Saturday, October 24, 2015

Animal Care Technician

Animal Care Technician 

Reports to: Associate curator of birds and mammals

Status: Full-time, hourly, benefited position

Hours of work: Thursday through Monday, 7am to 4pm

Date needed: ASAP

Posting expires: October 27, 2015

About the Seattle Aquarium: The Seattle Aquarium is owned by the City of Seattle and under nonprofit management. The Aquarium currently serves over 825,000 visitors and 40,000 schoolchildren and their teachers annually. Guided by its mission of Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment, the Seattle Aquarium has a realistic plan for phased growth based on record-setting attendance, membership and fundraising growth, an energized board of directors
and professional management. The current annual budget is $14 million.

Position description: The animal care technician works to further the mission of the Seattle Aquarium by helping to maintain a thriving bird and mammal collection. The animal care technician is responsible for assigned husbandry duties for the Seattle Aquarium’s animal collection. This position will be working in the Aquarium’s bird and mammal department caring for sea otters, harbor seals, northern fur seals, North American river otters, various alcids and
shorebirds, and the fish and invertebrates that inhabit the bird exhibits.

A. Essential functions: Responsible for all aspects of the care and management of the Aquarium’s bird and mammal collection including but not limited to:

· Preparing, storing and distributing food according to established amounts, types and diets; monitoring feeding habits and reporting any changes or abnormalities.
· Observing animals and evaluating behavior to determine physical and behavioral health and well-being.
· Cleaning and performing routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment. Monitoring water quality to keep aquatic animals in a healthy condition.
· Working directly with veterinarian to administer medications and treatments according to established procedures and veterinary instructions. Providing assistance in handling or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures as necessary to ensure animal welfare.
· Applying operant conditioning techniques and principles with an emphasis on positive reinforcement as described in the Seattle Aquarium animal training manual to condition a variety of medical, natural and exercise behaviors. Designing and maintaining behavioral plans for each animal to include descriptions of training approximations and behavioral criteria.
· Designing, implementing, evaluating and documenting a variety of stimulating objects, activities and situations for the animal collection as described in the Seattle Aquarium enrichment manual to provide mental and physical stimulation and encourage natural behavior patterns.
· Maintaining records and reports regarding assigned species including daily veterinary reports, training and enrichment records, food consumption records and other reports specific to the assigned area.
· Possessing public speaking skills necessary to interpret natural history and conservation issues effectively with the public in both formal (on microphone) and informal settings. Assisting Aquarium education/visitor engagement staff in message development. Participating in associated education initiatives and events.
· Representing the Seattle Aquarium with media as assigned.
· Training, coordinating and supervising the work of animal care volunteers, interns and temporary animal care personnel by identifying, assigning and monitoring tasks and evaluating their work.

B. Additional responsibilities:
· Working as part of the bird and mammal animal care team to maintain a comprehensive programmatic manual and all accompanying standard operating procedures and pertinent policies.
· Being familiar with the Animal Welfare Act and all USDA/APHIS regulations pertaining to public display of marine mammals. Ensuring compliance with all necessary AZA accreditation standards.
· Acting as a role model for compliance with all Seattle Aquarium safety protocols.
· Assuring the safety of animals, employees and the visiting public from injury or mishap.
· Performing emergency first aid and CPR as needed and according to established guidelines.
· Assisting the curator and associate curator with the acquisition and disposition of new animals including permitting, coordinating and executing safe transport, quarantine, acclimation and introduction.
· Establishing and maintaining cooperative and effective working relationships with others.
· Serving as a customer service liaison through daily contacts with visitors providing information and answering questions.
· Performing in the role of individual species program advisor as assigned.
· Performing other duties as assigned.

C. Skills, abilities and other requirements:
· Add, subtract, multiply and divide quickly and accurately.
· Strong interpersonal, collaboration, team-building skills; share responsibilities and perform assignments in concert with the team’s efforts.
· Must possess organizational skills, be self-motivated, and communicate effectively orally and in writing. Ability to use various computer software products: MS Word, Excel and population management software.
· Must have or be able to obtain a Washington State driver’s license.
· Ability to use fall restraint equipment, respirators and other appropriate safety gear; work in confined spaces.
· While performing the duties of this job, the employee is required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell.
· Possess coordination and dexterity necessary to ascend and descend rocky exhibits with animals still on display while carrying containers of food, enrichment items and/or vet supplies.
· In order to assess animal health and cleanliness of facility and habitat, specific vision abilities are required including, but not limited to, close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, contrast and the ability to adjust focus. Indoors and out in all weather conditions.
· Must be able to swim.
· CPR/first aid certified

D. Education and experience:
· BA/BS degree in biology, marine biology, animal behavior, psychology or related field required. We may consider an equivalent combination of education and experience in lieu of degree.
· Minimum of one year of experience involving the care and husbandry of animals in a zoo, aquarium or related environment. Preference will be given to applicants with operant conditioning experience with the species in the current Seattle Aquarium bird and mammal collection.
· At least six months of animal care experience at an AZA-accredited facility.

F. Working conditions:
· Requires handling, working with or exposure to large, dangerous animals, animal diseases, animal feces, and toxic chemicals.
· Occasionally required to lift more than 50 pounds.
· Must be able to be on feet six or more hours a day; be active through all physical motions.
· Required to work outdoors year-round, near water, on wet and slippery surfaces and at heights.
· Regular work schedule: 7am to 4pm, Thursday through Monday. Must be willing to work evenings, nights, weekends and holidays and an occasional 24-hour emergency call.

Salary and benefits: D.O.E. Please include salary requirements in cover letter. Full-time staff are eligible for Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package to include medical, vision, dental, HRA, FSA, life insurance, short- and long-term disability, long-term care coverage, access to a subsidized ORCA pass, and paid time off.

How to apply: The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. All candidates are encouraged to apply. To apply, please send a one-page letter of interest, résumé and salary requirements to

Application review will begin immediately.

Note: Must pass a background check to be eligible for this position.

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