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SAFE Sharks and Rays Conservation Coordinator


The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. AZA represents more than 235 facilities in the United States and overseas, which collectively draw more than 200 million visitors every year. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums meet the highest standards in animal care and welfare and provide a fun, safe, and educational family experience. In addition, they dedicate millions of dollars annually to support scientific research, conservation, and education programs.

The AZA SAFE (Saving Animals from Extinction) program was established in 2015 to harness the collective expertise, resources, and reach of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to save species and promote wildlife protection. The SAFE species program brings groups of AZA members together with field-based partners to enhance the probability of conservation success for threatened species or a group of related taxa in the wild. Specifically, SAFE species programs:

  • Protect threatened animals in the wild.

  • Build on established recovery plans and track records of commitment.

  • Prioritize collaboration among AZA member institutions and field-based partners.

  • Implement both strategic conservation and public engagement activities.

  • Measure and report real conservation.


There are currently 28 SAFE species programs, including the SAFE Sharks and Rays Program (Program). The SAFE Sharks and Rays Program goal is to enable evidence-based support for conservation action, engage action among key public and stakeholder groups, support science based shark conservation communication, and create opportunities for partners to provide direct, impactful, and collaborative support for the conservation of this taxa.



The overarching goal of the AZA SAFE Sharks and Rays Program’s 2022-24 Conservation Plan (Plan) is to integrate Program into existing global collaborative efforts to safeguard shark and ray populations. It will use AZA institutions’ unique position, access, and knowledge base to: 

  • Expand relationships, close data gaps, and enhance understanding of species biology and ecology to enable evidence-based support for conservation action. 

  • Promote meaningful change and engage positive action among key public and stakeholder groups. 

  • Drive a change of narrative in shark conservation – supporting communication that is engaging, directed, and aligned with the goals of science-based shark conservation. 

  • Create opportunities for AZA facilities and private partners to provide support in the most direct, impactful, and collaborative process for conservation of this taxa. 

The AZA SAFE Sharks and Rays Program Conservation Coordinator (Coordinator) will play a key role in supporting work to execute the conservation plan. The Coordinator will work with Program leadership, Steering Committee members, partners, and advisors to provide project management, communications, and fundraising support for key strategies outlined in the conservation plan. 

This is a one-year remote contract with SAFE Sharks and Rays through funds managed by Seattle Aquarium. The Coordinator will report directly to the SAFE Sharks and Rays Program Leader. Periodic travel at the expense of the project will be required of the Coordinator.


Scope of Work

The Coordinator will conduct the following activities:

Project Management 

  • Provide project management and programmatic support for conservation, public engagement, public awareness, communication, and fundraising strategies. 

  • Help to coordinate, track, and report on actions and metrics outlined in the Conservation Plan, or added by the Steering Committee to facilitate plan progress and success.

  • Coordinate calls and meetings, including scheduling, preparation, and recording and disseminating meeting notes. 

  • Management of communications archive.

  • Provide regular project updates and reports for Program steering committee and conservation partners. 


  • Assist Program partners with the development and promotion of public engagement tools including an online ‘action hub’, social media plan, and website. 

  • Work with Program partners to develop strategic public messaging via press, social media and other channels to raise the visibility and awareness of the Program within and outside of the AZA community.

  • Support the Program leadership in AZA conference (midyear and annual) preparations to include presentations, session abstract submissions and similar activities to optimize program conference engagement with stakeholders.


• Support the Program Advancement Committee in the creation and implementation of a fundraising strategy to fund the conservation plan including 100% financial support of the program coordinator position by year 3 of the current conservation plan.


Experience Required

Qualifications • College degree required; Project management certification preferred. • More than five years managing complex projects within the zoo and aquarium community. • Demonstrated effective written and verbal communication skills. • Ability to work independently and exercise independent judgment. • Demonstrated attention to detail. • Demonstrated time management skills and experience in tools and technologies that promote effective management. • Experience managing and prioritizing tasks from multiple sources. • Interest in ocean conservation and an eagerness to learn. • Proven diplomatic and collegiate working style, experienced working with diverse stakeholders and collaborators.

Further Comments

Contract Amount Total contract amount is NTE $52,000. Seeking a 12-month commitment at approximately 30 hours per week.


NTE $52,000

How to Apply

Submission of Proposals

  • Deadline for proposals is Monday, May 9th, by 5pm Eastern Time (ET).

  • Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF via email with SAFE Consultant and your last name in the subject line to Hap Fatzinger, SAFE Program Leader, at  Inquiries may also be made to this address.

  • The submitted proposal must include (as a single pdf document): 

    1. The name, address, telephone, and email of the applicant. 

    2. Statement of ability to perform required tasks (not to exceed 3 pages). 

    3. Resume 

    4. Names of 3 professional references. 

Finalists may be contacted for interviews by the selection committee. Expected start date is June 1, 2022

Seattle, WAPhone: Seattle Aquarium

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