Dive Program Manager (Aquarium)

The Dive Program Manager, under the supervision of the Senior Curator and with the assistance of the Dive Program Coordinator, is a leadership position responsible and accountable for the development, safety compliance, and management of all Aquarium dive program operations, dive facilities and dive equipment, and in the operation of premium dive and snorkel experiences, in consideration of AAOA, ANI, AZA, and OSHA standards. This position is expected to mentor and coach staff and volunteer divers, fostering effective communication and conducting sub- department meetings. Supports the integration of dive operations into husbandry procedures and is proactive in collaboration with husbandry staff to affect safe husbandry procedures requiring SCUBA. The Dive Program Manager is a working diver position.

Provide a guest experience of outstanding quality 

  • Approach all encounters with employees and guests in a friendly, service-oriented manner.
  • Be an effective team player and coach, recognize individuals’ strengths, and work towards developing those strengths to help move the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas forward.
  • Maintain the highest industry standards related to Dive Operations and in support of Husbandry requirements and procedures.
  • Work evening, weekend, holiday hours – required.
  • Return telephone messages and e-mails in a timely fashion. Handle problems in the workplace, including anticipating, preventing, identifying, and solving problems as necessary.
  • Identify and correct minor or routine maintenance problems and address other maintenance needs in a timely manner.
  • Make administrative and management decisions consistent with Audubon Nature Institute policies and procedures.
  • Perform facility and exhibit maintenance, including but not limited to, trash and debris removal, floor cleaning, painting, building repair, horticultural duties, etc.
  • Interact positively and establish and maintain effective, efficient, and cooperative relationships with employees, senior administration, vendors, and customers.
  • Maintain high standards of personal appearance and grooming including proper uniform standards.
  • Ensure that educational and fee-based programming incorporating dive operations are entertaining, safe, and enhance the guest experience.
  • Participate in public interaction including behind the scenes tours, speaking engagements, media communication and guest education.
  • Seek out opportunities to promote SCUBA as a recreational activity that supports responsible environmental stewardship.

Weave quality entertainment through the guest experience. 

  • Work within the guidelines and mission of the Audubon Nature Institute.
  • Convey information and ideas clearly.
  • Conduct behind-the-scenes tours for VIP’s, donors, and Audubon Education programs as scheduled.
  • Interact with the public, which may include on and off grounds educational and media presentations.
  • Develop and present educational programs as required.
  • Function as an interpreter and an ANI spokesperson.
  • Compose dive operations and premium dive experience related information for publication in the following: Audubon’s website, AZA’s website and other publications.

Exhibit the diversity of wildlife.

  • Assist with health and care of the animal collection, including treatment procedures as directed by Curatorial staff.
  • Lead in the development of and oversee the execution of exhibit maintenance duties and responsibilities requiring SCUBA.
  • Support the welfare and care of the AAOA live animal collection through safe and collection-sensitive dive practices and procedures.
  • Ensure timely and effective communication with husbandry staff to support quality welfare and care of the live collection and exhibit physical condition.
  • Ensure safe and animal-sensitive approaches to dive operation planning and execution

Provide a safe and efficient workplace that supports effective facility operations.

  • Ensure the use of volunteer diver resources through recruitment and training.
  • Review dive safety manual, recommend updates or changes to the Dive Safety Board, and ensure the publication and distribution of the dive operations manual on an annual basis to all dive staff and volunteers.
  • Chair the Aquarium Dive Safety Board meetings.
  • Participate in the AAOA Safety Committee as the Husbandry department’s dive safety liaison.
  • Maintain detailed, up-to date dive program records including, but not limited to; equipment maintenance logs, and training and risk management logs. Ensure that dive logs are maintained and archived according to regulatory and accreditation requirements and standards.
  • Review and recommend innovative diving technology and procedures.
  • Oversee and ensure that regular preventative maintenance is performed on all dive program equipment, including water and dive safety equipment, as needed/required and maintain such equipment in a neat, operational, organized, and sanitary condition.
  • Develop, implement, and enforce policies and procedures of the dive program and Audubon Nature Institute as needed.
  • Implement the development and preparation of educational materials associated with the dive program.
  • Oversee recruitment, organization, training and scheduling of the volunteer dive corps.
  • Support the Dive Program Coordinator in planning and organizing volunteer appreciation events.
  • Support the Dive Program Coordinator as needed in the scheduling and leadership of regularly scheduled team leader, Gulf diver and all-diver meetings, and assist to ensure that notes from meetings are distributed in a timely manner.
  • Lead the development of diving operations and safety protocols, procedures and training.
  • Accountable for quality diver training that is responsive to the needs of the Aquarium, executed efficiently, evaluated routinely, and keeping records of training up to date according to established retention schedules and regulatory guidelines.
  • Support the Dive Program Coordinator as needed in the scheduling and management of exhibit maintenance diving in collaboration with husbandry staff.
  • Evaluate staff and volunteer divers with regard to training, knowledge, and skill proficiency.
  • Ensure that all divers meet diver fitness qualifications as determined by diver’s physician’s consent. Responsible for archival and security of all records related to diver fitness.

Educate our diverse audience about the natural world.

  • Coordinate and communicate dive program activities to Director of Husbandry, Husbandry staff, volunteers and other Audubon departments as requested.
  • Lead the development of opportunities for Aquarium sponsored dive trips.
  • Lead the development, coordination and supervision of premium dive-related experiences.
  • Lead the development and preparation of educational materials associated with the dive program.
  • Support the development of Aquarium sponsored dive trips.
  • Manage and supervise premium dive and snorkel experiences.
  • Responsible for oversight of specialty diving activities.

Operate a financially self- sufficient collection of museums and parks 

  • Recommend and manage dive program budgets.
  • Strive to keep expenditures within budget limitations.
  • Procure dive equipment through Audubon Nature Institute procurement guidelines.

Desired Skills

  • Supervision: Supervise the Dive Program Coordinator and all diving staff and volunteers during the planning and execution of all dive related operations. 

Experience:

  • Shallow water (</65ft) diving experience to equal or exceed 50 non-certification logged dives
  • Experience with diving equipment maintenance and management/supervision required.
  • Experience leading recreational dive operations as a dive master preferred.
  • Experience as a volunteer or staff diver in a public aquarium or zoo diver program preferred.

Education: 

  • Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology, mariculture, aquaculture, fisheries management or related field preferred. 

Licensure/Certification: 

  • Must possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Must possess current SCUBA certification of Dive Instructor or higher from a nationally recognized SCUBA certifying agency.
  • CPR and Oxygen Provider Instructor certifications are highly desirable.
  • Certified visual cylinder inspection and manufacturer specific diving equipment inspection/repair preferred.

Machinery/Tools/Equipment Requirements:

  • Working knowledge of basic hand and power tools is preferred.

Physical Requirements:

  1. Heavy work: lifting up to 80lbs pounds occasionally, or a negligible amount of force frequently to lift, carry, push, pull, or otherwise move objects. Will involve standing most of the time, but may involve walking or sitting for brief periods of time.
  2. Must be able to lift 80 pounds.
  3. Must possess strong swimming skills and be able to pull oneself out of a pool.
  4. Must be able to walk, bend, kneel, and climb stairs and ladders while in dive gear.
  5. Constant adequate range of motion and mobility required.
  6. Regular near acuity with clarity of vision at 20 inches or less required.
  7. Typical ability to collect and analyze numerical and written data and verbal information to reach logical conclusions and ability to determine the time, place and sequence of operations or actions required.
  8. Must have cognitive and communication skills required to function within the department.
  9. Regular hearing and the ability to perceive the nature of sounds.
  10. Must possess excellent organizational skills.
  11. Must be able to read, write and speak English.
  12. Must be safety conscious.
  13. Demonstrate effective communication skills with supervisors and co-workers.
  14. Demonstrate the ability to make sound decisions in the absence of supervision, assume responsibility without direction and willingness to assist in achieving facility and Audubon Nature Institute goals.
  15. Must have complete understanding of OSHA diving regulations and current accepted dive practices.

The Dive Program Manager will demonstrate and ensure all staff and volunteers divers also demonstrate

  • Able to swim efficiently at the surface
  • Able to swim efficiently underwater
  • Able to tow another diver while in full SCUBA gear
  • Able to tread water/float on the surface
  • Able to assemble, ditch and don SCUBA gear
  • Excellent control of buoyancy
  • Able to clear SCUBA mask and swim without a mask underwater
  • Regulator skills – recover and clear, and breathe through free-flowing regulator
  • Comfort underwater in all conditions, stressful or otherwise Environmental/Working Conditions:

Environmental/Working Conditions:

  1. Must be willing and able to dive up to four hours per day in temperate (50F-78F) fresh and salt water.
  2. Working long hours between breaks or meals required.
  3. Ability to work under and handle stress in an appropriate manner required.
  4. Must be able to work in moderately noisy environments, dirty conditions and cramped spaces.
  5. Must be willing and able to handle raw seafood.
  6. Must be able to work with potentially hazardous chemicals associated with analysis and treatment of exhibits.
  7. Must be able to work unsupervised and with a team.
  8. Affinity for animals preferred.
  9. Exposure to fluctuations in air temperatures may be required.
  10. Must be able to work in all types of weather both indoors and outdoors.

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