Specialist II Life Support & Water Quality

Specialist II Life Support & Water Quality

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas //
New Orleans , LA //
Posted on: April 2, 2019 //

The Specialist II – Life Support and Water Quality (LSWQ) is an entry level position with a focus on the mechanical and chemical components of aquatic animal care in all areas of the aquarium. The Specialist II – LSWQ reports to the Curator of Life Support and Water Quality and communicates effectively with the veterinary staff, members of the other Husbandry Department divisions and all other Audubon Nature Institute (ANI) departments.

Functions & Responsibilities

Essential Functions

To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Specialist II will:

Exhibit the diversity of wildlife
• Learn and maintain a working knowledge of the ecosystems represented by the exhibit themes. This includes basic knowledge of environmental parameters.
• Learn support system and exhibit maintenance tasks and routines. Identify and correct minor issues and report larger problems.
• Learn and maintain a working knowledge of water chemistry, water quality parameters and life support equipment with the ability to monitor levels and operation.
• Perform geometric and concentration calculations, as well as arithmetic for small scale construction projects.
• Follow direction and maintain compliance with all AZA standards of Accreditation and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas established protocols for animal care including, but not limited to exhibit maintenance, recordkeeping and safety.
• Assist with the development of new exhibits and improve new ones as assigned
• Attend and participate in regular sub department meetings to develop goals, evaluate progress and facilitate open communication among staff.
• Keep accurate and up to date records to ensure quality animal management and welfare at or above industry standards.
• Assist in training and daily oversight of interns and volunteers.
• Maintain a clean service area including scrubbing, mopping, organization and pest control as needed.

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

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.

The above listed duties are general statements of required major duties and responsibilities performed on a regular and continuous basis. They do not exclude other duties as assigned.

Other Duties & Responsibilities

To deliver on the Audubon mission, the Specialist II 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.

Skills & Experience

Knowledge & Skills

Software Requirements:
• Proven competency in the application of Microsoft Office, Word, PowerPoint and Excel computer programs is required.

Machinery/Tools/Equipment Requirements:
• 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
• Basic carpentry, plumbing and horticultural skills are considered an asset.

Education & Experience

• High School diploma (or equivalent) and a degree from a recognized college or university are required. College course work in zoology, biology, animal science or related field is preferred.
• Accurate oral and written communication skills.

• Minimum one year of paid or unpaid experience in a zoological facility or public aquarium, aquaculture facility, mariculture, aquatics research 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.

Job Requirements

Physical Requirements

• 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 Specialist 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
• demonstrate comfort underwater in all conditions, stressful or otherwise

Working Conditions

• Specialist must maintain regular attendance in compliance with Audubon standards, as required by scheduling which may vary according to the needs of the organization
• Working 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.
• Ability to work around and handle raw seafood, including shellfish
• Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.
• Maintain off-exhibit areas in a clean, organized and safe fashion.
• May be exposed to high, medium, or low noise intensity.
• Exposure to extreme fluctuations in temperatures is required.
• 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 required.

Salary & Benefits