Vice President of Living Collections Operations

Vice President of Living Collections Operations

Living Collections

Vice President of Living Collections Operations


The Vice President of Living Collections, in coordination with Curatorial staff, will plan, establish and maintaining a professional and positive animal management program. The latest techniques in behavioral management, operant conditioning and enrichment will be applied in order to promote the welfare of all of the species in our care, create better exhibits for our guests. The Vice President of Living Collections will provide leadership and consistent, quality care to the mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates and plants of the exhibits. Responsibilities will include the appearance and operation of all new exhibits. This innovative individual will address scientific topics as required by the Science Center staff while overseeing a diverse team of professionals and volunteers. 



  • Bachelor's degree in biology, zoology, veterinary medicine or related field AND
  • 5 years of supervisory or managerial capacity in zoological park or aquarium involving live animal and aquarium specimens, respective life support systems, along with plant and tree horticulture, preferably in an American Zoo and aquarium (AZA) accredited institution OR
  • A minimum of seven years experience in a zoological park of aquarium operation involving live animal and live aquarium specimens, respective life support systems, along with plant and tree horticulture, preferably in an AZA accredited institution OR
  • Any combination of experience and training which would indicate potential to perform duties of this position. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of exotic animal husbandry and associated record keeping.
  • Understand modern and complex principals and practices of exhibit planning at aquariums or zoological parks 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of operational characteristics, services and activities of either live animal collection program or an aquarium program 
  • Experience planning the acquisition and transportation of exotic animals
  • Experience in developing, implementing and evaluating animal management and behavioral training
  • Ability to understand technical literature and applicable Federal State, and local laws, regulations codes and ordinances regarding captive animal management. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of techniques and practices related to animal escapes and emergencies 
  • Specialization in or good working knowledge of birds, mammals, reptiles and plants indigenous to the rainforests of Southeast Asia, Southern California and the Sonoran Desert region preferred
  •  Current knowledge of modern safety procedures and hazardous material handling
  • Diving experience is preferred
  • Experience in training, supervision and evaluation of staff
  • Must have strong organization and planning skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills required
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule which may include some weekends, holidays and non-traditional hours 


Major Job Responsibilities: 

  • Proactively working with organized breeding programs and other zoological institutions to ensure timely acquisitions of animal collection
  • Implementing policies and programs related to exotic animal health management and breeding and maintaining associated records.
  • Initiating, developing and supervising programs for the care, training and management of exotic animals
  • Overseeing the Horticulture programs for the care and management of a variety of plants in naturalistic habitat displays
  • Overseeing the dive program an collection activities 
  • Implementation of federal regulations and AZA guidelines regarding the care of exotic animals and facilitating program accreditation by AZA 
  • Overseeing water quality and life support operations and systems, including planning maintenance to ensure long term longevity of systems
  • Provide effective project management for major initiatives to ensure performance and timely, cost effective completion
  • Participating in the development of administration of annual operating and capital budgets; monitoring and approve expenditures
  • Procuring supplies and equipment and making recommendations for necessary contractual services
  • Attending and participating in professional group meeting; staying abreast of new trends and innovation in field of animal husbandry
  • Working with Operations and Exhibit Development staff to evaluate needs for updating or modifying exhibits in the future
  • Assisting Curatorial staff in developing and implementation of exhibit goals, objectives, policies and priorities
  • Participating in educational programs, as needed (educational presentations, lectures, tours, media spots)
  • Perform other duties as assigned 


Management Responsibilities

  • Manage and direct salaried, hourly and volunteer staff with a variety of full-time and part-time positions
  • Using a team approach, work collaboratively with various department staff
  • Develop/revise policy and procedures to enhance with efficient of operation in all areas
  • Participate in the selection and training of all animal care staff
  • Meet with staff regularly to identify and resolve problems
  • Establish goals and standards to performance, monitor and evaluate work performance by staff 



  • $95,000 - $105,000 Per Year