Research Support (Research Associate)
University of Hawaii - Honolulu, HI

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Duties and Responsibilities
  • Serves as Curator of the Live Exhibits Department at the Waikiki Aquarium (WAQ).
  • Oversees Live Exhibits Department and works closely with Director and Associate Director in defining Aquarium mission and goals, short- and long-term, and in integrating exhibitry and education programs to achieve these goals.
  • Oversees programs for support of aquatic life: husbandry, nutrition, holding facilities, exhibit infrastructure and maintenance. Ensures compliance with applicable government laws and regulations for the care and management of live organisms.
  • Responsible for selection and supervision of team members involved in Live Exhibits projects. Provides leadership and guidance, leads weekly meetings to coordinate activities, discuss problems and identify solutions to achieve defined targets.
  • Supervises, trains, supports and evaluates Live Exhibits Department staff, students and volunteers, and establishes and monitors their work schedules. Manages and evaluates contract professionals.
  • Models effective leadership and business practices and WAQ institutional values, and holds direct reports accountable for same. Contributes toward conceptualization and implementation of revenue-generating programs and projects.
  • Develops department budget: revenue projections and expenditures for the department and individual programs with consultation from coordinators. Monitors expenditures, advises staff on spending issues.
  • Promotes and provides innovative input in the development, coordination, management, scientific accuracy, and communication of exhibit, research and conservation initiatives and programs; supports and mentors employees in these endeavors.
  • Works with Director and Assoc. Director in the conceptualization, design and development of innovative educational exhibits. Reviews plans and designs with staff and contractors to ensure new exhibits are built and operate as per design specifications.
  • Directs and participates in the search for, and collection and maintenance of, live exhibit organisms and other exhibit materials.
  • Promotes development of in situ research, conservation and captive propagation initiatives and programs, and staff development activities relating to those efforts. Establishes and enhances strategic partnerships to improve these programs.
  • Maintains high standards of maintenance and hygiene throughout the staff work areas, public galleries and outdoor exhibits.
  • Participates in administrative matters, including human resources management, space utilization, financial management, budget planning and execution, policies and procedures, and animal care and use.
  • Participates in all levels of WAQ planning, including department head meetings, exhibit planning meetings and staff meetings, as required.
  • Serves on committees and attends public hearings which affect the interests of the Aquarium. Acts as WAQ spokesperson, as required.
  • Interacts with visiting scientists and other aquarium- and zoo-related groups. Coordinates activities with local, national, and international organizations to promote WAQ. Develops collaborative relationships with other aquaria, and with UH researchers.
  • Serves as an information resource for the public. Participates in off-site meetings and seminars. Provides expertise and support for department programs and other WAQ units.
  • Works closely with Director and Associate Director in the conceptualization, design and development of innovative state of the art exhibits that capture viewer’s attention and ensure user participation and learning.
  • Actively engages in research/scholarship and/or professional activity in one or more of the life science fields represented by the WAQ. Publishes findings in professional journals. Supports and mentors employees and students in their research endeavors.
  • In coordination with the Director, and in cooperation with ORS and UHF, prepares, contributes to, or coordinates grant applications for WAQ research and exhibitry programs from corporate, State and Federal agencies and institutes and other entities.
  • Contributes to, organizes or chairs committees, develops specialty programs/projects in collaboration with other WAQ departments or with external entities.
  • Publishes results of exhibit concept, design, application or evaluation, as appropriate, in professional/trade journals and media outlets. Presents or demonstrates findings at professional conferences.
  • Provides, in cooperation with Department staff and professional colleagues, workshops and other pre-and in-service training for Aquarium Biology professionals.
  • On call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, to ensure that life-support systems are functioning properly for the safety and well being of all exhibit animals, and WAQ staff and visitors.
  • Interacts with WAQ staff, volunteers, students, etc., and visitors in a polite, courteous and professional manner.
  • Reviews relevant literature for new advances in aquarium science to maintain highest quality of exhibit maintenance.
  • Other duties as assigned
  • Minimum Qualifications
  • Possession of a baccalaureate degree in a field of biology relevant to Aquarium Biology / Aquaculture and 5 year(s) of progressively responsible professional experience with responsibilities for a field of biology relevant to Aquarium Biology / Aquaculture; or equivalent education/training or experience.
  • Considerable working knowledge of principles, practices and techniques in the field of Aquarium Biology/ Aquaculture as demonstrated by the broad knowledge of the full range of pertinent standard and evolving concepts, principles and methodologies.
  • Considerable working knowledge and understanding of applicable federal and state laws, rules, regulations and theories and systems associated with Aquarium Biology/ Aquaculture and marine conservation.
  • Demonstrated ability to resolve wide ranging complex problems through the use of creative reasoning and logic to accurately determine the cause of the problems and the resolution of the problems in an effective, innovative and timely manner.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and present information and ideas clearly and accurately in writing, verbally and by preparation of reports and other materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with internal and external organizations, groups, team leaders and members, and individuals.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate a personal computer and apply word processing software.
  • For supervisory work, demonstrated ability to lead subordinates, manage work priorities and projects, and manage employee relations.
  • Any equivalent combination of education and/or professional work experience which provides the required education, knowledge, skills and abilities as indicated.
  • Current SCUBA certification and ability to obtain University of Hawaii scuba diving certification within one year of hire.
  • Thorough knowledge of Aquarium Biology/ Aquaculture foundations and methods, materials, procedures and techniques used in Aquarium Biology/ Aquaculture as it applies to public aquariums.
  • Demonstrated ability to experiment and cultivate the ideas of others to identify solutions to complex and less-defined problems.
  • Evidence of ability to work in a lead or support position within a team, and an understanding of the importance of meeting performance standards and deadlines.
  • Demonstrated experience in budget development, program and resource administration.
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain records, prepare permit applications, routine statistical analyses for departmental, annual, and other reports or applications required by university or governmental agencies.
  • Record of publication or presentations in professional journals or at professional meetings.
  • Ability to travel independently to and from off-site meetings, events and the WAQ in a timely manner, fulfilled by possession of a valid Driver's License (Class 3), or use of other transportation which meets position needs.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds, for the purpose of transporting specimens, equipment and materials to/from and within the Aquarium.
  • Able to work some nights, weekends, and/or holidays, and flexible working hours.
  • Knowledge of natural history, biology, and ecology of marine organisms.
  • Three years management experience in an aquarium/ zoo/ aquacuture facility or similar work environment, with responsibilities for supervising full time professional staff.
  • Desirable Qualifications
  • M.Sc. or equivalent in a field of biology of direct relevance to Aquarium Biology/ Aquaculture.
  • Evidence of success in securing grants/ funding from government, corporate or private sources.
  • Experience in the commercial application of various aspects of marine ornamental aquaculture and fish nutrition and food production.
  • Demonstrated record of research, scholarship, publication and/or professional activity and achievement.

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