Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society

Dive Safety Officer, New York Aquarium

Job Description

Position Title: Dive Safety Officer/Supervisor (DSO)
Reports to: Director of Animal Programs
Direct Reports: Assistant Dive Safety Officer (ADSO), staff divers (only for dive program activities), and volunteer divers, and limited coordination of animal keeper volunteers and interns
Location: New York Aquarium /In-person
Department: Animal Programs
Position Objective: Ensuring safe practices of Dive Operation at the New York Aquarium.
Employment Type: Full-Time

About Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

WCS stands for wildlife and wild places. As the world’s premier wildlife conservation organization, WCS has a long track record of achieving innovative, impactful results at scale. We run field programs spanning 60 countries and the entire ocean. We build on a unique foundation: Our reach is global; we discover through best-in-class science; we protect through work on the ground with local and indigenous people; we inspire through our world-class zoos, aquarium, and education programs; and we leverage our resources through partnerships and powerful policy influence. Our more than 4,000 diverse, passionately committed team members in New York City and around the world work collectively to achieve our conservation mission.

Dive Safety Officer at the New York Aquarium organizes a safe and effective dive program to promote healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment for the animal collections. Dive Safety officer ensures that staff and volunteer divers are completing required training courses in accordance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) scientific diver standards. DSO serves as a supervisor and maintains administrative oversight of non-diving animal activities when animal supervisors are absent.

Principal Responsibilities (Responsibilities may include but are not limited to:)

  • Manage daily operation of the aquarium’s dive program including the supervision of staff and volunteer divers in accordance with the New York Aquarium Diving Standards for Underwater Operations and the Staff and Volunteer Dive Team Handbooks.
  • Edit and maintain NYA Dive Safety Manual, diver handbooks, and all other written materials to ensure compliance with OSHA and AAUS standards, and accurately reflect safe diving practices at NYA.
  • Serve as Designated Person in Charge (DPIC) and Lead Diver during NYA dive operations and lead response to emergency situations in conjunction with the ADSO.
  • Organize regular meetings of the NYA Dive Control Board and volunteer Dive Team Leader group, and maintain records and minutes of meetings.
  • Ensure safety of NYA scuba equipment in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations and AAUS requirements for annual service, and maintain records of annual service of all life support equipment used in NYA dive operations.
  • Train staff and volunteer divers in all aspects of a safe scientific diving program, including DAN DFA Pro CPR certification and AAUS-compliant scientific diving.
  • Recruit, orient, and train new volunteer divers.
  • Develop capacity for field diving with NYA staff and volunteer divers, including training in navigation, ocean rescue, and diving in low visibility and high current conditions.
  • Maintain emergency plans for all locations that host NYA dive activity, and respond to safety concerns with updated procedures and equipment to maintain a safe working environment for all divers. Organize annual extraction drills for NYA divers and maintain records in accordance with AZA standards.
  • Maintain administrative oversight of non-diving Animal Department volunteers and interns, and assist animal staff in developing and maintaining their volunteer and intern programs.

Qualification Requirements

  • Minimum high school diploma or GED. Bachelors degree in marine science or related field preferred.
  • Certification – minimum recreational scuba certification of Open Water Instructor, or ability to earn this certification within one month of hire.
  • At least (2) years experience as staff or volunteer in a similar work environment. Specific experience in dive instruction, scuba gear maintenance, CPR instruction, AAUS dive training, lifeguarding is a strong plus.
  • Divers Alert Network (DAN) Diving First Aid for Professional Divers (DFA Pro) training required, with a preference for current instructors.
  • Experience and certification in gear maintenance (Oceanic, OTS, and Spare Air), cylinder inspection, and compressor operations.
  • Experience with tethered diving, full face mask, and underwater communications systems strongly preferred.
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills are a critical requirement along with strong oral and written communication.
  • Must be able to work Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and variable shifts.
  • Valid driver’s license

Physical Requirements

The position requires strenuous physical activity as a diver. Must pass AAUS-compliant dive physical and swim test (400 yards in 12 minutes). The positional requires outdoor work in all weather conditions as well as indoor exhibit facilities and office environments. Tasks require manual dexterity for various tasks (e.g. computer keyboard, mobile radios, operation/manipulation of diving gear, manual tools). Some tasks require kneeling, bending, navigating uneven terrain, and moderate lifting up to 50 pounds.

Equal Employment Opportunity Disclaimer

WCS is an equal opportunity employer, and the organization complies with all employment and labor laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in hiring and ensures that candidates from all backgrounds are fairly and consistently considered during the recruitment process. We are dedicated to hiring and engaging a diverse workforce. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment and look for future team members who share that same value. The organization provides equal employment opportunities for all qualified candidates. The organization does not discriminate for employment based on gender, race/ethnicity, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information or any other covered status or characteristic protected by applicable laws and regulations.

It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that we do not tolerate discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s membership in one of these protected categories in areas such as recruitment, selection, job assignment, supervision, training, promotions, job grading, transfers, termination, compensation, benefits, educational opportunities, WCS sponsored recreational activities and facilities.

Note that the salary offer will reflect the selected candidate’s individual experiences, skills and qualifications, internal equity, work location and country of work.


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