Job Type

Full Time Contract


Minimum: $40,000.00
Maximum: $45,000.00



Start Date:


Application Deadline:



10th and Constitution Ave. NW
United States




Animal Care Assistant


March 27, 2018

1.     Project Summary

The National Museum of Natural History has a requirement for an Animal Care Assistant within its Branch of Learning Venues and Visitor Experience. A fixed price contract will be awarded. The Coordinator will be needed to be onsite Sunday to Thursday. 

2.     Context: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History


This contract position is located in the Branch of Learning Venues and Visitor Services (LVVE) of the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), Smithsonian Institution (SI). The Branch of Learning Venues and Visitor Experience is responsible for implementing for NMNH a myriad of services for daily visitor operations and activities in the public areas of the Museum and in the volunteer program. The position is responsible in assisting with the animal care and maintenance of the Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion.

The contractor assists with the operations of the Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion of the National Museum of Natural History serving over 7 million visitors annually. The Learning Venues and Visitor Experience team interfaces with the majority of Museum Offices including Education, Exhibitions, Special Events, Office of Facilities Management, Security, Building Management, Information Technology, Restaurant Associates, Administration and partner organizations including Central Smithsonian Office of Visitor Services and Smithsonian Enterprises.

The contractor upholds the Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History’s philosophy, vision and core standards for visitor service. Their primary focus is to ensure that the visitors’ “first and last impression” of their experience at the museum is a positive, productive and memorable one.


3.     Deliverables

The Animal Care Assistant is responsible for:

·         Preparing the Insect Zoo for arriving visitors by cleaning exhibit cases and feeding the live arthropods used by volunteers on interactive carts.

·        Preparing the Butterfly Pavilion for visitors by cleaning all surfaces in the pavilion, watering plants, stocking fruit stations, cleaning chrysalis cases, and draining flower beds.

·        Assist Horticulture Department in the installation of new plants

·        Keeping accurate chrysalis emergence data used in the annual USDA report

·        Cleaning and maintaining exhibit cases

·        Keeping accurate arthropod care data sheets to track health of arthropods

·        Maintaining a clean lab including emergence cases and maintaining arthropods housed in the lab

·        Feeding all animals

·        Collecting plant materials for arthropods

·        Keeping staff informed when supplies are needed

·        Fulling USDA requirements by inspecting existing visitors for potential hidden butterflies on their person(at least 2 hours per day)

·        Conducting tarantula feedings when volunteers are not available

·        Follow all USDA and Smithsonian guidelines and directives including proper waste disposal

·        Assist with annual Insect Zoo and Butterfly Pavilion maintenance

4.  Requirements

Contractor must be available to work onsite at the National Museum of Natural History.


Contractor must work 40 hours per week, including one weekend day (Saturdays) and pre-arranged holidays that fall Tuesday-Saturday.

Contractor must be able to lift 50 pounds. Contractor will work in hot humid environments for extended periods of time.

Qualifications include:

·        Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree in the Biological Sciences or related fields

·        Enthusiasm for working with a diversity of students, scientists, museum educators, other museum staff, and visitors

·        Knowledge and skill in oral, written and digital communication sufficient to address varied audiences and to serve as an interface between multiple museum constituents and stakeholders

·        Outstanding organizational skills and demonstrated ability to follow procedures and policies to maintain safety and security at an institution

·        Exceptional customer service skills

·        Must be prepared to obtain a DUNS number and register in the System for Award Management (SAM) prior to start date.

4.     Scope, Timeframe, and Fee

All project activities and deliverables will begin no later than May 1, 2018 and completed no later than May 1, 2019.

The nature of the deliverables demands that this work will be conducted onsite at the NMNH, in an office, lab, and exhibit environment and occasionally outdoors. Contractor will be onsite 8 hours per day Tuesday through Saturday with some pre-arranged evenings and holidays.


5. Proposal and Preparation Instructions and Selection Process


General. On or before 5:00 PM in the vendor’s time zone on Tuesday April 10, 2018. Offerors will be expected to provide a proposal in its entirety, via email to Eric Wenzel, Butterfly Pavilion Lead at At the minimum, offerors need to demonstrate that they meet the acceptability standards, including that they have the ability to perform the requirements in a timely manner.

Proposal Checklist:

❏      Full Name, Street Address, Telephone Number

❏      Schedule

Acknowledgement of your availability to work a Sunday-Thursday schedule as well as required holidays

❏      Resume(s)

Include your resume and references

❏      Capability to Perform

1-2 paragraphs about your ability to perform the work required, in terms of current skills and ability

❏      Experience

Provide 3- 5 examples of specialized experience and demonstrated technical competence in performing similar work as requested here, preferably completed within the last five years

❏      Cost

State the price for the work.


Award of a contract shall be made to the responsive, responsible offeror, whose technical proposal is, in the opinion of the Contracting Officer, determined to be the most advantageous and in the best interest of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.


Inquiries regarding this Request for Proposal should be directed via email to Eric Wenzel at with the subject line “Animal Care Assistant Inquiry”.



It is the intention of the Smithsonian to interview a select group of responsive offerors; however, it is possible that interviews may not occur. Consequently, it is important that all responses to this request be complete and include all necessary information.


Submission of Proposals

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History reserves the right to reject any or all proposals received in response to this request. Notice will be provided indicating that an award may be made. It is therefore emphasized that all proposals should be submitted initially on the most favorable terms that the offeror can submit. Written proposals must be received 5:00 PM in the offeror’s time zone, on April 10, 2018.


Disposition of Proposals

All information submitted in response to this Request for Proposal shall become the property of the Smithsonian and shall not be returned.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply