About the Organization  

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of greater L.A. safe, healthy and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action and advocacy. We educate the greater Los Angeles region about the undersea wonders of our local Santa Monica Bay, the causes and impacts of local water pollution, the need for an improved resilient water supply, and what Angelenos can do to make a difference. We reach over 150,000 people every year through our Heal the Bay Aquarium, beach cleanups and community outreach programs.

California’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths. Heal the Bay is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment that respects all individuals regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion, or age. We are focused on recruiting and retaining a diverse team of employees, fostering a positive environment where inclusive behaviors are the norm, prioritizing our work through an equity and inclusivity lens, and embedding accountability for diversity throughout the organization. We are committed to creating an environment where all employees are included, are treated with dignity and respect, and are in a position to contribute to our success.

Heal the Bay is looking for a full-time Senior Aquarist to support our Heal the Bay Aquarium Operations Department.

About the Role  

Under the supervision of the Associate Director of Operations, the Aquarist will fill the primary role of providing high standard husbandry care and maintenance for all aquatic exhibits, displaying local Santa Monica Bay species. As an Aquarist you will be expected to have a strong base understanding of aquarium science, the ability to support projects, develop volunteers, and contribute to the overall mission of Heal the Bay.    

Expectations & Responsibilities  

  • Daily duties include but are not limited to: cleaning exhibits, food preparation and feedings, treating any injured/diseased individuals as necessary, making observations and recognizing abnormal animal behavior/appearance, acting upon/reporting such observations in a timely manner, and completing all necessary records and paperwork thoroughly   
  • Maintains all life support systems equipment, aquarium exhibits, and facilities.  Assists in identifying issues, any necessary repairs, the development of new systems, and reports needed supplies  
  • Performs routine water quality analysis, monitors trends, and makes necessary adjustments to maintain ideal aquatic habitat conditions   
  • Assists with acquiring all aquatic specimens through industry supplier purchase, zoological institution trade/donation or in boat collecting trips    
  • Assists with veterinary/medical procedures under the guidance of the HTB contracted veterinarian and Associate Director of Operations.   
  • Assists with procurement of supplies and equipment within quarterly/monthly designated budgets   
  • Assists in the advancement and implementation of exhibit goals by contributing to design and management    
  • Trains, develops, and oversees the work of aquarist volunteers and interns   
  • Contributes to the mission of Heal the Bay by creating exhibit displays and work that promotes science, education, community action, and advocacy   
  • Performs all other duties as required.

Preferred Experience & Skills  

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, fisheries, zoology or related field required OR equivalent experience. 
  • 1-3 years working in the field providing daily husbandry to aquatic animals 
  • Knowledge of modern principles of animal care and welfare, including behavioral enrichment, habitat, nutrition, disease, training, water quality, and transport  
  • Open Water SCUBA certified.  Rescue Diver Certification preferred or the ability to get the certification within 4 months of hire   
  • Ability to lift and carry 50 pounds, kneel, bend, crouch, squat, and stand for extended periods of time  
  • Ability to work effectively in wet conditions indoors and out, as well as, in inclement weather  
  • Experience with computerized record keeping software such as Tracks is a plus 

If you don’t meet all of the preferred skills above, you are still encouraged to apply and will be considered based on diverse and equivalent skills and experience.


This is a non-exempt full-time position $20-$24 per hour with appropriate state and federal taxes withheld.


There are dental, medical, health insurance, and vacation benefits included as part of employment. In accordance with California Labor Law, employee will be eligible to receive up to 72 hours of paid sick leave per calendar year, after completing 90 days of employment. All Heal the Bay recognized Holidays will be compensated in accordance to time worked


Full-time, 40 hours per week. Must be available for weekends, evenings, and holidays.

Physical Demands

Ability to work in variable weather conditions with potential exposure to heat, wind, and inclement weather both inside the Aquarium Pier Gift Shop and Aquarium Exhibit Gallery, and outdoors on the Santa Monica Pier and beach

 How to Apply  

Application Deadline: April 9, 2023  

 Apply Here: the Bay Aquarist

Qualified individuals that reflect the diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of Los Angeles County are strongly encouraged to apply for this opportunity.

Heal the Bay is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status and we strongly encourage applications from individuals that reflect the diversity of Los Angeles County.

Heal the Bay complies with AB 1008, the Fair Chance Act, during the hiring process. Once a conditional job offer has been made the candidate will be asked to complete a Live Scan criminal background check. A thorough assessment of conviction history will be considered including: the nature and gravity of the criminal history, the time that has passed since the conviction, and the nature of the job the candidate is seeking.

Heal the Bay requires all staff to obtain and maintain up-to-date COVID-19 vaccinations, when available. Heal the Bay believes this is an important measure to protect the health and safety of employees, volunteers, family members and those who visit the workplace from COVID-19 infection. Staff must show proof of vaccination (vaccination card or website).