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Research Associate II (AIP Plants & People) - Temporary - Conservation Science

Job Description

Research Associate II (AIP Plants & People) - Temporary - Conservation Science

Full Job Description

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a nonprofit international conservation leader, committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives. Empowering people from around the globe to support our mission to conserve wildlife through innovation and partnerships, we support cutting-edge conservation, and bring the stories of our work back to our two world-famous front doors — the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park — giving millions of guests, in person and virtually, the opportunity to experience conservation in action. The deep and extensive knowledge gained from more than a century of experience in wildlife care, health, veterinary services, nutrition and conservation makes us invaluable in the global effort to save species. Our team members play a crucial role in driving our conservation efforts forward and bringing us closer to a world where all life thrives.

The Research Associate II is responsible for carrying out laboratory, wildlife care, field and/or training initiatives in various areas of conservation research, endangered species propagation, diagnostic activities and/or community initiatives. This position reports to a Supervisor level or higher in the Conservation Science & Wildlife Health department.


  • Conducts a variety of assigned research, diagnostic, husbandry, and training activities
  • Collects, collates, maintains, processes, and analyzes biological samples
  • Reviews results and performs additional tests, adjusts protocols, or refers questionable findings for review as needed
  • Collects, records, and analyzes data utilizing spreadsheet and database systems
  • Assists in developing, updating, and implementing a variety of laboratory, diagnostic, wildlife care/welfare, educational and/or field protocols, depending on the assignment
  • Prepares, arranges, and maintains records for sample and/or wildlife shipments
  • Documents, files, and maintains records
  • Assures accuracy of laboratory, wildlife care, and field equipment are properly maintained and calibrated. Performs quality control and troubleshoots equipment problems

The Community Engagement team is seeking to fill a part-time, temporary position for the AIP program’s Plants & People course. Ideal candidates will have experience with relevant topics related to plants and their relationship to human communities, including the conservation community. Topics with which we would like the applicant to be familiar include but are not limited to, native plant species and ecosystems, applied conservation science approaches to plant conservation, ethnobotany and traditional ecological knowledge, sustainable food systems, and pollinators. Additionally, the applicant should have experience with online course platforms and hands-on teaching methods, Project Dragonfly, Miami University’s learning community, program tenets, and have an understanding of graduate program structure. The ability to work remotely, work non-traditional hours (mornings, evenings, weekends), as needed in accordance with student availability and assignment deadlines is also required. Candidates must be proficient with Google Suite. This position will also be responsible for providing guidance and feedback in a timely manner throughout the semester in the MU Dragonfly Workshops online platform, co-leading the experiential learning component of AIP courses on SDZWA grounds, adjacent locations, and in a virtual format, when appropriate, development/updating of online and experiential learning curriculum and activities with the Associate Director of Community Engagement and Research Associate II: AIP Coordinator. Also, required is coordination of the experiential learning agenda, coordination with guest speakers from within the institution and with local community partners, provision of in-depth individual feedback and mentorship in both the online workshop and during experiential learning interactions, maintenance of regular communication with the Course Co-Facilitator, Graduate Advisor, and MU Instructor, co-creation and assessment of makeup work. We require weekly availability to field student questions and concerns about course material via email and phone, formal assessment of student experiential learning activities during interactive class days and collaborative work and maintenance of regular communication with Miami Instructor to return feedback and grades within a timely manner and to maximize the shared learning impacts of the AIP online and experiential learning components of the course.


  • 3 years of experience in a laboratory, diagnostic, wildlife care and/or field research experience required.


  • Bachelor's Degree in the biological sciences or a related field or equivalent specialized training required.


  • Trained in methodology and equipment used in the assigned area of biological research, wildlife care, diagnostics, social science or science communication.
  • Proficient in data and record keeping.
  • Able to operate moderately complex computer software programs.
  • Able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with others in a diverse environment.
  • Able to attend to the needs of assigned research collections and/or community members.


  • Free admission to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Family Passes
  • Complimentary Tickets
  • Local and In-House Discounts
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Wellness Program

Escondido, CA
Position Type: Four Month Temporary Hourly Part-Full Grant Position

Be an ally for wildlife by joining our team!
At San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, we thrive on celebrating our differences. Diversity is vital for the benefit of our team members, our guests, our community, and our wildlife.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, or other legally protected status.
If you require a reasonable accommodation to complete an application, please email your request to sdzwacareers@sdzwa.org and provide the job title and location to which you are applying.
As a Federal Contractor, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is required to participate in the E-Verify Program to confirm eligibility to work in the United States.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is a drug free workplace

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