Chimp Haven

Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) Technician


Keithville, LA


Full Time

Title: Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) Technician
Reports To: Positive Reinforcement Program Supervisor 
Direct Reports: None 
Shift: Days/Emergencies as needed, shifts determined with supervisor and based on the needs of the organization but will include holidays and weekends. 
FLSA: Non-exempt 
Risk Level:

Primary Function: 
Carry out chimpanzee training objectives using positive reinforcement; including but not limited to foundation behaviors, shifting/recalls, cooperative training, and medical behaviors. This position is designed to work throughout the facility and will not have a particular area of focus. Provide positive reinforcement training to chimpanzees and improve chimpanzee well-being via positive methods and evaluation of the success of these methods. Provide excellent animal care, superior guest experiences, and inspire others to support the mission of Chimp Haven. Ensure and promote excellent standards of care for the chimpanzees. 
Duties and Responsibilities: 
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of 
activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, 
responsibilities and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Positive Reinforcement Training
•        Plan training schedules according to goals and with supervisor and senior staff approval.
•        Assist with the coordination of PRT program initiatives including but not limited to Gympanzee, Scale Club, recalls, classes, and tandem training sessions.
•        Carry out chimpanzee training objectives using positive reinforcement according to approved plans.
•        Assist animal care staff with cooperative feeding and shifting.
•        Assist and/or coordinate with behavior staff with targeted interventions for abnormal behavior that utilize PRT.
•        Assist and/or coordinate with veterinary staff for PRT that aids in preserving the health of the chimpanzees.
•        Learn the identities of the chimpanzees and ID test other animal care staff as needed.
•        May assist the PRT Supervisor and Coordinator with training animal care staff on operant conditioning procedures.
•        Collaborate with the PRT coordinator with maintaining PRT logs and other programmatic documentation.
•        Collaborate with the PRT coordinator to manage PRT program inventory, cleaning, creating, ordering and maintaining supplies.
•        Provide input on updates and summaries for senior staff.
•        Assist with colony management decisions and make recommendations for improvements to positive reinforcement training program.
•        May assist behavior staff with introductions or behavior monitoring.
•        Assist other animal care staff in maintaining food preparation and PRT storage areas.
•        May assist husbandry, veterinary or other departmental staff as directed.
Staff Mentoring
•        Review and give input on individual shaping plans.
•        Mentor others on positive reinforcement training of the chimpanzees.
•        Assist in mentoring animal care staff to create, implement, and maintain feeding/shifting plans.
Professional Development/Organizational Advancement
•        Participate in continuing education regarding PRT, including shifting best practices, and make recommendations
•        Create content to share at animal care meetings pertaining to the PRT program, PRT projects, and shifting initiatives.
•        Participate in PRT demonstrations for organizational advancement.
•        Provide friendly, educational, and professional communications with accurate information to create a memorable experience.
•        May lead educational activities including presentations to the public and at scientific 
•        meetings
•        May work with visiting scientists when projects require positive reinforcement training 
•        with chimpanzees.
•        Work cooperatively with others in multiple departments including husbandry, veterinary, behavior, maintenance, administration, and development to coordinate training activities and achieve organizational goals.
•        Maintain work culture of the department. Ensure a respectful, encouraging, solution based, and courteous workplace where staff can develop their professional skills through current and modern best practices. Provide open and professional communication between management and all members of the department, making them aware of priorities and changes. 
Education and Experience Required: 
•        Minimum requirement of an associate degree in a relevant field is required, Bachelor’s degree preferred. 
•        At least two years of paid experience working with chimpanzees. 
•        Two years of experience in enrichment, training or behavioral study of nonhuman primates is required. 
•        A combination of education and/or experience may be considered.
Other Requirements and Working Conditions:
•        This work will require bending, carrying, kneeling, lifting, listening, pulling, pushing, reading, speaking, squatting, standing, stooping, stretching, walking, watching, and writing. 
•        Must be able to routinely lift and carry 50 lbs. for short distances. 
•        Work may involve considerable outdoor work in various weather conditions. 
•        Potential exists for animal bites and scratches. 
•        Potential exposure to unpleasant odors, animal wastes, animal tissues and body fluids, toxic chemicals, zoonotic diseases (tuberculosis, shigella etc.), infectious agents (Hepatitis B, C, HIV, etc.).
•        Participation in a medical monitoring and surveillance program that includes hepatitis B and other inoculations is required.
•        Safety training, equipment, clothing and supplies will be provided.
•        Duties may require driving Chimp Haven’s vehicles which requires a valid driver’s license. Must also meet Chimp Haven’s motor vehicle operating standards.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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