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Research Tech Position on Hellbender and Burying Beetles with The Wilds

Columbus Zoo and Aquariumo
Job Field:
Job Type:
Seasonal, Temporary, Internship
Location Detail:
Job Description:

Responsible for logistical support of Wilds Scholar Intern and Apprenticeship programs; completes laboratory technician duties associated with conservation research; and assists with care of animals in conservation/research collection. The technician will be primarily responsible for care of animals that are part of The Wilds hellbender head starting program and American burying beetle reintroduction efforts, but will also be involved with wildlife field and lab research projects.


  • Assists with care of hellbenders, American burying beetles, and other animals in conservation/research collection including food preparation, feeding, monitoring diets, enrichment, water changes, observing medical and behavioral changes. 
  • Cleans and maintains animal exhibit areas and disinfects animal enclosures as needed. 
  • Performs minor maintenance, water quality testing, water changes, filter maintenance and other work related to aquatic systems. 
  • Assists with DNA extraction and genetic analysis for Wilds projects. 
  • Utilizes chemical supply products and follows standardized usage guidelines and safety information as set by the Material Data Sheets. 
  • Assures the safety of self, animals, co-workers and visitors by observing safety guidelines when working with animals, equipment and vehicles. 
  • Provides educational information about conservation and research programs through such activities as interacting with the public, conducting tours and workshops, attending docent meetings and composing articles for publications.
  • Provides input to Director of Wildlife Ecology on all aspects (e.g. safety, animal husbandry) of assigned areas. 
  • Maintains daily and monthly records on animals. 
  • May provide leadership to seasonal employees, interns, apprentices, and volunteers (e.g. provide daily work direction, inform management of problems). 
  • Assists with logistical support of internship and apprentice programs including assistance with preparation of training materials, daily work supervision, arrangement of housing, reporting housing maintenance issues, scheduling, and acquisition of supplies and materials. 
  • Assists with field and laboratory technician support for conservation science activities including but not limited to water chemistry analysis, DNA analysis, and hormone assay analysis. 
  • Attends departmental meetings and participates in developmental seminars and workshops as required. 
  • May establish and maintain contacts with other scientists outside of the Wilds, the Columbus Zoo, field researchers and other specialists. 
  • Participates in cross-training activities as directed. 
  • Constantly strives to further the mission of the organization and avidly supports the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Zoombezi Bay, Safari Golf Club and The Wilds. 
  • Implements sustainable practices in daily tasks whenever possible. 
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree in zoology, animal science, biology or relevant field required. 
  • Experience in care of live animals (6 months to one year), or approved equivalent required. 
  • C.P.R./First Aid certification required. 
  • Experience in the maintenance of aquariums, aquatic life support systems, and use of water quality testing equipment preferred. 
  • Ability to develop and deliver informational presentations to small, medium or large groups required. 
  • Ability to perform strenuous physical work without limitations required. 
  • Ability to communicate well both verbally and in writing required. 
  • Ability to plan and organize work in an efficient and cost-effective manner and without direct supervision required. 
  • Ability to provide excellent guest service by positively interacting with guests and upholding the Make it G.R.E.A.T. standards required. 
  • Ability to develop and maintain cooperative working relationships with all Wilds and Zoo team members and contacts regarding company business required. 
  • Ability to work a flexible schedule including evenings and weekends required. 
  • Ability to adhere to standard operating procedures including but not limited to safety protocols required. 
  • Possession of a valid Ohio motor vehicle operator’s license and a good driving record required, as well as ability to operate standard shift vehicles required. 
  • Proof of negative TB screening prior to placement and annually thereafter required. 
  • Ability to adhere to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s drug-free workplace policy including but not limited to pre-employment, random, post-accident, reasonable suspicion and follow-up treatment required. 
  • Familiar with use of technical equipment including but not limited to GPS units, transponder readers, radio telemetry receivers, electrophoresis gels, PCR thermal cycling units, vacuum pumps, and water chemistry meters. 
  • Ability to successfully complete a criminal history background check annually required.
How to Apply: