Alaska groundfish observers gather data onboard commercial fishing boats working out of ports along the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea. Most of the assignments are based out of Dutch Harbor, Kodiak, King Cove, or Akutan, Alaska.
- Provide independent catch estimates
- Sample species composition
- Provide fish ID and measurements
- Collect biological samples
- Monitor marine mammal and bird interactions
- Document fishing activity (set times, positions, gear performance, etc.)
- Record and report all data to NMFS
- Comply with all regulatory requirements
- Carry out assigned special projects
General Observer Requirements:
- Bachelor's degree or higher in one of the natural sciences (biology, fisheries, natural resources, wildlife biology, limnology, etc.), including 30 credit hours of applied biology, one of which must include extensive use of a dichotomous key
- College Course in Statistics and Math
- U.S. citizenship or Permanent Resident Card
- Not prone to chronic or debilitating seasickness.
- Physically able to carry out duties (i.e., lift baskets often weighing up to 40kg, climb steel ladders, don an immersion survival suit within 60 seconds, lift yourself into a life raft using your own strength).
- Successful completion of the appropriate observer training course.
- Excellent people skills.
- Ability to adapt to change, manage stress, and live in confined quarters.
- Capacity to work independently, yet follow technical instructions.
- Capacity to maintain objectivity and the appearance of objectivity.
- Ability to adapt to changes in sea assignments of extended and uncertain duration.
- Previous experience as a marine mammal or fisheries observer.
- Previous experience in scientific data collection, and data entry beyond college.
- Previous ocean experience aboard boats.
- Valid and current passport.
Trainings classes are 3-weeks in duration in Seattle, Washington. Trainings for 2019 will be offered in June, July, August and December. After training contracts are typically 3 months with an option for renewals throughout the year as the fishing season is year-round.