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Keeper II - Department of Mammalogy & Ornithology (M&O) 

About the Organization

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to the conservation and research of the Sonoran Desert region with the goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable and valued. We are a fusion experience zoo, botanical garden, aquarium, art gallery, natural history museum, and research institute. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has recognized the Desert Museum for over 25 years of continuous accreditation.

The mission of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.

IDEA Commitment
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is committed to fostering a welcoming space and a diverse, inclusive team that reflects the communities in which we live and work. We understand that inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) are integral to the fulfillment of our mission, and to our success as an organization. We are working to build the structures, policies, hiring practices and organizational culture that ensure representation and opportunity for all, and create an environment of belonging where everyone feels respected, safe, and understood. As we continue to engage in this work, we are integrating the core values of IDEA into our programs, exhibits, communications, and other public offerings. Valuing each other's differences brings us together to create a thriving workplace and fair work culture, allowing us to fulfill our mission more effectively.

We believe inclusion is everyone's responsibility. Ways in which our commitment is demonstrated include continuous development, modeling inclusive behaviors, and proactively addressing bias. Visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum's IDEA page to learn more.

Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Exempt/Non-Exempt Non-Exempt  

Join the Adventure at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum!

Are you ready to embark on a wild journey with a team that's as passionate about the desert's wonders as you are? The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is seeking an energetic and collaborative individual to join our Mammalogy & Ornithology Department as a Keeper II. Benefits eligibility begins on the first of the month after just 30 days on the job!

We're on the prowl for someone with a Bachelor's degree and at least three years of experience in a related field (especially if it's paid). If you've got a track record in an AZA-accredited facility, you're already soaring high. Don't have the degree but have the devotion and know-how? We're all ears! Highlight your wealth of experience and skills on your resume to reveal the valuable contributions you can make. We're eager to explore the unique perspective and capabilities you bring to the table. Don't hesitate to seize this opportunity and let your accomplishments shine in your application. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in animal husbandry, experience caring for captive wild birds and mammals, and a keen interest in operant conditioning and the natural history of Sonoran Desert region. From lifting and carrying up to 50 lbs to showcasing your flexibility to work weekends, holidays, and occasional evenings/nights, this role is your ticket to join and support a team dedicated to conservation and education. Plus, the stunning desert backdrop could be your office view!

Attention to Detail Matters
Complete all sections of your application with the same exceptional care you would give to our wild residents. Be sure to include professional references – we want to know who's singing your praises! The quest for our ideal candidate starts NOW and will continue until we find our perfect match. The selected candidate will be required to successfully complete a pre-employment drug screen and provide the equivalent of a satisfactory 3-year Driver's History Record as final conditions of employment.

Ready to be a guardian of the desert's remarkable furry and feathered inhabitants? Apply now and let your adventure begin!


Job Description
Job Title: Keeper II
Department: Collections
Reports To: Curator of Mammalogy & Ornithology
FLSA Status: Non-Exempt
Reviewed: September 2023
Compensation: Initial Step is $16.25 per hour plus a comprehensive benefit package which includes: Life/AD&D and LTD insurance, a 403b Plan with Roth option, 403b Matching, Employee Assistance Program, Paid Holidays, Vacation, Personal Business time, and Sick Leave as well as optional Short-Term Disability, Supplemental Life, Medical, Dental, Vision, and Medical & Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts. Employee perks include a complimentary membership and guest passes, gift shop and concessions discounts, discounts on public programs and art classes, as well as appreciation and recognition programs and events. Position is covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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 or Vet Technician.
  • 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).
  • May be responsible for training volunteers, Docents and Education staff on how to work with interpretive animals.
  • 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
There are no staff supervisory responsibilities associated with this position. However, 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 (B.A.) from four-year college or university; and one to two years' related experience and/or training; or 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 calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions, percentages, area, circumference, and volume. Ability to apply concepts of basic algebra and geometry.

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.
  • Must be able to work holidays and weekends.
  • Must demonstrate schedule flexibility according to department needs.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations

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

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. Physical demands include lifting animals, crates with or without animals, food bags, boxes, containers (grain, frozen quail, frozen meat).

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 loud (working with macaws), but hearing protection is occasionally required. Other personal protective equipment (PPE) may be required as directed.


The above description reflects a general overview of the responsibilities, reporting relationships 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. The Museum is a drug and alcohol free workplace and participates in E-Verify.

EOE Statement We are an equal opportunity employer with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. For this position, we are seeking candidates who are U.S. citizens or permanent green card holders. We believe that inclusive teams with diverse perspectives are essential to our success and encourage applicants from all backgrounds to apply, within the remit of the eligibility criteria.  
Open Date 2/2/2024  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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