• San Francisco, CA
  • Industry
  • Full Time

Reporting to the Curator, this position is responsible for providing general husbandry care and support for the Steinhart Aquarium's living collection in various exhibit areas as assigned. Cleans exhibits and holding areas, monitors animal health, makes frequent daily rounds, reports suspected animal or water quality problems to Curator and Animal Health Department, maintains accurate records, may participate in collection of specimens, may participate in animal transportation and shipments, and may travel on Aquarium business. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays. 

The California Academy of Sciences welcomes people of all backgrounds, identities, and beliefs to join us in achieving our mission to explore, explain, and sustain life. We place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our recruiting efforts and strive to build a culture centered on mutual respect, equal treatment, and the opportunity to succeed.


  • Responsible for the general care and maintenance of one or more of the following: fresh and salt water aquariums, terrestrial invertebrate, reptile, amphibian, bird, plant and mammal displays and holding areas.
  • Provides a high standard of daily husbandry care and exhibit maintenance including animal feedings, exhibit and back of house cleaning, health monitoring and environmental sampling.
  • Participates in the animal enrichment and training program.
  • Assists in animal treatments and procedures as required.
  • Provides backup and support for areas assigned to other staff as the Primary and/or Secondary backup during their normal days off and holidays.
  • Actively seeks further training with all taxa represented in the living collection.
  • Assists in the acquisition of living specimens following the collection plan developed by Curators and Associate Director, including specimens for display and feeding.
  • Assists in the design and preparation of new display environments and exhibits.
  • Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers.
  • Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff.
  • Follows all Academy and Aquarium safety regulations.
  • Participates in Academy committees and work groups as needed.
  • Becomes fluent in our animal data software program - ZIMS.
  • Establishes and maintains positive, cooperative and effective working relations with fellow employees.
  • Actively participates in a culture promoting trust, respect and accountability.
  • Presents programs to the general public, media and in professional meetings.
  • Conducts general tours of the Aquarium and its support spaces.
  • Answers questions from the general public through a variety of means.
  • Interacts with professional colleagues, guests, the media and the general public in a professional manner.
  • Other duties of a similar scope and nature as otherwise assigned.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

A qualified candidate will have a combination of the following experience and/or equivalent education:

  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Zoology, Marine or Aquatic Biology, or a related field of study.
  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo or aquaculture facility preferred. 


  • Basic knowledge of essential animal care and welfare requirements for the living collection.
  • Basic knowledge of essential animal care and welfare requirements for the living collection.
  • Basic knowledge of USDA and AZA standards for animal care and welfare.
  • Basic knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping and life support systems.
  • Basic knowledge of natural animal habitats and the ability to duplicate them in a controlled environment.
  • Basic knowledge of record-keeping software such as ZIMS, Formstack, and Google Drive.
  • Excellent observation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective organizational and problem solving skills.
  • Effective at multitasking, adapting, and prioritizing.
  • Ability to present programs and effectively convey information to guests, the general public, the media, colleagues, and in professional meetings.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team and engage in a culture that promotes trust, respect and accountability.
  • Ability to utilize web-based communication and collaboration applications.
  • Familiarity with scientific research projects.
  • Experience caring for exotic animals, aquarium fishes, invertebrates, plants, amphibians, reptiles, birds and/or mammals.
  • Proficiency handling venomous and dangerous animals desirable.
  • Willingness to seek further training in animal and plant husbandry.
  • SCUBA certified or able to attain SCUBA certification, if required.
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid Certification.
  • Must be able to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.


  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as departmental protocols, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
  • Bilingual (spoken and/or written) in Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, or other non-English language preferred but not necessary for this position.

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear.
  • Must be able to lift and carry 50lbs.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.
  • Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.
  • Must be able to swim.
  • Must be able to use extension poles, long-handled nets and shepherd's hooks.
  • Must be able to work with, or adjacent to, venomous and dangerous animals. 

Please submit your cover letter and resume online at Note that the recruitment timeline for positions vary and depend on many factors, so it is impossible to accurately predict when a position will close. We appreciate your patience during this process. No phone calls please.

Posted 11 months ago