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Kansas City Zoo


The Life Support Curator is responsible for assisting with the development, planning and coordination of all aspects of activities in assigned areas, and the overall direction of the Life Support Team. This position also works closely with the animal managerial staff to coordinate daily operations, as well as formulating short-, mid- and long-term plans for the department.
This position requires extensive experience leading teams who operate and maintain aquatic life support systems. Additionally, this position will oversee and ensure that all Life Support Systems (LSS) are functioning properly to assure proper water quality, clarity, and chemistry.
The Kansas City Zoo is currently constructing a new 60,000 square foot, 600,000-gallon state of the art aquarium.  The Life Support Curator will be responsible for hiring additional team members, as well as collaborating with the on-site teams to learn the LSS designs and create procedures for safe operation.
Oversees the overall operation of all aquatic life support systems, including:
  • Working closely with animal care staff to maintain all life support systems, keeping water quality within established animal care parameters.
  • Overseeing aquarium/exhibit water resources and supply operations.
  • Partnering with other curators to meet industry standards related to animal health and welfare.
  • Overseeing all maintenance, repairs, and replacement of aquatic life support systems.
  • Overseeing the efficient and optimal operation of all LSS equipment, determining schedules for preventative and routine maintenance as required.
  • Maintaining effective and proactive communication between life support staff and animal care staff.
  • Acting as point of contact with facilities staff concerning logistics for day-to-day LSS operations.
  • Ensuring that all records are created, accessible, and maintained according to established record retention schedules and established accreditation and regulatory standards.
  • Overseeing the creation of, and commitment to, department and area operating and safety standards.
  • Assisting with the procurement of necessary supplies for the department.
Oversees the overall management of area staff, including:
  • Directly overseeing the work and development of the life support staff.
  • Assisting with hiring, coaching, monitoring and evaluation of life support staff.
Works with other departments to ensure overall Zoo goals and strategies are being met, including assistance with media, tours, speaking engagements, meetings and other events.
Assists with the developing and monitoring of department budget.
Assists with the creation and implementation of departmental and collection strategic plans.
*This position may at times be requested to perform other duties or special projects as assigned, which are in the best interest of the Kansas City Zoo.
    1. Bachelor’s Degree in a science based field or related required.
    2. SCUBA certification preferred
    1. Minimum of 5 years’ related LSS experience at an accredited AZA facility required.
    2. At least 2 years’ experience in a supervisory/managerial position required.
    3. Comprehensive and working knowledge of life support systems required.
    4. Strong observation skills to recognize and evaluate conditions of a wide variety of aquatic life support systems. 
    5. Knowledge of safety requirements and protocols required while working with life support systems.
    6. Strong computer skills, including Microsoft Office, preferred.
    7. Strong verbal and written communication skills.
    1. Must have valid driver’s license.
    2. Must have or be able to obtain negative TB test.
    3. Must be able to lift 50 pounds and have sufficient mobility to ensure a safe work environment.
    4. Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.
    5. Must be able to tolerate stress, endure high risk situations when feeding, transferring, or restraining animals, and make immediate decisions concerning the safety of animals, staff or the public.
    6. Must be willing to work a flexible schedule, including weekends, holidays and evening hours, in all weather extremes.
    7. Must pass a background and drug screening.
    8. Must be vaccinated or agree to become vaccinated for COVID-19, to work safely with staff and the animals under the team's care.

How to Apply

Kansas City Zoo
6800 Zoo Drive
Kansas City, MO 64132
Phone: (816) 595-1234

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