Ocean Career: Scripps Institution of Oceanography Aquarist

Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the non-profit public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

The aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, Earth and ocean science and features five-dozen interactive elements.

At the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, we connect understanding to protecting our ocean planet. As the public outreach center for Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, we share the spirit of curiosity that drives Scripps’ global research to understand our planet. We engage people in science and invite them to ask questions, explore, and observe to better understand how our world works - Earth, ocean, atmosphere, and life—and our unique role in our global ecosystem. We use science to guide conservation action to support a healthy thriving planet where we feel hope for the future and empowered to make positive change. We connect people with each other, with nature, with science, and with a shared sense of purpose to care for our amazing one-and-only planet Earth.

Our values can be found here: https://aquarium.ucsd.edu/about/mission


Under general supervision of the Senior Aquarists and Curators, responsible for the maintenance of the specimens and associated life support systems for the assigned gallery, display tanks and workspace at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. Shares the animal care duties for approximately 5500 specimens representing over 300 species in over 130 tanks (65 for public view) including fishes, invertebrates, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Observes specimen health and behavior and performs the care needed to keep them in healthy condition. Maintain environmentally accurate displays. Observes and maintains small scale life support systems and with the maintenance department and Sr. LSS (Life Support System) aquarist ensures that all external life support systems are functioning properly. Keep accurate records monitoring specimen welfare, enrichment, health, behavior, feedings, and locations. Assists in collections of specimens needed for all galleries.


  • Bachelor’s degree in marine biology or related field and or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum of six (6) months aquarist's experience in a public aquarium.
  • Demonstrated understanding of best animal husbandry practices.
  • Proven organizational skills and ability to keep accurate, consistent records relating to all aspects of animal care and systems maintenance.
  • Demonstrated ability to follow all safety precautions for equipment and procedures while working on the job.
  • Demonstrated good verbal and written communication skills; ability to work well with others.
  • Excellence in guest experiences related to behind-the-scenes tours.


  • Must be able to work weekends, occasional nights, extended seasonal hours, major holidays, during other staff's absence, and to respond to emergencies.

Duties may require direct contact with children (defined as individuals under the age of 18); completion of the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act (CANRA) training will be required. Must meet CANRA compliance requirement per California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act ("CANRA," Penal Code sections 11164-11174.4).

Job Location: Birch Aquarium is located at 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

Annual Full Pay Range: $43,785 - $51,490

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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