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Biologist I, Animal Care

The American Association of Zoo Keepers
San Francisco, California, US
Closing date
Oct 15, 2023

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Aquarium / Zoo / Botanical garden
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
About the Opportunity:
Reporting to the Terrestrial Curator, the Biologist I is responsible for providing animal and plant care for the Steinhart Aquarium's living collection in various exhibit areas as assigned. Cleans habitats and holding areas, monitors animal and plant health, makes frequent daily rounds, reports suspected animal or water quality problems to a department lead, maintains accurate records. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays.

Organizational Culture:
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 Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 - that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. 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.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination 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. The California Academy of Sciences is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace, to protect its employees, volunteers and guests.

About the Terrestrial Team:
The Terrestrial Team is integral to the living collections at the Academy. This team is responsible for the mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, terrestrial invertebrate, and plant collections, including some of the freshwater collection as well. The Osher Rainforest is a three-story spectacular representation of a rainforest habitat, with an awesome plant collection, free-ranging exotic birds and butterflies, and herp/invertebrate habitats throughout. The Amazon Gallery showcases native species to the Amazon region, including species such as freshwater stingrays, electric eel, and many others. Several other galleries are also represented (Swamp, Venoms, Water Planet), and showcase a great diversity of the animal world. The Terrestrial Team is one of the teams within the Steinhart Aquarium. The Aquarium is a collaborative, supportive and innovative department that promotes a culture of trust, accountability and respect.

Key Responsibilities:
Provides daily animal and plant care and habitat maintenance including animal feedings, habitat and back of house cleaning, health monitoring and environmental sampling for one or more of the following: freshwater aquariums, terrestrial invertebrate, reptile, amphibian, bird, plant and mammal habitats and holding areas.
Actively participates in the animal welfare and behavioral husbandry programs.
Assists in animal treatments and procedures as required.
Assists in the design and preparation of new display environments and habitats.
Actively seeks further training with all taxa represented in the living collection.
Maintains accurate records using the department's standardized software programs.
Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff.
Establishes and maintains positive, cooperative and effective working relations with fellow employees.
Participates in Academy committees and work groups as needed.
Presents programs to the general public, media and in professional meetings.
Interacts with professional colleagues, guests, the media and the general public in a professional manner.
Follows all Academy safety regulations.
Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:
Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers.
Education and Pre-requisites
Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo or similar facility caring for animals and/or plants.
Bachelor's degree in Biology, Zoology, Aquatic Biology or a related field, preferred.

Basic knowledge of essential animal care and welfare requirements for the living collection.
Basic knowledge of USDA and AZA standards for animal care and welfare.
Basic knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping and life support systems.
Excellent observation skills.
Effective verbal and written communication skills.
Effective organizational and problem solving skills.
Ability to multitask, adapt, and prioritize.
Ability to read and interpret documents such as departmental protocols, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
Ability to present programs and effectively convey information to guests, the general public, the media, colleagues, and in professional meetings.
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.
Willingness to seek further training in animal and plant husbandry.
Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid certification.
Ability to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.
SCUBA certified or able to attain SCUBA certification, preferred.
Experience with scientific research projects, preferred.

Physical Environment:
Ability to transport 50 lbs.
Ability to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.
Requires the ability to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear.
Must be able to work a computer.
Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.
Must be able to swim.
Must be able to use extension poles, long-handled nets and shepherd's hooks.
Must be able to work with, or adjacent to, venomous and dangerous animals.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.
Compensation and benefits
Hourly hiring range: $27.07 - $34.44 per hour
Schedule: Part-Time, 16 hours per week
Application instructions
This position will close August 16, 2023. Review of applications will begin on August 14, 2023.

Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page using the following link:

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to 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).

We are committed to ensuring that all employees and applicants shall receive equal consideration and treatment. All terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to, recruitment, hiring, placements, transfers, promotions, compensation, benefits, terminations, training, and social and recreational programs, will be on the basis of qualifications of the individual for the positions being filled. The Academy does not discriminate against qualified applicants or employees with respect to any terms or conditions of employment on account of any characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance. Read our full Equal Opportunity Statement here.

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