It all began with a ROAR over 100 years ago!

San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species worldwide. San Diego Zoo Global operates three world-class facilities: the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Our organization's vision - we will lead the fight against extinction.

Help us to make a difference for wildlife and begin your adventure with a career at the San Diego Zoo Join the dedicated crew who are passionate about what they do and strive to create unforgettable experiences for our guests. Share your knowledge, skills and commitment to provide GRRREAT Customer Service and be a part of the ROAR with San Diego Zoo Global!

Are you ready to start your adventure and
put your Passion for Wildlife to Work?


Destination - San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Duration of your adventure - Exempt with Benefits

Seats (positions) available - 1

Attire while on adventure- The Society has a very conservative grooming policy. Tattoos may not be visible or must be appropriately covered while on duty. Jewelry may be worn if it does not detract from a well-groomed look or create a safety hazard. No facial or tongue piercing.

Amenities - Amenities - Located 30 miles North of the San Diego Zoo and just south of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in the San Pasqual Valley in Escondido, California, this adventure offers ZOO Perks which include discounts on food/premium products, free and discounted admission to local attractions, and accrual of vacation and sick time (exception for some grants and Summer Fellowships).

(Exempt position) Salary Commensurate With Experience

Requirements for this adventure include:

San Diego Zoo Global is seeking an Associate Nutritionist to join the Nutritional Services team at San Diego Zoo Safari Park, supporting an animal collection of 4,000+ specimens. This position requires working knowledge of animal nutrition, medical terminology and record keeping.

Essential qualifications are a minimum of a Master's degree in an Animal Science (nutrition major), human nutrition or related field. This person will work closely with other nutritionists, veterinary staff, forage warehouse managers, animal care managers, keepers and researchers.

Applicants must have a strong commitment to animal health and well-being; proven ability to work and contribute in a team environment; excellent communication skills and a proven ability to establish credibility and influence at all levels. Specifically, applicants should have the ability to present information clearly and concisely in verbal presentations and written communications, including scientific writing. Proficiency with word processing, presentation, spreadsheet, statistics and database systems is essential. Experience of diet formulation/evaluation software is desired.

Also required: proven experience and skill in designing and carrying out applied research projects, including data collection, processing and analysis; evidence of flexibility in approach to research problems. Knowledge of food handling, quality control, HACCP, and biosecurity is desired.

Applied nutritional research experience, knowledge of zoo management, affiliated conservation industry and general zoo keeping experience are also all desirable.

Due to the nature of the Safari Park animal collection, excellent working knowledge of avian and mammalian herbivore nutrition would be advantageous.

Key duties include formulating, maintaining, and documenting individual animal diets; sampling and evaluating diet items for quality control; assessing the nutritional health, body condition, and husbandry of collection animals; performing investigative studies as required; providing education and training of staff; participating in fundraising and performing outreach including activities in support of AZA Advisory Group.

The incumbent will be based at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, though may need to cover the San Diego Zoo during vacations.


The Associate Nutritionist performs all job assignments with a positive attitude that supports San Diego Zoo Global's mission and vision of saving species worldwide by uniting our expertise in animal care and conservation science with our dedication to inspiring passion for nature and leading the fight against extinction. The Associate Nutritionist defines and establishes appropriate nutritional parameters for the organization's animal collection and designs and implements clinical/applied research projects. This position reports to Director of Nutritional Services.


  • Evaluate and review dietary changes for animal collections at both the Zoo and Safari Park

  • Conduct nutritional applied/clinical research

  • Present research at scientific meetings

  • Assist and support SSPs and TAGs as requested

  • Work with the Director of Nutritional Services , Veterinarians, Pathologists, Curators, Managers, Supervisors, Leads, and Keepers to formulate diets

  • Teach keeper training classes

  • Prepares and makes presentations as requested

  • Adheres to all SDZG and department policies and practices

  • Exemplifies the highest standard of work ethics

  • Practices the GRRREAT Customer Service Standards


  • Work with the Director of Nutritional Services, Veterinarians, Pathologists, Curators, Managers, Supervisors, Leads, and Keepers to formulate diets that are nutritionally appropriate, manageable by animal care staff, and potentially behaviorally stimulating to the animal

  • Formulate and implement dietary changes for incoming, growing, ill, geriatric, pregnant, or healthy animals (7,300+) at both the Zoo and Safari Park

  • Write clinical notes and create diet sheets to explain and support recommended changes

  • Conduct follow up visits on animals that are having problems associated with diets; keep case list updated

  • Participate in Veterinary Rounds (Zoo and Safari Park) to keep informed of current animal problems and update others on Nutritional issues

  • Participate in the AZA's Nutritional Advisory Group serving as Nutrition Advisor to SSPs and Tags

  • Assist with sampling protocols and schedules for quality assurance testing

  • Conduct nutritional applied/clinical research to improve the health of captive exotic animals and prepare appropriate proposals as needed


Performs related duties and responsibilities as required.

All newly hired animal care, nutrition, and educator staff with responsibility for regularly caring for collection animals are REQUIRED to complete and pass (4) on-line prerequisite classes prior to reporting to their department. Human Resources will schedule this training as part of the on-boarding program. For current employees transferring into an animal care department, these classes MUST be completed and passed prior to the transfer.

Pre-requisite courses include:
  • Zoonotic Disease Prevention and Bio-Security
  • Working Safely With Dangerous Animals
  • Government Regulations and Compliance (USDA/OSHA)
  • The Fundamentals of Animal Learning

**Passing grade for classes is 90%

One essential function for this position is the ability to drive a SDZ Global vehicle. If you are offered employment, you will be asked to authorize SDZ Global to access your current driving report through the DMV's Employer Pull Notice Program. Your hiring for this position will be contingent on SDZ Global receiving an acceptable driving report for you. In addition, your continued employment in the position will depend on you maintaining an acceptable driving report from you. You may obtain a list of conditions that disqualify a person from driving an SDZ Global vehicle from a Human Resources Representative.
(POST 9/14/17)

Meet Some of San Diego Zoo Global's Employees

Jerome A.

Sales Manager

Jerome helps people understand everything San Diego Zoo Global has to offer as a vacation destination by managing ticket sales and connecting with multiple corporate and military ticket resale partners.

Tim R.

Senior Operations Manager

Tim and his teams of hospitality specialists are the face of San Diego Zoo Global, welcoming guests, providing accommodations, and making sure the zoo’s many visitors have an incredible time.

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