Biologist II - Animal Health

San Francisco, CA
Full Time
Animal Health

About the Opportunity:
The Animal Health Department is looking for an Aquarium Biologist to join the team! This position offers the unique mixed experience of being the primary aquarist taking care of the Academy’s quarantine and medical ward aquarium systems, with the opportunity to assist with veterinary procedures in the Hospital and animal nutritional upkeep in the aquarium’s Commissary. Put your aquatic animal husbandry skills to work at a world-renowned scientific institution in the heart of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.

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 Reefs, Thriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at

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. 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 Animal Health Department Team:
The aquarium’s Animal Health Department team contributes to the exceptional standards of aquarium veterinary care by overseeing the following functions: veterinary services, all aquatic and terrestrial animal quarantine and medical facilities, commissary, live feeds, and evening events.

Key Responsibilities:
Reporting to the Veterinarian and Manager of the Animal Health Department, this position is responsible for providing general animal care and support for the Steinhart Aquarium’s living collection in the Animal Health Department’s quarantine and medical habitats. The primarily responsibilities of this role will be: cleans habitats and holding areas, monitors animal health, makes frequent daily rounds, participate in animal transportation and shipments, reports suspected animal or water quality problems to the Animal Health Department, maintains accurate records, may participate in the collection of specimens, and may travel on Aquarium business. The Animal Health Biologist could also provide coverage in any of the Animal Health Department’s support functions: veterinary services, commissary, live feeds, and evening events. Ultimately, the Biologist II provides animal care and support for the Academy’s living collection, primarily in marine and freshwater habitats, with occasional animal care and support for terrestrial species. Preferred candidates will have experience in the husbandry and maintenance of freshwater or marine fishes and their associated aquatic habitat systems.

A successful candidate will have the following:

            EXPERIENCE and/or EDUCATION:


  • Must have completed at least three (3) years of paid full-time animal/plant husbandry or related position(s) in a public aquarium or comparable institution, showing an increase in responsibility and experience.


  • Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Zoology, Marine or Aquatic Biology, or a related field of study preferred.

            SKILLS and ABILITIES:


  • Knowledge of public aquarium/zoo operations, maintenance, record keeping and life support systems.
  • Knowledge of natural animal habitats and the ability to duplicate them in a controlled environment.
  • Knowledge of essential animal care and welfare requirements for the living collection.
  • Ability to work as a member of a team and engage in a culture that promotes trust,respect and accountability.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Effective organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to multitask, prioritize, and delegate tasks.
  • Ability to work weekends and holidays on a routine basis.
  • Holds a valid California driver’s license or ability to obtain one.


  • Knowledge of record-keeping software such as ZIMS, Formstack, and Google Drive.
  • SCUBA certified or able to attain SCUBA certification if required.
  • Ability to complete CPR/AED/First Aid certification.
  • Knowledge of USDA and AZA standards for animal care and welfare.
  • Ability to utilize web-based communication and collaboration applications.
  • Familiarity with scientific research projects.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as departmental protocols, safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.

Physical Environment: 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.

  • Ability to transport 50 lbs.
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 75% of the time.
  • Must be able to work at 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.

Compensation and Benefits:
Hourly hiring rate: $30.41 per hour. The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits.
Schedule: full time, 40 hours per week

APPLICATION DEADLINE: This position will close on February 28, 2023 at 5 PM. Review of applications will begin on February 13, 2023.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload 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, 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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