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Assistant Curator of Animal Husbandry BEC (Full Time)

Department: Husbandry
Location: Miami, FL

Job Description

Job Title: Assistant Curator of Animal Husbandry - BEC
Department: Husbandry
Reports To: Curator of Animal Husbandry


  1. Assistant Curator of Animal Husbandry assists with the administration and management of the Batchelor Environmental Center (BEC) as well as other off-site projects. This position is responsible for maintaining the aquatic and avian enclosures at the BEC including the upkeep of the life support systems. Maintains a high level of animal care for all specimens in collection and coordinates with the animal health team regarding new treatments and procedures. Assists with specimen acquisition and disposition for the living collection including transports to Frost Science and other facilities. Oversees quarantine of new acquisitions according to Frost protocols. Trains and manages off-site husbandry team members and coordinates staffing and coverage needs. Maintains working relationship with conservation partners as well as vendors, including groundskeepers.


  • Helps ensure that all departmental and institutional policies, protocols and procedures are implemented.
  • Ensures humane, respectful and environmentally responsible husbandry practices are conducted in compliance with all state and federal regulations.
  • Manages assigned staff at BEC, including the selection, training, development, counseling, and appraisal of assigned employees.
  • 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.
  • Collaborates actively in development and planning meetings, including staff and problem-solving meetings.
  • Participates in facility planning, research and design.
  • Basic water testing using correct lab practices and procedures (as needed).
  • 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.
  • Assists with the development of animal collection policies, procedures and training manuals.
  • Troubleshoots and mitigates all issues or situations with potential impact to the health of the animal collection.
  • Works closely with Life Support staff to troubleshoot water system problems, and jointly develops solutions, and implements them.
  • Ensures that habitats and collection animals are maintained at AZA standards.
  • Identifies animal health problems and works with animal health staff to assist in the correct diagnosis, development and implementation of an effective treatment plan.
  • Helps source adequate food, supplies, medications and enclosures for the collection at BEC.
  • Helps instill a conservation and research ethic within the department through cooperation and involvement with recognized institutions and organizations. Oversees research within the department.
  • Ensures that third party groups (conservationists and vendors) operate accordingly to company policies.
  • Assists with the maintenance of the collection boat.
  • 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


  • 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 life support systems and water quality parameters for aquatic species.
  • 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 proper quarantine procedures for a variety of taxa.
  • Knowledge and experience in aquatic animal collecting and transport techniques.
  • 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 construct and operate aquatic Life Support Systems, including plumbing and carpentry.
  • Ability to work collaboratively to develop, plan, and implement short- and long-range goals.
  • Ability to create, compose, and edit written materials.
  • Ability to decide when to act independently on behalf of department and when to seek consultation from the Curator of Animal Husbandry or VP of Animal Husbandry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ability to problem solve and troubleshoot problems.
  • Ability to recognize electrical issues and respond appropriately.
  • Must be proficient in Dive safety, SCUBA procedures.
  • Ability to work holidays, weekends and a non-traditional work week as well as respond to after-hours emergencies.


  • Bachelor's degree in Biological or Environmental Science
  • 5 years of aquatic animal husbandry experience at an aquarium or zoo (work in an AZA accredited facility is preferred).
  • 3 years of supervisory experience in a public aquarium or zoo.
  • SCUBA certified w/ extensive diving experience (Advanced preferred).
  • Small boat handling/experience preferred
  • Driverís license or ability to get one.

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. Pump room environment has high noise level (PPE Provided).


  • Background clearance
  • Drug screening as part of the Drug Free Workplace Programs

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