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JOB DESCRIPTION - CURATOR OF LIVE EXHIBITS

POSITION SUMMARY: 

The Curator of Live Exhibits oversees the live animal collection and related husbandry operations for the Shreveport Aquarium. The Curator is responsible for the management, organization, and continued development of the husbandry team (aquarists) and works to achieve consistently high standards for the live exhibits and animal husbandry operations on site in accordance with all organizational policies, procedures, and protocols.  The Curator supervises the on-site husbandry team and assists with the required routine maintenance of all aquarium exhibits and husbandry related issues.

JOB DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Manages and oversees all husbandry and aquarium life support systems ensuring a consistently high standard of animal care and displays presentation throughout all public and behind the scenes areas.

  • Oversees daily care of animal exhibits including diet preparation, feeding, general care and maintenance of aquatic exhibits in accordance with established protocols.

  • Ensures correct composition and number of species of live animal collection are maintained in all exhibits in accordance with company standards.

  • Participates in specimen acquisition, transports, water quality testing, quarantine, diagnosis, and treatment of disease within aquarium collection.

  • Maintains accurate daily records for aquarium systems and exhibit specimens. Interacts with guests, company management, veterinarians and other individuals as required.

  • Supervises the day-to-day activities of all aquarists and divers, directing exhibit maintenance, animal husbandry practices, setting aquarist work schedules, and assisting with department budget planning and spending.

  • Assists in the continual development and strategic planning of the live exhibit areas in line with the long-term goals of the company.

 

KEY EXPECTATIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Husbandry Operations

  • Work to a level that is equal to or surpasses the minimum standards for any company guidelines established regarding animal care and exhibit quality.

  • Communicate and liaise with the site management, veterinarian(s) and Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG), as directed, in regard to animal health matters.

  • Communicate and liaise with the Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG), as directed, regarding all animal acquisitions and transfers between internal and external facilities to PAG.

  • Communicate and liaise with the Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG), as directed, regarding life support system issues.

  • Ensure effective planning and implementation of routine maintenance of exhibits and life support systems in accordance with company and manufacturers guidelines.

  • Maintain strict codes of practice for the administration and storage of all medical treatments.

  • Ensure that accurate and up to date husbandry records are complete for all exhibits and live animals, including deliveries, collections, mortalities, feeding and associated matters.

  • Carry out the routine maintenance of the life support and emergency systems relating to site and other specified exhibit areas and the maintenance of all life support related alarm systems (where applicable).

  • Ensure and maintain continually high levels of cleanliness of all the exhibit and associated husbandry areas (quarantine, food prep., lab, workshop, etc.).

  • Assist with the maintenance and planned development of exhibit lighting, graphics and interactive displays as required.

 

Financial/Legal

  • Ensure that the statutory regulations of the Louisiana Division of Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) are maintained for exhibits and exhibit areas (front and back of house).

  • Ensure that all local, regional, state and federal regulations, permits/licenses, requirements and standards related to animal collection (i.e. Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, USFW, USDA, AZA, etc.) are met and adhered to.

  • Ensure husbandry operational budgets are operated within monthly and yearly constraints.

  • Assist the General Manager with the generation of the annual husbandry operation budgets.

  • Assist the General Manager with the generation of annual capital expenditure requests and operation within such budgets once granted.

 

Exhibit Development

  • Initiate, update, and assist with the development of exhibits for the aquarium.

  • Assist the General Manager and the Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG) with the generation and implementation of future exhibit plans for the aquarium.

  • Play a key role in any exhibit related capital projects from concept creation through to completion and continual operation, as directed by the General Manager, Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG), and company management team.

  • Carry out and/or oversee any specific research and development projects to improve animal husbandry and the onsite exhibits as directed by the General Manager and in conjunction with the Director of Husbandry Operations (PAG).

 

Staff Supervision/Development

  • Work with the husbandry team on site to ensure the smooth operation of all exhibit areas and behind the scenes areas.

  • Motivate and train the husbandry staff on site, through liaison with relevant departments.

  • Ensure high levels of communication between the aquarium husbandry team, aquarium management and company management team.

  • Organize and monitor husbandry staff schedules, ensuring that they are within budgetary constraints while at the same time ensuring there is adequate coverage of the aquarium at all times.

  • Ensure that the entire site husbandry team adheres to all customer care initiatives as specified by the company.

 

Additional Responsibilities

As directed by the General Manager additional responsibilities may be given that relate to the Shreveport Aquarium or company operation.  Such responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

  • Work outside normal scheduled hours (i.e. weekend days, holidays, special events, after hour animal emergencies).

  • Travel to and temporary work at other company locations.

 

POSTION REQUIREMENTS:

Education and Experience 

  • Undergraduate degree in a life science related field (i.e. Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology, Aquarium Science).

  • Minimum five to seven years’ experience of aquatic animal care in a professional aquarium environment.

  • Minimum three to four years of managerial experience supervising teams and individuals preferably in a professional aquarium environment.

  • Open water SCUBA certification with ability to obtain advanced certifications.

 

Skills and Knowledge

  • Proven knowledge of the maintenance and operation of large life support systems including, but not limited to, sand filters, canister filters, UV sterilizers, protein skimmers, and ozone generators. 

  • SCUBA diving skills:  underwater exhibit maintenance skills, open-water diving and animal collection skills.  Aquarium dive program management skills and experience preferred.

  • Advanced knowledge and experience working with a wide variety of tropical and temperate marine and freshwater specimens including, but not limited to, sharks, rays, jellies, corals, seahorses, cephalopods, and turtles.

  • Advanced knowledge and experience in the quarantine, diagnosis, and treatment of fish disease.

  • Strong water quality testing and record keeping skills

  • Ability to supervise the work of others, with at least three years supervisory experience.

  • Proven knowledge and skill in aquarium exhibit set-up and development is desirable including, but not limited to LSS design and installation, exhibit collection planning, and exhibit design concepts.

  • Proven leadership, communication (verbal and written) and organizational skills

  • Ability and willingness to communicate effectively in public forums to aquarium guests is preferred.

 

Additional Requirements

  • Willingness and ability to adhere to company employee guidelines (i.e. Planet Aqua Group – Shreveport Aquarium policies and guidelines)

  • Ability to maintain a clean/organized work environment.

  • Ability to work effectively with limited or no supervision and maintain a work ethic supporting the aquarium’s mission and goals.

  • Ability to obtain and hold a current First Aid and CPR certification.

  • Ability to obtain and hold valid Louisiana Driver’s License.

 

Compensation

  • Full time, salaried position of $55,000 - $65,000 per year, depending on experience

  • Benefit package

  • Free aquarium memberships

  • 20% off gift shop and special programs

  • Expense paid staff trips

 

 

To apply submit cover letters and resumes to Jon@planetaquagroup.com

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