Blank Park Zoo
Blank Park Zoo

Open 9a-5p, last admission 4p

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Open 9a-5p, last admission 4p

View All Rates ›

Seasonal Aquarist

Date Posted
October 10, 2019

Job Details


Blank Park Zoo is seeking an aquarist to join the fish, invertebrate, amphibian, and reptile team. The aquarist will be responsible for performing a variety of tasks related to the care and maintenance of aquatic exhibits and quarantine systems, conservation efforts, and zoo facilities.



Responsible for all aspects of the care and management of the Aquarium’s fish, invertebrate collection including but not limited to:

  • Preparing diets and distributing food according to feeding schedules.
  • Cleaning and performing routine maintenance and minor repair of animal exhibits and holding areas to assure the health of animals and the presentation of the species in an attractive environment. Maintain water quality to keep aquatic animals in healthy condition.
  •  Using scuba and surface-supplied air systems for in-tank animal care and exhibit maintenance.
  • Assisting with administration of medications and treatments according to established procedure and veterinary instructions. Providing assistance in handling or restraining animals in accordance with established safety procedures as necessary to ensure animal welfare.
  • Supervising animal care interns, volunteers and/or temporary keepers
  • Observing animals and evaluating behavior to determine physical and behavioral health and well-being
  • Assisting with animal acquisition, acclimation and quarantine.
  • Serving as a customer service liaison through daily contacts with visitors providing information and answering questions.
  • Involved in professional networking, public relations, media contacts, public speaking and assistance in development and fund raising activities.
  • Participate in training programs in order to develop and maintain desired husbandry behaviors.
  • Comfortably work with venomous and dangerous animals
  • Complete daily record keeping
  • Cover amphibian and aquatic reptile exhibits and holding areas when needed.
  • Other duties assigned by Area Supervisor



To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Candidate should have knowledge of water quality, life support systems, common aquatic diseases, and ability to identify fish species.  The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.



Completion of two years of college with major course work in marine biology, zoology, or related natural science and one year of experience in the care of animals in a zoological setting OR any equivalent combination in which education and experience are interchangeable at the rate of one year of education for one year of experience.



Ability to communicate effectively to all ages of visitors and staff.



Ability to understand written reports and animal data collection.   



Ability to participate in research projects, write appropriate articles, communicate with colleagues, present findings at conferences.



All normal computer business skills required



Understanding of modern zoological and aquarium management, ability to research all applicable topics.



Scuba certification required, Iowa motor vehicle license



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee 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 bend, twist, lift >50 pounds, climb ladders etc. to perform animal and exhibit care tasks. Ability to haul out of exhibits when diving. Must be able to visually observe subtle changes in animal behaviors or health. Must meet all demands of the Dive Manual health requirements and physical abilities. Must be able to use hand held communication devices.



Ability to swim and function in all types of weather and work in loud service areas.  

Contact Information

Please complete an online application and attach a cover letter and resume, or email a Blank Park Zoo application with cover letter and resume to:   Blank Park Zoo Human Resources at or send by mail to Blank Park Zoo Human Resources, 7401 SW 9th St, Des Moines, IA 50315.

Click here for the online application

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