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Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society

Aquatic Biologist

SUMMARY: 

The Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society is currently seeking a full-time Aquatic Biologist to provide world-class animal care to our amazing aquatic animals, in both closed and open-water systems.  We are in the process of re-imagining our beautiful tropical Zoo, and are looking to bring in new expertise and enthusiasm.  The Zoo staff work in a positive, team-oriented environment to support our mission to inspire people to act on behalf of wildlife.  Tribe members promote increased environmental awareness and conservation through excellent animal care and management practices, coupled with positive visitor experiences.

The ideal candidate will have a strong fish and aquatic reptile care background with a deep experience in designing and operating life support systems and maintaining artificial pond ecosystems.  They will also have experience in a water lab setting and can use water quality data to create ideal aquatic environments.  They will have a desire to engage visitors during formal and informal interactions where they share their passion for animal wellness and preservation of wild places.  Finally, they will demonstrate a solid track record of workplace competency performance, including communication, teamwork, efficiency, emotional intelligence, leadership, planning, change management and administration.

MINIMUM DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Perform animal husbandry tasks (feed, clean, train, etc) for water-breathing animals (tetras, axolotls, other fresh-water fish) – daily
  • Visually inspect and record the status of every open and closed aquatic system on property - daily
  • Collect water samples from habitats and run tests - daily
  • Record water quality results and distribute them to zoologists and vet staff - daily
  • Work with zoologist and vet staff to address any water quality issues - daily/as needed
  • Create, update and ensure compliance with Standard Operating Procedures – as needed
  • Perform routine maintenance on all aquatic life support equipment (clean filter baskets, perform backwashes, change UV bulbs, etc) – as needed
  • Oversee periodic/annual maintenance on all aquatic life support equipment – as needed
  • Perform routine maintenance on water quality equipment and maintain/order supplies - daily
  • Perform repairs to LSS (PVC plumbing under 2’’, pump rebuilds, sand filter rebuilds, ozone systems, etc) – as needed
  • Store and administer medications according to USDA standards and the prescriptions issued by veterinary staff - as needed
  • Develop sustainable/green environmental practices and act as a leader in this area – as needed  
  • Communicate safety and health concerns to appropriate staff – as needed
  • Assist in the capture and restraint of animals for transfer and veterinary procedures – as needed
  • Participate in animal behavioral training program and commit to learning training techniques – as needed
  • Design and execute behavioral shaping plans for all animals under their care – as needed
  • Participate in exhibit concept design and collection planning discussions – as needed
  • Participate in discussions with contractors to formulate and execute water quality master plan – as needed
  • Provide informal guest presentations – daily
  • Initiate informal talks and encounters - daily
  • Participate in educational programs as assigned (zoo camp, fee based encounters, etc) – as needed
  • Serve as a representative to the media – as needed
  • Handle program animals for events and encounters – as needed
  • Participate in drills and emergency response and provide feedback on the experience – as needed

COMPETENCIES:

  • Integrity/Trust — Maintaining social, ethical, and organizational values and norms; building trust and confidence with the staff and with internal and external customers; respecting the confidentiality of personal and proprietary information.
  • Initiative — Taking actions to achieve goals; self-starting and proactive; asserting oneself to support others in the achievement of their goals; originating action rather than responding only to the actions of others; anticipating the needs of both internal and external constituencies.
  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates courtesy, cooperation and friendliness with staff, volunteers and customers. Actively listens, anticipates and evaluates the customer’s needs. Ensures that customer satisfaction is a priority in all areas of responsibility. Actively engages our customers while fulfilling job responsibilities.
  • Analysis—Obtaining relevant information and identifying key issues and relationships from a base of information; comparing data from different sources (both interactive and written); defining underlying problems or opportunities and recognizing trends; defining and structuring functions and teams based on key strategies and goals.
  • Teamwork — Supporting, facilitating, and participating in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrating sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and supporting team goals.
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Remains current on developments in the field within and outside the organization; maintains proficiencies
  • Planning and Organizing — Establishing a course of action with specific long-range goals for the Zoo; setting priorities among competing requirements and allocating resources in the most efficient and effective way; developing contingency plans that participate changes in the work environment.
  • Collaboration — Works well with people outside their immediate work group.

EXPERIENCE:

  • Minimum of three years’ experience in aquatic animal husbandry programs at a museum, zoo, aquarium, aquaculture facility, or related field
  • Four-year degree in biological science, or related science; or equivalent experience
  • Ability to work with mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, invertebrates and plants
  • Advanced knowledge of the mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering aspects of maintaining biological systems
  • Advanced knowledge and experience of water quality maintenance and trouble-shooting
  • Experience with aquatic life support design, building and maintenance
  • Ability to operate and maintain tools and equipment necessary for the care of the plant and animal collection
  • Experience with positive reinforcement-based animal training a plus
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to work a schedule which includes weekends, holidays and evenings

Perks

WHAT WE OFFER: • A competitive salary, commensurate with your skills and experience • An EXCELLENT benefits package (current year/plan), which includes: • 100% paid employee level coverage for designated medical & dental plan • 100% paid coverage for 100K of life insurance • 100% paid short-term disability • 100% paid long-term disability • 401K – Employer contributes 3% of your salary • Optional vision, accident and critical illness coverages available through pre-tax payroll deductions • Generous paid time off policy, Zoo Membership and FREE admission to other Florida Attractions!

How to Apply

To apply – email your cover letter and resume to Mike Terrell, Curator of Wildlife Programs and Wellness at jobs@palmbeachzoo.org - Please include your name followed by “Aquatic Biologist” in the subject line of the email. The position will be open until filled. We will contact qualified candidates whom we have chosen to move forward in the interview process.

Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
1301 Summit Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL 33405

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