South Carolina Aquarium
  • Charleston, SC, USA
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Full Benefits Package


Job Summary:

The Associate Veterinarian will assist the Chief Veterinarian with the medical care of the living collection, with special emphasis on fishes, small mammals, birds, reptiles and the rehabilitation of patients in the Sea Turtle Care Center.  This person will work closely with animal care staff and involve them in veterinary discussions and hands on procedures.  He or she will accept primary responsibility for medical cases as decided by the Chief Veterinarian, assist the Chief Veterinarian with the coordination of clinical research and education, be primarily responsible for purchasing and maintenance of all equipment and supplies, ensure legal and safety compliance for all veterinary operations and assist with development and execution of the Aquarium's preventative medicine protocol.   

Essential Functions:

  • Assist with the medical care of the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Care Center.
  • Assist the Chief Veterinarian with medical case management including diagnoses, treatment, surgery and postmortem examinations.
  • Ensure legal and AZA compliance for all lab operations and equipment (e.g. controlled substances, oxygen storage, vaccinations, licenses and certifications).
  • Responsible for maintaining up to date AZA required written protocols.
  • Responsible for proper use and regulatory compliance of controlled substances.
  • Act as the Aquarium's radiation safety officer.
  • Assist with research and scientific writing.
  • Ensure veterinary compliance for all animal transfers (primary on health certifications).
  • Be responsible for all routine quarantine administrations and exams (fecals, blood smears, skin scrapes, etc.).
  • Perform routine, regularly scheduled examinations or rounds on designated animals.
  • Provide regular time with staff for education and communication on medical issues and hands on procedural training.
  • Help train and educate the Veterinary Assistant(s).
  • Rotate on call schedule with Chief and alternate Veterinarians for 24-7 coverage of the living collection and sea turtle strandings.
  • Maintain a medical records system (TRACKS) that is organized and up to date.
  • Assist in the development of a budget, make purchases and control expenses within budgetary guidelines.
  • Encourage and be supportive of hands-on staff involvement with procedures, examinations and diagnoses (including information gathering.
  • Work with the Chief Veterinarian to routinely update the Aquarium's preventative medical protocol (quarantine, nutrition, etc.).
  • Adhere to the South Carolina Aquarium Policies.

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Participate with Aquarium wide strategic planning and exhibit development.
  • Member of the South Carolina Aquarium Animal Care Committee.
  • Provide timely medical program reports for curatorial staff and committee meetings.
  • Represent the Husbandry department on Aquarium teams and in professional associations.
  • Travel occasionally to conferences and seminars and as possible support on animal transports.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of recent advances in veterinary medicine.
  • Liaise with professional colleagues on a regular basis to develop a support network that can be called upon to help provide assistance when necessary.
  • Attend regularly scheduled meetings.
  • Supports the mission by participating in Aquarium sponsored programs and events on a regular basis.
  • Provide support for student (intern) involvement and research activities that support the Aquarium's mission.
  • Perform additional duties as requested.
  • Performs public relations function at all levels.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Proficient in clinical tasks including blood, fecal and urine sampling and analysis, bacteriological culturing, microscopy, etc.
  • Familiarity and advanced understanding of aquatic life support systems and water quality.
  • Strong knowledge of aquatic biology and clinical pathology.
  • Strong knowledge of fish anesthetics, treatments, and surgical procedures.
  • Strong knowledge of chelonian medicine and surgery.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills along with a mastery of written and verbal communication (presentations, guest interaction and staff engagement will be required).
  • An affinity for animals and the capacity to make decisions based on the best interest of the animal, collection or species.
  • Capacity to take control in an emergency situation with a calming demeanor and to quickly make emergency decisions.
  • Capacity to empathize and work with staff to provide the best possible care for the living collection.
  • Budget preparation and management skills.
  • Ability to argue persuasively and build consensus in a team oriented environment.
  • Goal oriented with proven ability to establish priorities and meet deadlines.

Education and Experience Required:

  • DVM or VMD degree from AVMA accredited university.
  • 1 year of experience working at a public aquarium or related facility.
  • 1 year clinical experience with sea turtle rehabilitation medicine.

Licenses and Certifications Required:

  • Must possess and maintain, in good standing, all required licenses to practice veterinary medicine in South Carolina within two months of hire.
  • Driver's License.
  • USDA/APHIS accreditation type two for health certificates.

Supervision of others:

  • Possibility of supervising veterinary assistant, veterinary externs, Husbandry/Sea turtle interns, graduate students, volunteers, staff, etc. as deemed necessary by the Director of Husbandry

Physical Requirements:

  • Average walking, standing, bending/stooping/crouching, climbing ladders, carrying up to 50 lb, sitting, kneeling, balancing, pushing and pulling, crawling

Working Conditions:

  • Irregular hours and working nights and weekends expected.
  • 24/7 emergency availability required (will need to carry mobile phone).
  • Normal office environment
  • Contact with Aquarium guests
  • Contact with Aquarium contractors, vendors and business associates
  • Travel required
  • Must be flexible with schedule.
  • Exposure to elements such as sun, hot, cold, dirty, noisy, wet, frequent temperature changes, poor lighting, etc.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work performed by people assigned to this classification.  They are not construed to be an exhaustive list of all job duties performed by the personnel classified.

The Aquarium is an "at-will" employer, and as such, employment with the Aquarium is not for a fixed term, or definite period and may be terminated at the will of either party, with or without cause, and without prior notice. 

South Carolina Aquarium
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