New England Aquarium
  • Pinnipeds and Penguins Leadership
  • Boston, MA, USA
  • Full Time Regular

Directs the daily operations of the Pinniped areas in a manner that ensures the highest standards of modern animal training, care, enrichment, and welfare. The primary role of the Assistant Curator is to focus on providing a supportive, positive team environment that fosters staff growth and development in the advancement of marine mammal training and welfare. As a member of the leadership team the Assistant Curator has a shared responsibility to provide proactive planning for the training of staff and animals. Specifically, they will assist in the design, development, and implementation a comprehensive behavior program which will include conditioned husbandry, enrichment strategies and guest-centered program training. Through teaching, coaching, and demonstrating the best industry practices and professional behavior, the Assistant Curator of Pinnipeds must be a role model and a well-rounded animal care professional.

New England Aquarium has implemented comprehensive safety protocols for employees and visitors to minimize the risk of COVID-19 exposure. As a member of our team, you will be provided with the training and resources needed to ensure a safe and rewarding experience. In addition, the Aquarium requires all staff to be vaccinated and boosted (when eligible) against COVID-19 unless a reasonable medical or religious accommodation is requested and approved.

This is a full-time regular position offering a comprehensive benefits package. The typical schedule will be Tuesday - Saturday, and will occasionally require some coverage on weekends and holidays, as well as some early morning and night coverage.


  1. Leads by example demonstrating high level of job performance including exemplary leadership, interpersonal and communications skills.
  2. Conducts interviews, makes hiring recommendations to the Curator(s) and builds high-performing work teams through hands-on supervision, training and coaching.
  3. Sets priorities and expectations, empowers employees and leads them to overcome barriers to their success.
  4. Provides a balance of positive and constructive performance feedback in line with accomplishing animal, area, and project goals.
  5. Collaborates with the Manager to successfully coach and encourage the staff on accountability, job performance, and timely goal completion.
  6. Conducts annual performance appraisals for the staff with the Manager, provides career ladder development through strategic goals and recommends promotions.
  7. Through proactive planning, delegates appropriately and follows through to ensure completion.
  8. Creates a positive, professional, and forward-thinking work culture across areas and departments.
  9. Promotes an environment where the staff is recognized for achievements and productive teamwork.
  10. Maintains a high level of job satisfaction and morale amongst employees.


  1. Sets area strategy and oversees the direction of aquarists by the Supervisor to ensure the proper appearance, operation and husbandry of exhibits and support areas. Evaluates exhibits and support systems and recommends improvements / maintenance on a regular basis.
  2. Ensures the highest standards of a safe and healthy work environment for the staff, guests, and animals.
  3. Leads and assists in developing a comprehensive proactive behavior management plan for the highest industry levels of husbandry training, enrichment and welfare for the pinniped collection.
  4. Supervises veterinary rounds and coordinates top notch husbandry practices with the Curator and the Animal Health department.
  5. Demonstrates exceptional communication on all events to the appropriate personnel in a timely manner including the Curator, Veterinarians, and other departments.
  6. Develops, directs and participates in guest-centered public programs, special events and coordinates public relations opportunities with the Communications Department.
  7. Responsible for proper and creative staff scheduling to meet the needs of the animals and the aquarium.
  8. Delegates appropriate responsibilities, projects, and assignments to provide a work environment of learning and growth.
  9. Implementation of an effective coaching system, conducts performance evaluations, reviews career ladder progression, and evaluates staff to allow for employee satisfaction and retention.
  10. Assist in the recruiting and hiring process of talented staff in collaboration with Curator of Pinnipeds and Penguins.
  11. Develops, evaluates, and supervises the volunteer/intern program, department outreach, and other potential guest programs.
  12. Takes a proactive approach to supply and inventory needs while staying within the budget.
  13. Delegates and oversees exhibit operation and maintenance while maintaining a safe environment for the animals.
  14. Directs all tasks related to daily operation in addition to staff and animal training, such as cleaning, diving, purchasing, daily records, food preparation, follow up on medications, follow up on exhibit repairs, etc. and delegates implementation and follow through of these activities by assigning these responsibilities to the training team.
  15. Makes Strategic plans and supervises transport and acclimation of animals to ensure successful socialization of pinnipeds.
  16. Network and represent department interests and capabilities for participating in Aquarium events, activities, public relations, fundraising efforts, and update other departments as needed for Pinnipeds and Penguins Department activities.
  17. Ensures compliance to government regulations and industry standards in all aspects of the operation including USDA/APHIS, OSHA, EPA, and AZA.
  18. Performs other position-related duties, as assigned.


Minimum Training and Experience

  • Requires a Bachelor's degree, 4+ years of experience in a leadership role and 7 years of experience in the zoological field.
  • Must have experience with TRACKS, Species 360, OERCA or comparable animal training, husbandry, and enrichment tracking software.
  • Must be a leader in the marine mammal industry with a diverse background in state-of-the-art animal husbandry, enrichment, and behavior techniques with a variety of species of animals.
  • Must be highly skilled in proactive behavior management planning to maintain a healthy and enriched pinniped collection as well as progressively advance new behaviors utilizing best practices.
  • Must have experience with and an innovative approach to project management related to marine mammal habitat development, enrichment, and welfare practices.
  • Must have exceptional skills in leading teams in operant conditioning training and enrichment practices with marine mammals.
  • Must have experience with multiple successful transports, acclimations, and positive socializations with pinnipeds.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Exceptional public speaking and presentation skills.
  • SCUBA Certification and Medical Examiner's authorization to SCUBA dive in accordance with NEAq Diving Control Board
  • Experience with project planning and management
  • Must have a solid understanding of life support design and operation, quarantine principles and protocols, water quality and the interpretation of testing results.

For more information and to apply online please visit:

New England Aquarium is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC.

New England Aquarium
  • Apply Now

  • * Fields Are Required

    What is your full name?

    How can we contact you?

  • Sign Up For Job Alerts!

  • Share This Page
  • Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email
Logo Visit Exhibits Learn Support Get Involved Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life Join Donate Host an Event Shop About Us Buy Tickets Click Here