Aquarist/Diver

Website South Carolina Aquarium

Job Summary:

Primarily responsible for the management of assigned aquatic animals and dive support for all aquatic exhibits, demonstrating exceptional animal care, dive knowledge and skill, and supporting public education goals; duties include all aspects of daily care, including frequent hands-on care of stingrays and sharks, feeding, cleaning, frequent diving with scuba and surface supply, animal training and enrichment, and related record keeping; collecting, acquisition and transportation of fish, interaction with aquarium visitors, maintenance of proper water quality and life support systems

Essential Functions:

  • Routinely dive with and handle sharks, stingrays, venomous fish, eels and sea turtles
  • Perform frequent dive related tank maintenance on any aquarium system as required
  • Evaluate animal health and life support requirements to maintain excellent animal health and welfare
  • Develop and distribute a proper nutritional diet
  • Quarantine and administer medications to animals
  • Properly and safely handle animals for all care needs (e.g. annual physicals, treatments, transport)
  • Support the aquarium’s animal behavior management program, including enrichment and training activities
  • Maintain proper water quality in all assigned systems
  • Maintain exhibit aesthetics, including proper tank and filter operation and periodic renovations
  • Design, construct, and maintain life support systems
  • Exhibit a high level of organization and daily backup area cleanliness
  • Periodically interact with aquarium guests, providing education and conservation information
  • Maintain accurate animal and enclosure records, supporting the daily use and advanced development of animal information software, TRACKS
  • Order supplies and maintain equipment
  • Select, locate, and acquire desired specimens primarily via local collection efforts
  • Provide routine coverage for other Animal Care positions
  • Be flexible with work schedule, being able to work weekends, holidays and evenings
  • Work unsupervised and make decisions consistent with the team philosophy
  • Supervise Volunteers and Interns, providing mentorship and support for the aquarium’s internship program
  • Adhere to all South Carolina Aquarium policies and procedures
  • Assist aquarium staff and visitors as needed in a pleasant, professional and courteous manner

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supports the mission by participating in Aquarium sponsored programs and events on a regular basis, such as daily education programs, membership programs, behind the scenes tours, and fundraising activities.
  • Assist in the continual development of exhibits and educational programs that align with aquarium goals
  • Other responsibilities as assigned (including meeting attendance, committee service, public relations support, social media content development)

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Ability to recognize and prevent animal diseases Knowledge of saltwater fishes and elasmobranchs
  • Ability to properly collect and handle specimens, including sharks and stingrays, using various methods from above and under water
  • Good working knowledge of water quality parameters and their relation to animal health
  • Understanding of the mechanical equipment necessary to maintain living exhibits, including sand filters, water pumps, protein skimmers, heat exchangers, ozone and UV filters
  • Knowledge and demonstrated skill of minor plumbing, carpentry and electrical work
  • Proficient in all MS Office Products including: Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook
  • Ability to pass dive physical, dive skill evaluation and swim test within 2 months of hire
  • Experience with diving in an aquarium setting
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • Boat handling and navigation skills a plus

Education and Experience Required:

  • BS in biology, aquatic biology or a closely related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years’ experience in exhibiting aquatic animals at an AZA-accredited facility or acceptable equivalent.

Licenses and Certifications Required:

  • SCUBA Certification with 50+ Open water dives
  • Valid Driver’s License

Supervision of Others:

  • Volunteers & Interns

Physical Requirements and Working Conditions:

Requires average walking, standing, bending, stooping, and crouching, climbing ladders, sitting, kneeling, balancing, pushing and pulling, crawling, working with tools, computer tasks and phone usage; should be able to lift/carry at least 50 lbs.; requires driving Aquarium vehicles.

Average exposure to minor or severe cuts; falls; falling objects; hazards to eyesight, hearing and sense of smell; and tight spaces. Often requires use of personal protective equipment due to exposure to chemicals, hazardous materials, ozone, and handling of animals.

This position requires works in both an office environment and outdoors, sometimes in extreme weather including both hot and cold; requires weekend and late-night work as needed; requires contact with customers, the general public, and outside vendors; requires carrying a cell phone and radio; requires occasional travel.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION:

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and others who identify as nonwhite, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and those with lived experience with racism and/or misogynoir are encouraged to apply for this role.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not construed to be an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by the personnel classified.

The Aquarium is an “at-will” employer, and as such, employment with the Aquarium is not for a fixed term, or definite period and may be terminated at the will of either party, with or without cause, and without prior notice.

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