal Keeper Staff and is responsible for detailed planning and conducting a comprehensive range of zoo activities including animal husbandry activities, exhibit repair, oversight of animal transfers, and data entry duties for their specific areas on a timetable to accomplish set goals. Duties include assisting in the preparation of divisional budget, developing and implementing work methods, procedures, and guidelines, assisting with Zoo educational/visitor engagement programs, maintaining adequate inventories of supplies and equipment, assisting in the review and evaluation of personnel and procedural performance and preparing reports for management review. Functions in providing an intellectual atmosphere conducive to the stimulation of interchange of ideas and has a clear comprehension of communication policies both horizontally and vertically. Duties may include related tasks and/or unrelated duties as assigned.

Responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:

 Manages and supports the daily work and husbandry activities of the assigned area(s), Keeper Staff and associated collection; Responsible for the on-going adherence to standard operating procedures (SOP), Standards & Assessments, and approved work methods.

 Develops and manages training and professional development program for staff that provides for measurable skill and knowledge development in animal husbandry and life support systems.

 Collaborates, as needed, with other departments and appropriate management staff in support of Zoo-wide visitor engagement activities.

 Develops and incorporate related conservation information and practices into visitor engagement activities (Meet-A-Keeper, etc) and presentations.

 Manages the selection of personnel, scheduling of department staff; reviews and evaluates staff performance, coaches corrective behavior and reports issues related to discipline, per Zoo protocols.

 Works with the Director of Animal Collections in implementing short and long range goals and objectives for the assigned area(s).

 Observe animals to determine the need for medical care; consulting the Director of Animal Collections and veterinarian staff in regard to animal condition and medical treatment.

 Responsible for ensuring compliance with the safety policies and procedures; ensuring all employees work in a safe manner, with appropriate protective equipment, and that all accidents and hazards within area of responsibility are promptly investigated and corrective action taken.

Minimum Qualifications:

 Bachelors degree in biology, zoology, or related field and 5 - 7 years of relevant experience as a Head Keeper/Team Leader role or Curator in a zoological institution or similar animal care facility; or an equivalent combination of education and experience sufficient to successfully perform the essential duties of the job.

 Relevant experience with herpetofauna and fish taxa.

 Three years relevant, comparable management-level experience, including programmatic planning, budgeting, and supervision, preferred.

 Knowledge/familiarity in handling techniques involved to safely manipulation of venomous taxa.

 Experience with aquatic systems, particularly those associated with Cryptobranchidae taxa.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

 Knowledge/familiarity with AZA accreditation standards, code of ethics and representative husbandry standards. Familiar with AZA or other captive population management programs.

 Knowledge/familiarity in handling techniques involved to safely manipulation of venomous taxa.

 Experience with aquatic systems, particularly those associated with Cryptobranchidae taxa.

 Proficiency with Microsoft Office products.

 Ability to effectively communicate with all staff levels, Board, senior and middle management, union, staff, donors and volunteers

 Knowledge of the care, basic medical procedures, feeding, and handling of the living residents within the assigned areas of responsibility.

 Knowledge of regulatory requirements (e.g., USDA, FWS & AZA guidelines) relating to the care and keeping of animals in captivity. Demonstrated ability to translate/interpret laws, rules, regulations and practices to convey an appropriate course of action.

 Analytical, interpersonal, public relations, presentation, and communications skills (verbal and written).

 Requires an individual who is highly professional, motivated, persistent, and helpful, who is able to gain cooperation through expertise, credibility, and building positive working relationships

 Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as part of a team; Demonstrated sensitivity to the “Mission” of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Working Conditions: Employment is contingent upon passing a post-offer, pre-employment drug & nicotine screen and background check. While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to stand, walk, and utilize manual dexterity to use computer mouse and keyboard and other office equipment. The incumbent is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions and must be able to lift/move/carry up to 50 pounds without assistance. Requires a valid driver’s license and be insurable through the Zoo’s carrier. The ability to work a flexible schedule, including holiday and weekend hours is required.

Salary & Benefits: This position is full-time, overtime-exempt, and subject to the successful completion of a 180-day probationary period. This position is not represented by a bargaining union and is eligible for the Zoo’s benefit programs for non-union employees. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a comprehensive benefits package including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off (vacation, holiday and sick leave); company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes.

To apply for this position: Qualified applicants must apply via our online application on our website at Cover letter and resume, and contact information for three (3) references should be included in your online application.

Founded in 1873 and officially open in 1875, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the second oldest Zoo in the United States. Rated by peer zoological parks as one of the best zoos in the nation, the Cincinnati Zoo continues to set the standard for conservation, education and preservation of wild animals and wild spaces. Over 1.2 million people visit the Zoo annually. The Zoo features more than 500 animal and 3,000 plant species, making it one of the largest Zoo collections in the country.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden was rated the #1 attraction in Cincinnati and one of the top five zoos in the nation by Zagat Survey. It has also been recognized by Child Magazine as one of "The 10 Best Zoos for Kids." The Zoo is an accredited member of the American Zoo & Aquarium Association (AZA), and is internationally known for its success in the protection and propagation of endangered animals and plants, and engages in research and conservation projects worldwide.

To learn more about our organization, please visit us at

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or other protected status.