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This AmeriCorps position will serve as part of CEDO’s CONNECT AmeriCorps program. Our AmeriCorpsmembers receive training and provide direct service in support of program goals to expand culturally appropriate youth programming and family supports to close opportunity gaps in education and employment, and develop community and school engagement. Members strengthen connections for youth to skill building for education and career development, with outcomes of increased school engagement, and increased job readiness, pathways to college and career, internships, and summer jobs. Member service and programming for community connection and positive youth development with youth and families will develop community and civic engagement, and college and workforce readiness. Youth programming and engagement in schools and in our communities, through expanded learning opportunities in and out of school, reduces risky behavior and leads to safer and healthier communities. Our members will provide innovative responses to pressing community problems with city departments, state agencies, education institutions and nonprofit organizations in Burlington, Winooski, and surrounding areas of Chittenden County

ECHO’s Mission is to inspire and engage families in the joy of scientific discovery, wonder of nature, and care of Lake Champlain.

Goal of position: This position is focused on increasing STEM education to close opportunity gaps for youth, increase academic engagement and provide employability skills for youth in growth fields in Vermont, enhancing career exploration and career pathway education.

1. To increase STEM enthusiasm and career awareness among PK – 12th grade students through support and delivery of ECHO’s teen leadership training program and delivery of STEM Community Night outreach events.

2. Serve with youth and volunteers to increase the ability of ECHO to support diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM education activities through the development and delivery of training activities and programming.

3. To reduce opportunity gaps in early childhood education through the delivery of a free caregiver-child drop-in program.

For more information about CEDO CONNECT AmeriCorps, click here.

Reports to: Animal Care Coordinator and Director of Animal Care & Facilities

FLSA Status: Non-exempt

Date Last Approved/Revised: May 2019

Schedule: Full time, Non-exempt. Scheduled for five, eight-hour days per week, including  weekends. Occasionally, this position will be required to work holidays and overtime.

To Apply: Please submit cover letter and resume to with Animal Care and Exhibits Specialist position in the subject line. Apply by August 20, 2019.

The Animal Care and Exhibit Specialist is an experienced team player who will support the Animal Care Department to provide state of the industry animal care and husbandry for ECHO’s reptile/amphibian/fish collection that promotes optimal health and longevity for our animal ambassadors. In addition, this position creates, maintains and repairs animal exhibits; and assists with building maintenance to ensure a positive visitor experience

Supervisory Responsibilities: Supervise and mentor activities of animal care volunteers and interns to include; assigning, reviewing and evaluating daily tasks and project work. 

Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Perform observations of animals to determine health status and initiate or confer with other animal care staff to implement responsive care as needed.
  • Perform observations of animal enclosures and all related life support equipment including but not limited to filtration systems, lighting, pumps, motors, aeration, etc. 
  • Implements or confer with other animal care staff regarding repairs in response to observed issues in animal enclosures or related equipment (as noted in previous bullet).
  • Provides implementation of proper animal care including provision of designated diets and environmental conditions (lighting, temperatures, water quality, substrates, ‘furniture’, filtration).
  • Implement veterinary care based on veterinary input or reference material recommendations; determine and administer by appropriate means, at correct concentrations and dosages. Monitor animals’ responses to treatments.
  • Assist with specimen capture, collection and transportation, quarantine and introduction to displays or holding quarters.
  • Provide thorough and accurate record-keeping on daily implementation of animal care, animal health, veterinary care, acquisitions and dispositions, and equipment status.
  • Maintain equipment including life support systems, exhibits and all other equipment utilized in maintaining animal habitats and animal health.
  • Perform water quality testing and implement measures to maintain optimal water quality in animal enclosures.
  • Develop and deliver educational programs to ECHO guests and on various media networks regarding science, natural history, captive care, and environmental stewardship.
  • Design, install and repair animal exhibit habitats.
  • Provide quality customer service while working in high volume guest environment. 
  • Assist facilities and custodial staff with maintenance of non-animal exhibits, guest areas,support facilities and temporary exhibit installation and tear-down.
  • Assist in departmental budgeting, researching and purchasing of animal care supplies.
  • Train volunteers, interns, and other staff in provision of animal care.
  • Assist interns in class projects. Evaluate interns as required by schools.
  • Collaborate with team to provide job shadows, interviews and presentations to participating high school students doing personal learning projects. 
  • Assist with building mechanical software package (WebCTRL) and building lighting software package (Keeper Enterprise) to optimize system functions and minimize resource consumption.
  • Regular schedule includes either Sun/Mon or Fri/Sat days off; occasional weekend and after-hours work required.  
  • Other duties and special projects assigned as needed.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA in Biology or related field 
  • Minimum 6 to 12 months experience in reptile/amphibian/fish husbandry. 
  • Relevant work or volunteer experience will be considered as potential fulfillment for above experience requirement if understanding of husbandry and life support systems can be demonstrated. 
  • Comfort and experience with public speaking. 
  • Experience working in a busy, dynamic public setting. 
  • Basic carpentry, plumbing and mechanical understanding. 

Essential Skills:

  • Applied understanding of reptile/amphibian/fish husbandry and life support systems. 
  • Commitment to high quality captive animal care. 
  • Strong and accurate observational skills.
  • Aptitude for chemistry and mathematics. 
  • Ability to develop and deliver educational programs.
  • Introductory carpentry, plumbing, mechanical skills.  
  • Commitment to provide excellent customer service to diverse ECHO guests. 
  • Experience communicating and collaborating with dynamic cross departmental teams. 
  • Flexible and adaptable team member who enjoys the challenge of setting and meeting professional goals. 
  • Able to perform strenuous work and lift and/or move at least 50 pounds on a regular basis and occasionally more than 100 pounds.  
  • Valid Vermont driver’s license.  
  • Appreciation for the role of a Science Center, STEM education, and commitment to its philosophy, mission and core values. 
  • Knowledge and passion for environmental stewardship.

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 essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee sometimes works near moving mechanical parts and is exposed to wet and/or humid conditions. The employee may be exposed to and required to treat animals compromised by pathogens including but not limited to bacteria, parasites, fungal infections, etc. The employee may work in high, precarious places and be exposed to toxic or caustic chemicals, fumes or airborne particles, risk of electrical shock, and vibration. Regular weekends and occasional after-hours work is required.

ECHO is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes candidates for employment who will contribute to our diversity.  


Interested in Intern or Volunteer Opportunities?

Check out information on our volunteer page or internship page.