Reports To: VP of Animal Husbandry & Marine Conservation
The Curator of Animal Husbandry / DSO oversees the administration and management of the living collection sections of the Living Core Aquarium at the Museum including specimen acquisition and disposition, exhibitry, system operations, exhibit standards, and associated programs. The position is responsible for reviewing designs, prototyping concepts, and part of the design team for changing exhibits. The Curator is the direct manager for all animal care and life support staff at the Museum. The Curator ensures all policies, procedures, and permits are followed.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Oversees the husbandry operation of the Living Core Aquarium, including its physical and human resources, in a manner consistent with the needs of the organization’s stated goals.
- Ensures that all departmental and institutional policies, protocols and procedures are implemented.
- Manages assigned staff, including the selection, training, development, counseling, and appraisal of departmental employees.
- Recommends salary, promotion, disciplinary and other personnel actions relevant to the department. Works closely with the VP of Animal Husbandry to implement these actions.
- Works closely with interdepartmental representatives, as needed, to review, evaluate, and coordinate implementation of interpretive material, special programs, projects, exhibits, or problems, which impact the department and institution.
- Initiates and/ or collaborates actively in development and planning meetings, including staff and problem-solving meetings.
- Plans and administers approved section budgets. Identifies and implements capital projects within the section. Plans and administers approved project budgets, as assigned.
- Determines animal needs for the collection and works with the VP of Animal Husbandry to create and implement an acquisition plan.
- Manages and coordinates collecting trips. Implements approved Collection Plan.
- Contacts personnel at other aquariums, specimen suppliers, vendors, US Customs officials when dealing with animal shipments, State, Federal and overseas regulatory agencies for permits, media personnel and local fishers and collectors.
- Develops and maintains partnerships for specimen acquisition and exchange in the zoo and aquarium community.
- Troubleshoots and mitigates all issues or situations with potential impact to the health of the animal collection.
- Completes all animal care, exhibit maintenance and improvements without disruption or minimal impact to visitors or the visitor experience.
- Manages the Life Support staff of the Husbandry Department to troubleshoot water system problems, recommends and jointly develops solutions, and implements them.
- Ensures that exhibit areas and collection animals are maintained at AZA standards.
- Identifies animal health problems and works with veterinary staff to assist in the correct diagnosis and development and implementation of an effective treatment plan.
- Source adequate food, supplies, medications and enclosures for the live collection of the Living Core.
- Instills a conservation and research ethic within the department through cooperation and involvement with recognized institutions and organizations. Oversees research within the department.
- Develop and oversee policies and procedures that ensure the safety of staff, interns, volunteer, guest/VIP and contract divers at all Museum-related diving operations, both on-site and in the field.
- Ensures that goals for an excellent visitor experience are met and maintained.
- Serves as departmental representative to visiting professionals, guests, and the media. Answers verbal and written public and professional inquiries.
- Maintains knowledge of industry innovations and new techniques through professional meetings and conferences, trade journals, and regular communication with professional colleagues.
- Other duties as assigned or required
- Establish humane, respectful and environmentally responsible husbandry practices in compliance with all state and federal regulations.
- Assists with the development of animal collection policies, procedures and training manuals.
- Ensure that all permit regulations are followed and staff are trained on regulations.
- Assist in review and in development of aquatic exhibit designs and life support systems.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Knowledge of aquatic animal husbandry techniques, aquatic life support operations, aquatic animal nutrition and aquatic animal veterinary practices.
- Knowledge of closed system aquarium operation with mixed taxa.
- Knowledge of species native to South Florida preferred.
- Knowledge of marine conservation issues of South Florida preferred.
- Knowledge of aquatic, biology, and basic chemistry concepts and be able to apply to an Aquarium setting.
- Knowledge and recognition and treatment of common aquatic diseases, aquatic husbandry techniques and aquarium maintenance, including water quality, cleaning, and advanced exhibitry.
- Knowledge of Federal and State permitting necessary for collection and possession of aquatic animal collections.
- Must be proficient in Dive safety, SCUBA procedures.
- Ability to decide when to act independently on behalf of department and when to seek consultation from the VP of Animal Husbandry.
- Ability to develop and implement significant programs and projects.
- Ability to share information and knowledge via a variety of mediums to staff, including teaching, coaching, and mentoring.
- Ability to communicate clearly and professionally with guests, colleagues, staff, media and other individuals.
- Ability to respond to a variety of supervisory related circumstances including selection, performance management, and termination.
- Knowledge and experience in aquatic animal collecting techniques
- Experience in aquarium or zoo diving program is highly desirable.
- Small boat handling skills.
- Skills in plumbing and carpentry.
- Skilled in the use of hand and power tools.
- Skilled at observation for signs of illness or injury, monitoring of eating patterns or any changes in behavior
- Skill in database management and MS Office, including spreadsheets.
- Ability to supervise staff and manage human resources effectively.
- Ability to implement financial plans and budgets.
- Ability to work collaboratively to develop, plan, and implement short- and long-range goals.
- Ability to create, compose, and edit written materials.
- Ability to work in extreme conditions outdoors, in the field and indoors with irregular hours and schedules.
- Ability to respond to after-hours alarms and animal or life support issues.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor's degree in Biological or Environmental Science
- 6 years of aquatic animal husbandry experience at an aquarium or zoo with 1 year supervisory experience (work in an AZA accredited facility is preferred as is experience with other animal taxa such as avian and reptile collections).
- Nationally recognized certification as an Open Water Scuba diver or higher required
- Boat handling and field collecting experience is preferred.
The physical demands 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 regularly required to sit; use hands to handle, or feel; and talk and hear. The employee is required to stand and walk for prolonged periods of time, along with climbing and reaching with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move from to 50 to 70 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and ability to adjust focus.
Must be able to work in high and low places.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those as employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Work is performed both indoors and in outdoor settings. Outdoor work subject to temperatures up to 100 degrees, rain, humidity and sun. Work will also be conducted on a boat with the same outdoor conditions already listed.
- Level 2 background clearance as defined by Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
- Drug screening as part of the Drug Free Workplace Programs
- Must have received or be willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine(s) by date of hire to be considered for employment unless applicant is eligible for an exemption and able to provide supporting documentation for an accommodation under Title VII and/or ADA with the Human Resources Department.
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