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On the mornings of Friday, April 19 and Thursday, April 25, we will have several field trips on site. Please anticipate large groups and a busier campus!


Associate Director of Wildlife

Organizational Overview

The mission of CuriOdyssey is to inspire a love for science and curiosity about the world in young learners. Located in Coyote Point Park in San Mateo County, CuriOdyssey has undergone a significant reinvention and complete strategic planning process that has transformed the organization into a vital, kid-centric interactive science center and accredited California native animal wildlife zoo that provides up-close and personal experiences with the natural world. The organization is comprised of a strategic and engaged Board of Trustees, visionary executive leadership, and a talented, energetic, and entrepreneurial staff.

Position Description

We are seeking a leader who reflects our institutional personality and values, can work collaboratively on a team, displays excellent interpersonal skills, and is skilled in various communication techniques to meet the needs of a dynamic team. This position reports to the Director of Wildlife and supports the Wildlife team.

A successful candidate will be able to demonstrate adaptability in a fast-paced work environment, a high degree of independence, proactive problem-solving skills, and an open mind to view challenges as learning opportunities. Ability to move easily between strategic, long-term planning, and tactical day-to-day operations. The Associate Director of Wildlife actively participates in the animal collection's daily care to ensure the entire collection's well-being.

Role and Responsibilities of the Associate Director of Wildlife

  • Supervise and support the Wildlife Team in the daily operational maintenance of the Wildlife Habitats, including animal husbandry, diet preparation and distribution, and monitoring animal welfare.
  • Works with Operations staff to coordinate repairs and troubleshoot LSS and other mechanical systems within the Wildlife Habitats.
  • Manages the supply inventory and ordering for the Wildlife Department. Responsible for creating and maintaining the keeper shift schedules.
  • Works with the veterinary team to coordinate regular and emergency medical care for animals as needed.
  • Train, inspire, coach, set expectations, and provide feedback to a wide variety of people, including the Lead Keeper, Animal Keepers, Apprentices, Interns, and Volunteers.
  • Responsible for the mentoring and regular evaluations of the full-time Animal Keepers and Programs Keeper.
  • Meets regularly with the Wildlife Team to address animal care, training, welfare, safety, staff concerns, and facility maintenance.
  • Participates in developing, maintaining, and implementing standard operating procedures for the Wildlife Habitats, including husbandry standards, enrichment, training, and animal handling protocols.
  • Participates in the Wildlife Department public programs and animal feedings, including the presentation of Animal Ambassadors.
  • Participates in planning and developing new animal exhibits and renovating current animal exhibits.
  • Assists with animal acquisition and disposition planning.
  • Act as department lead in the absence of the Director of Wildlife.


  • CuriOdyssey recognizes that skills and knowledge come from both formal and informal experiences, including education, paid work, volunteer service, and life experience. Those who meet the majority of the requirements for a position are encouraged to apply.
  • A degree in life science, such as Biology, Zoology, or a related field of study, is preferred.
  • At least five (5) years of paid experience with captive wild animal care in a zoological institution, preferably an AZA institution.
  • At least three (3) years experience supervising and managing staff in a zoological institution, preferably an AZA institution.
  • Significant knowledge of wild animal husbandry, welfare, nutrition, behavior, training/operant conditioning, safety practices, techniques for restraint and capture of wild animals, and the safe handling of animal ambassadors.
  • Should be well organized, have good time management skills, and can manage multiple projects with varying deadlines.
  • Should have professional and/or lived experience with values of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion and embrace organizational aspirations to create a welcoming and affirming environment for all staff, volunteers, and guests.
  • The ideal leader and teammate should be able to encourage a calm, supportive atmosphere that motivates the team and can find resolutions to problems even in high-stress situations.

About the Associate Director of Wildlife Position

  • This is an exempt, 40-hour/week position, with work hours/schedule based upon
    departmental needs.
  • Weekend and some holiday scheduling will be required.
  • Team members are expected to be able to work outside in all weather conditions.
  • Willingness to train on handling venomous animals.
  • This position requires the following:
    • Take and clear a Live Scan background check.
    • Willingness to obtain (at CuriOdyssey's expense) vaccination for tetanus, pre-exposure rabies series, and follow-up rabies titer testing every two years.
    • Must have a valid driver's license

Physical Demands and Working Conditions

The physical demands herein are representative of those that an employee must meet to perform the essential functions of this job successfully. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential job functions.

Environment: Work is conducted at CuriOdyssey and immediately local space at Coyote
Point. Animal care and programs will occur indoors and outdoors in various weather conditions.

Mobility: Physical ability and endurance to occasionally carry and lift heavy materials, up to 50 pounds. Frequently move from sitting to squatting to standing positions. Traversing uneven surfaces, bending, reaching, sitting/kneeling on the floor with animals, and twisting are daily repetitive physical actions.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary range: $70,000 – $80,000 per year, dependent on experience.

This is an exempt, full-time position with a desired start date of Summer 2024. The general work schedule varies according to staffing needs. The Wildlife Team currently has two shifts, 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM and 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM Each team member must work both shifts at some point during their work week to retain the skills needed to open and close the zoo.

Benefits include individual medical, dental, and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, CuriOdyssey membership, CuriOdyssey Shop discount, and camp discounts for children of staff.

To Apply

Please send a resume, cover letter, and references to Nikii Finch-Morales, Director of Wildlife at [email protected], with "Associate Dir. of Wildlife" as the subject line. Open until filled.

CuriOdyssey seeks to build a diverse work team and encourages applications from candidates who will add to that diversity. CuriOdyssey is committed to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace, and we are proud to be an equal-opportunity employer. We believe that having staff, interns, and volunteers with diverse backgrounds enables us to meet our mission better. CuriOdyssey considers applicants for all positions regardless of race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, sexual orientation, or any other identifiable status.

Join the CuriOdyssey Community


1651 Coyote Point Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
Ohlone Land Acknowledgement
[email protected]

CuriOdyssey is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Tax ID 94-1262434

Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The gold standard for animal care and welfare.
ASTC Member. Association of Science and Technology Centers.
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