Ocean Career: Vice President Biological Programs and Director of Aquarium

The Vice President of Biological Programs and Director of Aquarium leads the Animal Husbandry Department in the operations of the Frost Science Aquarium, Batchelor Environmental Center at FIU, and Batchelor Environmental Center at Greynolds Park.

Reporting to the Sr. VP of Engineering and Operations, the VP of Biological Programs oversees all animal husbandry operations, aquatic life support operations, marine conservation activities and wildlife rehabilitation programs. The VP of Biological Programs and Director of Aquarium is responsible for the management of the animal care staff and all aspects of the animal collection including, but not limited to animal health, aquatic life support operation and maintenance, environmental enrichment, collection planning, regulatory compliance, permitting, accreditation, research with or using collection animals and aquatic conservation. The VP of Biological Programs works collaboratively with all departments & facilities to support the museum’s goals and objectives.


  • Direct the operations of all aquatic exhibits and life support systems for the museum.
  • Actively participate in the planning and installation of aquatic exhibitions. Act as the technical lead regarding animal care, health, and safety. Review all animal related graphics and text for accuracy.
  • Establish humane, respectful, and environmentally responsible husbandry practices in compliance with all state and federal regulations for new museum.
  • Assure compliance with ethical standards of the profession as adopted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
  • Develop and manage institutional collection plan consistent with AZA standards.
  • Develop and coordinate an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee/Animal Policy Committee.
  • Direct the development of animal collection policies, procedures, and training manuals.
  • Ensure that all permits are in place and all periodic reports are filed with the Florida State Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other regulatory bodies, funding sources and insurance agencies.
  • Monitor the construction process of aquarium exhibit change outs and refreshes to ensure husbandry criteria are met.
  • Manage the leadership team within the husbandry department including life support system staff, animal husbandry staff, veterinary staff, dive operations staff and the conservation team.
  • Work with Advancement and Education teams to apply and secure grant funding in support of aquarium operations and conservation initiatives.
  • Establish staffing plans, schedules and budgets for the department and the successful operation of the museum facilities.
  • Oversee personnel hiring, training, and evaluation.
  • Promote staff development, technical training, and morale.
  • Direct the operation of offsite animal holding facilities for new museum in conjunction with other research institutions, aquariums, and collectors.
  • Establish and oversee the museums marine conservation program. Sets strategic vision for the program and utilizes conservation staff to reach program goals.
  • Establish and maintain aquatic research and conservation links with other zoological and research institutions.
  • Promote and actively participate in local, state, and regional conservation projects.
  • Collaborate with Education, Programs and New Museum content developers in the production of educational programming and content for use throughout the institution.
  • Encourage, promote, and participate in initiatives to enhance the guest experience both directly and through outstanding living animal exhibits.
  • Oversee and participate in public interaction including behind the scenes tours, speaking engagements, media communication and guest education.
  • Oversees a portion of the Frost Science fleet of vehicles including the Husbandry truck and research vessel.
  • Participate in site and facility planning and emergency preparedness training.
  • Serve as Aquarium representative to professional agencies, institutions, and committees.
  • Attend professional meetings and conferences.
  • Communicate regularly with professional colleagues at other institutions.
  • Assist with development and fund-raising activities and in the preparation of funding proposals.
  • Actively participate as a member of the institution’s safety committee. This position is deemed as an “essential employee” in response to emergency conditions.



  • Minimum 10 years of experience in aquatic animal husbandry in applied or research settings.
  • Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology or related field required, advanced degree (M.S or Ph. D in Marine or Environmental science discipline) strongly preferred.
  • Must possess or have ability to obtain a Florida driver’s license. Advanced Open Water SCUBA certification. CPR/AED, oxygen provider certifications preferred.
  • Knowledge of aquatic animal husbandry techniques, aquatic life support operations, aquatic animal nutrition and aquatic animal veterinary practices.
  • Knowledge of marine conservation issues of South Florida.
  • Knowledge and experience in aquatic animal collecting techniques.
  • Knowledge of Federal and State of Florida permitting necessary for collection and possession of aquatic animal collections.
  • Ability to supervise staff and manage human resources effectively.
  • Ability to implement financial plans and budgets and identify, secure, and manage resources of traditional and non-traditional sources.
  • Skill in database management and MS Office, including spreadsheets.
  • Ability to work collaboratively to develop, plan, and implement short- and long-range goals.
  • Ability to create, compose, and edit written materials, including peer reviewed research publications.
  • Ability to use independent judgment and to manage and impart information to a range of clientele, staff members and/or media sources.
  • Knowledge of and ability to apply management principles and practices.
  • Ability to work in extreme conditions outdoors, in the field and indoors with irregular hours and schedules.
  • Must be safety conscious.
  • Must possess advanced knowledgeable in anatomy; recognition and treatment of minor animal health concerns; quarantine protocols; water chemistry; and the ability to troubleshoot life support problems.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills with supervisors and co-workers.
  • Demonstrate the ability to make sound decisions in the absence of supervision, assume responsibility without direction and willingness to assist in achieving institution goals.


  • Working long hours between breaks or meals required.
  • Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.
  • Must be able to work in moderately noisy environments, dirty conditions, and cramped spaces.
  • Must be willing to work flexible hours including weekends, evenings, and holidays.
  • Must be able to work both indoors and outdoors and in varying weather conditions.
  • Location

    Miami, FL

    Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.


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