Aquatic Life Support Operator II

Aquatic Life Support Operator II

National Institutes of Health //
Bethesda, MD //
Apply by: August 14, 2024
Application Information: Katherine Schlosser (240)-418-3187

Under the direction of Project Management or other designee, the Aquatic Life Support Operator is responsible for maintaining the aquatic systems that create and sustain a livable environment for fish and other aquatic animals. This role requires a deep understanding of water chemistry, biology, and mechanical systems, as well as practical skills in maintenance and repair. The specialist performs routine calibration of sensors, such as pH, dissolved oxygen, and conductivity, to ensure accurate measurements. They troubleshoot and fix issues with pumps, plumbing, and electrical components, ensuring proper function and operation of the life support equipment.

Functions & Responsibilities

Other Duties & Responsibilities

• Adhere to established SOPs, NIH security procedures and confidentiality requirements.
• Must possess the ability to monitor environmental conditions while interpreting data trends within the aquatic system.
• Conduct chemical water quality tests, assessing values such as pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and apply the results to make informed decisions about necessary adjustments and maintenance.
• Implement and maintain various types of aquatic filtration, including mechanical, biological, and chemical, and understand how they relate to the nitrogen cycle and the health of fish.
• Must be skilled in locating and utilizing resources such as equipment manuals, technical specifications, and industry best practices to aid in problem-solving.
• The operator actively researches and identifies opportunities for improvement, making recommendations for upgrades or changes to optimize the life support system’s performance.
• Keep track of aquatic system components, including spare parts, tools, and consumables, ensuring they are up to standard.
• Maintain an inventory record, considering priority levels, consumable rates, and expiration dates, allowing for efficient replacement and repair, preventing disruptions in the operation of the aquatic system.

Skills & Experience

Education & Experience

• Bachelor of Science degree in biology or related field from a recognized, accredited institution, plus 18 months experience working in an aquatic animal research or aquaculture environment.
• High school diploma or GED equivalent, plus 2 years’ experience working in an aquatic animal research or aquaculture environment.

Job Requirements

Physical Requirements

This job requires climbing, stooping, kneeling, reaching, standing, walking, pushing, pulling, talking, hearing, and lifting/moving items up to 50 lbs often.

Working Conditions

Task employees shall work mostly indoors. However, employees may be required to work outside performing tasks associated with picking up and delivering animals, supplies and small equipment; transporting waste and recyclables; moving equipment into and out of remote storage locations; traveling from one facility to another; and climbing ladders. Basic workweek of forty (40) hours per week with the start and the end of the workday dependent on the contract requirements of the workplace. Routine work hours are between 7:00am-4:30pm (core hours 7:30am – 4:00pm). Hours are dictated by the institutional research schedule weekend and holiday work to be scheduled on a rotating basis. Must be reliable in attendance to ensure animals receive an appropriate level of care. Potential for call-in to assist facility or animal health related emergencies. Potential to provide weekend coverage if there is short staffing and unable to find replacements.

Salary & Benefits