Ocean Career: Nekton Head of Expeditions

Nekton’s mission is to rapidly accelerate our scientific understanding and protection of the ocean for people and the planet. We work for the ocean. Nekton is a UK-registered charity based in Oxford, UK.

Nekton is actively searching for a Head of Expeditions to join our team to develop and run a series of ocean expeditions internationally, combining dive teams, submersibles, ROVs, and other subsea research technologies. This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced professional who enjoys taking a hands-on approach and who would be excited to take a project from the drawing board to successful delivery.

Nekton’s goals are audacious, so we are looking for an individual with a special blend of experience in implementing complex multi-disciplinary ocean expeditions and working with the international academic/government/philanthropic fleets communications and content production skills, who revels in innovation and who understands what it takes to tell stories in ways that are culturally appropriate to capture public and media attention worldwide.

You will be meticulous at project, safety, and budget management and will thrive at being hands-on in implementing an expedition strategy that combines Nekton’s own expeditions along with collaborating with an international network of partners and their expeditions.

Proven experience in leading marine expedition development and implementation (ideally combining marine research and communications), subsea technology management, and innovative development, along with expedition partner management and development, are all critical.

This role will take consummate professionalism, maturity, and good humor - a ‘glass half-full person’ who is able to utilize in-house and outsourced resources creatively and cost-effectively to drive rapid development.

We need a team player who wants to grow, who understands the big picture, and who can contribute to its creation.

Someone who wants to help create an organization that is diverse and inclusive, who respects all views, and who genuinely believes that talent is universal in a world where opportunity has not always been equally distributed.

Nekton’s success is based on being inspiring and trusted explorers, scientists, and storytellers. You will be instrumental in the next stage of that journey, telling the ocean story in creative ways that informs, educates, and entertains.

Tactical and operational lead for all ocean expedition activities, co-defining and driving the expedition strategy, overseeing safe and productive marine operations, leading some expeditions at sea for specific periods, development of a network of expedition partners (combining vessel owners and operators) and representing the organization globally when required. In detail:

  • Reports to Project Director and the Board’s Expedition Committee.
  • Development and implementation of the Expedition Strategy and budgets for undertaking a series of field expeditions internationally combining Nekton-led and Partner-led missions.
  • Running and implementing safe and productive marine operations from surface (including SCUBA and technical dive operations) to 6000metre depths (ROVs, submersibles, AUVs etc.) with established policies, procedures, Health & Safety and compliance frameworks and codes of conduct, environmental and cultural impact planning, that meet best-in-class standards (e.g., ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 45001:2018 and British Standards on Expeditions (BS8848)).
  • Leading expedition risk and crisis management and associated insurances for marine operations (supported by Senior Management Team).
  • Leading expedition logistics including equipment and biological specimen shipping, customs and agents, personnel travel.
  • Leading operations at sea as Mission Director for specific periods when required and appointing at sea Expedition leadership when not in the field.
  • Lead partnership management and development with academic/government/philanthropic vessel owners and operators to establish a network of expedition partners working towards a common global goal.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the pipeline of Expeditions undertaken by Nekton and partners to meet science and communications goals.
  • Leading on procurement, management and innovation of subsea research and communications technologies deployed on Expeditions.
  • Developing a network of technology partners to support technology innovation and marine operations.
  • Working with Science Director and Project Director to manage permitting.
  • Working with the Science Director and Media Director to develop and implement the scope of operation for each Expedition.
  • Working with the Science Director and Media Director to ensure that all expeditions are implemented under Nekton’s Equity principles of co-creating and co-producing expeditions with host nation partners.
  • Working with the Project Director and Science Director to develop an Expedition Fund supported by philanthropic and business partners.
  • Acting as a leading spokesperson with international media, partners, and stakeholders.

Find out more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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