Ocean Career: Scripps Institution of Oceanography Oceanographic Technician

Under general supervision carry out the duties of a seagoing technician for up to 120 days per year and up to 40 days per cruise. Maintain, calibrate and prepare analytical instrumentation and sensors for research cruises, handle transportation between SIO and vessels, setup, test and troubleshoot analytical and computer systems. At sea perform the duties of watch lead which includes overseeing on deck data collection and sampling activities such as deploying and recovering CTD rosette system, sampling water bottles, underway seawater system and plankton nets, and instruct other personnel / volunteers in safe and precise sample collection. Quality control data as its is collect, identify and solve sensor and instrumentation issues that come up. At sea in the lab perform analysis of dissolved oxygen, chlorophyll, salinity, primary production, and monitoring data recording and logging, ensuring high data quality, and performing preliminary processing. Ashore, independently process, quality check and validate hydrographic and biological data collected at sea, drawing from analytical experience and knowledge of oceanographic principles and dynamics. Use CalCOFI Visual Basic custom software, Python, Matlab, Microsoft Access, Excel and SQL for data processing, merging, point inspection and for generating final data products. Serve final data products on the CalCOFI website, via online data repositories and assist data users with data requests. Assist in building and testing new data acquisition and processing software developed in Python and create programming scripts to automate and improve data querying and visualization. In the lab help prepare chemical reagents, store and analyze samples, do filing, inventorying and order supplies, and assist with the maintenance of CTD sensors and bottles.


  • B.A. or B.S. in science with a strong marine science background, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of oceanography, chemistry, biology and engineering principles needed for data collection, analysis and quality control.
  • Experience with interpretation and quality assessment of hydrographic and biological data, drawing from oceanographic background.
  • Experience operating, maintaining and troubleshooting CTD sensors, water bottles and data acquisition systems.
  • Experience processing oceanographic data using software such as SeaBird software, Python, Matlab, Visual Basic, and Microsoft Access and Excel.
  • Experience in performing sample analysis. Proven ability to carry out chemical and biological analyses at sea and in the laboratory, such as rates of primary production using radioisotopes, chlorophyll a, oxygen (automated Winkler), and salinity.
  • Experience in operating general laboratory and analytical equipment, including ability to perform titrations and collect high quality data.
  • Proven ability to operate computer systems and to perform minor troubleshooting. Knowledge of and experience using Windows operating systems, Microsoft Office Suite. Experience with scripting programming languages: Matlab, Python or Visual Basic.
  • Sound knowledge of chemical principles and regulations needed to oversee safe handling and storage of chemicals and radioisotopes.
  • Proven ability to work at sea for extended periods of time. This will include being able to work in laboratories or on deck with machinery in rough weather.
  • Demonstrated ability to write technical/scientific reports, laboratory records, and manage files in standard and electronic formats.
  • Ability to drive a car and truck. Demonstrated safe driving skills.
  • Ability to interact using tact and diplomacy with diverse personalities including academic, staff, student and volunteer employees and institutions/organizations.
  • Experience performing minor troubleshooting and repairs on laboratory analytical equipment.


  • Must pass a background check.
  • Must be prepared to go to sea for 120 days per year.
  • Must have CA drivers license. The position is subject to a DMV check for driving record and valid driver's license.
  • Must be able to give and hear verbal commands in a noisy environment at sea.
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50lb.

Annual Full Pay Range: $58,505 - $94,113 (will be prorated if the appointment percentage is less than 100%)

Closing Date: May 14, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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