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Trainer - Pinnipeds
at Georgia Aquarium
This position is responsible for the daily care and behavioral conditioning of Georgia Aquarium’s pinniped collection. The primary objectives and responsibilities are to play a primary role in the execution of daily shows, guest interactions, and other programs as applicable. Other responsibilities include but are not limited to: diet preparation, environmental enrichment, facility/habitat maintenance, record keeping and animal observation/monitoring. Executes daily routine operations in accordance with section’s standard operating procedures.
- Executes daily care and behavioral conditioning of pinnipeds.
- Under direction of Senior Trainers and management team, Trains pinniped collection in accordance with Georgia Aquarium's animal training protocols. Actively participates in the progression of animal training goals and standards. Develops behavior to facilitate show performances, public programs, animal management and care.
- Assists Senior Trainers and management team with the development and implementation of dynamic animal training projects and programs that serve to enhance animal care, animal management, guest experience, and Aquarium public relations.
- Ensures the daily health, care and welfare of the pinniped collection.
- Maintains a superior level of showmanship while performing primary/key roles in daily shows, guest interactions, and other programs as applicable.
- Performs the execution of complex behaviors as integral part of Georgia Aquarium’s pinniped show.
- Interacts with guests and crew members in a positive and professional manner.
- Executes comprehensive pinniped environmental enrichment program. Develops novel environmental enrichment devices and activities.
- Follows established standard operating procedures for animal care, food preparation, and clean up, including proper maintenance and sterilization of equipment.
- Assists in maintaining the highest standards in the areas of: cleanliness/sanitation, diet preparation, record keeping, animal observation, and general maintenance.
- Maintains records management systems for animal inventory, care, training, and enrichment.
- Inputs data and information into records management systems for animal inventory, care, training, and enrichment.
- Executes underwater maintenance and cleaning of habitats.
- Maintains SCUBA certification. Functions as a diver, dive tender, standby diver (TSBD), and designated person in charge (DPIC) during underwater activities carried out by Georgia Aquarium.
- Follows dive safety guidelines established by the dive safety officer.
- Fosters good relations with visitors, volunteers, community leaders, contractors, and fellow staff members by promoting positive attitudes, good will, cooperation, and providing high standards of service.
- Complies with all Georgia Aquarium policies, procedures, and programs.
- As needed, interact on behalf of the Georgia Aquarium with guests, media, general public, etc.
- Assists with the developmental goals of interns and volunteers.
- To perform other duties as workload necessitates, regardless of time of day or location.
- Four-year degree in biology or related field; equivalent relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a four year degree at the discretion GAI.
- Minimum two years of aquatic animal husbandry and training working with pinnipeds, experience in an AZA/AMMPA accredited institution, or equivalent, with a proven track record of team oriented and professional performance.
- Knowledge of contemporary animal training techniques.
- Working knowledge of life support operation and water quality control for maintaining marine mammals.
- Strong team skills.
- Strong oral and written communication skills.
- Valid State of Georgia driver’s license, or the ability to obtain one.
- Valid passport, or the ability to obtain one.
- Proficiency with Personal Computer (P.C.) hardware and contemporary software including Microsoft Office Products.
- SCUBA certification.
- Ability to pass departmental swim test, which includes, but is not limited to minimum requirements for treading water, breath holding, free diving and endurance.
Physical Demands & Work Environment
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 occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds 100 feet. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. Elements of the position require employees to wear a wet suit for extended periods throughout the day. This position requires direct contact with raw seafood. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. An employee must also have the ability to travel by car, boat and air as needed, physically use SCUBA equipment, conduct field work in the collection and research of animals, and maintain daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals.