Water Quality Specialist I
The water quality specialist performs physical and chemical analyses of seawater and freshwater samples for water quality monitoring, life support system evaluation, and experimentation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The specialist performs sample collection, chemistry testing, quality control, data entry, and troubleshooting, as well as interpretation of acquired data. This position supports daily Aquarium system monitoring, projects related to exhibit design, veterinary requests, and environmental and regulatory testing.
Functions & Responsibilities
Performs bench-top laboratory analyses of Aquarium system water, including physical chemistry parameters (such as pH and dissolved oxygen) and nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphate). Techniques utilized include spectrophotometry, titrations, and use of handheld meters.
Performs water sample collection and tank-side water quality assessments throughout the main Aquarium and support buildings
Performs data entry, maintenance of water quality databases, and data analysis
Mixes reagents and standards and is accountable for proper quality controls
Interfaces with other departments, including Facilities, Veterinary Services and Husbandry Operations, to maintain proper water quality parameters in all aquarium systems and to collaborate on projects to further animal care knowledge and/or exhibit design
Assists in maintenance of analytical and laboratory equipment, including calibrations, preventative maintenance, and minor repairs
Under supervision of the laboratory manager, maintains department chemical inventory, including chemical inventory database and Safety Data Sheet files, and assists with ordering of supplies and chemicals
Provides support for other lab efforts as needed, including sample collection, storm water monitoring, instrument calibration, research projects, emergency testing, and microbiological analyses
Other Duties & Responsibilities
Assists with storm water and regulatory sample collection, projects, and testing
Assists with routine calibration, maintenance, and minor repairs of water quality sensors located in Aquarium systems
Performs chromatography (HPLC) analyses, as needed
Assists with projects and auxiliary water system monitoring, as needed
Assists with MBA public relations and educational activities, such as providing lab tours and/or information related to water quality and life support systems
Assists with the monitoring of the Splash Zone Water Play system
Assists with projects related to water system maintenance or exhibit design
Assists with development of new techniques in support of departmental goals
Skills & Experience
Knowledge & Skills
Understanding of the chemical and nutrient components and processes of seawater, including pH, alkalinity, and the nitrogen cycle
Excellent attention to detail, organization, problem solving abilities, and planning skills
Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Ability to work independently and as part of a team
Ability to work within and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values
Education & Experience
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience in biology, chemistry, environmental science, hydrology, engineering, or a related field.
Minimum one-year practical experience in a laboratory, with a working knowledge of techniques and instrumentation used in analytical water chemistry.