Opportunity: Marine Endangered Species Observer

REMSA Inc. Coastal & Marine Division seeks skilled and experienced Independent Contracting Observers to monitor sea turtles, marine mammals, sturgeons, and birds.

REMSA, Inc. has been in business since 1986; their Marine Endangered Species Observer (MESO) Program was established in 1999 to provide service to dredging companies in support of environmental compliance for clam-shell, hopper dredge and other offshore industrial operations requiring compliance monitoring by NMFS certified marine biologists.

The MESO division of REMSA, Inc. works primarily with marine dredging contractors to reduce endangered and threatened species impacts as well as provide biological research and support. The MESO program goal is to achieve a successful balance of protecting endangered and threatened marine species, ensuring environmental compliance, while facilitating dredging, and other industrial marine activities’. A position as an endangered species MESO biologist and observer requires someone who is available to travel on short notice, is able to live aboard an off-shore vessel for periods of time and can physically work in non-permit confined work spaces. A successful candidate understands marine and dredging operations, and is able to perform the physical and detail oriented requirements of the position.


Marine Endangered Species Observers will conduct protected species observations aboard dredging projects on various waterways along the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico in the United States. Observers will be required to perform duties in adverse/inclement weather aboard ships at sea for approximately 3-4 weeks at a time. Must be able to work independently and follow technical instructions as required. Duties include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Identification of marine animals at distance, up close, and in pieces to the correct species for: sea turtles, marine mammals, sturgeons, and saw-tooth fish.
  • Maintain bridge watch for sea turtles and marine mammals during all operative hours.
  • Physically inspect each dredge load screening basket, and points of intake for evidence of any endangered or threatened species live or dead, in whole, or severely damaged.
  • Report interactions with endangered/threatened species to various government agencies as determined within the project’s specifications.
  • Data collection, tagging, biopsies, and record keeping of biological sampling data for sea turtles and other species of concern as determined by the project detailed Biological Opinion and Specifications.


Must be a U.S. Citizen or have authorization to work in the U.S. without sponsorship or restrictions
Must have or be able to obtain Endangered/Protected Species approval from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)
Must have a valid Driver’s License & Clean Driving Record
Must be able to lift 50 pounds, operate in confined spaces, and climb ladders aboard ships and crew boats
Must have or be able to obtain a TWIC clearance for access to job sites
*Note: Candidates meeting marine mammal and sea turtle qualifications will be considered immediately


Bachelors Degree in Marine Biology, Biology, Marine Ecology or similar education with at least one year of specialized AT-SEA experience. Extensive exposure and knowledge through experience will be considered.


*Sufficient marine mammal and sea turtle experience is mandatory, and the ability to work in various job locations throughout the U.S. is a plus.

  • Extensive hands-on experience with sea turtles is required for consideration.
  • Identification of sea turtles, marine mammals and other protected marine animals to species.
  • Data collection, biological sampling, identification of bones and body parts to species.
  • Bridge watch for sea turtles and marine mammals.
  • Capable of distinguishing specific blow patterns out to one mile, with binoculars.
  • Reporting interactions with endangered/threatened species to various government agencies.
  • Necropsy experience a plus.
  • Compliance overseer willing to communicate to regulatory officials, program managers, and difficult persons in a clear, competent and non-confrontational manner
  • Maintaining alertness and the perception of professional diligence as an active OBSERVER during watch

**The ability to work closely with others and the requirement to be physically fit cannot be overemphasized.


This is an Independent Contractor position; salary varies with project location and scope of work
Travel expenses to/from project locations are the responsibility of the observer.
Lodging and meals are provided on board at-sea hopper dredge vessels.


Candidates do not need to reside in the local area, but must have a flexible schedule and able to travel to assignments. Candidates living on the East Coast & Gulf of Mexico are strongly preferred.

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants should send the following application materials:
-Detailed resume documenting all relevant experience, NMFS certifications, education, and skills
-Cover letter outlining why you would be a good fit for this position indicating longevity of deployments and management of diverse situations and conditions.

Submit all materials as attachments to the posting: .pdf files or MS Word 2003 compatible files
for additional attachments email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or FAX to 757.722.4571
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