Ocean Career: Aquaculture Disease and Biosecurity Database Technician at Lynker

Lynker is seeking to hire a Aquaculture Disease and Biosecurity Database Technician to support an upcoming contract with NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) Marine Microbes and Toxins (MMT) Team.

Work will be conducted on-site at the NWFSC in Seattle, Washington. This position is anticipated to begin January 01, 2023 and extend for 12 months. The hiring of positions is contingent on receiving the award for the contract.

NMFS is responsible for the conservation and management of our Nation’s living marine resources and their habitats. In support of providing sufficient and safe seafood for the nation, NMFS is directed under the Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act, to establish research to develop sustainable marine aquaculture methods. In 2020, Executive Order 13921 mandated establishment of two (2) Aquaculture Opportunity Areas (AOAs) annually to position aquaculture activities in federally managed waters. To establish AOAs, the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requires NMFS to assess the impacts of disease and biosecurity of aquaculture in the AOAs. E.O. 13921 also requires the promotion of aquatic animal health, following the National Aquaculture Health Plan and Standards for 2021-2023, and establishes an Interagency Seafood Trade Task Force for developing an international trade strategy to improve technical barriers to US exports, including biosecurity of seafood products.

The NWFSC Marine Microbes and Toxins (MMT) team has expertise in marine pathogens, including those causing diseases in aquatic animals, and biosecurity, including distribution of infectious agents, biotoxins, and contaminants. MMT is responsible for acquiring and integrating scientific information on disease and biosecurity issues related to AOAs, aquatic animal health, and seafood product biosecurity in compliance with E.O. 13921.

The Aquaculture Database Disease and Biosecurity Technician duties include:

  • Maintain and update a database of scientific information on diseases of target aquaculture organisms and on agents affecting aquatic animal health and seafood biosecurity
    • You will use multiple information resources, including but not limited to refereed literature; government and industry reports; relevant workshops, conferences and symposia; and subject matter expert consultations, to update the database as new information is acquired.
    • Information about diseases of aquacultured organisms and naturally sympatric organisms at the AOA locations identified in 2021 will include etiologic agents, pathogenic mechanisms, disease ecology, and epizootiology.
    • Information about agents affecting health and biosecurity are expected to include infectious agents, biotoxins, and anthropogenic contaminants known to be present in the AOA locations.
    • The priority application of the database will be to identify disease and biosecurity impacts from aquaculture activities in federally managed waters, as well as potential prevention and mitigation of those impacts.
    • Collateral applications of the database will include recommended biosecurity actions to protect the health of aquacultured species and best management practices for updates of aquatic animal plans and seafood trade.
    • You will consult with the project lead on the structure of the database, and information quality, when needed.
    • There will be an appraisal meeting at least once per week with the project lead.
  • Participation in consultation meetings and workshops to support writing activities of AOA NEPA leads, aquatic animal health plan updates, and biosecurity of seafood trade
    • The NWFSC will produce draft documents on guidelines for biosecurity and disease management to support staff who are writing the pEIS for each AOA. The NWFSC will also provide science information support to the NMFS Office of Aquaculture on topics about aquaculture seafood safety and hazards to aquacultured organisms.
    • It is anticipated that AOA NMFS NEPA writers and/or NMFS Office of Aquaculture will need continued guidance and revisions as the pEIS for each AOA are revised and completed.
    • This task is to provide guidance to NEPA writers and draft updates as needed.
    • Meetings with NEPA writers, and agency staff involved in updates and biosecurity are also expected.
    • You will consult with the project lead throughout execution of this task.


Minimum required qualifications include:

  • Bachelor’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university with a major directly related in a field of study as related to the requirements of specific task order with emphasis in aquatic animal health, fisheries sciences, aquaculture, marine ecology, or biological oceanography plus two (2) years of experience in related fields or a combination of such totaling six (6) years combined of education and/or experience.
    • A higher level degree (e.g., Master's, PhD) in these fields may be substituted for experience.
  • Excellent writing and organizational skills.
  • Familiarity with relational databases.

Additional required qualifications include:

  • Demonstrated ability to accumulate relevant scientific information from a wide variety of sources and produce synthesis documents with properly annotated bibliographies.
  • Demonstrated experience working with databases capable of absorbing different types of information (text, numerical data, PDFs, photographs).
  • Ability to interact with scientists and aquaculture industry professionals representing a range of disciplines and located at international institutions.
  • Demonstrated ability to give oral presentations such as conference presentations (oral and/or poster) or other public presentations.
  • Must be able to drive a government vehicle as necessary.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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