Gorilla Caregiver / Researcher

26 July 2013 Jobs

The Gorilla Foundation is seeking a highly dedicated, experienced and qualified individual to join our team as a full-time Gorilla Caregiver/Researcher, in an environment where interspecies communication research and gorilla care are highly integrated.

Candidates should be service-oriented with an attitude of loving kindness toward all animals (including humans). This is an opportunity for a qualified individual to make a contribution to great ape care, research, conservation and education, by using two-way communication to facilitate gorilla care and empowerment.

This is an hourly full-time position from 8:30 (or 9) AM to 5:30 (or 6) PM, 5 days per week. However, work-schedule flexibility is required, including the ability to work some weekend days and evenings (eg, 12-9pm)

Primary Job Responsibilities:

1. Monitor, evaluate, and help maintain the physical and emotional health and well-being of gorillas Koko and Ndume (and possibly their extended family) through behavioral observations, non-invasive biomedical samples, and sign-language and other forms of two-way communication.
2. Clean and perform general maintenance of the indoor/outdoor gorilla facilities
3. Assist with the preparation and delivery of meals to gorillas
4. Support and document communication-based research with gorillas, by learning American Sign Language (ASL), taking observational notes, filling out corresponding forms and participating in database entry and cataloging
5. Assist with environmental enrichment for the gorillas, and in plans for enhancing the current sanctuary and building a new sanctuary.
6. Building alliances with other gorilla facilities, providing them assistance with communication-based care, and integrating their experience with ours
7. Interacting with TGF medical and veterinary professionals, as needed
8. Helping to expand Koko's and Ndume's gorilla family, to increase the probability of cultural transmission of Koko's language skills, and the fostering of a next generation gorilla ambassador for this endangered species.

Required Job Qualifications:

• 5+ years of full-time animal care work experience
• Experience and/or education in relevant fields such as anthropology, biology, psychology, animal behavior, animal care or conservation
• Advanced educational degree: MS or PhD
• Excellent hearing and night vision
• Strong affinity for animals, as reflected in work and volunteer experience
• Excellent written and verbal communication skills
• Excellent employment history, attested to by several professional references
• Commitment to learn and/or improve acquisition of American Sign Language
• Computer savvy (Mac/PC, Excell, Powerpoint, Google and databases)
• Confident around dogs
• Superior work ethic, including: • Good attendance/on-time record
• Hard-working, service-oriented, self-motivated, goal setter/tracker
• Attention detail coupled with awareness of the big picture
• Positive attitude with sense of humor • Self-reliant -- able to learn by asking questions and research
• Well-organized and efficient, with ability to document and adapt priorities
• Good at following instructions, and having them clarified as needed
• Team and mission oriented: communicate to resolve issues quickly
• Resonant with our mission: Conservation through Communication

Desirable Job Qualifications:

• Experience in performing or assisting with observational research
• Knowledge of American sign Language (ASL)
• Experience with the "linguistics of sign language"
• Author or co-author on scientific publications
• Adeptness with multimedia data collection and editing (photos/videos)

Special Requirements:

1. Desire to make a long-term commitment— the gorillas value long-term relationships and consistency
2. An initial evaluation period to establish compatibility with the gorillas
3. Ability to work full-time (40 hrs/wk) including weekends and some evening shifts
4. We are focusing on candidates who live in the Peninsula or Silicon Valley region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
5. The Gorilla Foundation is a drug and smoking-free environment; background checks are a part of the hiring process.


Salary commensurate with experience; opportunity for advancement
Benefits include health insurance, vacation, sick/personal leave, paid holidays and a 403(b) retirement plan

How to Apply:

To be considered for an interview, please email:
1) cover letter
2) resume (with salary requirements)
3) 3 professional references (with contact information), and
4) a brief essay entitled "What Koko Means to Me"

to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

All attachments MUST be in either .doc or .pdf format.

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