Assistant Curator of Birds

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

SUMMARY: Under the general supervision of the Curator, provides direct supervision of assigned Animal Keepers. Duties include coordinating the activities within the Bird Department, facilitating the work of the Animal Keepers by ensuring that the keepers have the necessary tools, equipment and supplies; responsible for administrative functions such as scheduling, timekeeping, evaluations and progressive discipline. Orders, receives and distributes materials, supplies and food stuffs; and facilitates animal care operations within the Bird Department; reviews, develops and/or revises standard operating procedures or other reports; conducts or coordinates safety training.

Knowledge, Abilities and Skills: Requires extensive knowledge of the care and feeding of zoo animals, animal behavior and hazards of working with zoo animals; zoo rules, policies and procedures; includes knowledge of animal diseases and methods of preventing the spread of contagious disease, and principles of biology and zoology. Ability to perform heavy work including working safely and effectively with dangerous or exotic mammals, birds, reptiles and working effectively with Zoo employees as needed; keep operational records; prepare reports; deal courteously and effectively with the public. Must be able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Requirements: This position requires a minimum of 5 years of progressive animal husbandry experience, preferably at an AZA institution. Supervisory experience is preferred. A bachelor's degree in a related field is preferred. The ideal candidate should have familiarity with artificial incubation and handrearing of various avian species, propagation of various avian species, experience with restraint, crating, moving and medicating various avian species, experience with penguins and flamingos, familiar with operant conditioning, and familiar with TAG's and SSP's.


Supervises the work of Animal Keepers as assigned; coordinates and monitors sectional operations such as maintenance and repair activities, exhibit design, safety training, writing and updating Standard Operating Procedures and other assigned tasks.

Responsible for administrative functions including scheduling, timekeeping, repair work orders and the ordering, receipt and distribution of materials, supplies and food stuffs.

Implements, develops and/or revises standard operating procedures or other reports; conducts or coordinates safety training;

Inspects assigned section to ensure proper care, maintenance and safety of animals, their quarters and facilities; attempts to resolve problems which arise in regard to food, maintenance and safety.

Under direction of the respective Curator, completes Annual Performance Evaluations for all assigned subordinate staff including identification of performance objectives and identification of needed training.

Administers progressive discipline program consulting with department management and Human Resources.

Maintains or reviews necessary records of logs relating to animal observation and daily operations, as required; submits or reviews routine or emergency repair or maintenance requests; may prepare other reports for incidents such as industrial injury, accident or vandalism.

May assist other Zoo personnel on special assignments or projects relating to zoo operations such as reviewing, developing and planning upgrades of sections or sectional operations.

Upon request, prepares written proposals to management staff regarding exhibit modifications and/or renovations, nutrition, propagation programs, disease prevention and safety; may prepare reports containing background information resulting from the compilation of surveys or literature searches.

May be required to perform the duties of an animal keeper on an as-needed basis.

May be required to do public presentations for Zoo guests and VIP tours.


Assists marketing and development staff in promoting the Zoo's public image and attaining the Zoo's public relations and community service objectives.

Assists the Curator in maintaining contacts with individuals and organizations involved in promoting worldwide conservation ethics and goals.

Performs other duties as required and assigned.


A. Represents management and demonstrates a commitment to the Zoo's mission statement and its' values.

B. Performs duties in a service-oriented manner.

C. Recognizes the needs of others and treats others with respect and dignity.

D. Maintains good work habits and adheres to the employee handbook and all policies and procedures.

E. Demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a work environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment and supports the Office's commitment to equal employment opportunities.

F. Demonstrates a commitment to workplace safety and works with Safety Officer as needed.

G. Demonstrates good presentation skills in dealing with the public, Zoo Board and internal and external stakeholders.


APPLICATION: To apply, please complete an application at Please submit a resume and cover letter detailing your experience as it relates to this position. EOE