Ocean Career: Marine Technician at Oregon State University

The Department of Ship Operations is seeking 2 Marine Technicians. These are full-time (1.0 FTE), 12-month, professional faculty positions.

The Marine Technician will serve as a member of the Oregon State University (OSU) Marine Technician group primarily providing technical support on the Research Vessel (R/V) Taani (199-foot research vessel owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by OSU) and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Arctic Vessels (USCGC Healy, USCGC Polar Star). The Marine Technician will provide technical support for all of these vessels, both on shore and at sea. The Marine Technician must possess varied skills and the ability to be flexible, and be able to work and make decisions independently. The Marine Technician performs tasks critical to the success of scientific programs at sea. The Marine Technician interacts directly with students, technicians, faculty and classified employees, and often directs the deployment and recovery of sampling equipment and instrumentation from the vessel. 

While at sea, the Marine Technician also oversees the collecting of underway data from each of the vessels supported. The Marine Technician contributes developmental technical support for the Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV) program, which is an effort within OSU that is currently designing and constructing the next class of oceangoing research vessel for the National Science Foundation (NSF). OSU’s new Research Vessel the 199-foot R/V Taani is currently under construction, and the Marine Technician will participate in the support of the transition to operations as the R/V Taani replaces the R/V Oceanus.

Position Summary

The primary responsibility of the Marine Technician position is to ensure the data collected from the shared use equipment pool of the R/V Oceanus and the USCGC Healy is of the highest quality, has received proper quality control, and is disseminated to the principle investigators (PIs) for use in peer reviewed publications and presentations.

This Marine Technician handles pre‐cruise, at sea, and post‐cruise duties for scientific research performed at sea. The ability to become recognized as an advocate of OSU’s marine technological operational systems, with exemplary knowledge of current and historical configurations, troubleshooting, and repair on the bench or in the field, is vital to the success of the program. A successful Marine Technician can expect an evolving role with the potential to grow to a higher level position with increased responsibilities.

The College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) is an internationally recognized leader in the study of the Earth as an integrated system. It operates numerous state-of-the art laboratories and oceanographic research vessels. The College has an annual budget of more than $50 million, with support coming from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and other federal agencies. It has more than 100 faculty, 200 graduate students and 600 undergraduate students. Graduate programs include M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences; Geology; and Geography and a M.S. degree in Marine Resource Management. The college has undergraduate programs in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sciences, with several minors and certificate programs.

Position Duties

50% – As an independent seagoing technician, assists in the collection of data that will be used in accredited scientific publications. Participates in numerous outreach and engagement opportunities that can take place both on the vessels or other shore-side locations. Oversees the data collection from the shipboard oceanographic equipment, determines the best processes for collection of the data, and provides an initial assessment of the quality of the data. Assesses and re-configures instruments for proper data acquisition. Ensures the safety and effectiveness of over-the-side equipment deployments and recoveries. Maintains the operation of permanent and transitory shared use equipment and computer facilities, and troubleshoots/repairs shipboard equipment and systems. Interacts with, and often directs, the activities of students, technicians, faculty and classified employees when involved in ship-board sampling activities.

25% – Participates in the advanced planning for upcoming cruises, the preparation and staging of cruise equipment, and the scheduling of equipment requests and usage. Acts as a liaison, coordinating information between scientific party members, ship operations, USCG, and marine technician personnel. Coordinates cruise operations including pre‐ cruise planning, logistics, loading/offloading of equipment, and at sea scientific activities. Fulfills the post‐cruise obligation of data dissemination to scientists and national data archives. Completes post‐cruise assessments. Drives OSU Motor Pool, personal, and/or rental vehicles to offsite locations in order to complete cruise preparations and operations, and to transport equipment and research staff to and from the research vessel. Launches and retrieves scientific equipment, maintains and repairs equipment, and uses proper sample collection techniques.

Uses power tools, works in the same vicinity where non-restricted hazardous chemicals are housed, works with non-restricted hazardous material or equipment, performs welding or soldering, and performs painting and/or handles paint preparation. 

25% – Develops new designs and applies existing designs of instrumentation, adding to the knowledge base of the oceanographic community. Draws conclusions on the development and design of instrumentation used for data collection. Installs, improves, and maintains new and existing shipboard scientific equipment. Maintains, calibrates, upgrades, and repairs shared use and shipboard systems. Performs independent projects and design efforts. Represents Oregon State University, CEOAS, and the Marine Technician Group at annual conferences.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Science, Engineering, Oceanography, Electronics, or a closely related field; OR Associate’s degree in Science, Engineering, Oceanography, Electronics, Marine Technology or a related field, AND two years of recent, relevant experience as a Marine Technician or similar position in the military, or at another research university or organization OR five years of recent and relevant experience as a Marine Technician or similar position in the military, or at another research university or organization.
  • Strong computer skills with at least two years of experience working intimately with computer systems with a focus in network maintenance, satellite communications, shipboard networks, or data collection systems.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well within a technical team environment.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Proven ability to appropriately scale and apply formal and informal troubleshooting methodologies.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and make on-the-spot decisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to deal with diverse groups of scientists and crew onboard a ship.
  • Must possess a valid passport at time of employment.
  • This position requires driving a university vehicle or a personal vehicle on behalf of the university; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a motor vehicle history check, possess and maintain a current, valid driver’s license in their state of residence, be determined to be position qualified and self-report convictions as per University Policy 05-030. 

Application deadline: August 15, 2022
Salary: Commensurate with education, training and experience
Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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