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Curator of Mammals

At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission.  We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.

Job Summary:  Directly supervise the daily activities of all staff members and volunteers of the Sea Otter Exhibit Team. Oversee all aspects of exhibit sea otter husbandry and exhibitry including behavioral training, health care, habitat maintenance, diet preparation and nutrition, animal welfare, and record keeping. As a member of the Husbandry Operations Management Team, work collaboratively with the Director of Husbandry Operations, curatorial team, and entire Animal Care Division to ensure the highest animal care standards across our operations.  Perform other duties as required.

Core Activities:       

  • Manage the Sea Otter Exhibit Team which includes Sea Otter Aquarists, Animal Care support staff, and volunteer divers. Coach, lead, and mentor team members and develop talent.
  • Direct day-to-day operations of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Exhibit. Establish operational and husbandry protocols and policies that set standards for animal care and exhibit maintenance.
  • Set training goals and objectives for the exhibit sea otter collection and ensure that sea otter staff are effectively carrying out animal training program.
  • Perform the work of a Sea Otter Aquarist as required including daily husbandry care, exhibit maintenance, the administration of medical care, diet preparation, training and feeding sessions, and record keeping.
  • Manage, advise, and administer a comprehensive sea otter health program in collaboration with our Veterinary Services team to ensure optimal health across our otter collection.
  • Manage sea otter surrogate and social pairings between exhibit sea otters and otters in our research program in collaboration with our Conservation Research team and in support of our overall sea otter conservation goals.
  • Ensure that our guest and public-facing sea otter programs and assets (public feedings and enrichments, webcams, media interviews) are maintained and conducted at consistently high standards in collaboration with our Guest Experience, Marketing, and Interpretive Media teams.
  • Manage the exhibit sea otter animal welfare program. Develop objectives, strategies, and techniques to ensure optimal sea otter health and well-being to meet or exceed AZA 1.5.0 animal welfare guidelines.
  • Serve as the institutional lead for animal training and enrichment.
  • Produce a formal written behavioral enrichment program that is updated annually in compliance with AZA regulations. Advise other
  • Animal Care staff on training programs for other species throughout the collection.
  • Serve as MBA’s Institutional Representative (IR) on AZA’s Sea Otter Taxonomic Advisory Group (TAG) and on the Marine Mammal TAG. In collaboration with the Sea Otter TAG, inform and advise the placement of southern sea otters throughout North American AZA zoos and aquariums. Serve on internal workgroups and committees as appropriate.
  • Manage the care of additional mammal species when they are integrated into our collection through temporary exhibitions or other collection expansions.

Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Aquarium Science, or related field OR equivalent combination of education, training, and experience
  • SCUBA certification from a nationally recognized certifying agency; Advanced and/or Rescue certifications preferred
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience of increasing responsibility in a zoological setting caring for mammal collections; experience in AZA-accredited institutions preferred
  • Experience working within a USDA-accredited institution, a sound understanding of USDA guidelines as they pertain to the care of marine mammals, and experience participating in USDA inspections
  • A minimum of 4-5 years of experience managing a behavioral enrichment program for marine mammals or comparable species
  • A minimum of 4-5 years of experience managing a team of direct reports
  • Experience with electronic zoological records databases; experience with Tracks database preferred
  • Experience with the operation of seawater systems and life support components and an understanding of seawater chemistry and water quality as it pertains to captive seawater systems
  • Experience with the handling, transportation, acclimation, and introductions of marine mammal species
  • Must possess, or be able to obtain within the first 3 months of employment, a valid California driver’s license in order to operate Monterey Bay Aquarium vehicles
  • Ability to work within, and maintain Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values

Physical Requirements to Perform Essential Job Functions:

  • Typical office equipment, kitchen equipment including knives, operation of animal hoists, use of basic hand tools, and occasional use of power tools, may be asked to operate Aquarium vehicles.
  • Constant sitting, standing, walking, bending, stooping, kneeling; daily exhibit maintenance includes hand scrubbing of surfaces for up to an hour at a time.
  • Occasional unassisted lifting up to 50 lbs. of equipment, animals, food buckets, SCUBA gear.
  • Typical office environment, main aquarium, and exhibits, occasional offsite events, and locations; Animal care spaces can contain uneven footing, slippery surfaces, and stairs; potential for fieldwork that may include time on boats at sea.

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