Western Washington University, with over 16,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. The campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, a coastal community of 83,000 overlooking Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades Mountain range. The city lies 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. Western is the highest-ranking public, master's-granting university in the Pacific Northwest, according to the 2019 U.S. News & World Report rankings.
About the Department
SEA Discovery Center through the Extended Education Department at Western Washington University support Western’s mission, which states that together with our students, staff, and faculty, we are committed to making a positive impact in the state and the world with a shared focus on academic excellence and inclusive achievement. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.
Located on Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, WA, the SEA Discovery Center is a public aquarium and marine science center, where visitors of all ages immerse themselves in the wonders of local marine life and ecosystems. The SEA Discovery Center inspires lifelong learning and a deeper connection to the marine environment through public aquarium exhibits, school field trips, educational programs, a vibrant volunteer program, and environmental stewardship projects involving the community. Previously known as the Poulsbo Marine Science Center, the facility has recently come under oversight of Western Washington University’s Extended Education. Although the Center’s name has changed, the vision and mission of the Center as an environmental educational resource for the region’s community and K-12 students remains the same. In fact, WWU aspires to expand the reach of the Center, the scope of STEM education taking place there, and the numbers of students and community members served. The Center’s facilities include a 3-story main building (footprint 24,000 sq. ft.) with fresh and saltwater aquarium exhibits, classrooms, and theater, outdoor grounds and parking lot, and floating boathouse classroom. Please see our website at www.wwu.edu/sea.
About the Position
The Aquarium Manager is the leader of the SEA Discovery Center’s public aquarium located in Poulsbo, Washington, and is responsible for the appearance, upkeep, planning, and longevity of exhibits, associated life support systems, water quality, collection and husbandry of all organisms, compliance with animal care policies and standards, and training/managing associated staff and volunteers. This is a hands-on working manager position and requires strong leadership and technical abilities. Due to the nature of working with live organisms, the successful candidate must be available for emergency response after hours including weekends.
Exhibit care and animal husbandry: Ensures husbandry of live organism’s 7-days a week, and excellent condition of exhibits and supporting areas:
Establishes and adjusts protocols for and performs all aspects of husbandry, including habitat (tank) conditions, animal feeding and care. Live organisms include: fish, invertebrates, seaweeds, seagrasses.
Interacts with consultant veterinarians for 24/7 care, as needed.
Manages condition of food preparation room and food and aquarium equipment/supply storage areas.
Develops ways to increase efficiency in aquarium design and ease of maintenance.
Establishes procedures and maintains processes in compliance with WWU, state, federal, and industry standards for collecting, transporting, and caring for aquatic organisms (marine/freshwater, temperate/tropical)
Ensures that animal food, tank equipment, and supplies are ordered and stocked appropriately
Works with appropriate staff to plan and improve exhibits (including interpretive signage) and increase recognition of the aquarium.
Coordinates with SEA’s Education and Science staff to integrate scientific content and educational program needs into aquarium exhibits.
Collaborate with SEA staff and/or similar and complementary organizations and departments to develop new exhibits and increase diversity of collections.
Develop interpretive signage, and interactive/informational displays.
Work with SEA Discovery Center and WWU Extended Education staff to prepare press releases, social media posts, and other forms of communication to promote the aquarium’s exhibits and organisms and share engaging information about the aquatic environment.
Train and manage animal and aquarium care team members (staff and volunteers) to assure compliance with established standards and protocols.
Interact with public aquarium visitors, provide programs
Monitor and ensure quality of the seawater and freshwater systems for the aquarium exhibit composition:
Measure, record, and monitor water quality parameters in all exhibits.
Perform routine system backwashes and water changes to maintain water quality.
Conduct daily inspections and operation of all equipment involved with the intake and circulation of the sea- and fresh- water systems, including troubleshooting any issues and notifying when repairs are needed. This includes electric motors and pumps, chillers, tanks, and filtration units, with an understanding of the valve arrangements and all aspects of their controls and operations.
Plans, prepares, coordinates, and leads collection trips and manages collections and exhibit composition:
Conducts a quarterly assessment of animal collection needs for science, education, and aquarium.
Prepare and submit required applications and annual report for WA State scientific animal collection permit and required transport/transfer permits.
Maintain logs of animal collections and changes in exhibit composition
Request, monitor, and coordinate collections by sub-permit holders, including Shannon Point Marine Center staff.
Ensure safety and well-being of volunteers and staff on collection trips.
Establish and follow protocols for collection, transport, and acclimation of animals to exhibits Develop purposeful, compatible combinations of organisms in each exhibit.
Maintains exhibits for visitor viewing and appearance (includes signage).
• B.A./B.S. degree in aquatic sciences, biology, or related field or commensurate experience in a professional work environment (e.g. aquarium or marine center)
• Detailed knowledge of the biology of a large variety of fishes, invertebrates, and other major taxon and familiarity with resources and tools for researching information
• Hands-on experience with aquatic animal husbandry in a professional aquarium or aquaculture setting
• Excellent observation and communication skills
• Understanding of aquarium life support systems, seawater systems, swimming pool and/or irrigation systems, pumps, aerators, chillers, and other aquarium equipment
• Experience developing and implementing animal or like protocols and keeping log records.
• Strong interpersonal skills and ethics that generate and sustain a positive team atmosphere and professional environment
• Self-starter and demonstrates ability to prioritize, manage time well, and learn quickly in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment.
• Possess trouble shooting skills and work effectively under pressure and emergency situations.
• Proficient in the use of computers including skills with Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Special Requirements/Conditions of Employment:
Agile and capable of performing physical labor, such as lifting buckets of water, climbing ladders, and balancing on uneven surfaces.
A valid driver's license and ability to travel
Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings, weekends and holidays.
Ability to respond to emergencies when needed.
• Graduate degree (Master's/PhD) in life sciences, marine science, or related field
• SCUBA certification or ability to complete the program within the first year of employment
• Experience providing excellent customer service and/or community-based education
• Experience leading and mentoring volunteers, students, assistants, and/or other people
• Experience conducting scientific research on live marine organisms
• Familiarity with aquatic species (marine & freshwater) of the Pacific Northwest and their habitats
• Experience with exhibit design
• Enthusiasm for marine organisms, habitats, and sharing educational information with others
• Experience preparing grants
Starting at $57,420 commensurate with experience and qualifications
A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.
Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.
Closing Date Notes
Position closes February 8, 2019.
Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay); email@example.com
WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).
Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the office of the Vice President for enrollment and Student Services. The report can be found at http://www.wwu.edu/vpess/annualsafetyreport.shtml.
All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.
With 15,000 students, 160 academic programs, and an energized campus community, Western offers the focus on students and the faculty access of a smaller college and the academic choice, resources, multicultural diversity, and room to grow of a large university. Western is located in beautiful Bellingham, a scenic coastal city of approximately 80,000 situated between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. With easy access to both the Cascade mountain range and the Pacific coast, the region is rich in cultural events and attractions as well as many recreational activities. Western is known nationally for its successes, including being named the top public master’s granting university in the Pacific Northwest by U. S. News and World Report and one of the best colleges in the nation to work for by the Chronicle of Higher Education.