Jobs at Western

Aquarium Assistant

Apply now Work type: Temporary Staff Pool
Location: Poulsbo, WA
Categories: Academic Affairs

Position Title Aquarium Assistant - Poulsbo
About the University Western Washington University, with over 15,000 students in seven colleges and the graduate school, is nationally recognized for its educational programs, students and faculty. While its home campus is located in Bellingham, Washington, WWU on the Peninsulas is located on the Olympic College campus in Poulsbo in order to better serve the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. WWU on the Peninsulas provides a distinctive Western experience in programs tied to the unique strengths and needs of the communities west of Puget Sound.  We respect and serve a broad spectrum of learners in high-quality degree and non-degree programs that are multidisciplinary, flexible, and rigorous.  We foster mentorship, collaboration, and equity through education.
About the Department

SEA Discovery Center through the Outreach and Continuing Education Department at Western Washington University support Western’s mission to bring together individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives in an inclusive, student-centered university that develops the potential of learners and the well-being of communities. We encourage applications from women, people of color, people with disabilities, veterans, and other candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and with diverse experiences interested in this opportunity.

Located on Liberty Bay in Poulsbo, WA, the SEA Discovery Center is a public aquarium and marine science center, where visitors of all ages immerse themselves in the wonders of local marine life and ecosystems. The SEA Discovery Center inspires lifelong learning and a deeper connection to the marine environment through public aquarium exhibits, school field trips, educational programs, a vibrant volunteer program, and environmental stewardship projects involving the community. Previously known as the Poulsbo Marine Science Center, the facility has recently come under oversight of Western Washington University’s Outreach and Continuing Education. Although the Center’s name has changed, the vision and mission of the Center as an environmental educational resource for the region’s community and K-12 students remains the same. In fact, WWU aspires to expand the reach of the Center, the scope of STEM education taking place there, and the numbers of students and community members served. The Center’s facilities include a 3-story main building (footprint 24,000 sq. ft.) with fresh and saltwater aquarium exhibits, classrooms, and theater, outdoor grounds and parking lot, and floating boathouse classroom. Please see our website at

About the Position

The SEA Discovery Center is a 7-day a week operation. This position is responsible for various shifts of aquarium operation and assistance. Timing of duties will include weekends (Sat and/or Sun), occasional nights (any day of the week) and other times to be scheduled. Minimum 5.5 hours per week.

Tasks include:

Aquarium Program Assistance

  • Greet visitors,
  • Provide explanations of exhibits
  • Answer general questions
  • Conduct tours of aquarium facilities
  • Assist with aquarium exhibit and animal care and curation
  • Ensure that aquarium and public areas are stocked with necessary supplies and set up for visitors throughout the day.
  • Communicate and work with volunteer docents.

General Program Support

  • Assist, prepare for, and lead activities for programs and events
  • Ensure Center is open and closed as per scheduled hours of operation
  • Executes opening and/or closing procedures


Required Qualifications
  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • Knowledge and enthusiasm for local marine life and marine science
  • Ability to communicate knowledge of local marine life and environments, with style appropriate for people of all ages and backgrounds
  • Responsible and able to execute facility procedures independently and as part of a team of staff
  • Computer skills and facility with online calendars and event schedules
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and troubleshoot resourcefully
  • Must be available to work evenings and weekends
Preferred Qualifications
  • College degree in life sciences, environmental education, or related field; or currently enrolled in a related college degree program
  • Experience working in customer service
  • Experience working with groups of children and adults in an interactive, hands-on educational setting
  • Diving certified or able to become dive-certified
Salary $16.34 per hour
Bargaining Unit This position is part of bargaining unit A and is covered by the collective bargaining agreement with Washington Federation of State Employees.
Application Instructions

A cover letter and resume are required and should address your experience related to the position responsibilities and the required and preferred qualifications.

Please include the names and contact information of three professional references.

Closing Date Notes Open continuously

Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex (including pregnancy and parenting status), disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. See WWU’s Policy on Ensuring Equal Opportunity and Prohibiting Discrimination and Retaliation. Inquiries may be directed to the Vice Provost for Equal Opportunity and Employment Diversity, Title IX and ADA Coordinator, Equal Opportunity Office, Western Washington University, Old Main 345 (MS 9021), 516 High Street, Bellingham, WA 98225; 360.650.3307 (voice) or 711 (Washington Relay);

WWU is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. To request this document in an alternate format or to request an accommodation, please contact Human Resources Disability Services, 360.650.3774 or 711 (Washington Relay).

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report: This report is provided pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act ("The Clery Act"). It includes statistics for the previous three calendar years concerning reported crimes that occurred on Western's campus; in certain off-campus buildings or property owned or controlled by Western; and on public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also includes institutional policies concerning campus security, such as policies concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. You can obtain a copy of this report in printed or alternate formats by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at The report can be found at: Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

All new employees must comply with the immunization policy and show employment eligibility verification as required by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service before beginning work at WWU. A thorough background check will be conducted on all new hires.

Job no: 497409
Advertised: Pacific Daylight Time
Applications close:

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