Life Support Systems Technician (III, IV, or V)
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is currently seeking an enthusiastic and focus-minded individual to join the Life Support team. The position of Life Support Systems Technician (III, IV, or V) focuses heavily on the mechanical and chemical components of aquatic animal care in all areas of the aquarium. Reporting to the Curator of Life Support & Water Quality, the LS Technician will be responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the aquarium life support systems and water quality. These duties include, but are not limited to, the operation, monitoring, and maintenance of all associated life support equipment, filter backwashing and water changes, water makeup, and water quality analyses. The ideal candidate will have a strong knowledge of various aspects of life support mechanics and operant conditions, basic to advanced mechanical and plumbing work, and basic to advanced water quality background including laboratory analysis. The ideal candidate will also need to have critical thinking skills, be adaptable, and communicate effectively with members of the other Husbandry Department divisions, the veterinary staff, all other Audubon Nature Institute (ANI) departments, and the general public.
Functions & Responsibilities
• Perform routine (daily, weekly, monthly) life support system and water quality analytical work with minimal supervision.
• Perform any life support systems related repairs and preventative maintenance.
• Function a resource for Husbandry staff in daily operations and requirements of life support and water quality.
• Develop working knowledge of life support system and exhibit maintenance tasks and routines in order to identify and troubleshoot problems.
• Develop working knowledge of water chemistry, water quality parameters, and water quality analyses in order to identify and troubleshoot problems.
• Develop working knowledge of the ecosystems represented by the exhibit themes including basic knowledge of ideal environmental parameters.
• Develop working knowledge of plumbing and construction as it pertains to the function of the exhibits life support systems.
• Perform mathematical calculations varying from basic life support and water quality needs to advanced life support equipment and small-scale construction projects.
• Identify and corrects minor or routine life support system and exhibit maintenance issues and report larger problems.
• Keep accurate and up to date records to ensure quality animal management and welfare at or above industry standards.
• Serve as liaison between Husbandry staff and building engineers.
• Follow direction from and maintain compliance with all AZA standards of Accreditation and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas established protocols for animal care.
• Maintain clean service areas including scrubbing, mopping, organization, and pest control as needed.
• Participate with the improvement and development of current and new exhibits.
• Attend and participate in regular sub department meetings to develop goals, evaluate progress and facilitate open communication among staff.
• Work collaboratively with other departments to complete projects based on approved timelines.
• Understand established enrichment programs to evaluate any potential impact on life support systems or water quality.
• Assist veterinarian and animal staff with recognizing animal health concerns and prescribed treatments.
• Participate in educational opportunities regarding life support and water quality.
• Assist in training and daily oversight of interns and volunteers.
• Participate in established conservation programs.
• Perform all other duties as assigned.
Other Duties & Responsibilities
In addition to the above, The Life Support Systems Technician will adhere to Audubon Nature Institute’s mission and service commitment.
To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Life Support Systems Technician will:
Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality.
• Approach all encounters with employees and guests in a friendly, service-oriented manner.
• Maintain the highest standards related to the day-to-day operations of the Husbandry Department.
• Work evening, weekend, holiday hours – required.
• Return telephone messages and e-mails in a timely fashion.
• Handle problems in the workplace, including anticipating, preventing, identifying, and solving problems as necessary.
• Identify and correct minor or routine maintenance problems in a timely manner and report other maintenance needs.
• Interact positively with the public and co-workers.
• Make decisions consistent with Audubon Nature Institute policies and procedures.
• Assist with daily duties in all sections as required.
• Be required to perform facility and exhibit maintenance, including but not limited to, trash and debris removal, floor cleaning, painting, building repair, horticultural duties, etc.
• Establish and maintain effective, efficient and cooperative relationships with employees, senior administration, vendors and customers.
• Maintain high standards of personal appearance and grooming, including proper uniform standards.
• Comply at all times with Audubon Nature Institute standards and regulations to encourage safe and efficient operations.
Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience.
• Work within the guidelines and mission of the Audubon Nature Institute.
• Convey information and ideas clearly.
• Conduct behind-the-scenes tours for VIP’s, donors, and Audubon Education programs as scheduled.
• Interact with the public to include on and off grounds educational and media presentations.
• Develop and present educational programs as required.
• Function as an interpreter and represent ANI as a spokesperson.
• Compose animal and exhibit information for publication in the following: Audubon’s website, AZA’s website and other publications.
Operate a financially self- sufficient collection of museums and parks
• Perform basic arithmetic functions and process financial information.
• Assist with the preparation of the departmental operating budget as needed.
• Strive to operate within budget limitations.
• Manage time effectively to eliminate unnecessary overtime.
Enhance the care and survival of wildlife through research and conservation.
• Encourage and support Audubon programs.
• Promote, participate in and oversee departmental research and conservation programs
To deliver on the Audubon service promise, the Life Support Systems Technician will:
• Make eye contact with every customer encounter, smile at every person, offer friendly phrases and greetings.
• Wear identification badge.
• Go above and beyond to offer assistance to guests in need.
• Assume ownership of potential safety hazards (wipe-up spill, pick up trash).
• Assume ownership of camera-ready standards in assigned exhibit spaces.
• Use proper professional phone etiquette when answering phones on behalf of Audubon.
• Refrain from cell phone use in the public space, maintaining a welcome, approachable appearance.
• Must meet the standards of guest engagement, positive attitude, pleasant tone of voice, willingness to go above and beyond.
• Coach coworkers, interns and volunteers on service expectations, leading by example
• Utilize the power of teamwork to give excellent service. Work with your department and others in pursuit of excellence in customer service.
• Share information vital to the team and ANI success freely and in a timely manner. Identify and correct poor communication situations and habits.
• Know when to involve management to correct problems in a timely fashion, ideally before they impact a guest.
• Acknowledge guests when working in the public space and seize every opportunity to actively engage guests in the wonders of nature.
• Know the answers to questions or seek out the answers in an attempt to exceed guest expectations.
• Ensure work area is free of food, drink, socialization, and personal business.
• Follow Dress Code Policy on clothing and grooming. Be an ambassador of Audubon at all times.
• Keep unpleasant concerns behind closed doors. Keep the guest space a positive environment.
Skills & Experience
Knowledge & Skills
• Basic laboratory instrumentation skills (pipetting, pH meter, DO meter, spectrophotometer, etc.) required.
• Basic plumbing, mechanical, and carpentry skills are considered an asset.
• Must have the ability to use mobile devices to facilitate effective communication.
• Have a general understanding of the use of basic power tools.
• Ability and willingness to operate power tools, lawn equipment, etc.
• Proven competency in the application of Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint and Excel computer programs is required.
• Experience with Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) is preferred.
Education & Experience
• Minimum two year of paid experience in a zoological facility or public aquarium, aquaculture facility, mariculture, aquatics research/environmental laboratory, or similar facility is required. AZA accredited public aquarium facility is preferred.
• Experience in the care of zoological exhibits with a primary focus on fishes and aquatic invertebrates but also familiarity with care of reptiles, amphibians, and birds.
• Experience in basic plumbing, construction, and animal enclosure work.
• Bachelor’s degree in engineering, chemistry, or biological sciences from an accredited university is required.
• Specialized work experience may commensurate with educational requirement.
• Performing strenuous, fast-paced work both indoors and outdoors.
• Sitting or standing, bending, stooping and per OSHA regulations.
• Heavy work involving lifting no more than 100 pounds at a time with frequent lifting or carrying of objects weighing up to 50 pounds.
• Must be able to swim.
If SCUBA certified, the Aquarist II, will demonstrate the ability to:
• swim efficiently at the surface,
• swim efficiently underwater,
• tow another diver while in full SCUBA gear,
• tread water/float on the surface,
• assemble, ditch and don SCUBA gear,
• control of buoyancy using SCUBA,
• clear SCUBA mask and swim without a mask underwater,
• regulator skills – recover and clear, and breathe through free-flowing regulator, and
• demonstrate comfort underwater in all conditions, stressful or otherwise.
• Maintain regular attendance in compliance with Audubon standards, as required by scheduling which may vary according to the needs of the organization.
• Work long hours between breaks or meals required.
• Willingness to work weekends, holidays, irregular hours and be available based on special needs/circumstances on a 24-hour basis.
• Work around and handle raw seafood, including shellfish.
• Work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner.
• Maintain off-exhibit areas in a clean, organized and safe fashion.
• May be exposed to high, medium, or low noise intensity.
• May be exposed to extreme fluctuations in temperatures.
• Willingness to work outdoors, lift heavy objects, and risk periodic exposure to fairly predictable and controllable hazards associated with wild animals and zoonotic diseases.
• Oversee pest control efforts in section.
• Willingness to serve on the Aquarium’s Hurricane Team if necessary.