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10 May 2023

Full-Time Biologist I – Animal Care

California Academy of Sciences – Posted by Calacademy San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

About the Opportunity
Reporting to the Terrestrial Curator, the Biologist I is responsible for providing animal and plant care for the Steinhart Aquarium’s living collection in various exhibit areas as assigned. Cleans habitats and holding areas, monitors animal and plant health, makes frequent daily rounds, reports suspected animal or water quality problems to a department lead, maintains accurate records. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays.

Organizational Culture
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for ReefsThriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at https://www.calacademy.org/about-us/major-initiatives.

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Staff are expected to work from the Academy five days per week. Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

About the Terrestrial Team
The Terrestrial Team is integral to the living collections at the Academy. This team is responsible for the mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, terrestrial invertebrate, and plant collections, including some of the freshwater collection as well. The Osher Rainforest is a three-story spectacular representation of a rainforest habitat, with an awesome plant collection, free-ranging exotic birds and butterflies, and herp/invertebrate habitats throughout. The Amazon Gallery showcases native species to the Amazon region, including species such as freshwater stingrays, electric eel, and many others. Several other galleries are also represented (Swamp, Venoms, Water Planet), and showcase a great diversity of the animal world. The Terrestrial Team is one of the teams within the Steinhart Aquarium. The Aquarium is a collaborative, supportive and innovative department that promotes a culture of trust, accountability and respect. 

Key Responsibilities

  • Provides daily animal and plant care and habitat maintenance, including animal feedings, habitat and back-of-house cleaning, health monitoring, and environmental sampling for one or more of the following: freshwater aquariums, terrestrial invertebrate, reptile, amphibian, bird, plant, and mammal habitats and holding areas.
  • Actively participates in the animal welfare and behavioral husbandry programs.
  • Assists in animal treatments and procedures as required.
  • Assists in the design and preparation of new display environments and habitats.
  • Actively seeks further training with all taxa represented in the living collection.
  • Maintains accurate records using the department’s standardized software programs.
  • Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff.
  • Establishes and maintains positive, cooperative and effective working relations with fellow employees.
  • Participates in Academy committees and work groups as needed.
  • Presents programs to the general public, media and in professional meetings.
  • Interacts with professional colleagues, guests, the media and the general public in a professional manner.
  • Follows all Academy safety regulations.
  • Performs other job-related duties as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

  • Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers.


  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo or similar facility caring for animals and/or plants.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology, Aquatic Biology or a related field, preferred.



  • 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.
  • Excellent observation skills.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective organizational and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to multitask, adapt, and prioritize.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as departmental protocols, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • 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.
  • Willingness to seek further training in animal and plant husbandry.
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid certification.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.
  • SCUBA certified or able to attain SCUBA certification, preferred.
  • Experience with scientific research projects, preferred.

Physical Environment:

  • Ability to transport 50 lbs.
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.
  • Requires the ability to stand, sit, walk, and reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear.
  • Must be able to work a computer.
  • 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.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Compensation and Benefits
Hourly hiring/flat rate: $27.07 per hour
The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits.
Schedule: Full-Time, 40 hours per week.

Review of applications will begin on May 15, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity, status, and gender expression), religion (all aspects of religious beliefs, observance or practice including religious dress or grooming practices), reproductive health decision-making, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

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How to Apply

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page.

Job Types: Full-Time. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.

Job expires in 72 days.

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