Reporting to the Animal Health Manager or Associate Director, this position is responsible for supporting the health of the Steinhart Aquarium’s living collection. The Animal Health Department oversees the following Aquarium support functions: all aquatic and terrestrial quarantine and medical facilities, veterinary services, water quality, commissary, live feeds, evening events and registration. The Animal Health Biologist could provide coverage in any of these areas. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays. Work schedule will provide a minimum of 12 hours/week including weekends, evenings and holidays as assigned.

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.

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

Support Functions:

  • Cross trains in all areas of the Animal Health Department to provide coverage and support.
  • Prepares food for the animals following established diets.
  • Cleans and disinfects work area on a daily basis and maintains the commissary in a neat, orderly manner to comply with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Association of Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) standards.
  • Provides the husbandry and maintenance of healthy live aquatic and terrestrial feeds by following established protocols.
  • Assists with the administration of prescribed treatments, anesthesia monitoring and clinical observations of sick or debilitated animals.
  • Performs and records gross necropsies of animals, including sampling of tissues for cytological, histological and bacteriological examinations and reports findings to the Veterinarian.
  • Assists with general maintenance of hospital, quarantine and laboratory areas, including instruments and equipment.
  • Assists with animal health record keeping utilizing Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), Formstack, and treatment sheets.
  • Assists with the inventory of supplies, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
  • Provides general maintenance and husbandry care for the aquatic or terrestrial quarantine areas.
  • Provides effective communication of treatment status, animal health concerns and updates with the Aquarium staff on a routine basis.
  • Follows all established protocols to prevent cross contamination.
  • Performs water quality testing and analysis of the various habitats in the aquarium, records the results and reports abnormal findings.
  • Communicates with the Engineering, Husbandry, and Dive staff regarding the status of specific water quality parameters.
  • Assists with the Aquarium probe monitoring and maintenance program including ORP and pH probes. 


  • Cross trains in all areas of the Animal Health Department to provide coverage and support.
  • Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff.
  • Recruits, trains and supervises volunteers.
  • 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.

The qualifications listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required or preferred.

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, Chemistry, or a related field of study preferred.
  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo or aquaculture facility preferred.
  • Any veterinary or laboratory experience is preferred.


  • Basic knowledge of animals such as fish, birds, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles.
  • Basic knowledge of essential animal care requirements, natural habitats and nutrition.
  • Basic knowledge of standard dissection, necropsy and biological sampling procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of animal treatment, disease pathology, diagnostic testing and associated veterinary procedures.
  • Basic knowledge of standard aquarium water quality testing methods, parameters, and methods for maintaining them.
  • Basic knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping and life support systems.
  • Basic knowledge of USDA and AZA standards for animal care and welfare.
  • Basic knowledge of record-keeping software such as ZIMS, Formstack, and Google Drive.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective organizational and problem solving skills.
  • Effective at multitasking, adapting, and prioritizing.
  • 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.
  • Ability to complete all required safety and chemical trainings.
  • Holds a valid California driver’s license or ability to obtain one
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid Certification.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.


  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.
  • Ability to speak effectively before groups or individuals.

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 50 pounds.
  • Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75 % of the time.
  • Must be able to differentiate between colors.
  • Must be willing to work with hazardous materials.
  • Must be able to swim.
  • Must be willing to work with and adjacent to venomous and dangerous animals.
  • Must be able to work in humid areas without natural light.
  • Must be able to climb stairs and ladders.

Please submit your cover letter and resume online at https://calacademy.snaphire.com 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.

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 or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

The California Academy of Sciences is a non-smoking facility. There is also no smoking in Golden Gate Park.

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