Aquaculture Technician

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

St. Croix, USVI 🇻🇮

OFFICE LOCATION

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

VI202

A LITTLE ABOUT US

Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in, protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create innovative on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive.

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s a lot of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

YOUR POSITION WITH TNC

The Aquaculture Technician (AT) performs a variety of routine tasks and maintains coral aquaculture systems that support the implementation of coral restoration and conservation projects and research at TNC’s Coral Innovation Hub coral propagation facility in St. Croix, USVI.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

The AT is responsible for routine coral husbandry, day-to-day maintenance, and data collection required of the coral aquaculture facility. They provide research and aquarist assistance to restoration tasks, and/or general assistance to program staff, partners, and facility users. Under the guidance of the Coral Aquaculture Supervisor (CAS), the AT will support maximal coral health and growth through daily cleaning, maintenance, and monitoring of the facility’s life support systems and related equipment to ensure optimal, uninterrupted performance. The AT is responsible for keeping comprehensive and accurate logs of system parameters and performance, as well as daily coral husbandry and health evaluations. This position will also assist in the fabrication and operationalization of new wet lab aquaria systems.

RESPONSIBILITIES & SCOPE

  • Operate, monitor, and maintain proper functioning of all equipment vital to coral aquaculture facility, reporting to the Coral Aquaculture Supervisor. 
  • Assist the Coral Aquaculture Supervisor in routine maintenance, preventive maintenance, repairs and/or emergency maintenance of the systems to ensure optimal  performance and coral health.
  • Complete regular and routine cleaning, preventive maintenance, calibration, routine upkeep, troubleshooting and repair to instrumentation and mechanical equipment.
  • Conduct daily rounds of all raceways and filtration rooms to inspect animals, filters, control systems, pumps, RO units, lights, Ozone units, chillers, heat exchangers and all other equipment related to and/or associated with the coral aquaculture facility’s life support systems. 
  • Complete daily husbandry care of corals and other invertebrates, notify supervisor of any changes or evidence of problems.
  • Perform and document scheduled tests of the life support systems and pertinent components. 
  • Prepare and maintain comprehensive logs of collections, husbandry, raceway cleaning, water quality, equipment tests, maintenance and service, etc. 
  • Prepare and maintain a sufficient inventory of equipment and supplies for standard operations; as assigned, procure and prepare supplies needed for seasonal coral propagation activities (e.g., asexual fragmentation and sexual propagation). Assist in budget development for coral aquaculture operations.
  • Assist in training and oversight of interns and volunteers working at the coral aquaculture facility. 
  • Maintain a clean and organized work environment. 
  • Work in variable weather conditions, outdoors and for long periods of time in isolated settings, under physically and/or mentally demanding circumstances requiring considerable physical exertion and/or muscular strain. 
  • As assigned, continuously monitor the facility’s life support alarm system via mobile app and be on call and responsive to system alarms and emergencies.
  • Work in coral aquaculture facility on weekends and flexible hours, with limited supervision, as required.
  • Interact with visitors and donors; provide aquarist assistance to interns, graduate students, and visiting researchers to ensure smooth operation of wet lab/seawater facilities for experimental applications.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Associates Degree in marine science, aquaculture, natural resources, environmental studies or equivalent combination of education and 6 months’ experience.                 
  • Experience managing and prioritizing tasks from multiple sources.
  • Experience with computer knowledge along with verbal, written, and observational skills. 
  • Organizational, communication, and time management skills.
  • Willingness to work outside of normal scheduled hours (i.e. weekend days, holidays, special events, after-hour system related activities or emergencies).
  • Willingness and ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions for long periods of time. 
  • Valid driver’s license.

DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS

  • Undergraduate degree in Aquarium Science and/or a life sciences related field (i.e. Biology, Marine Biology, Zoology, Oceanography).
  • Knowledge and experience with saltwater aquarium systems.
  • Knowledge and experience in coral husbandry, Caribbean coral species, and/or advanced knowledge of coral biology, physiology and/or ecology.  
  • Knowledge of seawater chemistry and water parameter testing.  
  • Experience in the operation of automated control systems.
  • Strong mechanical inclination and proficiency with hand, mechanical and electric tools. 
  • Able to effectively follow directions, observe and remember details, and make independent decisions based on training.
  • Able to analyze, adapt, and perform safely and efficiently in a high stress environment and/ or emergency situation.
  • Able to work effectively with limited or no supervision, and maintain a work ethic supporting TNC’s mission and goals.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

  • Only applicants who are currently eligible to work in the United States will be considered.  Unfortunately, The Nature Conservancy is unable to provide support for a work permit for this position.
  • This is a full-time position eligible for benefits. Our competitive and comprehensive benefits package is tailored to the individual countries where we work and provides a full range of benefits to help meet our employees’ needs for health care, retirement, and positive life balance. 
  • Pay range for this position is $19-24/hr depending on experience.

AUTO SAFETY POLICY

This position requires a valid driver’s license and compliance with the Conservancy’s Auto Safety Program. Employees may not drive Conservancy-owned/leased vehicles, rental cars, or personal vehicles on behalf of the Conservancy if considered “high risk drivers.” Please see further details in the Auto Safety Program document available at www.nature.org/careers.

Employment in this position will be contingent upon completion of a Vehicle Use Agreement, which may include a review of the prospective employee’s motor vehicle record.


POSITION TYPE

ORGANIZATION TYPE

EXPERIENCE-LEVEL

DEGREE REQUIRED