Life Support Systems Keeper

Life Support Systems Keeper

Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium //
Pittsburgh, PA //
Application Information:

This is an hourly, collective bargaining unit position responsible for daily monitoring, operating and maintaining in proper working order, pumps, filters, water levels, air flow, ozone generators and delivery mechanisms, and all other equipment vital to the operation of the Water’s Edge life support systems. Accountable for the safety and efficiency of the water changes, quick response to alarms, monitoring and maintaining water levels, airflow, ozone generators and other equipment.

Functions & Responsibilities

Essential Functions

• Operates pumps, filters, ozone generators, and other life support equipment for all Water’s Edge exhibits.
• Understands the environmental needs for all animals maintained within Water’s Edge and ensures that all parameters are kept within expected limits.
• Coordinates with Water’s Edge staff to ensure scheduled and unscheduled water changes, transfers and backwash procedures are completed safely and efficiently.
• Mixes artificial seawater for all required systems and monitors reservoir levels. Transfers water to top off systems and for major water changes.
• Responds to life support system alarms, problems and equipment failure to control damage and to ensure the health of animals.
• Responsible for monitoring and maintaining water levels, air flow, ozone generators, and all other critical life support components and reporting any anomalies to Curatorial team.
• Monitors visually all ozone generators, pumps, filters, motors, blowers, chillers and heat exchangers in Water’s Edge and reports any equipment failures or anomalies to Curatorial team.
• Performs minor preventive and predictive maintenance tasks for all life support equipment and components (i.e. cleaning strainer baskets, cleaning ORP probes, etc.).
• Isolates, troubleshoots and coordinates the repair of faulty life support systems and equipment by ordering appropriate replacement parts as needed.
• Performs all appropriate water quality testing and makes system adjustments as needed.
• Maintains appropriate records, including equipment readings, test results, and daily activity logs.
• Writes all operating instructions for all new work procedures and update old ones for review by the Curatorial team.
• Maintains inventory of appropriate stock reagents necessary for dosing exhibits.
• Assists in the scheduling and implementation of monthly dive calendar, as well as communicating with dive volunteers and coordinating the filling of dive cylinders.
• Participates in diving and tending duties of cold-water dives for Water’s Edge exhibit and holding pools.
• Safely operates and maintains hydraulic scrubber apparatus.
• Assists with chemical and physical restraint of animals, along with animal transfers and transports.
• Answers questions, conducts tours for educational programs, public and private events.
• Participates in training programs at the zoo. Attends professional conferences and prepares and delivers professional papers or articles.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

Other Duties & Responsibilities

• Interfaces and communicates successfully with all aquarium and zoo staff.
• Performs secondary tasks to assist marine mammal staff and aquarium staff as needed.
• Provides support as needed with the design, construction and fabrication of new life support and exhibits.
• Provides support to Aquarists and Curatorial team with major exhibit maintenance.

Skills & Experience

Education & Experience

Bachelor’s degree in engineering or the biological sciences and/or equivalent practical experience in a related technical field such as wastewater treatment; one to three years previous aquatic animal life support experience at an accredited private or public aquarium facility required.

Employee must be open water SCUBA certified and able to pass institutional exercises/skills with the approval of the Dive Safety Officer.

Job Requirements

Physical Requirements

Must be able to work flexible hours covering all hours of the day all days of the week including holidays. Must be able to lift and carry 75 lbs. Must be able to work in an industrial type work environment and be able to safely use personal protective equipment such as respirators. Must be able to function in areas with low headroom, difficult access, ladders and heights. Must be able to perform physical activities such as walking, stooping, pushing, pulling, climbing, grasping, bending, crawling, carrying, handling dexterity, etc. Must be able to work around and use hazardous chemicals with proper personal protective equipment. Must be able to work in confined spaces with proper personal protective equipment.

Salary & Benefits
Salary: $22.747 after a 90 day probationary period.
This is a union position paying $22.747 after a 90 day probationary period. The pay rate is 90% during the probationary period. The benefits include 12 paid holidays, 9 accrued personal days, 10 vacation days (after 1 year of employment), pension plan, 403B offered. This positions days off are Sundays and Mondays.