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Keeper II (I.A.C. & R.F.F. Programs) 

Category Collections/Exhibits  
Position Keeper II (I.A.C. & R.F.F. Programs)  
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  
Salary Bargaining Unit Position. $15.16/hour for the first year.  

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's Animal Experiences Department seeks an enthusiastic individual to join our team. This full-time position offers the candidate a unique opportunity to work in two very different programs each week; Raptor Free Flight (RFF) and the Interpretive Animal Collection (IAC.) RFF presents two free flight demonstrations per day during the season, showcasing a variety of raptors native to Arizona and the Sonoran Desert. The collection includes hawks, owls, falcons and ravens. IAC keepers present semi-formal programs in a theater setting 3 days/week. IAC keepers are responsible for approximately 75 animals representing 35 species of reptiles, arthropods, mammals and birds.

Job duties for both programs include preparing animal diets, administering medication as needed, record keeping, performing minor maintenance tasks for animal enclosures and holding areas, capture and restraint, basic husbandry, behavioral enrichment and training, and certification of volunteers.

The successful candidate must have good external and internal customer service skills as well as excellent critical thinking skills. Have the ability to multi-task and the capacity to compartmentalize knowledge. Have experience working with birds-of-prey (preferably in a free-flight setting) and husbandry specific to flight-trained/free-lofted raptors. Experience using telemetry is a plus. The ideal candidate will also be able to confidently present ambassador animals (mammals, reptiles, arthropods, birds) during formal and informal presentations.

Must be a quick learner, have an eye for detail, and be able to work independently with little supervision. Must be team-oriented and have a courteous, sensitive, and respectful demeanor when working with volunteers and interfacing with the public. Must be able to work long hours in the extreme temperatures typical of the Sonoran Desert. The qualified candidate will have a Bachelor's degree in biology or related field. A minimum of three years’ paid experience with animals at professional animal care facility (preferably an AZA accredited institution) is required for this position. A combination of education and applicable experience may also be considered. Must be able to lift and carry up to 50 lbs. Must be available to work weekends, holidays, and some evening events. Satisfactory driving record and valid Arizona Driver’s License (or ability to obtain) required.

This position was opened on October 16, 2018 and does not have a closing date. It is considered open until filled; however, application review will begin immediately. Please understand that if offered a position, you will, as a final condition of employment, be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and provide a 39-month DMV report.


Reports To: Curator of Animal Experiences

Date Prepared: August 6, 2018

Wage Progression: Initial Step is currently $15.16/hour with annual step increases based upon hire date and the bargaining unit agreement in effect at the time of the anniversary date. Current steps: Step 2 is $15.66; Step 3 is $16.17; Step 4 is $17.69; Step 5 is $18.22; Step 6 is $18.59; Step 7 is $ 18.96; Step 8 is $19.34.

Ensures animal welfare and institutional support by performing the duties below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following; other duties will be assigned

  • Prepares food for charges by chopping or grinding meat, fish, fruit, or vegetables; mixing prepared, dry, or liquid commercial feeds, or unbaling forage grasses per department practices and protocols
  • Cleans and fills water containers and places food in enclosures per department practices and protocols
  • Adds vitamins, medications or supplements to food or water as prescribed by ASDM's Veterinarian
  • Observes animals to detect illnesses or injuries and notifies Curator or ASDM's Veterinarians of findings. Will promptly notify Curator or veterinary team of issues and concerns
  • Assists ASDM's Veterinarians and Veterinary Technician in treatment of animals for illnesses and injuries
  • Will perform injection of prescribed medications after appropriate training from ASDM veterinary staff
  • Cleans and disinfects animals' quarters per department practices and protocols
  • Will assist with developing desired animal behaviors per department practices and protocols
  • Will be involved in the training of co-workers
  • Will be involved with the training, management and certification of volunteers
  • Under curatorial direction, transfers Collection animals from one location or enclosure to another for purposes such as rearrangement of exhibits, veterinary needs, or programs
  • Sets temperature and humidity controls of quarters as specified per department practices and protocols
  • Answers visitor questions concerning animal habits, conservation, or museum operations
  • Participates in educational activities as required, (i.e., Docent classes, ADC, Art Institute, media)
  • Assists other collection departments, maintenance, and exhibits staff when required
  • May assist in the collection of specimens and exhibit materials per ASDM guidelines
  • Will provide and create approved environmental enrichment, following AZA guidelines and per department practices and protocols
  • Will participate in formal presentations at ASDM or off-site, (i.e., Keeper talks, theater programs, behind-the-scenes tours)
  • Will complete on-line annual training as required

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position may supervise and/or provide direction to volunteers assisting with Keeper duties.

Position Requirements


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. 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.

Education and/or Experience

Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years’ experience in a related field (preferably paid) at an AZA-accredited facility desirable; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Language Skills

Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.

Mathematical Skills

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.

Reasoning Ability

Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

Computer Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual should have basic computer software knowledge to include word processing, data base, and spreadsheet applications.

Other Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of the Sonoran Desert region highly desirable.
  • Knowledge of zoo facilities and operations desirable.
  • Knowledge of natural history, safe animal capture and handling, husbandry, and ecosystems required.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations

  • Valid Arizona Driver’s License or ability to obtain
  • Satisfactory 39-month DMV report

Other Qualifications

Must be able to work holidays, weekends, and evenings as needed.

Physical Demands

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.

While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear and taste or smell. The employee must regularly lift and /or move up to 10 pounds, frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly exposed to outside weather conditions. The noise level in the work environment is often quiet, but hearing protection is occasionally required.

The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities and position requirements for this job classification. It is not intended to be a complete description of all duties and requirements that may be inherent in the position. Please understand that if offered a position, you will, as a final condition of employment, be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and provide a 39-month DMV report.

Open Date 10/16/2018  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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