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Biologist (On-Call)

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. 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.

Please note: Beginning Friday, August 27, Academy employees and volunteers will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo testing and provide negative test results before they are able to work on-site or off-site with others.

Reporting to the Assistant Curator this position ensures the health and safety of the Steinhart Aquarium's living collection during evening events. Provides general husbandry care and support for the Steinhart Aquarium’s living collection in various exhibit areas as assigned. Cleans habitats and holding areas, monitors animal health, makes frequent rounds, reports suspected animal or water quality problems to the Aquarium management and staff, maintains accurate records. Work schedule will include weekends, evenings and holidays. 

We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are intrinsic to Academy culture and operations, from recruitment and retention to science and advocacy. Explore Our Commitment to Racial Equity to learn about our intentional engagement of traditionally excluded groups in an effort to spark interest in or foster pathways to scientific careers.


  • Monitors animal health and responds to animal concerns during events. 
  • Maintains an effective channel of communication with event coordinators and correlating departments during evening events. 
  • Provides routine cleaning and disinfecting of facility floors, walls, and equipment. 
  • Provides as-needed husbandry care and exhibit maintenance including animal feedings, cleaning, health monitoring, animal enrichment, and environmental sampling. 
  • Provides backup and support for areas assigned to other staff during their normal days off and holidays.  
  • Actively seeks further training with all taxa represented in the living collection. 
  • Effectively communicates to the Aquarium management and staff. 
  • Participates in Academy committees and work groups as needed.
  • Answer questions from the general public through a variety of means.  
  • Establishes and maintains positive, cooperative and effective working relations with fellow employees. 
  • Actively participates in a culture promoting trust, respect and accountability. 
  • Interacts with professional colleagues, guests, the media and the general public in a professional manner. 
  • Follows all Academy and Aquarium safety regulations.
  • Other duties of a similar scope and nature as otherwise assigned.

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

A qualified candidate will possess a combination of the following experience and/or equivalent education: 

  • Previous work experience (paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo, or aquaculture facility preferred 
  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Zoology, Marine or Aquatic Biology, Chemistry, or a related field of study 


  • Basic knowledge of essential animal care and welfare requirements for the living collection.
  • Basic knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping and life support systems. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Willingness to seek further training in animal and plant husbandry.  
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.
  • Previous work experience (may be paid or unpaid) in an aquarium, zoo or aquaculture facility.
  • Working knowledge of open and closed aquarium life support systems. 
  • Working knowledge of husbandry requirements for animal species typical to an aquarium or zoo.  
  • Ability to utilize web-based communication and collaboration applications. 
  • Experience with exotic animals, aquarium fishes, invertebrates, plants, amphibians, reptiles and/or birds is desirable.
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid certifications.
  • Must be available to work a minimum of 4 shifts each month. This may include weekends and holidays.   
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as departmental protocols, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. 
  • Ability to write routine reports and speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of the organization.

Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities who meet the job’s 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 transport 50 lbs. Must be able to  swim, climb stairs and ladders, use extension poles, long-handed nets and shepherd’s hooks, and willing to work with, or adjacent to, venomous and dangerous animals. Must be able to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 22, 2021 at 12:00pm. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Please upload a cover letter that states why you are interested in this position, your resume and complete the brief online application.

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.

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