Ocean Career: A.I.S. Marine Biologist

A.I.S., Inc. (A.I.S.) is a national scientific services firm supporting maritime activities requiring certification of compliance with environmental regulations as well as collecting data for use by Federal, State, Municipal, and other government agencies along the U.S. coastline. A.I.S. is looking for Marine Biologists (At-Sea Monitors) to work at sea collecting and recording data and biological samples for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFCS) aboard commercial fishing vessels.

The primary goals of Northeast federal fishery observation programs are to provide quantitative biological, vessel, and gear-selectivity information for various New England and Mid-Atlantic fisheries. The At-Sea Monitor program focuses specifically on the groundfish industry, a grouping of fish that includes many commonly consumed fish such as cod, haddock, and various flounder species. Each fishery observer or monitor operates on commercial fishing vessels operating in ports throughout New England and the Mid-Atlantic. If you ever wanted to make a difference, this is how.

Commercial fishing dates back hundreds of years. Today commercial fishing continues to be possible due to cooperation between fishermen and fisheries management scientists like yourself. In order to facilitate that cooperation, fisheries observers collect data pertaining to fishing programs, economics, catch data, and fishing efficiency. Collected data is used to document stock information which is then used to protect the environment and preserve future generations of fish/fishermen.

At-Sea Monitors record detailed information on the gear and fishing activity of the vessels. Monitors work on deck on vessels ranging from 20’ to 100’ on trips roughly ranging from 1 to 14 days collecting data on fish catch and discard and incidental takes such as marine mammals, seabirds, and marine turtles. After attending a 3-week paid training in-person training in Falmouth, MA, monitors are deployed from ports throughout New England and Mid-Atlantic states. Gear types assessed include trawl, gillnet, longline and handline.

Accommodations and meal reimbursement during in-person sessions of training are provided. Training includes instructions on sampling protocols, gear, fisheries, fish identification, marine mammal/sea turtle identification, and safety.

This is a challenging job, and candidates must be mentally prepared to be away from home for multiple days and must be physically able to handle heavy lifting, working odd hours, and long days on rough seas. Observing provides an excellent career in marine biology, as observers and monitors are widely recognized as being excellent field biologists. A broad range of advancement opportunities are available to those who demonstrate appropriate capabilities. Those opportunities include, but are not limited to, project management, field supervisors, and fieldwork in other programs.

Minimum Qualifications

  • High school diploma is required
  • Experience with data entry on computers.
  • Monitor candidates must be U.S. citizens or be legally authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Candidates must be physically able, as determined by a licensed physician’s certification, to perform observer duties.
  • Your own transportation is required
  • Candidates are expected to commit to the program for at least one year

Preferred Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a related field from an accredited college or university with 30 credits of biology coursework, 6 credits of marine science is preferred
  • At least one undergraduate course in math or statistics preferred
  • At-sea experience
  • Coursework in Dichotomous Keys
  • Experience collecting Field Data and entering databases

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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