Job Title: Animal Care Coordinator
Department: Education
Reports To: Education Manager
FLSA Status: Exempt

PURPOSE OF JOB: Oversees animal husbandry care; maintenance of LSS (life support systems)/aquaria/vivaria, and exhibits in the Discovery Center; trains and supervises interns and volunteers; and educates visitors and students about Southwest Florida ecosystems, conservation, and the mission of the Conservancy.


  • Oversees and provides care and maintenance of live exhibits, including marine aquaria, herpetological exhibits, and raptors.
  • Maintains water quality and water quality equipment of aquaria for fresh, salt, and brackish water systems.
  • Develops and maintains ambassador animal enrichment program.
  • Obtains and maintains all relevant and necessary permits.
  • Interprets Southwest Florida’s local ecosystems, Conservancy campus trails, and the Nature Center to visitors of diverse ages and backgrounds.
  • Designs, constructs, and maintains aquaria and exhibits.
  • Oversees LSS maintenance and functions.
  • Maintains detailed records of living collections; creates and updates written care guides.
  • Oversees collection of specimens – e.g. marine organisms for education/aquaria; oversees acquisition and updates to relevant permits.
  • Supervises volunteers and staff; interacts with visitors of all ages and backgrounds.
  • Assists with related daily administrative duties.
  • Oversees storm/hurricane preparedness for aquaria and ambassador animals.
  • Oversees on-site safety manuals, protocols, and OSHA compliance.
  • Always delivers excellent internal and external customer service.


  • Tracks inventory and orders supplies and materials as needed.
  • Assists with Conservancy special events.
  • Trains interns and volunteers in daily operations of the Discovery Center and education programs.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelors’ or advanced degree in ecology, science, education, or related field.
  • Knowledge and 1-2 years of experience (minimum) in the care/ husbandry of aquaria/ vivaria, aquatic/marine and terrestrial life (fish, invertebrates, reptiles, etc…)
  • Science/ecology background and experience, with teaching experience preferred.
  • Ability to design/assemble/construct aquaria.
  • Knowledge of aquaria LSS and related plumbing/mechanics.
  • SCUBA certification (dive logged within the past year or proof of a refresher course).
  • Knowledge of SW Florida’s local ecosystems and organisms, particularly marine life.
  • Strong commitment to the conservation of Florida’s natural environments.
  • Ability to work effectively as a team member.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft and Google suites.
  • Ability to conceptualize, design, and implement programs, projects, and activities related to the mission of the organization.


  • Raptor handling and care experience.
  • Proof of 1,000+ hours of working with crocodilians.
  • Experience with the husbandry and handling of sea turtles, conditional reptiles, Class II, and Class III wildlife including alligators, indigo snakes, and Burmese pythons preferred.

The above statements describe the general qualifications required to perform the job and the general nature and level of work performed – not a complete list of duties – additional responsibilities may be assigned by management.


Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university; or one to two years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • 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 of customers or employees of organization.
  • Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.


  • Willingness to work outside usual 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. weekday hours to conduct programs in the evenings, weekends, or holidays in sometimes hot, humid and buggy conditions.


  • Current Certification in CPR, First Aid, and Life Saving, or ability to obtain.
  • Aquatic Species Collecting Permit, or ability to obtain.
  • Valid driver license and good driving record.
  • SCUBA certification.


The physical demands 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.

Physical demands: While performing the duties of this Job the employee is occasionally required to sit, climb or balance and taste or smell. The employee is regularly required to stand, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, stoop, kneel, crouch and crawl. The employee is frequently required to walk, reach with hands and arms and talk or hear. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift up to 50 pounds. Special vision abilities required by this job include close and color vision, peripheral and depth perception.

Work Environment: The employee occasionally works in high, precarious places, is exposed to fumes or airborne particle; toxic or caustic chemicals and outdoor weather conditions. The employee is regularly exposed to wet or humid conditions (non-weather) with a risk of electrical shock. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Posted: 4.29.2021