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Vice President of Husbandry

Full Time, Eligible for Benefits


The Aquarium of the Pacific celebrates our planet’s largest and most diverse body of water, the Pacific Ocean. A non-profit organization, with close to 1,200 volunteers and 400 employees, the Aquarium of the Pacific’s mission is to “instill a sense of wonder, respect and stewardship for the Pacific Ocean, its inhabitants and ecosystems” through an array of education programs designed for all ages. It has redefined the modern aquarium by incorporating the arts and technology to engage audiences and is a gathering place where challenging issues regarding our planet are explored by scientists, policy-makers, and the public. Located on a five acre site on Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California, the Aquarium encompasses 263,000 square feet and features 19 major habitats and 32 focus exhibits. More than 11,000 ocean animals, representing 500 species, reside in the Aquarium. Exhibits range in size and capacity from 5,000 to 350,000 gallons. The Aquarium of the Pacific is the fourth most attended aquarium in the nation with 1.7 million annual visitors. The grand opening of the Aquarium was on June 20, 1998 with a total initial investment of $117 million. Today, the Aquarium is undergoing its first major expansion that will open in 2019.


The Aquarium of the Pacific is a dynamic, creative, and collaborative work environment staffed by employees and volunteers committed to its mission. An open door approach to work prevails and ideas are encouraged from all areas. The Aquarium holds frequent all-staff meetings, regularly surveys its paid and volunteer staff regarding their opinions about the work experience, encourages and models green practices and is more focused on ideas, solutions, and results than it is on hierarchy. Business is conducted through the prism of the organization’s core values and mission. Fifty plus hour workweeks are common, as are weekend and evening events. The Aquarium of the Pacific is an ideal workplace for individuals who wish to make a difference and enjoy working in a supportive team environment. The Aquarium of the Pacific has a regional and nationwide focus and is purposeful in its outreach to donors and supporters throughout Southern California and beyond.


The Vice President, Husbandry reports to the President and CEO and is responsible for all husbandry division activities, including oversight of the mammals and birds and fish and invertebrates collections, extensive dive program, water quality laboratory and veterinary services. The Vice President, Husbandry serves as an advocate for animal welfare and ensures the Aquarium is a leader in conservation and species propagation efforts. Under the leadership of the Vice President, the husbandry department efforts support the stories and exhibits, which inspire greater public commitment to the environment, shared with Aquarium guests. The Vice President, Husbandry takes the lead on the institution’s extensive AZA Accreditation review every five years.


  • Ensures that the Aquarium exhibits are beautiful and well stocked with animals that receive the highest standard of care in the best water quality conditions we can provide.
  • Establishes goals, objectives, and standards of staff performance and oversees the development and implementation of department policies and procedures.
  • Manages department personnel, non-personnel, and capital budgets.
  • Represents department in a variety of settings, including staff meetings, board meetings, press events, and professional conferences.
  • Serves as point person for internal and external parties in the event of an animal-related crisis.
  • Serves as driver of Aquarium breeding and conservation programs.
  • Coordinates with VP, Operations, CFO, and CEO and other internal constituents on capital projects related to husbandry.


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 abilities required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential job functions.

  • Bachelor’s degree in marine science or a related field, or equivalent experience. Advanced related degree preferred.
  • 5-10 years previous supervisory experience.
  • 8-10 years progressive experience working in the animal husbandry department of a major public aquarium.
  • Extensive knowledge and familiarity with all facets of aquatic animal care (disease prevention and treatment, collecting techniques, breeding, nutrition, water chemistry, training techniques (marine mammals), exhibit fabrication, and life support system design.)
  • Knowledge and familiarity with a wide range of animal and plant taxa of the type likely to be found in a major public aquarium (algae, invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals).
  • Knowledge and familiarity with essential aquarium facilities maintenance requirements.
  • Knowledge and familiarity with advanced aquarium life support systems and controls.
  • Good oral, presentation, and written communications skills. Ability to have candid conversations with individuals at all levels of the organization.
  • Outstanding diplomatic skills and ability to respond effectively in high pressure and potentially controversial circumstances.
  • Ability to present information accurately, calmly, credibly, and professionally to the media while under the pressure of a live broadcast and other interviews.
  • Ability to strike a balance between long- and short-term planning and to readily adapt to changing priorities.
  • Ability to navigate between circumstances that require collaboration and those that require challenging others and holding one’s ground when necessary on important issues.


The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by the individual to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Ability to sit, stand, and walk for long periods of time
  • Ability to balance bend, squat, climb, kneel, crawl, and twist
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 0-75lbs
  • Ability to pull and push up to 0-100lbs
  • Ability to swim, SCUBA certification in dive aquarium habitats or open ocean preferred.
  • Full functional range of motion in all major body joints from reaching, twisting, bending, simple and power gripping, fine and gross motor skills


The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an individual encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Exposure to injury from animals
  • Food preparation with fish and shellfish
  • Exposure to various in temperature, humidity, or wetness
  • Wet, dirty, uneven surfaces and walkways
  • Elevated platforms
  • Use of special auditory, visual, and personal protective equipment
  • Exposed to working with bio-hazards
  • Use of hand tools, machinery, and company vehicles
  • Willingness to travel long distances under harsh conditions, if necessary
  • Aquarium habitats and open ocean environments
  • Exposure to animals and their diseases


If you meet the requirements of this position, click on the link below to “APPLY NOW.” You will be directed to our web application process, the successful completion of which is required by all applicants. There are THREE simple steps to this process, which is administered by HireSelect:

  1. You will complete a brief web application;
  2. You will attach or build your resume;
  3. You will complete the PCI aptitude assessment.

Upon completion of all THREE steps, your submission will be forwarded to our hiring team for consideration. If you are among the most qualified applicants, we will contact you within two to three weeks. If you do not hear from us within that time, feel free to reapply in the future as other opportunities arise. Thank you so much for your interest in the Aquarium of the Pacific!

The Aquarium of the Pacific is an Equal Opportunity Employer.