Job Opportunity: Survey Technician NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Oceanography 101

Call for applicants: Survey Technician contract position available at NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary


Position Title:                       Survey Technician

Organization:                       NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary

Application deadline:           Friday, April 25th, 2014

Start Date:                            Monday, May 12th, 2014


1. Introduction


The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (NMSF), a private, non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, was created to assist the federally managed Office of National Marine Sanctuaries witheducation and outreach programs designed to preserve, protect and promote meaningful opportunities for public interaction with the nation’s marine sanctuaries. NMFS connects people to the most valued places in our American ocean: national marine sanctuaries. Areas in our ocean and Great Lakes set aside for their cultural and ecological significance, sanctuaries protect the very best of the American ocean for the next generation. NMSF supports critical research, monitoring, and restoration efforts within our national marine sanctuaries to expand our understanding of ocean wildlife and habitats – and the threats affecting them.


Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) encompasses more than 3,310 square miles of Washington State coastal waters. This area contains a rich array of habitats and marine life. The Sanctuary program provides protection of these natural resources through research and education, which foster public understanding and stewardship of this nationally significant marine area.


2. Hydrographic and Oceanographic Survey Technician


Description of Services Needed

The Survey Technician is responsible for performing the following functions: oceanographic and hydrographic survey data acquisition and processing operations; technical assistance to program personnel; administering the safekeeping and transmittal of data; and maintaining oceanographic and hydrographic survey instruments.


Due to the nature of the work, workdays will vary according to operational needs. In general, operations will be conducted M-F from 0800-1800 with some days requiring additional hours. The number of hours required per month will vary with the field season.


The nature of the contract requires close coordination of work schedules with the OCNMS staff. Due to the necessity of utilizing specific files and programs, some of the work involved will take place in the offices of OCNMS. The Sanctuary will provide a workstation at the OCNMS office in Port Angeles, WA, including access to a computer and other IT equipment, telephone, copier and facsimile machine for the position. Due to the remote nature of field operations, a field laptop will be provided by OCNMS for data management and quality control. This position will be monitored and managed through frequent verbal and email contact with the OCNMS Research Coordinator and Marine Geographer. The incumbent will report to the OCNMS Deputy Superintendent for Operations & Administration.

Survey Technician Tasks:

Annual Operations Planning Process

  • Identify research and data collection priorities for seafloor mapping and annual deployment of oceanographic moorings
  • Schedule accomplishment of priorities based on available resources and data processing capabilities
  • Coordinate permissions, permitting, and access requirements to accomplish scheduled operations plan


Conduct Annual Field Operations

  • Operate and monitor multibeam and/or sidescan sonar and oceanographic mooring instruments
  • Annotate annual logs; maintain records; update web-based survey information
  • Assist in preparations for and completion of oceanographic and hydrographic survey operations
  • Perform maintenance on facilities and trailers as needed
  • Properly configure and maintain (in operable condition) mission equipment utilized on the vessels including oceanographic and hydrographic instrumentation (including all aspects of the oceanographic mooring arrays)
  • Assist in preparation, installation, deployment, and recovery of oceanographic and/or hydrographic survey equipment and instruments


Maintenance, acquisition, and improvement

  • Coordinate calibration and service of oceanographic and hydrographic instruments
  • Assist in upkeep and capital improvements of research platform as required to accomplish site management goals
  • Coordinate and collaborate with partner organizations and other NOAA offices in support of oceanographic monitoring, hydrographic surveys, and to accomplish organizational goals


Data Management

  • Perform initial quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) for field collected data
  • Respond to queries for data and make data available to partners for analysis



3-years related experience required* serving on a ship, launch or field party engaged in oceanographic or survey operations performing such activities as:

  • Operating and monitoring instruments, including annotating records and recording data
  • Assisting in the staging and set-up during preparations for, and at the completion of, oceanographic and survey operations
  • Performing oceanographic and/or survey observations, measurements, and calculations
  • Assisting in the preparation, installation, deployment and recovery of oceanographic and/or survey equipment and instruments
  • Processing oceanographic and/or survey data
  • At least one year of the required years of experience aboard a NOAA vessel or other comparable position is preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a team environment and carry out assignments independently
  • Flexibility to maintain a varying work schedule as needed including occasional weekends, evenings, and nights
  • Willingness to travel in support of sanctuary activities
  • Position occasionally includes varied mealtime hours, and requires lifting up to 50 pounds, working outdoors, and working offshore in all ocean and weather conditions
  • Must have a valid U.S. driver’s license


* Substitution of Education for Experience

One year of experience as described above, and a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, geography, oceanography, ecology, marine biology, or related field may be substituted for the required three years of experience.


3. Workplace Logistics

Period of Performance: May, 2014 – July, 2015


General hours of work: M-F; time allocations will fluctuate seasonally according to agreement of the supervisor. Hours will be concentrated during the field season (May-Oct) with fewer hours planned during the winter months.



Approximately 1988 hours at a rate of $30.00-$35.00/hr (commensurate with qualifications); and $2,500 for Travel. No benefits provided.


Government Vehicles: The use of government vehicles will be available to the Survey Technician. However, proof of an insurance endorsement called extended non-owned coverage (or broad form, drive other car coverage) is required


On-Site Supervisor: Kevin Grant, Deputy Superintendent for Operations & Administration


Applicants are invited to submit a letter of interest and resume to Justin Ellis via email at VOC.OCNMS@NOAA.GOV


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