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North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

Aquarist (Museum Curator I)

**This position is posted at a recruitment salary range of $39,611 - $42,448 and at
  salary grade equivalent GN10** 
 This position will be located at: 
 The Aquarium at Fort Fisher
  New Hanover County, NC
Department Information: 
The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources’ (DNCR) vision is to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational, and economic future of North Carolina. Our mission is to improve quality of life by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries, and nature throughout North Carolina. The Department works to stimulate learning, inspire creativity, preserve the state's history, conserve the state's natural heritage, encourage recreation and cultural tourism, and promote economic development. Our goal is to promote equity and inclusion among our employees and our programming to reflect and celebrate our state’s diverse population, culture, and history by expanding engagement with diverse individuals and communities. We encourage you to apply to become a part of our team.
The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher, located 20 miles south of Wilmington, NC, in Kure Beach, overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Cape Fear river. A living collection of over 2,000 animals in 93,000 ft2 of exhibit space attracts and engages over 440,000 visitors each year. The Aquarium is surrounded by protected woodland, marsh and beach. Visitors often plan to stop at sites adjacent to the Aquarium - Fort Fisher State Recreation Area and historic Fort Fisher Civil War museum. Fort Fisher Aquarium is a unique place to visit, and work.
Description of Work:
This position reports directly to the Aquarium Curator. The primary responsibility of this position is to care for the physical and psychological needs of the animals assigned to them. This person is also responsible for the daily care of all animals in the display, holding and quarantine systems.
This individual is also required to maintain life support systems as well as exhibit aesthetics.  Primary duties include:
  • Determining individual animal nutritional needs, securing, culturing, preparing, and feeding of the jellyfish species and other animals assigned to them.
  • Daily care and maintenance of jellyfish, associated life support, flow, and propagation; saltwater and freshwater fish, and other aquatic invertebrates, and some reptile and amphibian care.
  • Recognizing symptoms of disease and poor animal health and administering appropriate treatments.
  • Ability to assess animal welfare on regular basis.
  • An understanding of operant conditioning, and implementation of behavior training.
  • Enthusiastically interpret animal care, enrichment and training during scheduled public programs
  • Maintaining life support systems.
  • Maintaining water chemistry in all assigned systems.
  • Managing effective quarantine of newly acquired specimens.
  • Ability to work within permitting guidelines of protected species.
  • Maintaining accurate data bases.
  • Designing and creating new aquarium exhibits.
  • Conducting SCUBA assisted diving to clean tanks, perform educational programs and acquire/collect specimens.
  • Responding to animal strandings and rehabilitation 
  • Must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Weekend and holiday work required.
Must meet DNCR Fleet Safety Guidelines and have the ability to obtain and maintain a valid NC driver's license.
If selected for hire, a background check will be completed prior to first day of work.  A skills assessment may be conducted during the interviewing process for this position.

Experience Required

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities / Competencies **To receive credit for your work history and credentials, you must list the information on the application form. Any information omitted from the application form will not be considered for qualifying credit** In order to qualify for this position you must meet ALL the following KSA's listed below: 1. Experience managing jellyfish species, saltwater and freshwater fish, and other aquatic invertebrates in the care of a public Aquarium, Zoo or Museum setting. 2. Experience with operant conditioning, training, and behavioral enrichment in a public Aquarium, Zoo or Museum setting. 3. Experience maintaining life support systems and associated water chemistry at a public Aquarium, Zoo or Museum setting. 4. SCUBA certification from a nationally recognized organization. 5. Must have a valid NC Driver's License or the ability to obtain one for employment. 6. Must be able to lift 50 lbs. 7. Weekend and holiday work is required. Minimum Education and Experience Requirements: Bachelor's degree in Art History, Biology, Botany, Conservation, Education, History or Zoology from an appropriately accredited institution and two years of museum or related work; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Supplemental and Contact Information The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) selects applicants for employment based on required education and experience and job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, genetic information, political affiliation or political influence.

Further Comments

Management Preferences: Preferred candidate would have several years of experience of jellyfish care to include: habitat maintenance, acquisition/collection/shipping, establishing, and maintaining jellyfish cultures.


For permanent appointments: State of North Carolina employees have the opportunity to participate in a compelling array of benefits to enhance their quality of life, their health, and their future. Benefits include employee health insurance options, standard and supplemental retirement plans, NC Flex (a variety of high-quality, low cost benefits on a pre-tax basis), and paid vacation, sick, and community service leave, to name a few. Paid parental leave is available for eligible employees. Some benefits require 30 + hours work/week for participation. To find out about these, and other programs, please visit our Employee Benefits page:


$39,611.00 - $67,060.00 Annually, Recruitment range $39,611-$42,448 annually

How to Apply

Please be sure to complete the application in full.  Note the following: 
Resumes and cover letters:  Resumes will not be accepted in lieu of a fully completed application nor will it be considered for qualifying credit.  "See Resume" or "See Attachment" will not be accepted with your application being rejected as incomplete.  Cover letters are highly encouraged but not required.    
Transcripts:  Degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions and a copy of your transcripts indicating the degree received can be uploaded with your application.  If the position you are applying for requires verification of classes taken for the position, then your transcripts must be uploaded to be considered.  
Veterans Preference:  To obtain veterans preference, you must scan and upload a copy of your DD-214 or discharge orders.
Americans with Disabilities:  Applicants requesting an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are eligible to submit paper applications via mail or by fax.  Please call the human resources office for assistance.
Please refrain from submitting multiple applications, however; If multiple applications are submitted to an individual posting, only the most recent application received prior to the closing date will be accepted. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on the closing date.
Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to provide information regarding the status of your application over the phone. To check the status of your application, please log in to your account.  Upon the closing date, applications are "Under Review" and will be screened by Human Resources for the qualified applicants. The hiring process may take an average of 6 – 8 weeks.  
It is the policy of the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources that all employees provide proof of employment eligibility (immigration and naturalization) on the first day of employment. We participate in E-Verify (Employment Eligibility Verification System).
If you are having technical issues submitting your application, please call the NeoGov Help Line at 855-524-5627. If there are any questions about this posting, other than your application status, please contact the DNCR Human Resources Office.
N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
Division of Human Resources
4603 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4603
Phone:  919-814-6670

North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Rd
Kure Beach, NC 28449
Phone: 910-772-0500
Fax: 910-458-6812

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