Careers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Stranding Biologist

POSITION TITLE:  Stranding Biologist

REPORTS TO:  Supervisor

EXEMPT OR NON-EXEMPT:  Non-exempt

PERCENTAGE OF FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT:  100%

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  Able to work in extreme adverse environmental conditions, extended daily hours, overnights, and up to 60 hrs. per week (under extenuating circumstances); be a proficient swimmer, lift and carry 50 lbs.; have good physical stamina; operate machinery and heavy-duty vehicles (ex: Ford F450 box truck) and vessels.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY: The role of the Stranding Biologist is to support the goals and objectives of the Rescue Team outlined by management.  This will require the incumbent to maintain flexible working hours, be amenable to shifting priorities and a continually changing environment.  The Stranding Biologist may report to more than one job site, which involves traveling beyond Pinellas County and/or to other facilities. The primary responsibilities of the Stranding Biologist include, but are not limited to, stranding preparedness and responses, necropsies, rehabilitation, education and community awareness, among others.  Routine tasks required of the Stranding Biologist include, but are not limited to, public speaking, public relations, maintenance and storage of equipment, inventory and purchase of supplies, teaching and education, collection and management of data and samples, correspondence related to all aspects of the job, rehab shift coverage and overnight observations, operation of vehicles and vessels, oversight of volunteers and/or interns, and producing written materials.  Other aspects of the Stranding Biologist position involve animal transport, necropsies, processing and/or disposal of carcasses as well as the treatment and care of live animals in the field and/or in a rehab setting.  The Stranding Biologist is required to participate in random and unscheduled events such as interviews, interdepartmental and/or external collaborations, necropsies, or various animal responses.  The Stranding Biologist is also required to assist with some or all aspects of various projects, research, or grant writing, as needed, as well as assist other departments and support CMA’s mission, vision, and values.

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:

  • To know and understand CMA’s role within the SEUSMMSN, STSSN, FWC/MRP, and other stranding networks and the community.
  • Accomplish tasks required to ensure stranding preparedness at all times.
  • Conduct daily operations including, but not limited to, the completion of checklists, equipment cleaning and organization, monitoring and response to the stranding hotline, public stranding demonstrations, guest programs, and more.
  • Modify and adjust work schedule and priorities in order to participate in the rapid response to all stranded animal rescues and rehab events, including those which occur during non-schedule times.
  • Maintain the cleanliness and organization of assigned facility and storage areas, vehicles and vessels on a consistent basis.
  • Complete routine inspections of assigned facility areas based on NMFS Polices and Best Practices and USDA guidelines.  Make recommendations for and complete work orders.
  • Complete all tasks necessary to monitor the 24-hour CMA emergency stranding hotline.  Be on-call during non-scheduled times to field reports or be dispatched.
  • Maintain a comprehensive and updated stranding team membership database.
  • Conduct workshops and trainings for the Stranding Team volunteers, interns, law enforcement, and the public.
  • Participate in the rehabilitation, release, and monitoring efforts of marine mammals, sea turtles, and/or other wildlife as deemed appropriate, which involve overnight and extended-hour shifts.
  • Maintain accurate and updated information on CMA’s Cetacean Database, CMA’s Photo Archive, and the NMFS database/GoMex.
  • Collect quality data and complete required documentations (e.g. 24-hour report, Level A Data) for stranded animals.
  • Maintain or revise the Stranding Internship syllabus as needed, and provide daily training and supervision to Stranding Interns.  Complete a minimum of two evaluations for each Stranding Intern.
  • Participate in activities that promote or support the Rescue Team as determined by the Stranding Coordinator.
  • Participate in various public relations and media events, including professional interviews.
  • Participate in community relations, outreach events and other activities, which may involve traveling to the other counties within the state of FL, for the purpose of education, training, and networking.
  • Conduct public stranding demonstrations and/or host paid guest programs.  Assist with training of new program hosts and monitor program content and quality.
  • Participate in some or all aspects of various types of research projects, as deemed appropriate by CMA’s research committee, CMA’s research department, and the Stranding Coordinator.
  • Participate in development and execution of projects, grants, and events.
  • Conduct marine mammal and sea turtle necropsies, coordinate the disposal of carcasses, and carry out actions for disposal, processing, and/or storage.
  • Maintain CMA’s database for tissue samples and skeletal parts/complete skeletons and keep record of the transfer of parts.
  • Maintain stranding equipment and vehicles, including inspection logs.
  • Produce quality written material including SOPs, SOGs, reports, correspondence, and other.
  • Participate in the development and implementation of educational outreach material or activities to promote public awareness and conservation efforts.

EDUCATIONAL/CERTIFICATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in related discipline from an accredited college/university.
  • Minimum of 2 years of relevant professional experience.
  • Valid driver’s license and reliable transportation to and from work.
  • Must pass the CMA Stranding Team swim test with a total of 80 points or higher
  • Professional written and verbal communication skills, including proven technical writing abilities.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and related software programs (e.g. Microsoft Outlook)
  • Excellent time management, organizational and data entry skills.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and meet deadlines.
  • Possess good judgment, flexibility in responding to changing priorities, and be able to work as a team member and function well under pressure

The Clearwater Marine Aquarium reserves the right to revise job descriptions or work hours as required.

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