Careers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium

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Sea Turtle & Aquatic Biology Supervisor

POSITION TITLE:  Sea Turtle & Aquatic Biology Supervisor

REPORTS TO: Director of Animal Care

SUPERVISES: All staff, volunteers and interns within the Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology Department




Possess the following attributes and abilities to:

  • Lift up to 50lbs to waist level – Frequently
  • Lift up to 20lbs to shoulders and above head – Moderate Frequency
  • Walk/stand for long periods of time – Frequently
  • Maneuver safely on uneven terrain or in tight spaces – Frequently
  • Safely climb ladders when needed – Moderate Frequency
  • Squat, bend, kneel, twist and reach – Frequently
  • Reach above the shoulders – Frequently
  • Push and pull larger equipment – Moderate Frequency
  • Work outdoors in all weather conditions and adapt to changing weather – Frequently
  • Work indoors, under cover without air conditioning or heat – Frequently
  • Pass a swim test – Annually


The Sea Turtle Rehab & Aquatic Biology Supervisor will support and oversee the goals and objectives as identified by the CMA management teams in accordance with federal policy.  Daily healthcare for the CMA sea turtle population as outlined by FFWCC rule and regulations.  The incumbent must have the ability to meet requirements for holding non-releasable turtles for educational display permit without limitations (reference Marine Turtle Permit Rules 68E-1.004).   The Supervisor will plan and project with management to enhance staff knowledge and advance techniques while adhering to CMA policies and standard operating procedures. This position will oversee all animal, employee/volunteer/intern and guest safety, as well as provide discipline and promotion recommendations to management.  The Supervisor will work with management on departmental projects, ensuring staff, volunteers and interns have the proper equipment and materials to perform jobs safely and effectively, keeping costs within budget and maintaining established quality standards. 

The Supervisor is responsible for orienting and training all employees, interns and volunteers, under their supervision. In line with the mission of CMA, this position will lead the team by example and work alongside the team to educate about the various programs, activities, and events that promote marine animal stewardship, increase community awareness and involvement in conservation based activities.  Scope of work also includes all administrative tasks, educating internal and external customers, public speaking, public relations (PR), internal and external correspondence, shift coverage and overnight observations, operation of vehicles and vessels, collection of data, and maintenance and storage of equipment. These job responsibilities will require the Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology Supervisor to maintain flexible working hours, be amenable to shifting priorities and other changes, and be able to adjust accordingly.


Primary Responsibilities

  • Supervise the daily operations of sea turtle resident care in compliance with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC) Marine Turtle Conservation Handbook, state and federal laws, as well as CMA policy
  • Provide the sea turtle and aquatic specie collection proper care utilizing all tools available while coordinating with governing agencies, the veterinarian, and animal care teams
  • Teach biologists basic knowledge of identification of aquatic animal species including but not limited to sea turtles, fish, invertebrates, etc. through coaching and active participation
  • Teach and supervise all activities related to Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology department to include, not limited to, diet preparation, exhibit maintenance and aesthetics, animal enrichment, water quality, and guest focused fun-educational presentations
  • Coordinate and assist in routine husbandry veterinary procedures
  • Assist management with maintenance of behavioral logs and appropriate records in compliance with FFWCC regulations (water quality, etc.), quarterly and annual reporting and annual refresher training
  • Provide staff and volunteers with materials necessary to complete tasks at hand (i.e. reading material, training videos, and safety equipment)
  • Maintain SOPs throughout Sea Turtle and Aquatic Biology (i.e. quarantine, food preparation, etc.) and review and update as necessary
  • Responsible for proper staffing through effective scheduling especially in time of need (hurricane, cold stunning or red tide events, etc.)
  • Network with other facilities, organizations for best practices in the field, attending professional conferences and presentations
  • Maintain all inventory and ordering for all equipment and supplies needed
  • Assist management with employee evaluations as established by CMA HR policies
  • Oversee the volunteer and internship programs to include a positive morale and motivation
  • Provide open communication between management and all team members in the department, giving updates about daily priorities and changes
  • Follow safe polices and provide a safe working environment for animals, team members and guests
  • Understand, enforce and update departmental and assigned facility SOP manuals, including MSDS documents
  • Strong communication skills with clear, friendly, and effective verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Assist CMA management with staff and volunteer conflict as needed
  • Build relationships with, and coordinate with, CMA departments to provide information for the communication outlets within CMA such as social media (e.g. Facebook, Periscope, and podcasts), in house newsletters, weekly e-mail updates, nightly end of day reporting, etc.
  • Possess a strong business focus by contributing to the development and implementation of money generating programs involving aspects of marine animal care, education and conservation efforts
  • Possess great time management skills with the ability to plan, organize and multi-task
  • Have the ability to adapt in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-motivated, confident and disciplined with excellent work ethic
  • Must have a minimum of “Exceeds Expectations” overall rating on the last evaluation to be considered for a promotion
  • Perform other duties as workload necessitates

Marginal Responsibilities

  • Provide support to all Animal Care departments as needed
  • Provide support during conservational education and outreach events
  • Participate in and/or lead some or all aspects of research projects as directed by management as approved by CMA Research Committee
  • Assist with grant writing as warranted


  • Ensure there is complete employee compliance in safety programs including but not limited to: CPR certification, First Aid and dive safety
  • Pass an annual swim test
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written, and an ability to comfortably interact with the public on a regular basis
  • Be able to maintain working relationships with all internal and external entities, including, but not limited to, staff, volunteers, interns, and Municipal, County, State and Federal employees at all times
  • Capable of managing a high stress work environment
  • Proficiency with data entry
  • Knowledge of MS Office, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
  • Ability to work flexible schedule, including nights, weekends and holidays
  • Proficiency in the safe operation of four wheel drive vehicles and all-terrain vehicles
  • Strong problem-solving and time management skills, with an ability to plan, organize, and prioritize multiple tasks at once
  • Be adaptable in a fast-paced environment
  • Self-motivated, confident and disciplined with excellent work ethic


  • A BS degree in Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Zoology or related field, or equivalent experience
  • Preference may be given to candidate that has previously held an FWC marine turtle permit, or is familiar with the application process
  • Minimum of 5 years’ paid experience within the animal care field
  • Must hold a valid driver’s license
  • Minimum Open Water Diver certification from an internationally recognized diver training organization or ability to achieve within 90-day probationary period
  • Preference will be given to current CPR and First Aid certifications


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

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