Ocean Career: Research Scientist at the University of Washington

The Research Scientist works with a small team of other scientists, statistical/programming analysts, database manager, and web specialist at Columbia Basin Research (CBR). CBR is a research center within the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, College of the Environment, University of Washington.

CBR conducts basic and applied research on the impacts of regulated river operations on the freshwater and marine survival of salmon in a warming and changing environment. The Research Scientist will play important roles in the development of models for managing endangered species under critical water conditions. One study involves the analysis of ocean survival and marine conditions using first principle models of salmon growing through a size distribution of predators. Other research studies that the Research Scientist may be involved with include salmon river migration, mark-recapture modeling, river temperature modeling, climate change impacts on salmon species, laboratory or field research, and open science. These studies contribute to annual planning and real-time river operations and management by federal, state, and tribal agencies. The studies also contribute directly to understanding ecological mechanisms that will be needed to manage rivers under warming and changing environmental conditions. The position offers great opportunities for professional and personal growth in a stimulating research environment on applied ecology and endangered salmon.

The School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences values the strengths and professional experience that students, faculty, and staff bring to our community. We are committed to providing excellent education to all of our students, regardless of their race, gender, class, nationality, physical ability, religion, age, or sexual orientation. We are proud of the different roles that our students, staff, and faculty play in the community of the School and in the College of the Environment. We recognize that science is richer and the SAFS community is more vibrant when a diverse group of people participate the SAFS community.

The position’s major duties and responsibilities include: 1) handling large data sets with samples sizes of more than a million tagged fishes, 2) complex analyses with models of a non-linear nature and data on changing environmental conditions, and 3) communication of study findings to support decision making and management of regulated rivers and endangered migratory fishes. Field and lab work may also be included in the position’s duties and responsibilities.


Research and Analysis

  • Leading or assisting in developing models of salmon survival, abundances, growth, and migration.
  • Developing appropriate statistical algorithms for updating model parameters estimates.
  • Working with database manager to organize the fish data and environmental covariates.
  • Analyzing data and producing interactive graphical visualizations.
  • Documenting versions of models and research in progress.
  • Applying creative methods for applied research relevant to mechanistic, ecological processes; decision-making; and management of natural resources.

Written Communication

  • Leading and collaborating on writing for peer-reviewed publications.
  • Writing sections of technical reports in coordination with other researchers.
  • Co-authoring short pieces for public audiences.

Verbal Communication

  • Effectively communicating with collaborators, project sponsors, and stakeholders on research at meetings.
  • Presenting research at scientific conferences.
  • Creating video tutorials for greater accessibility of research and methods.


Bachelor's Degree in a related field and two years of related experience.


  • Masters Degree in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Ecology, Biometry, or related field, AND at least three years in related area or equivalent combination of education/experience.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, including team ethics and relationship-building.
  • Knowledge of Pacific salmon and steelhead ecology.
  • Experience working with live aquatic animals in the laboratory or in the field.
  • Experience in project management and coordination.
  • Experience or interest in conducting research on climate change impacts on salmon and steelhead or other natural resource.
  • Experience or interest in modeling river temperatures or other river conditions.

Salary: Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience.
Application Deadline: Open until filled

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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