Aquaculture Associate


The Aquaculture Associate (AA) works in the St. Croix Coral Innovation Hub and provides aquaculture, research, administrative, and general assistance to program staff working toward the achievement of coral reef protection, restoration, and monitoring goals. The AA, under the direction of the Aquaculture Supervisor and the Aquaculture Technician, maintains coral aquaculture systems and participates in coral husbandry and propagation of a variety of coral species.




The Aquaculture Associate is responsible for routine coral husbandry, day-to-day maintenance, and data collection required of the coral aquaculture facility. They provide research and aquarist assistance to restoration tasks, and/or general assistance to program staff, partners, and facility users. Under the guidance of the Coral Aquaculture Supervisor and the Aquaculture Technician, the AA will research, develop and train interns and volunteers in coral propagation methods for a variety of species. The AA will keep comprehensive and accurate logs of system parameters, coral health evaluations, and coral propagation. The AA may also work as part of the field team, supporting field restoration and monitoring efforts.





·       Provides daily husbandry and conducts health evaluations for corals and other invertebrates and notifies supervisor of any changes or evidence of problems.

·       Conducts daily checks of raceways and life support system room to inspect control systems, pumps, RO units, lights, ozone units, chillers, heat exchangers and all other equipment related to and/or associated with the coral aquaculture facility’s life support systems.

·       Assists the Coral Aquaculture Supervisor and Aquaculture Technician in routine maintenance, preventive maintenance, repairs and/or emergency maintenance of the systems to ensure optimal performance and coral health.

·       Researches, develops, and tests methods to optimize the propagation of a variety of coral species.

·       Assists in training and oversight of interns and volunteers working at the coral aquaculture facility.

·       Maintains comprehensive logs of coral collections, husbandry, and propagation, as well as raceway cleaning, water quality, equipment tests, maintenance and service, etc.

·       Works in coral aquaculture facility on weekends and flexible hours, with limited supervision, as required.

·       As assigned, continuously monitors the facility’s life support alarm system via mobile app and is on call and responsive to system alarms and emergencies

·       Interacts with visitors and donors; provides aquarist assistance to interns, graduate students, and visiting researchers to ensure smooth operation of wet lab/seawater facilities for experimental applications.

·       SCUBA dives and snorkels from shore or from a boat to complete conservation and restoration activities, including installing, maintaining, and stocking field-based coral nurseries; collecting coral fragments to stock the land-based nursery; outplanting coral fragments and arrays; conducting monitoring surveys at outplant sites; and participating in coral gamete collection events.

·       Maintain a clean and organized work environment.

·       Makes day-to-day decisions as delegated by supervisor.

·       May work under infrequent supervision.




·       High school diploma or GED and 1 year’s training in science-related field or related work experience.

·       Experience working in a team environment.

·       Experience with Microsoft Office suite.

·       Excellent organizational, communication, and time management skills.

·       Willingness to work outside of normal scheduled hours (i.e. weekend days, holidays, special events, after-hour system related activities or emergencies).

·       Willingness and ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions for long periods of time.

·       Valid driver’s license and a good driving record.




·       Experience living and working in the Virgin Islands.

·       Coursework in aquarium science, biology, ecology, zoology, or related field.

·       Knowledge and experience with saltwater aquarium systems.

·       Knowledge and experience in coral husbandry, Caribbean coral species, and/or knowledge of coral biology, physiology and/or ecology.

·       Knowledge of seawater chemistry and water parameter testing.

·       Experience in the operation of automated control systems.

·       Strong mechanical inclination and proficiency with hand, mechanical and electric tools.

·       Open-water SCUBA certification and qualified to meet AAUS Dive Safety Standards (

·       Ability to effectively follow directions, observe and remember details, and make independent decisions based on training.

·       Ability to analyze, adapt, and perform safely and efficiently in a high stress environment and/or emergency situation.

·       Ability to work effectively with limited or no supervision and maintain a work ethic supporting TNC’s mission and goals.

·       Multi-lingual skills and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated.



This is a full-time position eligible for benefits.  Our competitive and comprehensive benefits package is tailored to the individual countries where we work and provides a full range of benefits to help meet our employees’ needs for health care, retirement, and a positive life balance.


Only applicants who are currently eligible to work in the United States will be considered.  Unfortunately, The Nature Conservancy is unable to provide support for a work permit for this position.


The pay range for this position is $18/hr – $21/hr, depending on experience.







Builds Relationships
Builds productive relationships by interacting with others in ways that enhance mutual trust and commitment.
Collaboration & Teamwork
Works collaboratively with stakeholders across levels, geographies, backgrounds, and cultures to improve decisions, strengthen commitment, and be more effective.
Communicates Authentically
Communicates proactively and in a timely manner to share information, persuade, and influence with the appropriate level of detail, tone, and opportunities for feedback.

Takes ownership to help develop others’ skills, behaviors, and mindsets to help them maximize their workplace contributions.
Drives for

Sets challenging goals and objectives based on a strong sense of purpose and high-performance standards and steadfastly pushes self and others for tangible results, while ensuring work-life balance.
Leverages Difference
Demonstrates commitment to harnessing the power of differences strategically; consistently sees, learns from, and takes strategic action related to difference; and demonstrates the self-awareness and behaviors to work across differences of identity and power respectfully and effectively with all stakeholders. Actively seeks to build and retain a diverse workforce and fosters an equitable inclusive workplace by drawing upon diverse perspectives.

Thinks and acts from a broad perspective with a long-term view and an understanding of 1) the dynamic nature of large-scale challenges and 2) the need for integrating five key practices: skillfully engaging appropriate people; providing a clear process for change; taking a holistic view of situations; focusing on a small number of strategic actions, while learning from and adapting them over time; and being aware of how one’s own thinking or patterns of behavior may be limiting change.

This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.



The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of all genders with diverse backgrounds, beliefs and cultures. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientations, gender identities, military or veteran status or other status protected by law.




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