The National Aquarium is seeking a Rehabilitation Biologist to provide excellent day-to-day husbandry and medical care of marine turtles and marine mammals undergoing rehabilitation for the purpose of release back to the natural environment. The Rehabilitation Biologist will keep rehabilitation pools, equipment, and workspaces well maintained to National Aquarium and NOAA Fisheries Service and US Fish and Wildlife Service standards. The person in this role is fully accountable for the patients and systems under their care. They will participate in planning and implementation of special projects (renovations, enrichment, animal transports & releases) as assigned. They will also train and mentor volunteers and interns. This position is grant funded for 1-year with possibility of extension dependent on available funding.
- Organizes the day to day husbandry and feeding of sea turtles and marine mammals in rehabilitation.
- Completes inspection rounds of patients, life support systems, and enclosures daily to check status and identify and report any potential problems. Resolves problems independently where possible.
- Prepares daily diets and feeds patients according to their medical plan and dietary needs. Cleans and provides daily maintenance to food preparation areas, equipment and utensils.
- Prepares diets, supplements, and medications according to established protocols to ensure nutrition and vitamin content are maintained to improve animal health.
- Follows established feeding schedules and feeds appropriate amounts to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Develop strategies to get inappetent patients to eat. Monitor patient weights.
- Administers oral supplements and medications.
- Utilizes various feeding techniques and develop new strategies to overcome the challenges of getting the correct diet and medications to the appropriate patients when animals are housed together.
- Monitors health of patients, and works with manager and Animal Health staff to implement treatment plans as instructed.
- Observes and recognizes changes in patient behavior, medical condition, and appetite and reports observations. Discusses best course with the senior Animal Rescue staff and Animal Health & Welfare staff as appropriate.
- Administers medications and maintains quarantine protocols when working in and between animal rescue workspaces.
- Provide safe restraint and handling of animals during husbandry and clinical procedures.
- Maintains detailed, daily animal and medical records in accordance with federal and aquarium standards using computerized medical system and hardcopy files. Reviews records regularly to identify important trends and reports them to the Rehabilitation Manager.
- Develops basic understanding of behavioral models to accomplish conditioning, enrichment, and husbandry goals for animals in rehabilitation, with an emphasis on ensuring releasable animals maintain natural behaviors.
- Plans and conducts enrichment sessions and opportunities as assigned.
- Participates in the admission, rehabilitation, transport, and release of patients.
- Monitors patient food supply and ensures proper food rotation. Orders food, hardware, husbandry supplies, medical treatment supplies, and supplements as needed.
- Observes animal behavior such as intra- species aggression, feeding, habitat use, etc., and gathers data to advise on management decisions.
- Responds to animal emergencies, at times after hours.
- Provide daily cleaning and maintenance of rehabilitation facilities, life support, animal enclosures, & equipment.
- Services and cleans rehab enclosures and pools daily.
- Monitors and records temperature and water chemistry data, etc.
- Monitors, operates, and maintains life support equipment. Performs water changes, backwashing and other procedures necessary to care for pumps, filters, and maintains water quality standards.
- Maintains current knowledge of all pumps, valves, filters, and chillers dealing with the life support of rehabilitation areas
- Maintains cleanliness and organization of workspaces, rehab facilities, food prep, and support equipment.
- Assists with enclosure improvements and implementing new enrichment.
- Maintains safety, animal, and response equipment as directed.
- Gives input to rehabilitation protocols and procedures to help improve the program.
- Assists in pest control.
- Participates in outreach and continuing education.
- Supports collection of digital content (photos, videos, etc) as directed.
- Provides back-up tours, presentations, and guest engagement as directed
- Participates in and presents at workshops, lectures, seminars, trainings, and other continuing education opportunities.
- Participates in formal and informal public presentations
- Represents NA in partnerships with outside organization working on common projects or goals.
- Participates in research projects
- Maintains established Aquarium protocols, policies, and quarantine.
- Coordinates departmental volunteer and intern support.
- Assists with the training of less experienced staff, new staff, volunteers and interns
- Acts as section liaison and lead in the absence of managerial staff as assigned.
- Attends weekly staff department meetings, committee meetings, and quarterly full staff meetings
- Adheres to all organizational and departmental policies and procedures
- Other duties as assigned or required.
- Assists with necropsy of animals, including collection and distribution of samples.
Qualifications/Basic Job Requirements:
- Bachelor’s degree in biology, aquatic sciences, environmental or related science or equivalent experience.
- Minimum one year previous professional work experience with a rehabilitation, and or stranding response organization with preference to those with experience with both pinnipeds and sea turtles (especially cold stunned sea turtles)
- Experience with animal husbandry, diet preparation, life support and record keeping in a professional setting
- Must be able to apply solid knowledge of biology, and zoology to a rehabilitation setting.
- Competent regarding wound treatment, administration of oral medications, and familiar with quarantine protocols
- Adept at observation and the ability to watch for changes in patient health, monitor eating patterns, and any changes in behavior.
- Must be able to follow established safety protocols.
- Ability to communicate effectively with aquarium visitors, and staff at all levels verbally or in writing. Must have the ability to follow the directions of supervisors, and work as a team player.
- Ability to mentor and train interns and volunteers.
- Must have keen observation skills, should be highly detail orientated and adept at problem solving.
- Employees assigned to this position will be required to possess and maintain a valid and current motor vehicle operator’s license, have an acceptable driving record, and possess the ability to drive a variety of vehicles (cars, vans/trucks).
- Necropsy experience a plus
- Must have basic knowledge about marine biology and have an affinity for animals, including a reasonable comfort level around large and/or aggressive animals. Must be able to work productively in a teamwork environment.
- Must have the capacity to make decisions, based on the best interest of the animals, public health, and staff safety. Familiarity with computers is necessary, including MS Office software (Word/Excel) and Adobe; ability to learn & effectively use all proprietary Aquarium software.
- Must be able to follow established policies and protocols. Must be able to work well under direction and have capacity to absorb feedback from manager or staff, and have the capacity to decide when to act independently and when to seek consultation from manager.
- Must have the ability to work a flexible schedule that will include weekends, holidays and possible evening hours.
The National Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM
Recently named one of Baltimore’s Best Places to Work, the National Aquarium opened in 1981 as a nonprofit aquatic education and conservation organization, the jewel of the city’s Inner Harbor redevelopment. SmartCEO Magazine honored the National Aquarium with the Healthiest Workplace award and the Corporate Culture award in 2016. With a mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, the Aquarium is consistently ranked one of the nation’s two top aquariums and has hosted over 51 million guests since opening.
Today, the National Aquarium builds on a 37-year history of local, regional and global conservation initiatives that provide real solutions for protecting marine life, ecosystems and aquatic communities. Its Animal Rescue team has rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of marine mammals and endangered sea turtles throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Its Animal Welfare and Science teams participate in important research efforts to confront pressing ocean conservation issues and advocate for smarter policies at local, state and federal levels. Through education, research, conservation action and advocacy, the National Aquarium is pursuing a vision to change the way humanity cares for our ocean planet.
HOW TO APPLY