The Curator assists the General Manager, the Senior Curator (US) and the Displays Development Department with the management, organization and strategic planning Displays Department to achieve consistently high standards of display presentation and animal husbandry in accordance with all SEA LIFE policies, procedures and protocols. The Curator leads the on-site Displays Team and assists them with the required routine maintenance of all aquarium displays and husbandry related issues.
Education and Experience
•Undergraduate degree in Life Sciences
•Minimum five to seven years experience of aquatic animal care in a professional aquarium environment.
•Minimum four to five years of managerial experience supervising teams and individuals.
•Advanced open water SCUBA certification – Divemaster preferred.
Skills and Knowledge
•Proven knowledge of the maintenance and operation of large life support systems including, but not limited to, sand filters, canister filters, UV sterilizers, protein skimmers, and ozone generators.
•SCUBA diving skills: advanced underwater exhibit maintenance skills, advanced open-water diving and animal collection skills. Aquarium dive program management skills and experience preferred.
•Advance knowledge and experience with AZA accreditation or its equivalent.
•Advanced knowledge and experience working with a wide variety of tropical and temperate marine and freshwater specimens including, but not limited to, sharks, rays, jellies, corals, seahorses, cephalopods, and turtles.
•Advanced knowledge and experience in the quarantine, diagnosis and treatment of fish disease.
•Strong water quality testing and record keeping skills and experience
•Proven knowledge and hands on experience in aquarium displays set-up and development, including, but not limited to LSS design and installation, exhibit collection planning, and aquarium theming concepts.
•Proven leadership, communication (verbal and written) and organizational skills
•Ability and willingness to communicate effectively in public forums to aquarium guests.
•Willingness and ability to adhere to company employee guidelines (i.e. Merlin Entertainments - SEA LIFE policies and guidelines)
•Ability to develop and maintain a clean/organized work environment for the front and back of house displays.
•Ability to work effectively with limited or no supervision, and maintain a work ethic supporting the Aquarium’s mission and goals.
•Ability to obtain and hold a current First Aid and CPR certification.
•Ability to obtain and hold valid Driver’s License
•Management and oversight of all husbandry and life support of aquarium systems while ensuring a consistently high standard of animal care and displays presentation throughout all public and behind the scenes areas.
•Oversee daily care of animal exhibits including diet preparation, feeding and general care and maintenance of aquatic exhibits in accordance with established protocols.
•Ensure that correct levels of livestock and key species are maintained in all displays through the development and updating of livestock requests.
•Participate in specimen transports, water quality testing, quarantine, diagnosis and treatment of fish disease.
•Maintain accurate daily records for aquarium systems and exhibit specimens. Interact with guests, management, veterinarians and other individuals as required.
•Supervision of day-to-day activities of all aquarists and divers; directing exhibit maintenance, animal husbandry practices, setting aquarist work schedules, and assisting with department budget planning and spending.
•Play a lead role in the continual development and strategic planning of the displays areas in line with the long term goals of the company.
•Work with other departments on delivery and execution of functions within the aquarium. (i.e. Dive and Snorkel Programs)
•Ensure that the welfare needs of the living collection are met, at the same time meeting the overall business goals of the company.
Key Expectations and Responsibilities:
• Work to a level that is equal to or surpasses the guidelines set in the company minimum standards document for displays.
•Communicate and liaise with the Senior Curator (US) and the Displays Development Department, veterinarian(s) and Biological Services, as directed, in regards to animal health matters.
•Communicate and liaise with the Senior Curator (US) and the Displays Development Department and Biological Services, as directed, in regards to all animal acquisitions and transfers between sites.
•Communicate and liaise with the Senior Curator (US) and the Displays Development Department and Biological Services, as directed, in regards to life support system issues.
•Ensure effective planning and implementation of routine maintenance of displays and life support systems in accordance with company and manufacturers guidelines.
•Maintain strict codes of practice for the administration and storage of all medical treatments.
•Ensure that accurate and up to date displays records are complete for all displays and livestock, including deliveries, collections, mortalities, feeding and associated matters.
•Carry out the routine maintenance of the life support and emergency systems relating to site base and other specified displays and the maintenance of all life support related alarm systems (where applicable).
•Ensure and maintain continually high levels of cleanliness of all the displays, quarantine and food preparation areas, plus associated plant and workshops.
•Assist with the maintenance and planned development of displays lighting, signage and interactive displays.
•Deliver innovation creatures, concepts and systems though trials, research and working with the displays team to generate ideas.
•Ensure adequate emergency and extreme weather protocols are in place, with regular drills.
•Ensure that the statutory regulations both state and federal, e.g., OSHA are maintained for displays and display areas (front and back of house).
•Adhere to all state and federal standards for the State’s Zoo Licence and/or equivalent regulations (i.e. AZA) and ensure that the aquarium maintains such standards.
•Ensure that all licenses / regulations associated with livestock acquisition (i.e. State Game and Fish Dept., USFW), holding, display and transportation, are met and adhered to.
•Ensure displays budgets are operated within monthly and yearly constraints.
•Assist the General Manager in the generation of the annual Displays budgets and annual capital expenditure requests while keeping operations within these budgets once granted.
•Assist the General Manager and the Displays Development Department in the generation and implementation of a three year and five year site plan.
•Play a key role in any Displays related capital works from concept creation through to completion and continual operation, as directed by the General Manager, the Senior Curator (US) and the Displays Development Department.
•Carry out and/or oversee any specific research and development projects to improve animal husbandry and the onsite displays as directed by the General Manager and in conjunction with the Displays Development Department/Biological Services/Senior Curator (US).
•Provide leadership and knowledge to direct and grow the displays and the displays team.
•Work with the displays staff and site team to ensure the smooth operation of all exhibit areas and behind the scenes areas.
•Motivate and train the displays staff on the local site, through liaison with relevant departments.
•Ensure high levels of communication between the displays, site management and biological services.
•Organize and monitor display staff schedules, ensuring that they are within budgetary constraints while at the same time ensuring there is adequate cover of the aquarium at all times.
•Ensure that the entire Displays team adheres to all customer care initiatives as specified by the company.
As directed by the General Manager additional responsibilities may be given that relate to the local site or company operation. Such responsibilities may include but are not limited to:
•Work outside normal scheduled hours (i.e. weekends, holidays, special events, after hour animal emergencies).
•Travel to and temporary work at other sites.
Weighted Job Function:
1. Managerial and administrative functions, safety and supervision of others – 70%
2. Care, maintenance, and health of animal collection, display quality and appearance, care and maintenance of company owned property and equipment – 30%
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