Ocean Career: Research Technician at WHOI

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a Research Technician to join the Biology Department. This is a regular, full-time, non-exempt position, and is eligible for full benefits.

The successful Research Technician candidate will lead field operations for Dr. Mark Baumgartner’s Robots4Whales, which uses long-endurance autonomous platforms (gliders, buoys, profiling floats) equipped with passive acoustic monitoring instrumentation to transmit whale detection information to shore in near real time for review and dissemination to academic, government, conservation and industry stakeholders. Whale detections from the Robots4Whales system are used on the U.S. east coast to trigger NOAA Slow Zones for Right Whales, on the U.S. west coast to reduce ship strikes of blue, fin and humpback whales as part of the Whale Safe program (whalesafe.com), and in Canada to trigger mandatory restrictions of ship speeds and closure of fishing grounds to protect North Atlantic right whales.

The internal working title for this position will be Research Assistant III.

Essential Functions

  • Prepare and test electronic systems, including instruments and data collection systems, for deployment at sea, and refurbish these same systems when they return from sea.
  • Prepare, ballast and test Slocum gliders.
  • Participate in and/or lead the deployment and recovery of autonomous platforms, including gliders, buoys and profiling floats
  • Troubleshoot problems with instruments and autonomous platforms.
  • Offload data from instruments and gliders, and archive, process and share data with collaborators.
  • Develop and maintain schedule to manage tasks associated with refurbishing, preparing, testing, deploying, operating and recovering autonomous platforms.
  • Develop and maintain asset management system to keep track of instruments and equipment.
  • Maintain and potentially enhance robots4whales.whoi.edu website.
  • Conduct occasional passive acoustic data analysis.

Education & Experience

Master's degree in related field preferred (e.g., oceanography, biology, acoustics, or engineering), or Bachelor's degree in related field plus three years' related experience, or Bachelor's degree in nonrelated field plus five years' related experience. Relevant work experience is highly desirable. The successful candidate should possess these qualities:

  • Proficiency in basic electronics for assembling, testing and troubleshooting electronic systems, including, for example, soldering, building wiring harnesses and using a multimeter.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to work professionally with people from many different disciplines, including scientists, engineers, technicians, manufacturers, and vessel operators.
  • Willingness to travel and go to sea, sometimes on short notice.
  • Highly organized.
  • Proficiency in one or more computer languages is desired.
  • Proficiency in Windows, Mac and Linux (Unix) operating systems is desired.
  • Experience with website maintenance and development is desired.
  • Experience with the analysis of passive acoustic recordings is desired.
  • Experience at sea preferred.
  • Proficiency with programming and website design/maintenance.

Special Requirements

  • Sea duty, most often consisting of 1-day trips, but occasionally trips of 5-30 days.
  • Ability to obtain TWIC card.
  • Must have a valid driver license.

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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