Wildlife Conservation Society

Wildlife Conservation Society

Wild Animal Keeper, Ocean Wonders Sharks, New York Aquarium

Job Description

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.

Position Objective
To provide excellent animal care and enhance the visitor experience. To perform any activity required for the life support systems necessary for animal wellbeing and exhibit appearance at the New York Aquarium. Work with elasmobranchs, sea turtles, marine fishes and invertebrates.

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

  • Adhere to all Wildlife Conservation Society, New York Aquarium and Animal Department standards of conduct, policies, and procedures to ensure the standards of safety, animal wellbeing, animal training, and animal enrichment are being maintained.
  • Maintain safe and sanitary areas of food preparation/storage and animal habitats. Ensure animals receive the appropriate nutrition, the appropriate food bases, and report changes through clear communication with Animal Supervisor
  • Carry out the instructions for the care of sick and neonate animals, including administering treatments, vitamins and medication.
  • Observe the animals and their habitats for any indication of problems with environmental parameters or life support. Inspect exhibits to ascertain whether corrective steps need to be taken to ensure appropriate environmental conditions, including but not limited to, inspecting filtration, water quality, lighting, temperature, and cleanliness.
  • Promptly report any indication of illness or significantly unusual behavior being displayed.
  • Supervise and participate in the transfer of animals from one enclosure, habitat, zoo, aquarium, etc., to another. Participate, and/or lead in the installation of exhibit materials.
  • Work in all areas of the Animal Department and ensure that all animal enclosures are appropriately secured at all times, regardless of the staff member responsible for the area.
  • Use operant conditioning via positive reinforcement to condition new behaviors and maintain each animal’s current level of behavior criteria as assigned by Animal Department Management
  • Maintain animal husbandry, training, and enrichment records of all animals and facilitate the same for all team members.
  • Adhere to safety practices for self, staff, the living collection and guests. Take responsibility for safety by bringing potentially dangerous situations to the attention of Management.
  • Work with the Aquarium’s education department to facilitate educational programs.
  • Provide relief and coverage for a Senior Wild Animal Keeper in his/her absence.
  • Must function in a team environment, demonstrating consideration, tolerance, cooperation, reliability, the ability to accept feedback, and a consistent professional approach to job. Excellent communication skills a must.
  • Clean pools, tanks, exhibits, and all appropriate habitats through SCUBA diving.
  • Perform all primary, as well as, supportive roles in public demonstrations and exhibit feeds.
  • Maintain a proactive approach to behavioral husbandry and anticipate behavioral issues.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of established behavior goals.
  • Consistently strengthen animal conditioning skills and techniques, through observation, listening, participation, reading appropriate materials, and providing feedback to colleagues.
  • Participate in the training of new staff, interns and volunteers.

Qualification Requirements

  • Bachelor’s Degree in biology, psychology or related field.
  • At least 2 years’ experience in practical work or volunteer/internship with aquatic animals in controlled environments
  • SCUBA certification.
  • Must have a current, valid driver’s license

Preferred Qualifications

  • Understanding of life support system and filtration is necessary to be successful in the position
  • Ability and willingness to work weekends, holidays, evenings, and special events as schedule demands.
  • Experience working directly with aquatic animals in a zoo/aquarium, rescue/rehabilitation center, or other related facility.
  • Excellent interpersonal and organizational skills are a critical requirement along with strong oral and written communication. Must be highly self-motivated and similarly able to take direction.
  • Experience working with volunteers preferred. Must be comfortable actively interacting with visitors to the Aquarium.
  • Active membership in professional associations (e.g. A2A, IAATE) preferred.

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.

Tagged as: Safety, Facilities, Driver, Environment ., Supervisor, Intern, visitor experience, implementation, Other, organization, Activities, Ski, Education ., organizational skills, experiences, management, marine, Recreation, Aquarium, communication, partnerships, admin, Support, manage, Life, AWS, REC, Religion, Staff, training, excel, PRO, ANIMAL CARE, events, membership, Internship, Interns, promotions, Conservation, Professional, Zoo, All, Development



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