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Turtle Back Zoo

Aquarist (Part-time)

The Turtle Back Zoo is looking for a dynamic individual who possesses an understanding of life support systems and aquarium husbandry to join our Aquarist team. The successful candidate will need to have management skills and competency to under direction, work with aquariums and life support systems for a diverse collection of marine mammals, carnivores, small mammals, reptiles, elasmobranchs and bony fishes, cephalopods, and reef invertebrates.


  • Daily water quality analysis utilizing a variety of analytical instrumentation
  • Cleans tanks and removes algae from tank windows.
  • Attends to aquatic plants and decorations in displays.
  • Maintains a high level of organization and cleanliness in work areas.
  • Design and manage LSS systems for continued improvements, upgrades and new exhibits.
  • Prepares food and feeds fish according to schedule.
  • Observes collection to detect disease and injuries, may treat fish according to veterinary instructions.
  • Prepares specimens for exhibits.
  • Serves as an instructor or guide to provide conservation education experiences for guests.
  • Presents information about marine life through slide shows for staff, develops and distributes handbooks as needed.
  • Assists during educational field trips or camps.
  • Keeps an accurate inventory of stock and supplies.
  • Keeps records and makes reports.
  • Responsible for understanding and review of protocols, programmatic guidelines and management to meet AZA accreditation standards.

Experience Required

EXPERIENCE: Minimum of one (1) year experience working with a diverse collection of fish, aquatic mammals, birds and other aquatic life in an aquarium, museum or AZA zoo. Includes experience in water quality testing, life support system maintenance, as well as a working knowledge of diseases, behavior, breeding, and feeding characteristics of various species of fish. NOTE: Satisfactory completion of six (6) semester hours of credit in graduate level marine biology, marine science, or ichthyology or related field from an accredited college or university may be substituted for the above experience. LICENSE: Appointees will be required to possess a driver's license valid in New Jersey only if the operation of a vehicle, rather than employee mobility, is necessary to perform the essential duties of the position. KNOWLEDGE AND ABILITIES: • Knowledge of aquatic life, its origin, behavior, disease, and life processes. • Knowledge of the relationship of fish and other aquatic life to their environment. • Ability to present fish and other aquatic life specimens for educational tours and presentations • Knowledge of life support systems and ability to adapt to changing exhibits and systems. • Ability to lift 50 lbs. on a repetitive basis • Ability to work indoors and outdoors in adverse conditions • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team • Ability to work cooperatively with a diverse team of passionate aquatic specialists • Ability to care for fish and fish tanks, and to keep the area clean. • Ability to instruct others in caring for aquatic life and fish tanks. • Ability to recognize signs of diseases, behavior characteristics of various species of fish, and other characteristics critical to their care and preservation. • Ability to research and order necessary supplies to keep the areas stocked with appropriate PPE and equipment. • Ability to learn to utilize various types of electronic and/or manual recording and information systems used by the agency, office, or related units. • Ability to present facts and other information before small groups consisting of school-age children, and adults. • Ability to develop handbooks containing basic facts, natural history, conservation and other pertinent information concerning marine life. • Ability to schedule and confirm tours, make reports, and keep accurate records.

How to Apply

To be considered, email resume, cover letter, and references AS A SINGLE DOCUMENT to Curator of Herps/Aquaria AT CTORREGROSA@PARKS.ESSEXCOUNTYNJ.ORG

Please put AQUARIST in the Subject Line.

Turtle Back Zoo
560 Northfield Rd
West Orange, NJ 07052

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