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Animal Excellence Research Coordinator

Cincinnati Zoo And Botanical Garden
Cincinnati, United States Posted: May 25, 2024

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (CZBG) is a leader in animal care, wildlife conservation, sustainability, education, and community engagement. Our Mission is to create adventure, convey knowledge, conserve nature, and serve our community. We accomplish this by inspiring every visitor with wildlife every day by providing opportunities to be close enough to care. We are passionate about our commitment to Animal Excellence and succeed at this by pursuing our Core Values of: Collaborative Relationship; Positivity & Energy; Accountability, Mutual Trust & Respect; Progressive Thinking; Pride, Passion & a Sense of Ownership.

  • This position will support the building and advancement of a foundational zoo-wide animal behavior research program to promote an evidence-based approach to animal care and management.
  • This position will assist in the implementation, maintenance, interpretation, and reporting of multiple animal behavior and welfare research projects, and they will share responsibility in training and guiding interns and volunteers that may be assisting with research efforts.
  • Exceptional skills in independent critical thinking, data organization, communication, and collaboration are paramount for this role.
  • The Animal Excellence Research Coordinator will work closely with the Animal Excellence Scientist to strengthen the Zoo’s advancement towards Animal Excellence and continue raising the bar for both animal and visitor experience. 
  • Successful candidates are likely to have at least 2 years’ experience conducting all aspects of the research process (i.e., study design, data collection, data analysis, and reporting) particularly within the field of animal behavior.
  • Knowledge and experience with Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) is required, and experience using Microsoft 365 applications (particularly data visualization tools such as Power BI), ZooMonitor©, and statistical programs (e.g., SPSS, R) is desired.
  • Familiarity with animal care and welfare practices in the zoo and aquarium field are preferred, but not essential.
  • Behavior Research Coordination
  • Lead project study design and development by participating in discussions on animal well-being related research, compiling and reviewing scientific literature, writing animal behavior research plans, and assisting in technology coordination and setup, in conjunction with the Animal Excellence Scientist and team.
  • Execute the interpretation, analysis, and reporting of behavioral data, using Microsoft and statistical programs.
  • Coordinate scheduling and execution of simultaneous research projects and communicate projects' status and updates to Animal Excellence Scientist and other stakeholders.
  • Maintain existing data streams on established animal care data dashboards. 
  • Oversee and advance the standardization processes of animal behavioral monitoring, including conducting behavioral observations, updating inter-observer reliability resources, and conducting reliability tests using the ZooMonitor© program.
  • Coordinate onboarding and inter-observer reliability training of Animal Excellence Research Interns and volunteers, including supporting and guiding intern independent research projects.
  • Provide support as needed to the Animal Excellence Research team and larger Animal Department.
Additional Responsibilities
  • Participate in as-needed research efforts.
  • This may include behavior and space use of animals with some environmental monitoring (i.e., sound, light, temperature/humidity) and significant life event evaluation (i.e., construction, unusual weather, noise intrusion, changes in housing, changes in an animal’s role, social introductions, etc.).
  • Maintain general familiarity with Animal Department staff, operations, and happenings.
  • Engage with and educate Zoo visitors and VIPs while conducting research throughout the Zoo.
  • Be engaged, visible, and accessible to the Animal Excellence Research team. Work proactively to engage and problem-solve. Foster a positive, productive, supportive, and innovative atmosphere.
  • Perform other duties as assigned to support Animal Department goals and the Zoo’s mission. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Zoology, Animal Science, Psychology, or related field; or commensurate experience 
  • Successful candidates are likely to have at least 2 years of experience conducting all aspects of the research process, including study design, data collection, data analysis, and reporting, particularly within the field of animal behavior.
  • Demonstrated experience with Windows operating systems and the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook). 
  • Experience using behavioral data collection tools such as ZooMonitor©.
  • Experience using Microsoft 365 applications (i.e., Power BI) and statistical programs (e.g., SPSS, R) is desired but not required. 
Required Skills & Abilities:
  • Strong critical thinking skills, with demonstrated ability to independently problem solve and think strategically.
  • Excellent attention to detail, with an ability to meet deadlines and shift priorities in a rapidly changing environment. Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously is required.
  • Strong computer skills, including data tabulation and manipulation. Advanced knowledge of statistical and data visualization programs is preferred. 
  • Strong organization and communication skills, including record keeping, data management, and a passion for aligned standards and clear, effective communication and knowledge transfer.
  • Ability to develop and sustain effective working relationships within an organization, including superior interpersonal skills, an ability to work with diverse personalities, and tactful communication.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently as well as part of a team.
  • Willingness to respectfully challenge others and practices to seek out program enhancement and efficiencies.
  • Demonstrated personal motivation, professionalism, and proactiveness driving success.
  • Appropriate professional appearance, attitude, and personality to work effectively with Zoo staff members, visitors, and the community.
  • Demonstrated understanding and acceptance of the Core Values and Behaviors of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.  Lives these on a day-to-day basis, “Modeling the Way” for others.
  • Demonstrated affinity for the Mission of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.
  • Employment is conditional on successful completion of a pre-employment drug & nicotine screen, background check, and proof of full COVID vaccination per CDC guidelines.
  • Requires a valid driver’s license and must be insurable through the Zoo’s carrier.
  • The Zoo is open 7-days a week, so the ability to occasionally work a flexible schedule including holidays & weekends is required.
  • While performing the duties of the job, the incumbent is regularly required to sit and work at a desk for extended periods of time, as well as stand and walk for extended periods of time (both on level and inclined pathways).
  • Manual dexterity to use a computer mouse, keyboard, tablet, and other office equipment is also required.
  • The employee may be exposed to outside weather conditions and must be able to lift/move/carry up to 50 pounds without assistance.
  • This employee may be required to have contact with animals and may be exposed to zoonosis. 
  • This full-time position is overtime-exempt, is eligible for the Zoo’s benefits programs for non-union employees.
  • We offer a comprehensive benefits package in support of our employees’ Total Well-Being including affordable medical, dental & vision coverage; free mental health counseling and coaching, 401(k) plan with company match; flexible spending accounts; generous paid time off banks; company-paid disability & life insurance; park discounts and free passes. 
  • Cover letter and resume should be attached to your online application.
  • Applications will be reviewed in early June 2024, with the intent of filling the position in mid-July 2024 with the best candidate.
  • We strive to be an organization that is diverse and reflects the fullness of society.
  • With a strongly held value for an organizational culture characterized by inclusion and belonging, we are committed to equity in all we do.
  • We are especially interested in candidates who can contribute to our organization’s diversity and who want to walk alongside us in our commitment to inclusion and equity.
  • The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is an equal opportunity employer and does not and will not discriminate against any applicant or employee based on race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, genetic information, military or veteran status, and/or any other characteristic or protected status. 
  • We are a Queen City Certified Leader in Gender Equity.  Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

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