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California Academy of Sciences

Our mission is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration.

Biologist I

Come join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for ReefsThriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at
We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every ­one of the qualifications for the position.
The position is onsite in CA and can change as business needs warrant. The candidate must easily be able to work onsite in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when needed. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

Reporting to the Associate Veterinarian and Manager of the Animal Health Department, this position is responsible for supporting the health of the Steinhart Aquarium’s living collection. The Animal Health Department oversees the following Aquarium support functions: all aquatic and terrestrial quarantine and medical facilities, veterinary services, commissary, live feeds, and evening events. The Animal Health Biologist could provide coverage in any of these areas. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings, and holidays as assigned.

Support Functions:


  • Cross trains in all areas of the Animal Health Department to provide coverage and support.
  • Assists with the administration of prescribed treatments, anesthesia monitoring and clinical observations of sick or debilitated animals.
  • Performs and records gross necropsies of animals, including sampling of tissues for cytological, histological and bacteriological examinations and reports findings to the Veterinarians.
  • Assists with general maintenance of hospital, quarantine and laboratory areas, including the maintenance of diagnostic ultrasound, radiograph, and anesthesia machines.
  • Assists with the inventory of supplies, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Prepares food for the animals following established diets.
  • Cleans and disinfects work area on a daily basis and maintains the commissary in a neat, orderly manner to comply with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Association of Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) standards.
  • Provides the husbandry and maintenance of healthy live aquatic and terrestrial feeds by following established protocols.
  • Assists with animal health record keeping utilizing Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), Formstack, and treatment sheets.
  • Provides general maintenance and husbandry care for the aquatic or terrestrial quarantine areas.
  • Provides effective communication of treatment status, animal health concerns, and updates with the Aquarium staff on a routine basis.
  • Follows all established protocols to prevent cross contamination.


  • Cross trains in all areas of the Animal Health Department to provide coverage and support.
  • Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff.
  • Recruits, trains, and supervises volunteers.
  • Follows all Academy and Aquarium safety regulations.
  • Participates in Academy committees and work groups as needed.
  • Becomes fluent in our animal data software program - ZIMS.
  • Establishes and maintains positive, cooperative, and effective working relations with fellow employees. 
  • Actively participates in a culture promoting trust, respect, and accountability.
  • Presents programs to the general public, media, and in professional meetings.
  • Conducts general tours of the Aquarium and its support spaces.
  • Answers questions from the general public through a variety of means.
  • Interacts with professional colleagues, guests, the media, and the general public in a professional manner.
  • Other duties of a similar scope and nature as otherwise assigned.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Zoology, Marine or Aquatic Biology, Chemistry, or a related field of study preferred.
  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo, or aquaculture facility preferred.
  • Any veterinary or laboratory experience is preferred.
  • Registered Veterinary Technician licensure in the state of California, or the ability to obtain California state Registered Veterinary Technician licensure within 6 months of employment, is preferred.


  • Basic knowledge of animals such as fish, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles.
  • Basic knowledge of essential animal care requirements, natural habitats, and nutrition.
  • Basic knowledge of standard dissection, necropsy, and biological sampling procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of both individual animal and aquarium system treatment, disease pathology, diagnostic testing, and associated veterinary procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of standard aquarium water quality parameters.
  • Basic knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping, and life support systems.
  • Basic knowledge of USDA and AZA standards for animal care and welfare.
  • Basic knowledge of record-keeping software such as ZIMS, Formstack, and Google Drive.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective organizational and problem solving skills.
  • Effective at multitasking, adapting, and prioritizing.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team and engage in a culture that promotes trust, respect, and accountability.
  • Ability to utilize web-based communication and collaboration applications.
  • Ability to complete all required safety and chemical trainings.
  • Holds a valid California driver’s license or ability to obtain one.
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid Certification.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.


  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals.

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear.
  • Must be able to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75 % of the time.
  • Must be able to differentiate between colors.
  • Must be willing to work with hazardous materials.
  • Must be able to swim.
  • Must be willing to work with and adjacent to venomous and dangerous animals.
  • Must be able to work in humid areas without natural light.
  • Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled or August 31, 2022.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload a resume and complete the brief online application.
The California Academy of Sciences will consider for employment all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).
The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

How to Apply

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

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